Introduction: APRON OF HOLDING
Second Prize in the
Spring Cleaning Contest
Before reading on, remember to rate me at the end, it lets me know how I'm doing. And, comments are always welcome and appreciated. As and artist and maker, its how we learn to grow and broaden our horizons. If this gets featured in a contest, a vote would be nice too, but that's secondary to the instructable itself.
Ok, a little back history for you non Dungeon & Dragon aficionados. The Bag of Holding was a magical device which enabled you to carry large amounts of treasure in a small bag and it always weighed the same regardless of how much you stuffed in it. Depending on how hard core of a player you were, certain rules were imposed. You couldn’t stuff an infinite amount of items in it, biological tissue placed within it would die after a short amount of time, and often items place within it would become disorganized as you rifled through it. The Apron of Holding may not carry an infinite amount of supplies either, but it does hold them organized for easy retrieval. In addition, the waist belt is actually designed to ride on the hips, dispersing the weight like a back pack rather then it all hanging from the back of your neck. As a result, it feels lighter than it actually is.
Swiss Army Apron
The 4 large pockets on the bottom are held open by a continuous ridged stainless steel tig wire running along the top edge. This allows the pockets to be held open to receive bottles or tools easily. The soft pockets above those are deep enough and varied in size to receive a variety of tools and gadgets. The largest pocket has a snap flap, to keep things securely in place. The 2 D-rings on the side of the belt are great for clipping on a variety of items. The paper towel dispenser outlined later clips on perfectly or for the green approach, simply thread through on some cleaning rags. With snap clips, a feather duster can dangle at the ready, along with whatever else you might need. P.S. The “Swiss Army Apron” was actually my first thought, it was going to be red with white cross symbol, but as I am a dreaded GINGER, it just wouldn’t go with my hair! Sometimes style trumps function after all, lol
Now the Apron of holding doesn’t have to be just used for spring cleaning, it doubles as a great tool apron. The open pockets are like those found on carpenter belts, being made out of heavy weight twill it can take the pounding. How-ever the pockets should be reinforced. The “KEEP-IT-SIMPLE-STUPID”, method to this is to simply cut down a 1 liter yogurt/sour cream container and slip them one into each pocket. Not only will the pockets be now bullet proof to nail or what not, but in theory you could slip out the whole container when swapping items and not have your fingers poked – WIN WIN!
I took it a dinner at a friend’s house and sure enough by the end of the night it was being worn by everyone. Its use was a little more diabolical though, it made a great roving bartender outfit. Bottles of booze and mix were easily held with the hip support belts, and the upper pockets held swizzle sticks and shot glasses.
What other uses could you use it for? Lego belt maybe, mechanics apron, multi-BBQ sauce holding apron perhaps… the list of uses is endless. I have all ready used it while de-soldering a circuit board in the field. The individual pockets allowed for quick sorting of parts coming off the board. Quite handy really.
Check out step #20 for the fun photo shoot, more pics to be added daily as others get in on the fun!
New - video added - Watch Chancey the robo-fish mechanic in action, with a helping hand from the APRON OF HOLDING
Step 1: Supplies & Tools
- Material - your choice really, but something like a mid-weight twill
- Stiff but bendable wire or rod
- Snap buttons
- Little Brass name plate
- about 16" of thin air-craft cable
- 2-4 swagelocks
- A yogurt lid, or other thin light soft plastic disk
- 1 stainless steel bolt with 2 washers and 2 nuts - my bolt was 8mm by 30mm
- Paper to print on your label
- A sewing machine or a needle if by hand - ugh
- Big work surface
- Wire cutters
- Stuff to measure with and draw straight lines, curved ones too actually
- Computer and the means to print something, perhaps you could go old school and use your hand
- Drill and suitable drill bit
- For the Apron:
- Material – your choice really, but something like a mid to heavy weight twill or jean
- Stiff but bendable wire or rod, I used stainless steel TIG rod
- Snap buttons
- Brass name plate
- Paper to print your label on, in addition something to laminate it with – can be as simple as clear packing tape.
