Aprons are an underrated garment. After all, they’re great for everything from cooking in the kitchen to protecting your clothes while painting. Probably the only thing that they can’t fully protect you from is glitter! But we all know that isn’t the apron’s fault—no one is safe from the never-ending spread of those sparkles. If you aren’t using aprons in your home, especially with your kids, there is no time like the present to get started. Try these 7 creative ideas to make plain aprons fun and personalized.
1. Snip and Stitch
If you don’t want to sew an apron from scratch, you can still add pattern with your sewing skills. Don’t have any sewing skills? No worries! This personalization is also suitable for beginners, including children.
- Start with a high-quality apron and remove a small element like the pockets or straps with scissors or a stitch ripper.
- Use the removed piece as a template to cut the same shape from patterned or colored fabric.
- Sew on the new piece of fabric either by hand or with a machine
Voila! You have a one-of-a-kind apron now. Just be sure when replacing pockets to use a thicker material if you still want them to be usable. This personalization method also provides an ideal opportunity to re-purpose worn out or outgrown clothing.
2. Make It Princess Worthy
Cinderella may not have worn her apron to a ball, but once you jazz up yours, it will be fit for a princess. Try adding lace around the hem of the apron, glue on a few fake flowers, or add a tulle skirt over the bottom portion. Adding a few sparkly iron-on gems can also add some extra sparkle and shine.
3. Inspire Imagination
Aprons are great to protect clothes, but they are also a fabulous addition to dress-up boxes. Try adding a police badge to the front of an apron, adding a few buttons and envelopes to look like a mail man’s outfit, or even a few felt scales to look like dinosaur skin. Kids will love helping to create these outfits as much as they love wearing them. This also works well if you need a DIY Halloween costume on short notice.
Don’t want to be tying aprons for costume changes? Cut the straps shorter and add Velcro. No tying required!
4. Paint It Up
All you need for this activity is some acrylic paint, fabric medium, brushes, and your imagination. Simply mix the paint with the fabric medium according to the instructions on the bottle and paint away. You can do a freehand design, or if you want to be more precise, try using a stencil. It is advisable to use thinner coats of paint to avoid your apron from feeling stiff, but even if the kids load on the color, the apron will still do its job. It will also feel less rigid once you give it a whirl in the washing machine.
Want to create a design like found on T-shirts? Opt for screen printing. Some apron companies will do this for you if you want professional results, but DIY screen printing is a lot more fun.
5. Add a Name tag
If you don’t want to alter an apron permanently, a name tag is a fantastic way to add flair. If you want it to stay on for only a day, a sticker tag is a great option. Kids can decorate it with everything from crayons to markers before slapping it on their apron.
Want a longer-lasting name tag? Pick up a few clip-on laminate tags, like the ones you find at business conventions, from Staples or a similar retailer. Or, try making a name tag lanyard with a large metal washer and thick thread or ribbon. Add even more pizzazz by stringing beads along the thread.
6. Sun Dye the Fabric
Use the power of the sun to make a leaf, flower, and other plant silhouettes on your apron. You will need photo-sensitive dye, your nature trimmings, and of course, a fair dose of sunlight. Once the design is processed by the sun, you just dip your fabric in soapy water and scrub it around to set it. You can do everything from a few flowers on the apron pocket to a jungle motif covering the majority of your apron. The whole process takes around 15 minutes, so even kids with shorter attention spans will enjoy dying fabric with the sun.
Want even more color? There is always the option of tie-dying your apron! This retro process has come back in a big way, so not only will your apron be colorful, but it will be super trendy as well. Just be sure to start with a white, 100% cotton apron for the best results.
7. Embellish with Embroidery
Break out the needle and thread and test out a few designs using thread. This idea also won’t cost you a lot as needles and thread can be found for relatively cheap, often at the dollar store even. Ideas for your apron include stitching a rainbow button tree on your pocket, a few flowers flowing down the front on the apron, or even creating your favorite cartoon character in thread. Adding beads on the thread while you embroider can also create a neat effect.
If you’ve been looking for a way to get your kids interesting in learning sewing, this could be a great introduction. While embroidery does differ from sewing, it teaches how to handle a needle and thread. Plus, the results produced from embroidery can be more visually satisfying and help kids get excited about the idea of sewing.
These personalized aprons may not save you from finding glitter months after using it, but they will look great. And more importantly, they’re a whole lot of fun to make! Whether you choose to sew on a patterned pocket or paint of your own design, both you and your kids will have a blast making these unique aprons.