Aprons: History & Design

With the surge in home cooking, aprons are making a comeback!  However, in the cooking lab, they’ve always been a staple!  Learn about Aprons: History & Design and then teach students how to create their own, with or without tie dye.


  • There’s actually two parts to this post.  The first part focuses on station work as students learn more about the apron in terms of history.  The second part focuses on actually making and/or creating aprons in class as an independent sewing project, as a class for use in a food lab or even as a product for sale in an entrepreneur class.  Lots of possibilities!
  • If you or your school has access to a Cricut machine (affiliate link), it may be a fun way to add slogans, logos and/or quotes to premade aprons (affiliate link).


  • Station #1 focuses on the history, origin and meaning of aprons.  Students use provided resources to help them answer background questions about aprons.
  • Station #2 focuses on different types of aprons.  Students use provided links to describe different types of aprons and then add hand-drawn visuals of each type using colored pencils.  This could easily be done digitally and students can just insert images directly into the chart.
  • Station #3 asks student to design a class apron to be used in the food lab.  The apron has to include school colors, mascot and appropriate slogan, phrase or quote. This can be set up later as a gallery walk for students to vote on their favorite design which can then be created for class use.
  • Provided resources include the following web-links:  “The History of Aprons“, “The History of Kitchen Aprons” and “The History & Significance of Grandma’s Apron“.

Ideas for Creating an Apron

  • If you are having your students make their own aprons in class, you may want to use these easy video tutorials to demonstrate a couple of different options before having students get their supplies.  The first option is an apron with NO pocket.  The video is titled, “How to Sew a Simple (nearly zero waste) Apron“. The second option is for an apron with a pocket.  The video is titled, “Easy DIY Apron Tutorial“.  
  • If you are looking for FREE apron patterns to use in class, check out this free apron pattern for both child and adult on the Sweet Red Poppy website.  It even provides you with a materials list so you know exactly what you need!
  • If you want to add a fun element to your aprons whether buying premade aprons or constructing them in class, you may want to teach your students how to tie dye them. Our cafeteria staff did that to theirs and they were super fun and colorful!  Here are a couple of tutorials demonstrating how to do this if you want to give it a try!  Video #1:  “How to Tie Dye a Chef’s Apron Heart Pattern” and Video #2: “How I Tie Dye an Apron“. 

Extension Activity

  • If you need an additional activity or assignment for students to complete, assign them the “Grandmother’s Apron Poem” to read and illustrate by stanzas.  Students can do this by rewriting the poem on poster paper…each student could be assigned a section or two to illustrate with hand-drawings and then put together as a large class visual.  Or you could assign the poem digitally and students could break it apart and digitally insert images using either Google docs or Google slides.  Again, it could be broken up into sections and assigned to students if necessary.  Here’s a SAMPLE of how it can look, however, this is with a different poem.  Instructions can be found below.



Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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