Memory Dolls Tutorial

For more information on why I made this doll, please read THIS POST.
I’m so excited that there was so much interest in this yesterday!  Thank you everyone for your outpouring of love.  I never know how subjects like this will be received.  And now, I give you, the tutorial!
The first step in this process is to find a full body picture of the subject and scan it into the computer.  I had to look through all of my picture boxes for this because way back in 2001 I didn’t have a digital camera!  I’ve come a long way baby.
Next I needed to change the size.  Above is a screenshot of how I did this on my Mac. I pulled the photo up in PREVIEW, selected “custom” for the “Fit Into” category,  and selected “inches.”  The height I chose was 28″ and my doll turned out to be right around 18″ tall. (If you are using a PC you may find help HERE.)
Then I went to Spoonflower and uploaded the photo there (screenshot above). I selected “center” on the repeat menu, chose basic combed cotton for the fabric.  If you want to do more than one doll you can do a basic repeat.
Cut around the fabric, then lay it on top of the backing fabric and cut out a mirror image of it.  I used one of Dan’s BDU shirts for the backing fabric.  If you can use an article of the loved one’s clothing as the backing I strongly recommend it!
Pin right sides together and sew.  Make sure you leave a 3″ hole at the bottom.  Trim the seam allowance and turn right side out.
Hand sew opening closed.
***I have had a few people contact me asking how they can find someone who wants a doll so they can make it for them, which is just awesome.  If you are in need of a memory doll or want to sew a memory doll for someone please email me at and I would be happy to get you in touch!***
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5 thoughts on “Memory Dolls Tutorial

  1. Dear Alida, so often the things we don’t want to do are the right things… You’ve done a good thing and that is probably how we best honour those we have lost. My dear Mum died nearly six weeks ago and I would like to skip Christmas and pull a blanket over my head instead. But to honour her, and because it is the right thing, I will suck it up too and decorate the tree with my children as she would have done for me. Kindest regards, Leslie

  2. I bought one of these of my son when he went to Iraq for my grandson. It came with a beautiful poem. My grandson still has it. Two ladies (wives of men in the military ) started a business making these. You could even record your love one’s voice and put it inside the doll. This is a great idea

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