- For the paper towel holder:
- 16” of thin aircraft cable with 2-4 swag locks
- 1 yogurt lid, or other thin soft plastic disk
- 1 stainless steel bolt with 2 washers and 2 nuts – my bolt was 8mm by 30mm
- White vinegar
- Castile soap, Murphy’s oil soap works but is my second choice
- Essential oil and/or scent – used lavender oil, pure Mexican vanilla & Palo Santo wood packed in 90% alcohol
- 4 spray bottles
- Steam Iron
- Sewing machine, scissors, needles, pins, measuring tape and/or ruler
Step 2: Start With the Apron Body
Your first piece of material to be cut is 29” x 30”, this will allow 2” of material to fold in on itself twice to the make the seams on the edge. See the apron pattern.bmp picture. The inner curves at the top of the apron can either be drawn in by hand, use a compass or do as I did. Look for something round you can trace. The diameter of the circle needs to be almost 12” across; oddly enough what worked perfectly for me was a large wall clock. The 2” seam I drew in be hand though, this doesn’t need to be accurate as its just a folded in edge.
The inner curves are the part you are going to have the most trouble with, but that is why you have your iron heated up and ready to go.
I folded the straight sides over first to produce the seams, really I should have started with the curves first. So lets pretend I did…
Some people make little slits in the side to ease the fold, but its quite a broad curve so opted not too. Start folding over material bits at a time from one end to the other. As you go, hit it with the tip of the iron and soon the curve will fall in line. Your folding over about an inch of material. Then start all over again folding it in over itself, once again ironing it in place to lock in the fold.
Next fold over all your straight edges in inch, iron, fold over another inch and finish ironing it flat.
Step 3: Pin It
Depending on how you plan on feeding the material into your sewing machine, pin the material so that the head of the pin is facing you. That way as the foot base comes close to a pin, you can sew right up to the last ½ an inch, before sliding the pin out of the material towards you. Don’t make the mistake I made. I had all the pins facing the wrong way. Here I start happily feeding the material into the machine, when before I knew it, I was going to have to take the first pin out – Whoops! The head was 1/8 of an inch from the base of the sewing machine foot. What a pain… Learn from my newbie mistakes!
Step 4: Sew Sew Sew
- I set my 50 cent sewing machine on a medium sized zigzag pattern, with the distance between stitches set on #1. #0 being almost now space between stitches and 5 being the widest gap.
- I sewed the seam in one continuous pass about ½” from the edge all around. Aside from the disturbing clunking sound coming from the machine it went off with out a hitch. You must understand my sewing machine was purchased for 50 cents at a thrift sale going on at our local recycling depot. This machine was in horrible condition, but I wanted to see if I could do this project with such a deplorable tool. The bobbin threader didn’t even work, I would jam a bobbin on the tip of a chop stick and chuck it into my drill…
Step 5: Lets Make Some Straps
The straps for the apron are 1” wide when finished, so you need to cut your fabric into 3” wide strips. Its by far easier to sew one large strap first the cut it to size the it is to make a bunch of small straps individually. I however did make way too much strap then I needed. 4 feet should be more then enough.
- So, cut a piece of material 4 feet long by 3 inches wide.
- Get your nice hot iron ready and fold over one edge ½ an inch and iron it flat.
- Grab your other long edge and fold it over ½ an inch and iron it flat.
- Now fold these 2 over so the edges butt up ½ an inch each and iron flat. This will give you a 4 foot long piece of strap that is 1 inch wide.
- Feed it through your sewing machine about an ½ inch from the edge on either side. Don’t worry about sewing up the ends until later.
- Now is time to reach for your 1” quick snap buckles. I try to do everything on the green side, or should I say cheap side. I went to my local 2nd hand store and explained that I needed some buckles. They directed me to there fanny pack section of the store, saying they can’t pay people to take these away. Works for me! When I was there I also grabbed a back pack with well constructed/padded shoulder straps for 2$ You can’t buy the raw materials for that to make it.
