Kid’s Denim Craft Apron Made from an Old Pair Of Jeans

Turn the leg of an old pair of jeans into an adorable, durable, stain-resistant denim craft apron for kids.

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 make homemade denim bibs for my daycare, and I LOVE turning our old denim pant legs into craft aprons for the kids.

kids craft apron made from old jeans

These aprons wear well and wash well.  We’ve had ours for about 4 years now, and they get used almost every day here in my daycare.


These aprons are really easy to make too.  They require only basic sewing skills.

denim craft aprons hanging on clothesline

They’re great for home or preschool or a kindergarten classroom, and they make a wonderful gift for a child who loves crafting, baking or getting messy.

kids putting on repurposed denim aprons

I happen to think that 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

 For your convenience, this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  

A tip 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.

pattern for child's repurpsed denim apron

To make our Repurposed Denim Craft Aprons, you’ll need:

Making a template for your denim craft apron:

I was making 2 sizes of aprons for my daycare – large for the preschoolers and small for the toddlers, so I simply borrowed a couple of store-bought kids’ aprons from one of the hooligans, and traced them onto plain paper.  You can use newsprint, wrapping paper, poster paper or tracing paper for this step.

*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 step-by-step 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.

Those pockets come in handy for stashing googly eyes, glue sticks, crayon and all kinds of crafty odds and ends. kid's craft apron made from denim pant leg

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


Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!

25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!

Download your copy today:

3-5 Playful Preschool 3-book


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  1. Maranda says

    These are so super adorable, I love them! It’s making me wish there was one under the tree for ME!

    I’m not an experienced sewer but I’d love to give this project a try. The velcro on the straps is genius BTW.

    • happyhooligans says

      Easy-Peasy, Maranda! You can do this with just some basic skills. Trust me, I don’t have any advanced sewing skills. Straight lines are my forte. lol

    • myrna says

      thankyou so much for sharing this awesome idea,i have a child that is learning to sew and its perfect for her..we love this idea

  2. says

    These are gorgeous – I have some jeans in my cupboard that I have shrunk out of and may have to make some for J and T’s friends this year so hard wearing and having the pockets as well (Gardening aprons maybe?)

    Thank you for linking to Made with Love

  3. Kerry says

    My son has a ton of jeans with holes in one knee…the leg with the hole will be cut into squares for a quilt & the other leg will be made into aprons!

    • happyhooligans says

      Perfect! Between the aprons, and my repurposed denim bibs (did you see those too, Kerry?), I actually quite like it when my son blows a knee out of his jeans now!

  4. Dee says

    I recently made a similar apron from my husbands jeans (he passed away 6 mths ago) for my granddaughter…. I also cut the bottom end (about 5 inches) of one of his neckties and used as a pocket and the remaining piece of tie I used as bias for edging around the apron. It is something that she will use and will keep forever.

    • happyhooligans says

      Dee, I think that is absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful reminder your granddaughter will have of her grandfather ever time she wears that apron. How lovely.

  5. says

    I made one for me and making another for my partner in sunday school. I have planned to make 8 for our kids in school and now my old daugther wants one too! are a big hit! thanks for share, from Venezuela

    • happyhooligans says

      That’s great! I’m so glad you’re having such success with the aprons, Joanna! I’ve only made them for the hooligans… I guess it’s time to make one for myself too! So happy you’re enjoying our ideas! :)

    • happyhooligans says

      You’re so welcome, Kristie. Those aprons are one of my all-time favourite sewing projects! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  6. lara says

    I love this, it may be a project for me for Daycare and for Sunday School (don’t need that a lot), One question, are there straps for around the waist as well?

    • happyhooligans says

      Yes, a neck strap and a waist strap, Lara. Sorry – I didn’t photograph the waist strap, and it’s mentioned in the post, but it doesn’t stand out, so you probably just missed it if you were skimming through the tutorial. Glad you like them!

  7. says

    I love this! I am an ok sewer but could definitely pull this off and look like a pro:) I don’t have scarfs, but could use some old fleece pajamas for the heart!

    • happyhooligans says

      There isn’t one, sorry, Ruth. I’m not tech-savvy enough to put one of those together. As I mentioned in the tutorial, I simply traced a child’s apron to use as a template for this one.

  8. Sandi Marklew says

    instead of hemming the outer edge 1/4 inch, do a zigzag stitch in a color that is similar to the golden stitching around the pocket and hem, and then let the edges ravel down to the stitch, cutting off long strings as it gets washed and ravels. even easier for a beginning sewer… cute project, can’t wait to do one!

  9. Colleen says

    I want to try these for teenager girls at girls’ camp. I’ll be looking for some huge jeans at yard sales in the Spring, I guess. Maybe they could even use permanent markers and sign each other’s aprons.

  10. Karen says

    I would love to make these aprons for my twin grandchildren. I was wondering what if you don’t have a pattern to copy, what can we use? Or how would you make one?

    • happyhooligans says

      I used a kid’s dollar store apron as a template, Karen. Trace it onto tissue paper or newspaper, and you’re good to go.

