Dish Towel Apron for a Child – Free Printable Pattern!

dish towel apron
dish towel apron, with pockets!

Dish Towel Apron

A Dish towel apron is just what small kitchen helpers need!

You remember, don’t you, how much fun it was to “dress up” as a child? An apron is the uniform of a cook. A dish towel apron not only protects your little helper’s clothes during cookie-baking and cupcake-making sessions, it helps him or her feel like a real cook! Your little helper is sure to enjoy wearing their very own dish towel apron as much as they enjoy the cookies.

Turn an inexpensive dish towel into a fun and functional apron for a child! These are so much fun to stitch, you might want to make several. 

Behind the apron: cooking skills education for families

In 2013 I established and for 5 years coordinated a cooking skills education program at my county’s community action agency. My mission was two-fold: offer healthy cooking demonstrations at food pantries highlighting whole foods, especially seasonal produce grown in the community gardens, and offer 6-week hands-on cooking classes for low-income families. 

This was done with the help of a huge crew of well over a hundred wonderful volunteers who were accomplished home cooks. At one point we received a grant to offer basic cooking classes to elementary school children in areas defined as food deserts.

What is a food desert?

A food desert is a place where people have limited access to affordable healthy foods. It can be a place where there may be fast food restaurants and convenience stores, but no grocery stores. It can mean that healthy food options are too expensive to be affordable. It can mean that other factors such as not owning a car or having basic kitchen equipment like a stove and pans for cooking prevent people from buying food and preparing meals.

Empowering kids

To empower kids to cook for themselves and their families, a team of five volunteers and I lugged several large plastic totes filled with cooking equipment: portable induction hotplates, pans, bowls, utensils, as well as plates, cups, and silverware (real, not disposable) upstairs or down to classrooms each week for six weeks.

We arranged tables in cooking stations and filled empty plastic totes with hot, soapy water to wash dishes. 

Kids learned to cook full meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner using a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, meats, and dairy. They also learned to plan balanced meals, make a shopping list, and ask a grown up to take them shopping.

Simple and inexpensive

The children needed aprons to protect their clothing from inevitable cooking spills in class and our budget for such things was limited. Friend and program volunteer Barb Galbraith shared an idea for turning a dish towel into a simple child’s apron. She and I and several volunteers stitched hundreds of these! 

I have also stitched dish towel aprons for nieces and nephew and friend’s kids and grandkids. Kids LOVE having and wearing their own apron!

Make one and I bet you will want to make another. Which is great. Dish towels often come in packages of two.

supplies for dish towel apron
Dish towels are often sold in packs of 2; make 2 aprons

Materials for each apron:

1 good quality dish towel, about 16 x 28 inches (40 x 70 cm)

1 package extra wide double-fold bias tape

Coordinating thread

Decorative buttons or iron-on decals, optional

Mark and cut apron
Step 1 Measure and mark with dots of ink or pins

Step 1 Measure and mark

Lay the dish towel flat. On one short side, measure 4 inches (10 cm) in from each corner; this will be the top of the apron. Mark with an ink dot or a pin. From the same corner, measure 8 inches (20 cm) down on each long side; mark.

Cut out dish towel apron
Step 2 Cut basic apron shape using scissors or a rotary cutter and quilt ruler

Step 2 Cut basic apron shape

Cut a straight line across each corner from the 4-inch (10 cm) mark diagonally to the 8-inch (20 cm) mark. A quilter’s cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter are very handy for this. If you lack these tools, you can use a ruler to draw a line on each side from the 4-inch (10 cm) mark diagonally to the 8-inch (20 cm) mark and cut with scissors.

Pin apron ties
Step 3 Pin bias tape to dish towel to make apron ties

Step 3 Pin apron ties

Measure and cut 80 inches (203 cm) of extra wide double-fold bias tape. Find the center of the bias tape by folding it in half; measure 8 inches (20 cm) in both directions from your center mark and mark with a straight pin. These two points will be where the bias tape meets the top of the dish towel. Tuck the raw edge of the towel inside the bias tape and pin at the marks. Continue pinning and tucking the cut towel edge inside the bias tape until you reach the waist of the apron, making sure the bias tape fully encloses the raw edge. You will have 22-inch (56 cm) ties and a 16-inch (40 cm) neck opening.

sew the apron
Step 4 Sew bias tape to dish towel

Step 4 Sew apron

Fold the end of the bias tape inside itself and pin to secure for stitching. Beginning at one upper corner of the apron, sew the bias tape to the towel and continue down to the end of one tie, checking to be sure that you are catching all the layers in the stitching. When you reach the end of one tie, back-stitch and cut the thread and then stitch the other direction from where you began to the end of the second tie to complete the apron.

optional: add pockets to apron
Step 5 create pockets by folding up bottom of dish towel

Step 5 (optional – add pockets) This will add about 15 minutes to your project

Fold bottom of apron up 4 inches (10 cm) and pin to itself along the side edges. Measure width of pocket and divide by 3, mark pocket dividers with pins. They should be about 5 inches (12.5 cm) wide for 3 pockets. Stitch sides and dividers to form the pockets. 

Click here to find 14 Favorite Gifts for a Gardener you love.

And here for my 10 Favorite Gifts for the Homemaker!

Print

Dish Towel Apron for a Child – Free Pattern!

Turn an inexpensive dish towel into a fun and functional apron for a child! These are so much fun to stitch, you will want to make several. 

 

  • Author: Michele Pryse, FNTP

Ingredients

1 good quality dish towel, about 16 x 28 inches (40 x 70 cm)

1 package extra wide double-fold bias tape

Coordinating thread

Decorative buttons or iron-on decals, optional

Instructions

Step 1 Measure and mark

Lay the dish towel flat. On one short side, measure 4 inches (10 cm) in from each corner; this will be the top of the apron. Mark with an ink dot or a pin. From the same corner, measure 8 inches (20 cm) down on each long side; mark.

 

Step 2 Cut basic apron shape

Cut a straight line across each corner from the 4-inch (10 cm) mark down to the 8-inch (20 cm) mark. A quilter’s cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter are very handy for this.

 

Step 3 Pin apron ties

Measure and cut 80 inches (203 cm) of extra wide double-fold bias tape. Find the center of the bias tape by folding it in half; measure 8 inches (20 cm) in both directions from your center mark and mark with a straight pin. These two points will be where the bias tape meets the top of the dish towel. Tuck the raw edge of the towel inside the bias tape and pin at the marks. Continue pinning and tucking the cut towel edge inside the bias tape until you reach the waist of the apron, making sure the bias tape fully encloses the raw edge. You will have 22-inch (56 cm) ties and a 16-inch (40 cm) neck opening.

 

Step 4 Sew apron

Fold the end of the bias tape inside itself and pin to secure for stitching. Beginning at one upper corner of the apron, sew the bias tape to the towel and continue down to the end of one tie, checking to be sure that you are catching all the layers in the stitching. When you reach the end of one tie, back-stitch and cut the thread and then stitch the other direction from where you began to the end of the second tie to complete the apron.

 

Step 5 Add pockets (optional) This step will add about 15 minutes of time to your project. 

 

Fold bottom of apron up 4 inches (10 cm) and pin to itself along the side edges. Measure width of pocket and divide by 3, mark pocket dividers with pins. They should be about 5 inches (12.5 cm) wide for 3 pockets. Stitch sides and dividers to form the pockets

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag me — I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Recent Posts

Subscribe to the Chocolate Box Cottage Tidings

Receive special recipes and cottage wisdom directly to your inbox!