- One end of the strap is fed through the non tensioning side of the buckle about 3 inches. This was then folded over itself twice to make a tight seam and fed through the sewing machine. First I would sew a box pattern, and then a couple of criss cross patterns sewn in. Measure down about 6 inches from the buckle on the strap and cut it off. This cut off end gets folded over on itself twice and sewn on too one of the corners of the aprons neck. Make sure to sew it on the side that will be facing your chest. The reason you’re sewing the buckle so it will lay flat on your chest just below your collar bone is so that your hair doesn’t get pinched all the time in the buckle.
- Next, take the end of your excess strap and fold it over itself twice and sew the seam shut. Feed about 6-8 inches of this through the tensioning end of the buckle, the seam end being on the end. The other end should have about 1 foot of strap, this you sew onto the apron in the opposite corner as your first strap.
- You can now dangle it from your neck, and adjust to a height on your chest that you like.
Step 6: Hippy Support
- Cut the straps off the back pack where they join at the top of the pack. Most back pack straps tension at the bottom via quick couplers or simple tension buckles. You want to keep these in place, but lose the straps attaching them at the bottom. I trimmed the padded straps down to ten inches each. Mine were stuffed with a closed cell foam membrane. I pulled back the outer layer and snipped off 1 inch of padding. I then folded the material over and pinned it in place.
- Slip the apron over your neck “inside out”, and pin the trailing edges of the aprons sides too the shirt your wearing. If your not wearing a shirt, put one on all ready! Careful, don’t prick yourself.
- Locate your hips through the fabric and pin one strap to the apron so the strap is laying across and slightly above your hip. Next pin the strap to the other side, there should be a gap across your stomach about 10 inches wide. My straps were ergonomic in shape, in that rather then being straight they hade a curve to them. This curve works awesome across the curve of your hips, take advantage of this. If all feels well, feed it to the sewing machine. Sew around the edge of the whole strap. Check those pictures!
- Reach around back and bring the straps together, there should be a minimum 6 inch gap between the strap ends. The gap will be made up with your left over strap material and another set of tensioning quick snaps. This will allow the straps to be adjusted to a variety of peoples waistlines. But Wait! Not everyone’s hips are in the same spot, torsos vary in length! That’s what the adjustable neck straps are for, lower or raise the neck strap so the hip belts line up!
Now just like you did for the neck strap grab your strapping you made. This time though, leave about a foot of room to tension to accommodate different waistline. One end of the strap is fed through, folded over on itself twice and sewed in place. You then feed this strap through padded waist belts tension ring, and sew it in place. If your straps weren’t adjustable, sew it onto the strap. Do the same for the other side. Look at the pictures for clarity.
Step 7: Ridgit Pockets
See the pictures for the dimensions.
- You need a single piece of material 12 inches by 52 inches. Cut this out and look at the pictures for the layout of the dimensions.
- The 52 inches are divided up into various parts. 3”, then 2”, then 9”, then 2”, then 9”, then 2”, then 9”, then 2”, then 9”, then 2”, then 3”
- The 12 inches are divided into 5” then 5” then 2” Really trying to explain this with words seems futile, look at those pictures.
- Fold 5 inches of the material over itself, leaving a strip 2 inches wide. Fold this over inch, and then fold it again 1 inch.
- Sew both long edges along the edge. Doing this will leave e a ½” pocket along the top; this is where your wire/rod will be fed through.
- Speaking of your wire/rod, cut a piece about 52” long. On either end bend the tip into a tight loop. This will prevent the wire/rod from cutting/poking through the material once it’s assembled. Thread this through the pocket and get ready to bend it!
- I based the four 9”pockets to hold a variety of spray bottles; the 2 inch gap between them gets eaten up a bit with the stitching which gives about 1 inch between each pocket. This gives just enough space to sew it on with the sewing machine. Starting at one end, count off 5 inches, and then bend a section into a horseshoe shape with a 9 inch radius. Space 2 inches then make another horseshoe repeat his till you have 4 horseshoes ending with another 5 inches.
