Make a Child’s Apron from your old Jeans – a step by step tutorial

Re-purposing denim: Use the leg of an old pair of jeans to make a durable craft apron for your child!

If you search the net, you’ll probably find 101 uses for old jeans floating around out there.  I have a two favourite denim sewing projects of my own.  I love using our old jeans to make these  homemade denim bibs for the children in my daycare. But today I’m sharing my very favourite way re-purpose denim.  I’m going to show you how to make a child’s apron from your old jeans.  These repurposed denim aprons make a super gift for a child.  I made the aprons in these photos for all of the Hooligans one Christmas.

repurposed denim aprons hanging from clothes line

Repurposed denim is the perfect fabric for making a craft apron for your child.  It’s soft but sturdy, it doesn’t stain easily, and it washes up really well.  One of my daycare parents brings me her family’s jeans when they’ve outgrown or out-worn them.  The legs of the jeans are excellent for making the bibs and aprons.

A set of repurposed denim aprons made from old jeans

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These craft aprons require only basic sewing skills.  If you’re new to sewing, or if you’ve just purchased your first Sewing Machine , and you’re looking for a simple project to do, this is a good one to start with.

A couple of tips before we get started:

I use a Denim Sewing Needle when I’m sewing with old jeans.  It’s a sturdy needle, and is less likely to break when you go over seams.  If you don’t have a “denim” needle, use the largest needle you have, slowing down when you go over the thick parts, so it doesn’t snap.

To make my apron pattern, I borrowed a large and small store-bought apron from one of the older Hooligans, and traced traced those to get my templates.

pattern for child's repurpsed denim apron

Repurposed Denim Apron supplies:

Making a template or pattern to use for your apron:

Using an child’s apron that you already have, trace around it on to a piece of newspaper, tracing paper, or wrapping paper.

*If you’re finishing your edges with bias tape, no need to add a seam allowance.

*If you’re finishing your edges with a hem, add 1/4 inch seam allowance.


Re-purposed Denim Apron Tutorial:

1. Cut the leg off a pair of jeans at the top of the leg.

2. Cut the pant leg open along the inseam.

3. Centre your template on the open pant leg, lining up the bottom of the template with the bottom of the pant leg.  This will give your apron a nice, finished bottom.

4. Finish your edges for the sides and top of the apron, either with bias tape, or by turning under once for a 1/4 inch hem and zig-zagging all the way around.

I used the trim off a couple of old, fleece scarves to trim the edges of some of my aprons.  I used the fleece to make the hearts.

5. Rip one of the back pockets off your jeans and center it on the bottom half of the apron.  Stitch in place with a zig-zag.

6. If you’re adding a fleece heart, centre it on the top half of the apron and stitch in place with a zig-zag stitch.

7. For the straps, you’ll need to measure your child with a length of string to figure out how long you need to make them.  

The neck and waist straps:

Your straps are going to come from the inseams and the outer, side-seam of your jeans.  See the picture right above?  See the seam on the left and the seam in the center of the pic?  They’re nice and thick, and easy to snip out.8. Cut along side the outer seam all the way up the pant leg, and then trim to the right size.  No need to finish the edges or ends of this piece.

Sew one strap to the top of the apron, and one strap to the waist of the apron.

Stitch some velcro to the straps and and to a spot on the backside of the top of the apron and to a spot on the backside of the waist of the apron.

That’s it, that’s all!

Aren’t they sweet?  Now you have a durable, re-purposed denim craft apron for a crafty child or a messy little artist!

repurposed denim pant-leg aprons

Here are a few of our awesome activities and simple crafts for kids:

stained glass painting

marbleized painting with shaving cream and food colour

cloud dough 

sensory art

cardboard tube ring art

glue, salt and watercolour art

wax resist art

vibrant paper mache bowls

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Yours in play, Jackie from Happy Hooligans

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