Repurposing a Tea Towel: DIY Handmade Apron

Craft a simple but useful handmade apron by repurposing a spare tea towel.
By Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson
April 2014
Add to My MSN

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

Content Tools

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.

More from Homemade

DIY Patchwork Throw 
DIY Mexican Tin Lantern 

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.

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today

Capper's Farmer Early Spring 16 CoverWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here