How to Make a Leather Apron

Turn a deer hide into a multipurpose apron that’s a perfect fit for garden chores or workshop projects.

By Dennis Biswell
December 2018/January 2019

Photo by Queren King-Orozco

In this article, I’ll continue my series on useful items to make with home-tanned leather (see “How to Tan a Deer Hide,” October/November 2016, “How to Make Your Own Moccasins,” February/March 2017, and “Craft Your Own Coonskin Cap,” October/November 2017) by explaining how to turn a deer hide into an apron you can use around your garden, in your workshop, or at your grill. 

Hides from older bucks work well for apron making because they’re generally thicker than hides from does or younger deer. They’re also larger, so you can make an entire apron from one hide. The thickest part of the hide is on the deer’s neck and over its shoulders, so you should cut the straps from this part of the hide. Use the rest of the middle of the hide for the apron. Use the thinner areas along the sides of the hide for the pockets and gussets. The grain side of the hide (the side that once had hair) is the finished side of the hide. The sanded side of the leather is the membrane side.

You should be able to find all the tools and supplies required for this project at hobby and hardware stores.

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