DIY Sympathy Gift Ideas: Creating Meaningful Remembrances for Loved Ones

Losing a loved one can be one of the most challenging experiences in life. It can be difficult to express your condolences, comfort the bereaved, and find a way to memorialize the deceased. However, creating a meaningful remembrance can be a beautiful way to honor and cherish the memory of your loved one. While there are many traditional sympathy gifts, a DIY gift can be a special way to show your love and support during a difficult time. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best DIY sympathy gift ideas to help you create lasting and meaningful remembrances.

DIY Sympathy Gift Ideas

DIY Memorial Ornaments

One way to remember a loved one is to create a memorial ornament. You can use a photo, a poem, or a special item that represents the deceased to create a personalized ornament.

Here are the items you will need for DIY Memorial Ornaments:

  • Clear glass or plastic ornaments
  • Permanent markers or paint pens
  • Photos or printed images of your loved one
  • Small decorative items, such as glitter, confetti, or beads
  • Ribbon or string for hanging the ornament
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape, if needed

Here’s how to create a DIY memorial ornament:

  1. Choose a photo, a poem, or a special item that represents your loved one.
  2. Purchase clear glass or plastic ornaments that can be opened.
  3. Cut your item into small pieces or size it to fit into the ornament.
  4. Use tweezers to carefully insert your item into the ornament.
  5. Add any embellishments or ribbon to personalize the ornament.
  6. Display or gift the ornament to the bereaved.

DIY Memory Candles

A memorial candle can be a beautiful way to remember a loved one. It can also bring a sense of peace and comfort during difficult times.

Here are the items you’ll need for DIY Memory Candles:

  • Candle wax
  • Candle wicks
  • Candle dye or crayons
  • Fragrance oil (optional)
  • Heat-resistant container (e.g. glass jar)
  • Double boiler or saucepan and heat-safe bowl
  • Thermometer
  • Chopsticks or pencils (to hold wick in place)
  • Labels and markers (optional)

Here’s how to create a DIY memory candle:

  1. Choose a photo, a poem, or a special item that represents your loved one.
  2. Print your item onto vellum paper.
  3. Cut the paper to fit around the candle.
  4. Wrap the vellum paper around a plain white candle.
  5. Use a hairdryer on low to melt the wax slightly and adhere the paper to the candle.
  6. Add any embellishments or ribbon to personalize the candle.
  7. Display or gift the candle to the bereaved.

DIY Memorial Quilts

A memorial quilt can be a special way to remember a loved one, especially if they were fond of quilting or handmade crafts. You can create a quilt using pieces of fabric from the deceased’s clothing or personal items.

Here are the items needed for DIY Memorial Quilts:

  • Fabric pieces in different colors and patterns
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Scissors, rotary cutter, and cutting mat
  • Quilting ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Batting or filler material
  • Pins and safety pins
  • Fabric marker or pencil
  • Printed or drawn design for the quilt pattern
  • Optional: embroidery thread and needle for adding personalized details or names.
Here’s how to create a DIY memorial quilt:
  1. Choose a selection of fabric pieces that represent your loved one, such as clothing or personal items.
  2. Cut the fabric pieces into equal-sized squares or rectangles.
  3. Sew the fabric pieces together to create a quilt top.
  4. Choose a fabric for the backing and batting.
  5. Layer the backing, batting, and quilt top together and pin in place.
  6. Quilt the layers together, either by hand or machine.
  7. Add any embellishments or embroidery to personalize the quilt.
  8. Display or gift the quilt to the bereaved.

DIY Memory Shadow Box

A lovely and considerate approach to pay tribute to the memories of a deceased loved one is to create a remembrance shadow box. To get started, select a frame for your shadow box and then choose mementos that are important to your loved one. This might be in the form of photographs, notes, souvenirs, or anything else that brings up fond memories of the person. Place the things to be displayed inside the frame, and then use adhesive to keep them in place. You could also personalize the front of the frame by adding a plaque or engraving with the person’s name or a unique message. After it has been completed, the remembrance shadow box can be placed on a shelf or hung on a wall to serve as a constant reminder of your cherished one.

To make a DIY Memory Shadow Box, you’ll need:

  • Shadow box frame
  • Decorative paper or fabric for background
  • Adhesive, such as glue or double-sided tape
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Small mementos, such as photos, letters, trinkets, or other items that remind you of your loved one
  • Pins or other fasteners to attach the mementos to the background
  • Optional: small LED lights or other lighting to highlight the items in the shadow box.


