Make a Simple Leather Apron

160

4

6

This is a very simple tutorial for making a leather apron for use in your wood shop or just for use around the house. Aprons come in handy for all sorts of things and can be exceptionally customizable. There are a few simple steps to follow to get the perfect apron for you.
- Select and Cut Your Leather
- Chose Your Pocket and Strap Layout.
- Sewing/ Rivet construction
- Finishing.
So let’s get started

Step 1: Choosing Leather and Cutting the Pattern

When making an apron there are a lot of potential factors to take into consideration such as weight, cost, and area of use. These will play into your design. I strongly suggest going to a local leather store and talking with them if you are unfamiliar with the different cuts, weights, and tanning methods.
Here I used something light because this will not be used for anything super hot or messy. I was actually asked to make this one for a friend’s blacksmith costume. Choose something you believe will be appropriate for your use and has a large enough area free of major defects. Once you’ve chosen your material it’s time to cut to shape.
To get the right shape I used a cloth apron and used that for my general outline. Then I used shears but you can also use a good sharp knife to cut out the outline shape.
Once that was done I grabbed a piece of opposing color for the pockets. I cut out some general shapes from that piece to use later. With that we are ready to move on to the really fun part.

Step 2: Pocket and Strap Layout.

Now that we have our pieces cut out it’s time to pick a design I went with a very simple set of pockets and a hammer holster. This is where you can get as creative as you want. You can layer pockets inside other pockets or be real simple like me and make quick layout guide. One thing I suggest is making sure the pocket you choose will fit the item you want to put in it. I had to cut three different designs for the hammer holster because I didn’t like the way the hammer sat on the hip. The big thing to keep in mind is there is no wrong answer but once you go to the next step there is very little room to turn back.

Step 3: Construction

Attaching the belt and pockets I used two styles of attaching the pieces. For the belt and neck pieces I first placed the pieces where I wanted and traced a subtle outline with a sharp awl and then applied contact cement to the inside of the scribes area and the back of the strap. Once tacky I carefully placed them together. I then reinforced this connection with rivets.
The pockets also used contact adhesive but were then outlined with diamond stitching chisel and hand stitched. I typically saddle stitch everything as it has a lot of strength and versatility. This will take some time so you could opt for some well placed rivets but know that it will probably cost you in value over the long term.
Once all the straps and pockets are placed you are ready to move on to finishing

Step 4: Finishing

This was a very simple project. The only real finishing I did on this was a full coat of leather sheen to protect and add some depth of color to the pieces.
Once that has dried you can buff to a high shine and it is ready to go.

Share

Recommendations

  • Gardening Contest

    Gardening Contest
  • Woodworking Contest

    Woodworking Contest
  • IoT Challenge

    IoT Challenge

6 Discussions

0
None
robbied

25 days ago

Love it! This is one of the things I make for the knifemaking/blacksmithing community here in Australia. The thing that always annoyed me in my original designs were the strap ends, and attachments. I now use a thin strip across the top part as a doubler, that is punched to fit the strap through, which is then riveted to itself. The lower straps are looped through shield shaped reinforcements sewn in. I found a good tutorial on making English point strap ends that doesn't require a different punch for each belt width on the Gold Bark Leather page.

0
None
sarawelder

26 days ago on Step 4

I have made leather aprons using old coats from Goodwill... which is much cheaper but less beautiful.. With any of the larger pockets I recommend the 2 top corners of the pocket have a square of stitching with the diagonals inside the square also sewn, rather than just a straight line.... it really reinforces the top of the pocket which may well fail over time.

0
None
seamster

27 days ago

I need to make an apron like this. Someday! Thank you for sharing your process : )

3 replies
0
None
DM_Lukthomasseamster

Reply 26 days ago

If you have any questions fee free to ask. I learned a lot of lessons from this build.

0
None
seamsterDM_Lukthomas

Reply 26 days ago

I'm curious about the rivets. How do you set those, and what tools are required?

If you felt inclined, I actually think that would make a great step to add. A couple photos and some basic written info to teach that process would be appreciated by lot of people, I'd think.

1
None
DM_Lukthomasseamster

Reply 26 days ago

When you purchase the rivets they come with a setting tool. You could also purchase a special press but I do not ha e one of those. I will add some pictures of what I use later if you would like.