- The bottoms are somewhat adlib, as depending on how you made your pockets the pattern will vary. I tacked this to my work surface and place a piece of card stock behind the loops and traced them. This tracing was then cut out and traced onto another section of material, roughly 26” by 18”. See the pictures for an idea of the dimensions. I then added about 1 inch of seam material to the out side curve, which had the cured seams slit every inch to allow easy bending later. The whole piece is then cut out. The non-curvy side has 1 inch of material folded over itself twice and ironed flat. This is then folded over itself 5 inches. This gives a 6 inch section attached to the flat edges of the horseshoe shapes.
- Now the true hell begins, doing 1 pocket at a time, line up the little flaps of the base with the inside curves of the outer pockets, pin in place and do your best sewing it together. Move onto the next pocket and continue 3 more times. This whole process would have been a lot easier if sewed by hand, rather then on the machine. But, I was hell bent on using the sewing machine.
- Your 6 inch flap can now be folded over, and with the sewing machine, sewn in between the pockets along that 1 inch gap. Lay the completed pocket across your apron and pin in place. The tops of the pockets should be about 1 inch above the hip belts. Sew all along the outer edge and between each pocket.
- Ugh, that was the hardest part. The next steps are simple and go quite quickly! Yeah
Step 8: Not So Ridgid Pockets
- I cut a piece of material 24” by 10”. This size accounts for the 1” seam surrounding the whole piece. See the picture with the dimensions to mark and cut for the folding pocket cover.
- Once the material is cut, fold over the seams and iron down flat. Sew in place. Note – the seam on the underside piece of material on the left (skinny pocket side) may need to be folded in a touch when the top pockets are formed.
- Mark your holes for the snap buttons and rivet them in place as per the directions that should come with the snaps.
- Fold the front over the bottom as per the diagram picture and sew up the right hand side – (the side with the large pocket)
- The pockets on the left side are simple to make. I took a standard sized white board marker and place it under the material where I wanted the pocket to be, then pin the material through the top layer into the bottom layer and slip the marker out. Sew along the pinned line to form the pocket. Once you have formed the 3 pockets, you will notice the top layer of material no longer matches the bottom layer. Fold over this bottom layer to match the top layer, pin them together and sew in place.
- Now center it on the front of the apron about 2 inches from the top and pin in place.
- At this point you can choose how to attach it. If you sew just the sides and bottom to the apron, you will have created another large pocket between it and the apron. Or, you could sew all the way around, giving the pocket a nice tight feel. I went somewhere in between, by sewing the sides, bottom, top of the flap and finally one stitch down the left side of the snap pocket. This gave it a nice secure feel, yet gave me another large pocket behind the skinny ones. See the lines added in yellow on the picture to see where to stitch.
Step 9: Badging
I love the look of the brass name plate against the chocolate brown material; this is a simple step that allows changes down the road.
- Depending on the size of name plate you have, you’ll have to experiment with your choice of font, and more importantly the font size.
- For my name plate I went with ARIAL BLACK with extra bold, 18# font.
- I changed the background to black, with the wording in red, cause that’s what I like. Go with what you want, I toyed with many different ideas before finalizing on this one.
- Cut it to fit the name plate, and then either heat laminate it, or go ghetto style, Clear packing tape on either side works great.
- While your at it, make up some other logos or names to put in it, Keep em’ guessing!
Attaching the Brass plate to the apron is simple, either you can sew it on, use the holes where the screw or nail would go, Or you could rivet it in place with pop rivets. Lastly there’s my way, I piped a SMALL bead of hot glue down the middle of the badge and pressed it in place where I thought it looked good. I had some small brass screws that I planned on using as rivets. First I screwed the screws through the material. Then I flipped the apron over and slipped some small brass washers over the screws. I then mushroomed the tips of the screws over the washer with a ball peen hammer – treating like an actual rivet. Keep tapping the rivet until the mushroomed head is nicely rounded and smooth.
Step 10: Know When to STOP or How to Frak It Up!
