Men's Shirt Apron

Stylish DIY Men’s Shirt Apron as Affordable Gifts in 6 Steps

Why buy an apron for the kitchen or even the workshop when you can easily make your own men’s shirt apron?


If you have some old pretty men’s shirts in the closet and you don’t know what to do with them, you can definitely upcycle them into aprons.

Our Pick
2 Pack Adjustable Bib Apron

Large bib apron that covers from chest to knee provides great coverage and protection from kitchen grease spills and food stains Note do not place an apron nearby any heated cooking ware or flame.

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12/01/2022 04:34 am GMT

Making a Men’s Shirt Apron

Materials and Tools

  • Old nice shirt
  • Rotary cutter/scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine/kit


Step 1: Prepare the Shirt

Lay the shirt flat on a work surface. Button up the shirt to keep it in place. This ensures accuracy while cutting.

Step 2: Cut the Shirt

Using the rotary cutter or scissors:

  • Cut around the collar, leaving it attached to the shirt. Aim to cut close to the seam to avoid the need for hemming or dealing with raw edges.
  • Cut the sleeves diagonally for both sides of the shirt. Ensure both sides are symmetrical. These cuts will form the apron’s shape.
Men's Shirt Apron

Step 3: Hem the Edges

  • Fold a slight hem on the edges you cut to conceal the raw edges. Pin this hem if necessary to hold it in place before sewing.
  • Sew the hem down on both sides, removing pins as you go if used. This step prevents fraying and gives your apron a neat finish.

Step 4: Create and Attach the Straps

  • Cut strips to serve as apron straps from the remaining parts of the shirt (e.g., sleeves or the lower part of the shirt). You want the strip to be long enough to accommodate anybody’s length and width, especially the person to whom you are gifting this.
  • Fold the edges of the strips inward and sew them to create clean, finished straps.
Men's Shirt Apron

Step 5: Sewing the Strips to the Apron

  • Sew the strips to the sides of your men’s shirt apron and ensure they are securely in place for both sides.
  • For the neck strap of your men’s shirt apron, decide if you want it to be adjustable or a fixed length. Please attach it to the top corners of the apron where the collar begins.
  • Sew the straps in place, backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam for extra durability.
Men's Shirt Apron

Step 6: Final Touches

  • Trim any loose threads and make any additional adjustments of your men’s shirt apron for fit or style, such as adding pockets using fabric from the removed parts of the shirt.
  • Press the men’s shirt apron with an iron to eliminate any wrinkles if you plan on giving it as a gift.

Matching Accessories for Men’s Shirt Apron

Creating matching accessories for your DIY men’s shirt apron can elevate your crafting project from a simple functional piece to a comprehensive set that showcases your style and skill. Whether you’re aiming for a cohesive look in the kitchen or seeking to craft a unique gift, these additional items made from the same men’s shirt ensure everything matches perfectly.

Let’s explore how you can expand your DIY repertoire with these creative ideas.

Oven Mitts

Materials: Remainder of the men’s shirt, cotton batting, and heat-resistant fabric (optional).


  1. Trace your hand on paper to create a mitt pattern, adding about an inch around for seam allowance.
  2. Cut the pattern twice from the shirt fabric, twice from the cotton batting, and, if using, twice from the heat-resistant fabric.
  3. Layer the pieces as follows: shirt fabric face up, heat-resistant fabric, and then cotton batting on top.
  4. Sew around the edge, leaving the bottom open. Turn right side out.
  5. Use fabric from the shirt’s cuffs or hem to create a loop for hanging. Attach this to the side of the mitt.

Pairing these mitts with your men’s shirt apron adds a professional touch to your kitchen attire, ensuring you’re prepared and stylish for any culinary challenge.

Men's Shirt Apron

Pot Holders

Materials: Leftover fabric from the men’s shirt, cotton batting, and optional heat-resistant fabric.


  1. Cut square or circular shapes from the shirt, cotton batting, and heat-resistant fabric, each measuring about 8 inches across.
  2. Stack them with the shirt fabric facing out on both sides, sandwiching the batting and heat-resistant fabric in between.
  3. Sew around the edges, leaving a small opening to turn right side out. Close the opening with a top stitch.
  4. Quilt the layers by sewing straight lines or a grid across the pot holder.

These pot holders, made to match your men’s shirt apron, are not only practical but also infuse your cooking space with personalized flair.

Chef’s Hat

Materials: Fabric from the men’s shirt, elastic band.


  1. Measure the circumference of your head and cut a strip of fabric for the band, adding an inch for seam allowance.
  2. Cut a large circle or rectangle for the top part of the hat. The larger it is, the fuller the hat will be.
  3. Sew the ends of the band fabric to form a circle. Gather the top piece’s edges and attach it to the band, right sides together.
  4. Add an elastic band to the back half of the band for a snug fit.

Wearing a chef’s hat that matches your men’s shirt apron not only completes your ensemble but also keeps your hair neatly away while cooking.

Each of these accessories complements the men’s shirt apron, making the set a testament to your creativity and dedication to upcycling. Whether used personally or given as a thoughtful, handmade gift, this matching set stands out for its uniqueness and environmental consciousness.

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Advanced Customization Techniques

Enhancing your DIY men’s shirt apron with advanced customization techniques can transform a simple upcycled item into a bespoke piece that reflects your style or meets specific functional needs. 