    • happyhooligans says

      I just fixed the link in the post, LaDonna, thank you. For some reason, a lot of the links in my posts have failed. When you click on it now, it will take you to the bib post. :)

  11. says

    Great idea! I recently made a pair of jeans for my 3 yr old from an old pair of my jeans. This would go down well with him too. I found you through #pintorials on Tuesday tutorials at crafts on sea :)

  12. Jenny W says

    Just wanted to let you know that I recently made 8 aprons for the children at my home daycare/preschool. They were super simple and will make a great souvenir of our preschool year as we ventured to cook our way through the alphabet! Thanks for the ideas. Just saw the bibs and think I might have to try those as well.

    • happyhooligans says

      I’m so glad you tried our aprons, Jenny! Aren’t they so easy? And so cute!! I hope you do try the bibs! They’re so great! We’ve and ours for years, and they wear so well!

  13. Becky says

    BRILLIANT! I run craft classes and it would be great to have my own stock of aprons instead of relying on parents to bring them! Nice :) THANK YOU!

  14. donna ehrenberg says

    If you don’t have an apron for the pattern you could use the child’s shirt to get the sizing. lay it flat on some paper and Trace from the under the arm down both shirt sides to how long you want it beyond the bottom of the shirt. make a line from side to side across for the bottom. Now measure in toward the center one to two inches from the under arm end and redraw that line for the angle of the apron front. Make a line straight across from mid height on the arm hole to the same height on the other side(directly across just below where their collar bone would be) this line will be the apron top. Now draw a line from the mid arm end of line to the under arm end of the other line. Now you will have the shape of an apron and can put on ties to size for the child. Ps. I always fold new patterns I draw in half on the center line, this is a check to be sure the sides match. Happy child raising.

  15. Bridgette says

    terrific Idea. i’m gonna make three for my children. :-) I made a denim purse out of a pair of jeans. turned out great.

  16. Robbie says

    I’ve been wanting some aprons for my Sunday School class to protect their clothes when we do a messy craft. This is perfect! Thank you for sharing.

  17. Cheryl says

    I had to redo the pattern , because of the jeans that I found… I wasn’t able to use the bottom of the leg for the bottom of the apron because of the narrowness of the jeans now… (different style than 2011) Anyway, I used the bottom of the leg hem for the top of the apron him… again , refashioned the pattern to get the seam down the center… the hip part of the leg was really wide enough for the bottom of the apron… I added extra so that I could recreate the doubled over hem. All in all it is good. I have two patterns so that I can adjust to the Jeans that I find.
    I am doing them for my granddaughter’s preschool class… thanks for the idea… I love to recycle denim , so this is another great way…

  18. says

    I have just made these out of some jeans that I was going to throw away. Going to donate them to the local church to sell at their Xmas fayre… Great idea HH

  19. Deirdre edge says

    love the ideas the one about old jeans turn into apron love will be making them for the kids in my area how do I go about joint the class ?

    • happyhooligans says

      Hi Deirdre! So glad you like our aprons! How lovely that you’ll be making them for the crafty kids in your life. I’m not sure what “class” you’re referring to though. The step-by-step instructions in the post are all that I offer. You’ll be able to make your aprons by simply looking at the photos, and following the steps in the post.

  20. Sharon says

    Would you consider making one of the child craft aprons? If so, what would you charge? I have a 5 year old Granddaughter that would love one with either a red or pink heart. Please let me know whether you would make one for me or not. Thank you so much.

    • happyhooligans says

      Hi, Sharon. I’m sorry, but I don’t make the aprons and sell them. With the number of requests I get, I’d have to start up an apron-sewing business. lol Is there friend or relative who you could ask?

      • Wendy S. says

        Do you happen to have the measurements of each apron you make? (length and width). I don’t have a child’s apron to make a template. I wanted to make some for my grand babies. Thanks for any help you can give 😃. Wendy Shaw

  21. Lee Anne Fredericks says

    Thank you so much for this fabulous idea for re-purposing jeans. I had a stack and this child’s apron idea was just the best to use up a pair! I lined the apron and used the lining fabric to jazz up the pockets. Then I made a matching “Dolly” apron for this little 7 year old mother for mother’s day. Thanks again for the inspiration! Wish I could send you a picture of the results!

    • happyhooligans says

      You are so welcome, Lee Anne! I’m so glad you gave the project a try. Your idea to make one for your daughter’s doll for Mother’s day is ADORABLE!

  22. Kirsty says

    Absolutely loved this idea and used it as my first project with a new sewing machine. So easy to follow the instructions. Thrilled with the end results. Thank you


  1. […] I stumbled across a post recently, on facebook or pinterest or following a rabbit trail of some kind where a mom had cut off the legs of old blue jeans and refashioned them into aprons for her children. I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick! an idea for some little ones on my Christmas list. You can see the full post that inspired me along with a terrific step-by-step guide at Happy Hooligans where Jackie shows off her oh-so-cute denim aprons. […]

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