Each Christmas, I enjoy sharing with you all of the homemade gifts and goodies that we are creating around our house.  I love sharing recipes and patterns that I hope will bring a little joy as you prepare for the holidays too!  It is not always easy for me to share my personal feelings in such a public space, but this season I not only  want to share homemade memorial ornaments that are beautiful, but I would like to also share why creating this special remembrance is so deeply personal.

Christmas can be such a tough holiday for those who have lost loved ones.  This Christmas is terribly sad for my family.  My mom passed away a month ago and I am still struggling daily with the reality of her being gone.   In those times when I find myself with a quiet house, I find myself wondering, how could this beautiful amazing woman who impacted so many be gone? She was married to my father for 65 years, and she has left a gaping hole in his life, and in mine. Thankfully, we are left with many good memories, and I am so thankful for the many gifts she gave me. She taught me how to care and love for those around me, and she did this through her living example. I was amazed, but not surprised, to hear how great that impact was when people came and visited us at Hospice.   She touched so many lives.  I tried hard to reassure her that we would all be okay, and that she could rest easy and let go.  I told her that she had trained and loved us all so well (my kind loving brothers an example of this), and that I was beyond thankful she had adopted me and loved me like her very own.  I made sure she knew that because of her love, the beautiful way that she lived her life, and the endless and tireless care that she gave to so many in this world–I will forever be better because of her.  I am strong and faithful, just like her.  I am beyond thankful she taught me my purpose…. to love and care for others.  How lucky I am to have such a mother, and how proud I am to be my mother’s daughter. Through the years and the ups and downs, through happiness and struggles and what seemed like a rollercoaster of life, she was steadfast, determined and graceful. She chose love.

my mom and dad

mom and dad

She quietly cared for many. Truly in her we saw a faithful servant who knew her purpose. My cousins summed her up best.

We are saddened this morning that a true angel has gone to the heavens. Our beloved aunt, Mary Lou Haugh passed away at the age of 84. Mary Lou and her family; husband Ivan, children Dennis, Brad, David and Cindy, were some of the most impactful people in our lives. When my mother, brother and I moved to Topeka at a young and impressionable age, the Haugh family were our only support system. Their love, caring and generosity not only helped us survive, it helped mold my brother and I into who we are today. Mary Lou and her family have been a gift from God. We will be forever grateful to them for making us part of their family. We love you, Mary Lou! You are in a place where you will continue to watch over all of us…… from Todd

Mary and Ivan form some of my earliest memories of what it means to be a family – enduring challenges and celebrating triumphs, always bound by unconditional love. While saddened by Mary’s passing, I’m forever grateful for having had her, and the entire Haugh family, in my life. Peace be with you, Aunt Mary…… from Brian.

I couldn’t think of any better song to have had at her funeral.

He sent her and she heard His call. I know He grabbed her immediately and said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Memorial Ornaments

So how do you remember someone so special at the holidays? I know you too probably have someone special that you would like to remember.  My niece made the most amazing tribute to her grandfather when he passed away.  I can’t think of a better way to honor those that are no longer with us.

memory Christmas ornament

The most important part of this sweet ornament is a piece of important clothing. My family saw my mom wear this nightgown all the time. It is soft and worn and makes me think of her. So in loving memory I am making these memorial Christmas ornaments as memory gift for my family. We will cherish it hanging on our Christmas tree and have a special memory or her.

How to make a memorial ornaments

Download and print the heart template for memorial ornaments. There are two sizes, I used the smaller.  Cut two hearts out of the clothing. Cut a piece of twine, ribbon or cording about 8 inches long.

memorial ornaments tutorial

Baste the hanger on the wrong side of the fabric. This helps keep it in place while sewing. It makes it much easier.

how to make a memorial ornaments

Place wrong sides together and machine stitch all the way around the heart leaving a one inch opening along the the side. Fill the heart with fiberfill and machine stitch closed. This can all be done by hand if desired.

DIY memorial ornaments

If you like the edge of the memory ornament can be embellished by making a blanket stitch with embroidery floss all the way around the heart.

how to make a memory ornament

Here is the sweet poem my niece wrote, change it up for your loved one and attach to your memorial ornaments.

Made from mom’s nightgown by me,
Here is an ornament for your tree.
With love hang this little heart,
So you will never feel apart.