Hopefully you will know when to stop, sometimes I don’t. I thought too many people might not get the “HOLDING” in the brass name plate, so I though I would spell it out for them, literally. Learn to pause when finishing off a job, step back and think before doing. Sometimes less really is more!
First I drew on the apron the words (Apron of) right before the HOLDING badge, to spell out (Apron of HOLDING) Foolishly I used metallic silver pen, thinking it would stand out nicely when I was ready to darn over top of it.
I then set the sewing machines zigzag function to the widest setting, set the stitch distance to zero and started darning over the silver ink. It went fairly well considering the crappy machine I was using. I plugged away at it for ten minutes and finished the word (Apron). Then I stood back and realized it was just too much, I became caught up in the idea of it, not whether it would look good or not. Curses!!!
Now to fix it you would think, oh well. Just slit the threads and pull out the stitches, except I forgot about the silver ink AAAGH! So I did what I had to, cut a piece of material large enough to cover it, gave it some seams and sewed it in place. It looks ok, and others just thought it was part of the design. Sadly I know the truth.
Step 11: Hands Free Paper Towel Dispenser - Sugru Mod to Be Added Soon!
- Start off by grinding down the sides of a stainless steel bolt at the tip on 2 sides. This allows the bolt to have a hole drilled through it easier. I could only find stainless steel bolts in metric for some reason, so mine was a 8mm bolt, 30mm long.
- Before drilling, center punch the spot where you want to drill to prevent drill bit wobble.
- Select a drill bit that is a bit wider then your air craft cable and dip it in cutting oil. When drilling stainless steel you want constant speed and pressure. This is the one time where you really want to lean in to it. Put the bolt in a vise and start drilling, don’t let up until you’ve drilled straight through it.
- Next, screw on a corresponding nut onto the bolt. It should screw on smoothly, if it doesn’t you may have to clean up the threads on the bolt. Work it until it screws on smoothly.
- Take your yogurt or sour-cream lid and poke a small hole through the middle of it. Slip a washer over the bolt followed by the lid, another washer and your nut. Tighten it down.
- Thread one end of the air craft cable through the hole in the tip of the bolt about 2-3 inches. Slip in 2 swag locks and crimp the one closest to the bolt tip in place. The second swag lock should be covering the tip of the short end of the cable. Crimp this second one in place. Not only does it look neater, the tips of the cut cable can be quite sharp.
- The other end is formed into a loop big enough that a locking carbine could slip easily through it. Slip over some swag locks and like you first did and crimp in place.
- You’re done.
Step 12: Don't Forget to Bring a Towel
Now if you want to go green, you’ve skipped on the towel dispenser. Simple take corners of towels or rags and thread them through one of the D-rings on the side of the hip belt. If you want to make it look like a professional rag (that sounds odd) then buy your self a grommet kit. They are sold at hardware stores or often found at dollar stores. It consists of 2 brass rings and a striking dye. Open up the striking dye and put on the cutting groove one of the rings. Place a corner of the towel/rag over this followed by the other brass ring. Close the other side of the striking dye over top of this ring and smack it with a hammer. This will simultaneously cut out the center of the towel/rag and crimp both rings together. That’s it, clip a carbine through it and clip to the side of your hip belt. SO PROFESSIONAL, LOL
Step 13: Natural 20 Torch & How It Will Save Your Life!
- First find a 20 sided die that’s translucent. I first tried drilling out an opaque dye and shining a light into the hole but it failed to make the dye glow.
- My LED lights tip unscrews so it made construction a lot easier. If yours doesn’t it should be OK. Place the LED light tip against the bottom of the die and mark it. Roughen up the plastic a bit, I scraped it against the concrete floor.
- Mix up a batch of 5 minute epoxy, ½ a teaspoon is plenty. Dip the die into the glue and place it on to the tip of the LED light. Let it set-up for 5 minutes or so and test the light. Set it aside though, it does take at least 1 hour for it to fully cure. You’re done!
