Making personalized aprons is a fun project to do, and it's a great idea for gifts too! A few years ago I made a whole bunch of these for Christmas and I love the basic concept: instead of writing the person's name on the apron, you write what food they like or dislike by crossing out the word. This is especially fun if you're making gifts for a number of members of a family. That way, everbody will know which apron is theirs, by what food or dishes listed, but it won't be so very obvious to outsiders, a bit like an inside joke...
here is the apron I made for myself...
I sewed these aprons, however you could just as well simply buy already-made aprons for this project. What's cool here is the design printed on, so if you want to make a basic apron, then fine (and there are lots of patterns out there if you don't want to do it free-hand), if you don't, well then focus on the words instead. However, sewing aprons is really easy, especially if you do something like I did here: one fabric for the apron as a whole, and then one fabric (here you could use a band or ribbon) for the border which goes all around your head and then wraps down the sides for tying.
So what you need is:
- an apron, make or buy one (if you buy one make sure it's simple and has no frills or pleated fabric on top where the design will go)
- photo editing / image software
- a printer
- photo transferable paper
- an iron
Begin by making the design on the computer. Create an image on your computer, use a few different fonts and write down words in a somewhat haphazard manner. Also cross out one food item that the person dislikes, (or none if the person is annoying (!) like me and basically likes everything) or several words if the person in question dislikes many things. If you have a particularly difficult person in the family that doesn't like much in terms of food, then wouldn't it be funny to just have a list of crossed out dishes - hrm hint, please work on liking more things to make life more interesting for the cook and/or fellow eaters at the table!
Remember, since you're printing the design you also need the words to be mirrored, there might be a setting on your printer for this (check out preferences -> media type -> iron on transfer.) If your printer doesn't have this setting, then you'll need to create the mirrored text right in the image. This is pretty easy: you basically need to flip the image horizontally. In Gimp you do it like this: Image -> Transform -> Flip Horizontally. I bet most image softwares work similarly.
Once you're happy with your image, print it out on regular paper first to make sure you have a basically good size going (not too large, not too small.) Then once you're happy with your image take out the iron transferrable paper and print it out on that. Now get your iron out. Put the apron on a table or other flat surface (it's easier than using the iron board), position the tranferrable paper where you want it on the apron (printed side down), put some fabric on top of it (I use an old pillow case for this), then iron on high without steam for a minute or so, moving slowly around the whole time. Carefully check a corner and see if it looks like the image has transferred well, otherwise do some more. There are better instructions for this on your transferrable paper propably, but that's the gist of it.
Actually, if you have some extra materials on hand such as some old fabric then it can be a good idea to do a test run first and iron the design out, before doing it on the apron. It would be too bad if you mistakingly miss-spelled a word, or if the image didn't flip right. Rather be safe than sorry: it would be annoying if you're not happy with the design on the apron since you can't exactly start over then! So do some tests first, and then when you're absolutely certain, transfer the design onto the actual apron.
But that's basically it! Above are some aprons for my Swedish family, hence the Swedish on the aprons! I guess most words speak for themselves, but not all (any guesses?) I also made some matching kitchen towels to go with the aprons which is a nice idea for gifts.
I think this is such a cool idea! It's particularly fun for gifts, and of course this idea is applicable in a number of different ways.
You could for example make a design of a person's favorite books and a few crossed out titles they can't stand and then iron that design on a fabric library tote bag. You could decorate pillowcases with lists of all kinds of things, you could really get creative here; why not make a his and hers pillowcase and use either movie titles, favorite flowers, artists, spices, songs, travel destinations or why not just a general list of favorite things in life! There are so many possibilities!
While you could certainly make just one of these designs for yourself or a friend, there is something fun about plurality here! When you have at least two designs with different likes and dislikes, then it somehow looks even better and you can compare the two.
With aprons, food or favorite dishes is great because, well, most likely you'll be wearing the apron in the kitchen! But you could utilize this technique for anything really, the most important thing is that it showcases someone's personality, and that it's unique and fun!