Repurposing a Tea Towel: DIY Handmade Apron

Craft a simple but useful handmade apron by repurposing a spare tea towel.

Handmade Apron Hanging Outside

With just a few household supplies, you can craft your own handmade apron from a spare tea towel.

Photo courtesy Skyhorse Publishing

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Handmade crafts lend character and personality. Homemade (Skyhorse Publishing, 2010) by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson is packed full of practical, thoughtful handmade ideas from seasoned crafters. With over one hundred projects using everyday objects from around the house, they craft beautiful works of art. The following excerpt from “Summer” teaches you the DIY skills to make a handmade apron from a tea towel.

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DIY Handmade Apron from Tea Towel

Some tea towels seem too good for wiping dishes, so why not make one into an apron? This idea is simplicity itself, as it utilizes the ready-finished edges of the tea towel, meaning that there are only a few raw edges to be hemmed. The apron in the photograph was made using a vintage French linen tea towel; you can buy similar ones on eBay or pick them up from antiques markets or junk shops. Any design with an attractive stripe or pattern could be used, though even a souvenir cloth from a favorite place.

You will need

• Large tea towel measuring 24 1/2 inches x 33 inches for an average-sized adult; use a smaller one for a child
• White cotton thread
• 3 yard cotton tape
• Metal D-ring (optional)

To make

• Cut off the top corners of your tea towel so that, when sewn together along their diagonal sides, they form a square. Tea towels vary in size, but for this one, the cuts were made 7 inches along the top and down each side, leaving 10 1/2 inches (unhemmed) for the neckline.

• Turn over the raw edges of the main tea towel twice, press with a steam iron, and hem by hand.

• To make the pocket, tack together the diagonal sides of the two cut-off triangles, right sides facing, making sure to match any stripes or patterns where you can. Carefully machine stitch together.

• Iron out the seam, fold over the raw edges of the pocket square once, and hand hem the one that will form the top of the pocket. Pin or tack the pocket into position on the front of the apron and top stitch by machine, finishing securely at all the corners.

• To finish, cut the cotton tape into three: two ties of 42 inches each and a neck loop of 24 inches. Sew securely into position, using the metal D-ring to make the neck loop adjustable, if required. Press with a steam iron.

Reprinted with permission from Homemade: 101 Beautiful and Useful Craft Projects You Can Make at Home by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson and published by Skyhorse Publishing, 2010.