How to Make an Apron From a Tea Towel


Convert tea towels (also known as dish towels) into aprons with a few simple steps. Match aprons to kitchen décor or turn decorative towels into useful apparel. Transform a keepsake or souvenir into a practical item. Aprons may be constructed from one or two towels, depending on the size of the towels and the crafter's preference. Because the tea towel is already hemmed, much of the sewing work is already done.

Things You'll Need

  • One or more tea towels
  • Material for ties: ribbon, twill tape
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Trim (optional)
  • Choose ribbon to match or complement the design of the towel.

  • Gather the top edge of the tea towel using loose stitches. Ease the towel to the desired width along the gathering stitches.

  • Cut wide ribbon approximately 4 feet long. Turn ½ inch hem across the two ends. Fold each hemmed end diagonally and stitch to form triangular tie ends.

  • Match centers of tea towel and ribbon tie. Pin from center out to right edge of tea towel. Repeat to left edge. Stitch ribbon to tea towel along both edges of the ribbon. Remove pins.

  • Add any desired trim or decoration.

  • Construct the bib of the apron from a tea towel folded in half, right sides together. Fold one of the sides down to the fold, exposing the right side and concealing the back side. Pin in place. This folded section becomes pockets across the bib.

  • Secure the sides of the pocket section, and stitch vertical divisions the full height of the pocket section. Add short ties to the two upper corners of the bib to go around the wearer's neck.

  • Stitch a second towel across the bottom of the bib.

  • Match center of towels to center of ribbon tie. Pin from center out to the right edge of the joined towels. Repeat to left edge. Stitch ribbon to towels along both edges of the ribbon. Remove pins.

  • Add any desired trim.

Tips & Warnings

  • Trim towels with lace, rickrack or tape to dress up a simple towel or camouflage seams where smaller towels were joined together. Appliqué decorated parts of a tea towel onto a plain fabric background to salvage a damaged towel or to omit an undesired portion of the design. Tea towel aprons are functional gifts. Seasonal aprons are great craft sale items.

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  • Photo Credit Mary Beth Magee
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