  1. Choose a shadow box frame and remove the back panel.
  2. Select the items that you would like to include in the shadow box.
  3. Arrange the items inside the frame, experimenting with different layouts until you find one you like.
  4. Once you’re happy with the layout, use adhesive to secure the items in place.
  5. If desired, add a plaque or engraving to the front of the frame with your loved one’s name or a special message.
  6. Once the shadow box is complete, reattach the back panel and display it in a special place.

DIY Memorial Garden Stone

One of the most touching ways to honor the memory of a deceased loved one while also imparting a sense of individuality to one’s garden or yard is to do so with a memorial garden stone. To get started, go to a craft store or look for one online and get a basic garden stone. Then, using outdoor paint or a paint marker, adorn the stone with your cherished one’s name, a unique message, or an image that brings back fond memories of them. In addition to this, you can apply a coat of sealer over the paint so that it is protected from the outside elements. After it has been finished, the memorial garden stone can be positioned in a garden or other outdoor area that was significant to the person you have lost.

To make a DIY Memorial Garden Stone, you’ll need:

  • Plain garden stone
  • Outdoor paint or paint marker
  • Paintbrush
  • Sealant


  1. Purchase a plain garden stone from a craft store or online.
  2. Use outdoor paint or a paint marker to decorate the stone with your loved one’s name, a special message, or an image that reminds you of them.
  3. Allow the paint to dry completely.
  4. Apply a layer of sealant to the stone to protect the paint from the elements.
  5. Once the sealant is dry, place the memorial garden stone in a special place outdoors.

DIY Memorial Wind Chime

A memorial wind chime is a beautiful and meaningful way to remember a loved one. Start by selecting a base for your wind chime, such as a piece of driftwood or a metal hoop. Then, attach strings or wire to the base and add various decorations such as small bells, charms, and other trinkets that remind you of your loved one. You can also add a plaque or engraving with their name or a special message. Once finished, the memorial wind chime can be hung outside and will create a beautiful melody every time the wind blows.

To make a DIY Memorial Wind Chime, you’ll need:

  • Base for wind chime (e.g. driftwood, metal hoop)
  • Strings or wire
  • Small bells, charms, and other trinkets
  • Plaque or engraving (optional)
  1. You will need to start with a base for your wind chime, which you will then attach strings or wire to.
  2. The next step in putting together your wind chime is to attach the chimes. You are free to use any material you like for this, although some common choices are bamboo sticks, metal pipes, and seashells.
  • If you’re working with metal pipes, you’ll need a pipe cutter or saw to get the job done. Sharp corners should be sanded off.
  • If you’re going to use bamboo sticks, you’ll need to saw them down to size. Smooth out any splinters with a little sandpaper.
  • If you’re using seashells, drill a small hole into each shell and thread a piece of string or fishing line through the hole.
  • Once you have your chimes ready, use fishing line or another type of sturdy string to attach them to the bottom of the hoop. Be sure to space them evenly apart for a balanced sound.
  1. To give your wind chime a personalized touch, consider adding decorations. You can use anything you like for this, such as beads, small trinkets, or even photographs. Attach your decorations to the string or fishing line between the chimes. Be sure to space them out evenly for a balanced look.
  1. After you have completed your homemade memorial wind chime, you should display it. Place it in a windy area, like a garden or porch, and fasten it with a hook or strong string.

Your wind chime will remind you of your loved one whenever the wind blows, and it will do it in a way that is both beautiful and meaningful.

FAQ About DIY Memorial Gifts

What are some other DIY sympathy gift ideas?

Other DIY sympathy gift ideas include memory jars, personalized photo frames, engraved jewelry, garden stones, and personalized wind chimes.

Are there any guidelines to follow when creating a DIY sympathy gift?

When creating a DIY sympathy gift, it’s important to consider the bereaved’s feelings and preferences. Avoid using bright or loud colors, and instead opt for more neutral or subdued colors. Also, be mindful of any cultural or religious traditions.

How can I personalize a DIY sympathy gift?

You can personalize a DIY sympathy gift by adding the deceased’s name or initials, their favorite colors, quotes, poems, or other special touches that represent them.

What if I’m not very creative or crafty?

You can still create a meaningful and thoughtful DIY sympathy gift without being especially artistic or crafty. Consider using pre-made items or kits, or enlisting the help of a friend or family member who is more skilled in crafting or DIY projects.

Final Words About DIY Remembrance Ideas for Deceased

Homemade grief gifts can be a touching gesture of love and respect for the deceased. If you want to show someone you care about them through a tough time, making them a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted present is a great way to do it. There is no shortage of options when it comes to making your own condolence presents, such as a memorial candle, memory jar, or engraved photo frame. Just make sure the item you give was thoughtfully made and reflects the special relationship you shared with the departed.