How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

March 7, 2013

by Margaret Cabaniss

How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

Technically, this is a post about how to make a half apron from a tea towel, and not how to bake delicious oatmeal muffins, but little man here is definitely more interested in the muffins. (He crept up during the photo shoot for this post, and I decided his rapturous gaze here was too cute to pass up; he was practically willing me to drop one of those jokers. Next time, friend.)

But anyway, this apron! Cute, right? Full aprons are great, but sometimes I don’t need the full-body armor — though I am constantly looking around for a towel while I cook, just to have a place to wipe my hands that isn’t my pants. I figured the best solution would be to just attach a tea towel to myself so I couldn’t lose it, and so far it works great.

How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

Even better: This apron took all of five minutes to put together and cost me right around $1.50 to make. All you need: ribbon, thread, and…well, a tea towel, obviously. Mine came in a set of four from IKEA; I also love these red-and-white stripe ones. There are plenty of inexpensive options out there — or you could use this opportunity to show off a particularly beloved design…whatever floats your boat.

How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

Cut two pieces of ribbon for your ties that are one and a half yards long each. For each piece of ribbon, put a quarter-inch fold in one end, then fold again and press (this will keep your cut edge from unraveling). On the back of your towel, align the folded end of each ribbon along the top edge of the towel so that the folded section is centered over the towel’s side seam — like so:

How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

On your sewing machine, position the needle over the seam of the tea towel, then stitch a few lines back and forth over the ribbon (this will hide your new seam from the front) — like this:

How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

Try on the apron to check the length of your ties and trim as needed, then put the same fold in the free end of each tie and stitch those closed, too. (I didn’t bother switching thread colors here, because I don’t mind the tiny neutral stripe at the end, and it would have taken longer to switch out the threads than actually sew the dang thing anyway.)

How to Make a Tea Towel Apron

And there you have it! You could whip up a stack of these in no time at all: Give them as Christmas presents, housewarming gifts, shower gifts…or just keep them all in heavy rotation in your kitchen. Your jeans will thank you.

Images: Margaret Cabaniss

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1 Zoe Saint-Paul March 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Love this project. So easy, and would make great gifts. One day I will get a sewing machine, though this one almost looks like it could be accomplished with hand-stitching.

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Margaret Cabaniss 2 Margaret Cabaniss March 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

You could definitely hand-stitch these! Ironically, I’m better with a machine than I am a needle and thread, but for the tiny amount of sewing we’re talking about here, you don’t really need proficiency with either one.

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3 Kari March 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Very cute! My one year old always yanks off our towels hanging in the kitchen, so this way it would stay with me while I cook.

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4 Jen March 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Great idea! …but that top photo utterly stole the post. You could have written about creative paint-drying after that and we’d hardly notice!

Now give that boy a muffin.

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Margaret Cabaniss 5 Margaret Cabaniss March 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Don’t worry, I couldn’t resist him for long. He has since been rewarded for his patience with many, many muffins.

Side note: If anyone is looking for a good oatmeal muffin recipe, this one is it. It’s behind a subscriber pay wall, sadly, but another blogger has helpfully “adapted” it here.

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