Make a denim apron from old jeans

I don’t do a lot of sewing, but I was raised in a home where my mom made sure I knew how to do it. I used patterns, sewing machines, and learned to hand stitch too.

As an artist, I have specific clothes I work in and they are crusted in paint. Trouble is, I may just want to dive into the studio and bang something out at any time, not only when I’m conveniently wearing appropriate work clothes… I need aprons. My best friend is slimming down and gave me his old jeans and t-shirts to repurpose as studio rags. I knew I could do more with the fabric, and so I present to you:
How to make a simple denim apron from old jeans.
No pattern, minimal sewing. These are quick, easy, and you’ll have two complete studio aprons from the legs of one pair of jeans.

Step 1: cut off the legs and split them by cutting out the inner leg seam. You’ll use the scrap as the neck straps.
Step 2: lay the split leg flat and now the ankle edge is the top of your apron. Using a pencil and a straightedge, draw two angled lines (I’m using my prototype apron in the photo as a guide) for cutting. The leftover material will be your waist ties.
For my denim artist apron tutorial
Step 3 and 4: iron the bottom edge up and sew. Fold and iron each side and sew.
Step 5: look at photo 2 and sew your scraps on as neck straps and for around the waist.
You have an apron.
Apron DIY photo set for a blog post

You’ll have leftover shorts out of the jeans…
Bonus project: Make a sketch kit bag or handbag! Pete’s old jeans are big, so I was able to cut the shorts down to make a perfect purse size shoulder bag. I even sewed a fabric insert to the inside of the fly to make a secure pocket for my phone or wallet. It’s pretty good for a first effort and was fun to make. Snaps have been added to keep the bag closed.
Jeans bag (I just made). It's got a sketch kit in it.

As for the recycled jeans aprons, I kept them simple- no pockets, no frills, no ugly girly trim. My aprons are built well but ultimately are made to be trashed with paint in my studio. No waste, recycled, and only cost a few minutes of my time. Mom would be proud.

5 thoughts on “Make a denim apron from old jeans”

  1. That is really awesome! I can do this with my daughter’s jeans for an apron for her. I like the bonus project, too!

  2. Great idea: highly durable apron. I can imagine it would be even a great guy idea for a workshop apron.

    Rip-stop jeans gloves…I wonder if that’s viable?

    Thank you for the post.

  3. I love your idea of making old jeans into an apron!
    I am going to make one for my Dads birthday out of my daughters old jeans,
    I love your creative ideas and openess about yourself.
    I also live in Cornwall near Bodmin moor, I love to spin and create.
    I havent got a website yet but like to make personal gifts.

  4. Thanks so much for the easy instructions. I just made an apron almost like yours in no time at all. I didn’t find as much extra at the sides to cut off for the waist ties, so I tapered the top and used the extra for my ties. I really love using the inseam for the top tie; it worked perfectly.

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