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10 DIYs to Upcycle Aprons

10 DIYs to Upcycle Aprons

Aprons hanging on clothes line
Written and photographed by Heather Lusk

Have old aprons that are torn, moth eaten or stained? No need to throw them away. There are plenty of options to upcycle aprons, some with no sewing experience required.

Chrissie Stacy and Jamie Long of Brick Lane Home have a goal to make design accessible and inexpensive, and strive to incorporate old items with new. “I want to make Grandma’s couch cool again,” said Stacy. “Making that piece work in a modern room is doable.”

Table top with napkins made from upcycle aprons

Their projects to upcycle aprons range from reusing pieces of heirlooms falling apart to repurposing those in good shape. While most ideas require cutting the aprons, if you want to truly preserve a heirloom apron, Stacy suggests hanging it in a glassless frame or on a wall.

“I would emphasize I would not cut up vintage linens unless they are not usable,” Stacy says. Aprons can be found at antique stores, flea markets, or perhaps even in your attic.

Party with decorations made from upcycle aprons

1. Party Decorations

String a group of clothespin aprons together as a garland. Transform the skirt of a long apron into a table runner, and convert aprons with pockets into napkins that include a handy holder for utensils.

Child's chair with chair cushion

2. Upcycle Aprons Chair Cover

Pieces from three aprons come together to form a cute cover for a child’s chair. The top is from the bib portion of an apron. The skirt was added with an additional coordinating apron. Hand crocheted lace trims the edge, rescued from a third apron in poor condition.

Framed fabric with recipe cards inside

3. Recipe Holder

Place the backing from a picture frame behind an apron with a pocket. Use fabric glue or staples to attach it to the backing, then insert it into the frame. Here, the sewer reused the apron’s trim to create the ruffle at the top. No sewing necessary!

Girl holding book bag

4. Book Bag

Two upcycle aprons form the front and back of a bag, which the sewer lined with muslin. The pockets, perfect for a library card or phone, were original to the apron, and made this a relatively simple sewing project.

Oven mitt and hot pad made from upcycle aprons

5. Kids’ Toys

You can repurpose apron scraps into a child’s play oven mitt and placemat, perfect additions to a play kitchen.

Ruffled curtain in window

6. Upcycle Aprons Curtains

Waist aprons in good condition become a centerpiece window treatment. Insert a patterned apron between solid curtains to make the vintage piece the focal point. Attach the apron to the rod with a simple whip stitch, which keeps the apron intact. 

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Throw pillow on chair

7. Pillow

Upcycle aprons into cheery pattern for a decorative pillow. Use ruffled straps as pillow trim.

Stack of scrunchies

8. Upcycle Aprons Scrunchies

Salvaged pieces of an apron can easily transform into hair scrunchies, something Long said is simple for any sewer to create.

baby booties and bib made from old apron

9 & 10. Booties and a Bib

Repurposing an apron’s embroidery for the next generation is a wonderful way to upcycle aprons. This one was badly stained; fortunately, the embroidery was in excellent condition and now it’s been given a new life.


Photos were taken at Maplelawn Farmstead, a Depression-era property on the National Register of Historic Places. The Farmstead’s motto is “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without,” paraphrased from Calvin Coolidge’s quote during the Great Depression. It’s a philosophy that Stacy and Long bring to their decorating, trying to use what exists in a home and repurpose items before starting with something new. 


Love reusing and recycling? Try some of these fun furniture makeovers! And of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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