10 Creative Ways You Can Repurpose A Loved One's Clothes

September 10, 2021

When one of our loved ones moves on, there’s plenty of traditions and ceremonies that take place for us bid goodbye to that person, however, when it comes to their belongings there is very little. We’re left to sort through their possessions and make decisions about what we do with them. It can be a difficult experience as we remove their things from where they once lived, but doing so can actually help in your healing process.


Some of these belongings will carry many memories and sentimental feelings with them, from a beloved sweatshirt to an old coat. If you feel emotionally attached to these items, you might not want to part with them even though they have no practical use for you. If you find yourself in this position, use this guide as inspiration for ways in which you can repurpose particular items into something more personal for yourself, or even as a gift to another friend or family member. By doing so, you renew the item's usefulness and will always have apart of your late loved one nearby.


1.     Pillow

Pillows are a great source of comfort and can be easily put together from old clothing. Ideally, you would want to use a soft material: think t-shirts and button-ups. Sew and stuff your chosen fabric for a tenderly nostalgic item you can cuddle up with for years to come.


2.    Blanket

For a larger piece, consider selecting a variety of clothes you can rework and stitch together to make the perfect memorial patchwork blanket. The scale of this piece means you can select as many pieces from your loved one's wardrobe as you like, each square woven with its own memories and moments.


3.    Memory Bear

This touching memorial gift can be passed down from one generation to the next, always keeping memories and tales of the past alive. A memory bear is a teddy bear created with clothing (and often times other items) of significant sentimental value. These bears are not only cute but also comforting when you wish to feel close to your deceased loved one.


4.    Table Runner

Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries often stir up emotions in us when we’ve lost a loved one. By selecting items such as neckties, shirts, or other scraps of clothing, you can stitch together a beautiful table runner so that your late family member will always be a part of your celebrations as you gather around the dinner table.


5.    Scarf

If you wish to carry your loved one’s memory with you wherever you go, think about sewing together an accessory such as a scarf. A scarf is one of the easier items to create by yourself with few different fabrics. With smaller pieces like this, you might want to pick out textiles of bright colours or unique patterns for a great statement piece for your winter wardrobe.


6.    Apron

For someone who feels right at home in the kitchen, an apron is a heart-warming keepsake gift idea. You can find many easy-to-do guides online for creating basic aprons out of any fabric you desire. Who knows, this repurposed item might end up being passed down along with your family recipe book for years to come.


7.    Tote Bag

Tote bags are a staple in anyone's wardrobe, and the great thing about them is that you can never have too many! Make your own out of your loved one’s coolest t-shirts, bringing a part of their legacy with you wherever you go – from picking up books at the library to grabbing groceries at the store to keeping all your essentials together at the beach, the uses are endless!


8.    Braided Jewellery/Hair Accessories

For smaller accessories, twist and braid different fabrics into pretty necklaces, bracelets, and even hair ties. These are super simple to create and can be made in any range of colours to suit anyone's personal style. By accessorizing with your loved one’s old items, you’ll have an ever-present reminder of their memory around your neck, wrist, or head.


9.    Book Cover

If there are any bookworms in the family, a fabric book cover is a beautiful and handy way to protect your favourite reads from wear and tear, and they'll make your bookshelf look divine! Alternatively, you can create a simple book sleeve to protect your books whilst on the go, especially if they’re being stuffed into bags or suitcases.


10.  Christmas Ornaments

Christmas is often one of the times we miss our late loved ones most. To remember them and have them continue to be a part of your family traditions, create Christmas ornaments out of shirts, sweaters, or skirts that you can hang on the tree each year.

Emily Davies

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