In the event of a spring cleaning tsunami or avalanche the number #1 cause of death is the inability of the rescuers to find you in time. With your die #20 torch its a simple manner of protruding you signal out and above the refuse! The pictures to be coming soon illustrate how this lucky soul would never had been spotted. Perhaps suffocation could have occurred or death due to insanity at how the mess tried to get the better of her!
Step 14: Recipe Time
The following 2 recipes are based on those found on the “David Suzuki Foundation” website, click the link below to go directly to it and see additional recipes.
I tweaked the first one, purely for scent, but otherwise it maintains its green nature just like the second recipe. The last 2 are variations of ones found all over the internet that I have add my own. Now just because a cleaner is all natural still doesn’t mean its safe to spray into your eyes. Sure it wouldn’t hurt you long term, but would you be happy squirting vinegar in your eye? OW, I don’t think so. Some of the recipes use trace amounts of alcohol, definitely not good for your eyes!
Step 15: Lavender Sundae Spritz Air Freshener
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 1 tablespoon of pure Mexican vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of 70% isopropyl alcohol or vodka
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- water and 1 spray bottle
Step 16: PPPS Powerful Purifying Palo Santo All Purpose Cleaner
- ½ tablespoon of Borax
- ¼ cup of liquid castile soap
- ¼ cup of white vinegar
- 1.8 liters of hot tap water
- 1-2 tablespoons of 70% isopropyl alcohol or vodka
- Several chunks of freshly burned Palo Santo wood, about the size of an acorn. You could also use cedar.
- 1 Zip-loc bag, 1 empty 2 liter pop bottle and a clean spray bottle.
- In a zip-loc bag combine the alcohol with the Palo Santo wood and allow to sit for a week.
- After a week, pour the alcohol from the bag into the clean and empty 2 liter pop bottle. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Cap it and give it a shake. It will look milky white. Fill up your spray bottle and get cleaning. Works great in the bathroom and kitchen, including baked on microwave gunk and shower mildew.
Step 17: SupaDupa Glass Cleaner
- 1 liter of water
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
- 1 spray bottle
Step 18: Mysterious Universal Solvent H2O, PH Neutral Cleaner
Mysterious Universal Solvent – H2O, pH neutral cleaner
H2O – fill up a bottle with plain old tap juice. Water is a universal solvent, whether it works by dissolving or displacing it’s the safest thing to use for cleaning. Odd things like stonework and grout with a little manual labor clean up beautifully with just plain water.
Step 19: Tag It!
- First I downloaded pictures to represent the cleaners. Personally I like my labels to include the name, but the picture is just what ever I fancy at the time. My favorite was for a vintage German butcher shop, showing a pig happily slicing himself into steaks – bizarre! Remember every time you save your work to make sure to save it as a graphics file that does not degrade like .bmp. If you were to save it as a jpeg, and re-open it later in a program like Paint, you will not be able to use the Fill function. For your final publication feel free to save it as a jpeg, but until then keep it as a bmp, png or other stable format.
- Then I start editing, removing wording, symbols or background that won’t work well with cleaning labels. Followed by adding in my wording, doodles and the what not.
- Finally I make sure that it is sized appropriately. This was simple as the label size for my self-laminating label tags are 2.5” x 4.5”. I set my workable area within the graphics program to 2.5” x 4.5”, if you’re using a simple program like Microsoft Paint, you set the “attributes” found under “image” at the top drop down menu.
- Before printing, I’ll save a copy as a jpeg several times over, this softens the image and adds a vintage look to the tag.
- Print it out, laminate it, punch a hole in one side and tie it to the bottle top, you could also use zip-ties if you like.
Step 20: Apron Photo Shoot
Everyone getting in on the act, who knew a photo shoot could be such fun! More photo's to be added daily as others want to get in on the act!
Step 21: Another Modeling Session
Watch Chancey fix the robo fish for the Kitimat Museum! Thank goodness she's wearing The APRON OF HOLDING, Whew!
Step 22: Get Busy! and Roll a Natural 20!
You’re all set, throw on your APRON OF HOLDING, roll a natural 20, let out a battle cry and clean up!
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