As I sewed this special ornament out of my mom’s nightgown I realized how many hours she spent teaching me to sew. All the patterns and tutorials here on Skip to my Lou wouldn’t be possible without her! What a special legacy she left.

memory ornament

I hope these remembrance ornaments will help you through the Christmas holiday!  Hold all those you love dear close to you and remember those fondly that are no longer with you……and always remember to choose love.

Merry Christmas!

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your idea, and your story. My condolences to you and your family. My dad passed away this May, on Mother’s Day, of all days. My dad was a very tall man, and although I had already planned to make a pillow for my mom, I wasn’t sure what to do with the extra fabric. Now I will be making as many of these as I can, for sister, daughters, Aunts, cousins. Thank You! XOXO

  2. Thank you for this post. My mother in law past away in September. I am making these ornaments for her 12 grandchildren and 17 great grand children. I wanted to add a note, and yours is perfect.
    Thank you again, and Merry Christmas from Minnesota.

  3. I love this idea. Wish I had saw this back in January or February before I have away ALL of a dear friends clothing after her passing.

  4. This Halloween will be 18 years that I lost my mom, (she passed from a massive heart attack at 53, I was 21 and never so alone.) it still feels like yesterday and gets harder every year. So much has happened in these 18 years good and bad, but I am so sad that I don’t have much left of hers between family taking what they wanted and being so young I had no idea what was actually happening. This article really hit me hard bc crafts especially sewing was such an amazing gift of hers (she even made my prom dress) I regret never sitting to learn to sew with her and can only tell you how truly lucky you are. since then it’s been on my bucket list to learn but life and 3 kids later I still haven’t learned! my sincere words for you are to keep her memory alive everyday by doing those special things she did with you, and pass it on. there is no greater way to honor her memory. I am truly sorry for your loss and hope your heart becomes lighter as time moves forward….

  5. I have recently lost my Mum to Covid-19 at the age of 91. Your article about your loss touched me deeply. I too made memory hearts for my five brothers and close family. I made them out of a fleece shawl I’d made her out of a throw, she was always cold. Kind regards Julie X

  6. I’m crying as I read this beautiful idea. My grandma is soon passing from this life to the next. While I rejoice for her to finally meet her maker and know ultimate peace, I am grieving. I love this sweet, simple, yet significant way to keep her memory close. Thank you.

  7. Good Morning from the Portland Or area I LOVE your blog so many clever ideas ……. I know the feeling of losing someone especially a parent both my parents are gone would of been 70 yrs of marriage on the 10th it has been 10 and 12 yrs I have made memory ornaments as well. I love seeing them at this time of year !!!!!! It helps alittle but like you said you have the memories
    Again thank you for your blog Merry Christmas to you and your family Warm Hugs Pam Christ is the reason for this season PTL

  8. We lost a beautiful 5 1/2 year old granddaughter in Sept 2002 – my husband was doing fretwork at that time (very intricate scroll saw cutting) and for at least 5 years each Christmas, he made a special wooden fretwork ornament to remember Morgan by – a Unicorn, Raggedy Andy, Raggedy Ann, an Angel are just a few — even though he did craft shows and sold handcrafted fretwork ornaments, these ornaments were never sold – only shared with family and very close friends. She loved purple so all ornaments were tied with a purple ribbon. He also made a small special designed angel ornament; a small Christmas tree placed at the cemetery each Christmas had only these ornaments on it in addition to bows. Even this many years later, it is hard to think about her without a few tears. Merry Christmas to all — and yes, there is sadness at Christmas along with the good memories. God Bless .

  9. I must tell you I never expected your story when I clicked on this ornament appeared. I am so thankful that I did. The song with video was a blessing to me (As we used to sing this when I was a Mom with little kids) and I shared it with my son, who is now a pastor. He replied thanks, that he needed to hear that song today. Long way around, I wanted you to know how you touched two lives today. My husband passed away in March and I plan to make these ornaments. Thank you.

  10. My husband passed away 12 days ago. I was just looking on Pinterest and saw these cute ornaments. I will be making them for my family this Christmas. Such a cute idea

  11. So sorry for your loss. I can certainly feel your pain. My first horrible loss was my dad back in 1984. There have been others that have really hurt me deeply too.
    I have special clothing items that I have saved. Hanging in the closet they only touch me occasionally. These adorable ornaments are a great way to share these precious items with my whole family. Thank you for sharing your own personal story. I would think you have truly touched many others like me.

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