This apron was inspired by the suede apron I wear as an upholstery designer. Although I’m technically still apprenticing, I’ve always been all about repurposing and re-using materials in the workshop and at home. And that’s how I approach this apron challenge. With some scrap leather and reusable promotional shopping bags, I remixed this non-woven reusable apron into a water-resistant, workshop-ready, DIY garment. My favourite part? The flower embellishment and my niece modelling the apron!
- 1 non-woven, re-useable apron
- 1 - 3 reusable promotional shopping bags
- Leather scraps (for pockets and flower detail)
- Acrylic paints
- Gesso (optional)
- Hot glue
- Scissors or shears
- x-acto knife
- Wide paint brush & mixing bowl
- pins or photo clips
- elastic bands
- 3 different size bowls or bottles
How to make it
Step 1: With a wide paint brush, apply one coat of gesso to the apron. You can skip this step and go straight to acrylic paint application but gesso helps build up a nice surface. I used 4 parts Unbleached Titanium to 1 part Burnt Umber acrylic paints to mimic a natural suede colour. Note: The acrylic paint will make the apron more water resistant, great especially for messy DIY projects.
Step 2: Cut your leather scrap into pockets shapes. I covered one existing apron pocket with a 12”x6” rectangle piece and cut an addition piece 4”x6.5” for a pencil holder pocket.
Step 3: Sew pockets to apron. TIP: Add an extra stitch down centre of rectangle pocket to prevent the pocket from gaping. If your sewing machine can’t handle leather…just hot-glue it!
Step 4: Replace existing apron strings and bib strap with pieces cut from non-woven promotional shopping bags. With hot glue, apply trim to top of bib and pockets, as well as around the entire apron. Tip: Cut from finished edges of the promo shopping bags, this will make for a neater finish when applying trim. I used for the woven handles of one promotional shopping bag as my apron strings and the bag for leaf detail on the flower.
Step 5: To make the leather flower. Cut out 3 flower shapes in 3 different sizes. Soak in warm water for about 5 minutes. Remove, blot excess water out and place damp petals on a small, medium and large bowls or bottles tops. Hold in place with elastic bands and “pinch” petals with pins or photo clips. Let dry completely. “Nestle” the flowers together and fasten with hot glue.
Step 6: To make the inner flower piece. Take a 2.5”x 3.5” piece of contrasting leather scraps and cut about 1/8 strips from top and stop about 1/2” from bottom. With hot glue, stick top of strips to bottom, making a loop. Roll leather piece and bind with hot glue. Hot glue to inner leather flower. Then to apron. Add leaf detail.