How to Make a Toddler Apron

how to make a play apron for a toddler

Toddler Apron

Do you need a play apron for a toddler? Well, you can make one with just a small amount of material and you don’t even have to use a pattern!

When I say “pattern” I mean to you don’t have to buy a pattern. You can of course, and you can make an apron fancy as can be, or just a play clothes style which is what this apron is.

Spoiler Alert

I’m no expert seamstress and this isn’t a step-by-step, in-depth tutorial. It’s more just ideas on what you can do to make a toddler apron fairly easily.

I did use to sew a good bit and made a lot of my clothes. Then when my daughter came along, I made play clothes and pretty dresses for her. Then the grandchildren came along and I made dress-up clothes and things like aprons for them.

matt wearing a red apron making cookies in the kitchen

This little guy just got his learner’s permit……but making cookies at our old house was sure fun, but the time passed by too quickly


I really hate to say this, but my first sewing experiences were for doll clothes that were hand stitched. Then I graduated to my grandmother’s “treadle sewing machine.” You can’t imagine how many needles I broke by backpedaling)))

A treadle sewing machine is powered by your feet, with no electricity! And now….they are coming back! I just saw one listed on Amazon for around $350. Isn’t it amazing when we think something is so outdated and new things are so much better? Then here they come again! A new version of something old. A treadle sewing machine requiring no electricity….might not be a bad thing to have on hand! Along with the knowledge of how to plant a garden….but back to the apron)))


My mother taught me how to make a pattern using newspaper. The first clothing pieces I ever made for myself were straight or A-line skirts. She taught me how to sew in a zipper and make a bias facing or a band for the skirts. I shudder to think how they really looked, even though I thought they were great at the time. And she let me wear them out in public! Hopefully, they were not too bad))

She would lay the pattern pieces whether it be newspaper or a purchased tissue pattern on the cloth. She never pinned anything, she just laid case knives around on the pattern and cut away. We were taught in Home Ec to pin the pattern pieces down all around.

For the toddler apron, I took a piece of newspaper and left it folded. I didn’t have any measurements to go by and was making these aprons for my sweet little great nieces who had visited recently. So it was guesswork for sure. If you can measure, you need the width of the chest and the length you want to make them.

make a pattern for a toddler apron using newspaper

The piece on the left is the apron, and the smaller piece on the right is the same width as the apron and will serve for pockets.


You can use 100% cotton and those “fat quarters” you get a Walmart would be plenty of material. But 100% cotton wrinkles especially when it comes out of the dryer. Remember these aprons are for playing and getting messy. You don’t want a fabric that is going to have to be ironed each time it’s washed. So pick out something with a Polyester blend that will come out of the dryer looking pretty good.

Fold the edge of your material to where it’s just about the same width as your newspaper. Place the fold of the newspaper on the fold of the material. It looks like you’re cutting just half of the apron, but when you fold it out….you have the whole apron front. Just don’t cut on the folded side))

place the newspaper pattern (fold) on the fold of the material, cut around the pattern without cutting the folded side

The first piece of newspaper is the apron, and the second part is to be the apron pocket.

cut a piece of fabric the width of the apron for pockets, stitch in the center.


The iron is your friend))) Fold the edges of the apron (wrong sides together) in about 5/8″ and press. This will make stitching around the edges easier to do later.

You can even insert a piece of Stitch Witchery in the seam and that will hold the seam in place nicely. Stitch Witchery is a bonding agent on a roll sort of like tape. When you iron over it, it melts and seals the seam.

For the pocket, fold up the bottom edge about 5/8″ to 1″ and the top edge 5/8″ Go ahead and top-stitch the top part of the pocket piece by folding the 5/8″ fold, over again about halfway. You just want to top-stitch and cover up the raw edges. Top stitch close to the edge and again about 1/4″ from the edge with a sewing machine.

snip the curved part of the fabric so it will lay flat for stitching

Clip the curved area not quite to the depth of the 5/8″ to make the curved area lay flat.

Stitch the pocket piece (the wrong side of the pocket to the right side of the apron) along the bottom and sides of the apron. Find the center of the pocket and double-stitch from the top of the pocket to the bottom. This makes two pockets that kids will love.

add a loop for the neck and string ties to the sides, double stitch around the edges of the toddler apron

String Ties

Measure the length you need to make a loop to slip the toddler apron over the child’s head and allow a couple of inches. Make the side ties long enough to be able to tie them in a bow.

Take long pieces of material about 1-1/2″ in width, fold in the raw edges, and double stitch. Use these pieces for the ties and stitch them to the sides and top of the apron.


I told you this wasn’t a step-by-step tutorial so I hope you give me some grace here))) You can probably get the gist of making the toddler apron just by looking at the pictures. Sometimes when you start describing the details it sounds confusing if you haven’t made anything on a machine before.

Considerations for the Toddler Apron

  • SAFETY – I felt like something that slipped over the head would be safer than ties around the neck. You could make the neck loop as an adjustable strap with extra button holes. Just sew a button to the inside of the apron and make 2-3 button holes in the loop to allow for growth.
  • FABRICS – You could use a plastic-coated fabric (tablecloth fabric from Walmart) or even a real fabric-backed tablecloth. You could get by without stitching around the edges since it shouldn’t unravel. Ties could be handstitched. The toddler apron would be waterproof, that’s a plus for paint play.
  • TIES – Ties could be made with bias tape or any other sort of binding material that comes pre-packaged. This was my first choice for edging and ties….but Walmart was out! And instead of ties for the sides, you could make a band with buttons too. Wide shoestrings for ties would work. I wish now I had thought about the shoestrings earlier! I have several in my cache left over from making face masks.
  • ZIG-ZAG -Use the zig-zag stitch. Especially good when your straight stitching isn’t so great))
  • REMEMBER – This project was for play! Don’t stress yourself out! You could get by without a machine and just use Stitch Witchery to seal the raw edges, leave off the pocket piece, and hand stitch on some ties.

More Crafts

Face masks are available everywhere now, but not during the first outbreak of Covid. Here’s a post that I did on Trendy Tree a while back and I’m sharing it because it shows more detail about how to make ties or use shoe strings.

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