When a loved one passes away, we long for a way to honor and remember them. We want a memorial item that brings us comfort when grieving and reminds us of our loved one. By making memory bears, you have both a comforting and personalized memento to remember your loved one.
To make memory bears, you sew a teddy bear out of your loved one’s old clothing. It keeps a piece of them around forever and gives you something to hug when you need comforting.
There are many clothing items you can repurpose into memory bears. It doesn’t take a large amount of fabric, so you can make them for several family members and friends of your loved one.
Your memory bear can even show your connection to your loved one depending on the fabric you choose. For example, if you always went fishing together, you can make your bear out of your loved one’s old fishing outfit. Or, if you always cooked together, make your bear out of their old apron.
Some other clothing items you can use to create a memory bear are:
- Alma mater clothing from their high school or college
- Baby clothes
- Beach towels
- Favorite shirt or dress
- Favorite sports team outfit or their own sports gear
- Graduation robes
- Military uniform
- Outfits related to their hobbies such as gardening or crafting
- Pair of jeans or overalls
- Scrap fabric if they were an avid sewer
- Wedding or prom dress
- Work outfit
Items You Need
In addition to fabric or clothing items, these are other items you’ll need to make memory bears:
- A bear pattern for cutting your fabric. (For example, here are some bear patterns.)
- Sewing machine
- Pins (to hold fabric in place while sewing)
- Buttons (for the eyes and nose)
How to Make Memory Bears
Before starting, you should decide whether you want your bear to be made out of all one fabric. If not, you can use multiple fabrics to give it a patched look. You also can use different fabrics for the foot pads and inside of the ears. And, if you’d like, you can even make a tag for your bear and write a short dedication to your loved one, such as “In memory of (insert name).”
To make your memory bear, you need to cut out your fabric pieces using the patterns you’ve found. Then, you need to carefully sew together the different pieces of your bear. Don’t forget to insert your bear’s eyes and nose! Before sewing on the last piece, fill your bear with stuffing and make sure it’s evenly dispersed throughout the bear.
Have you made memory bears? Share photos of your memory bears in the comment section below!