These customization options allow for creativity and can make each apron unique. Here’s how you can elevate your men’s shirt apron with thoughtful detailing.

Men's Shirt Apron


  • Add Pockets for Utility and Style: Utilize the shirt’s original pockets or create new ones from the remaining fabric. Pockets add functionality, allowing you to carry tools or kitchen utensils, and they also serve as a stylish element. Consider the placement for maximum utility and visual appeal.
  • Incorporate Decorative Stitching: Use your sewing machine’s decorative stitches or hand-stitch with embroidery thread to add unique designs to the borders or pockets of the apron. This can include the apron wearer’s initials, a favorite quote, or any design that personalizes the apron.

Fabric Manipulation

  • Create Texture with Pleats or Ruffles: Add pleats or ruffles to the apron skirt for a textured look. This can be particularly effective if using shirts with lighter fabric. It adds volume and an interesting visual element to the apron.
  • Apply Fabric Dye for a Color Change: If the original shirt’s color isn’t your liking or you want to add a tie-dye effect, fabric dye can completely transform your apron. This is a great way to refresh or align a stained shirt with specific color preferences.

Upgraded Functionality

  • Adjustable Neck Strap: Replace a fixed neck strap with an adjustable one using buttons or D-rings. This not only makes the apron more versatile for different body sizes but also adds a professional touch.
  • Reinforced Edges for Durability: Double-fold the edges and add a top stitch around the apron to reinforce its structure. This technique is particularly useful for aprons requiring heavy use and extra durability.
  • Integrated Oven Mitt Corners: Sew heat-resistant fabric into the bottom corners of the apron. This turns the apron’s corners into instant pot holders, making it multifunctional.

Personal Touches

  • Fabric Appliqué: Cut shapes or letters from contrasting fabric pieces and sew them onto the apron. This could be anything from a simple apple for a teacher’s kitchen apron to a set of BBQ tools for the grill master.
  • Custom Labels: Create or order a custom label that says “Handmade by [Your Name]” or a simple “Made with Love.” Sew this label onto the apron for a professional finishing touch that also identifies the maker.

Interchangeable Decorative Panels

  • Use Velcro for Seasonal Updates: Attach Velcro strips to the front of the men’s shirt apron and create interchangeable panels from different parts of men’s shirts or other fabric scraps. This allows for seasonal updates, special occasion themes, or simply a change in style without needing to make multiple aprons.

Specialty Pockets

  • Tool-Specific Pockets: Design pockets for specific tools or gadgets, tailored to the apron user’s hobbies or needs. For instance, a gardening apron might have a narrow pocket for trowels, while a cooking apron could include a loop for a towel or a pocket for a thermometer.
  • Hidden Pockets for Valuables: Incorporate a hidden pocket inside the apron, perfect for keeping a phone, keys, or other small valuables safe while working on projects. This feature adds an element of security and convenience.

Functional Accessories

  • Removable Towel Loop: Attach a loop made from fabric or a sturdy ribbon with a snap or button. This allows a kitchen towel to be easily accessible and removable for washing. Matching the towel to the men’s shirt apron fabric further unifies the look.
  • Built-In Pot Holder Pads: Sew silicone heat-resistant pads into sections of the apron, such as the lower corners or along the waist. This creates built-in pot holders, ensuring you’re always prepared to handle hot items without reaching for a separate pot holder.
Men's Shirt Apron

Personalization Through Technology

  • Incorporate QR Codes: For a truly modern touch, add a QR code that links to your favorite recipes, a personal cooking blog, or a how-to video for making the apron. Print the QR code on fabric transfer paper and iron it onto a discreet section of the man’s shirt apron.

Enhanced Comfort Features

  • Adjustable Waist Ties: For a more comfortable fit, replace traditional ties with an adjustable belt system using buckles or sliders. This provides a custom fit and adds a professional, finished look to the men’s shirt apron apron.
  • Padded Neck Strap: To prevent neck strain during long periods of use, pad the neck strap with a soft fabric or use a quilted fabric strip. This enhancement is especially appreciated for heavier aprons or by individuals who spend a lot of time in their aprons.

Artistic Flair

  • Stenciling and Fabric Paint: Use stencils and fabric paint to add artistic designs, logos, or text to the men’s shirt apron. This method allows for precise application and personalization, whether adding a monogram, a favorite quote, or an artistic motif.
  • Patchwork Design: For a colorful and textured look, create a patchwork design using different parts of men’s shirts or fabric scraps. This technique adds visual interest and allows for creative expression and the upcycling of smaller fabric pieces.

By incorporating these advanced customization techniques, your DIY men’s shirt apron becomes more than just a practical item; it evolves into a personalized garment that carries meaning, showcases craftsmanship, and meets specific needs with style. Whether for personal use or as a thoughtful gift, a customized apron is a testament to the creativity and skill involved in its creation.


Crafting a men’s shirt apron offers a creative and sustainable way to repurpose old shirts into something practical and stylish. With the addition of advanced customization techniques, each apron becomes a unique reflection of the maker’s skills and the wearer’s personality. This DIY project reduces waste and adds a personal touch to the cooking, gardening, or workshop experience.

We have more ways to repurpose your shirts. Read our post on making t-shirt quilts!



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