Looking for personalized toddler apron ideas? I’m sharing all about how to customize a kids apron using Rit dye color mixing and Cricut glitter iron-on!
Personalized Toddler Apron: How to Customize a Kids Apron
Today I’m sharing a cute little project I did for my friend’s little girls and chatting about how to customize a kids apron in the meantime. I’m going all-in on this one, dyeing white toddler aprons and adding iron-on.
But if you want to make a personalized toddler apron, you don’t have to dye and use custom iron-on. The extent to which you customize your apron is entirely up to you. I was just really itching to do a color and was only finding boring white and canvas toddler aprons.
And I had some gorgeous Cricut glitter iron-on that I wanted to use for this project. If you don’t have a Cricut but still want to create this project, you can buy pre-cut iron-on letters for your kid’s name. But the best part of having a Cricut is that you choose the exact font style, size, and iron-on vinyl finish. 🙂
(Affiliate links below. You can read more about that here.)
- Plain white 100% cotton toddler apron
- Rit Liquid Dye in Aquamarine
- Rit Powder Dyes in Fuchsia and Purple
- ColorStay Dye Fixative
- Stainless steel sink
- Large pot and hot water
- Disposable rubber gloves
- Glass or steel mixing bowl
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Glitter iron-on multipack
- EasyPress 2 and heat press mat (or household iron)
And here’s how to make a personalized toddler apron.
Step 1: Prepare Aquamarine Dye Bath
First I washed and dried the aprons. Then I prepared the first dye bath. I dyed the aquamarine apron first because this one didn’t require any color mixing. I used the sink method with my stainless steel sink.
Note: Don’t dye in a porcelain or fiberglass sink. It can stain. If you use a plastic container to dye, that might also stain. Rit recommends a stainless steel sink. If your dye stains your sink any, you can remove it by scrubbing with Oxiclean. (I had to do this with the purple one!)
Since the aprons were white, 100% cotton, and did not have any patterns or logos, the Rit All Purpose dye was the best choice. If your apron is a synthetic fabric, check out Rit DyeMore and use a stovetop dying method.
First I determined how much water and dye I’d need. I then heated half of the water I’d need up on the stove while I added the other half in the stove. From the tap. As hot as it would get. I didn’t let the water on the stove boil, though—just wanted it to heat up a bit hotter than the tap could get it.
Then I poured this in, added a cup of salt and a dash of dish soap, and added the appropriate amount of dye. In my case, that was ¼ cup.
Note: Add 1 cup of salt when dyeing cotton, rayon, ramie, or linen. Add 1 cup of vinegar when dyeing nylon, silk, or wool. Either way, add 1 tsp of dish soap to promote even dyeing.
Step 2: Dye Aquamarine apron
To dye the first apron, I wet it completely in the other side of the sink and then added it to the dye bath. I used a stirrer to stir the apron constantly for about 10 minutes. This is the most important time frame for dyeing.
After 10 minutes, I’d flip the apron over in the bath to ensure I kept moving it around. I did this every few minutes while I prepped for the other apron. I dyed this one for a total of about 20 minutes or so…until the color was bright enough!
Then I drained the bath and squeezed excess dye out. I turned the faucet on and used cold water to rinse out the apron until I noticed the color of the water was beginning to lighten. At this point, I decided to use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative to fix the dye in place.
Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative helps to prevent color bleeding and fading while preserving vibrant colors. It’s a similar process to dyeing, using hot water in a stainless steel sink to treat the apron. Don’t be alarmed if your dye continues to come off—this is fine. It’s just the excess. Once you’re done, rinse it out using cold water until the water runs completely clear.
Step 3: Dye Magenta Apron
For the second apron, I wanted to do a magenta color and try some color mixing. I bought two packs of powder dye, which are a bit smaller and cheaper. Purple and Fuchsia looked to be lovely colors that would create a beautiful shade of magenta. I did a 50/50 mix.
Color mixing and dye/water ratios use the liquid dye for measurements. To figure out how much powder dye you’ll use, you can use Rit’s conversion chart. Don’t just guess. If you do that, you might use too much powder, stain your sink magenta, and have to scrub it out 7 times straight with Oxiclean. (My sink has never looked cleaner, btw.)
How to Customize a Kids Apron: Rit Dye Color Mixing
Rit has over 1,000 color formulas you can re-create, or you can mix your own. You can browse through the different shades on their website organized by color. An example of part of the purple section is below.
This is the color I used: Willowherb. It’s the 50/50 mix of purple and fuchsia. My recipe called for 1/2 cup of purple and a 1/2 cup of fuchsia poured into 3 gallons of water. However, since I was using dye powder for this mixture, I had to convert my measurements. All of the color mixing measurements are based on the liquid dyes.
Rit has a conversion chart you can use to figure out how much dye powder you need for your mixture. My mixture called for 1/2 cup of fuchsia and 1/2 cup of purple. The 1/2 cup of liquid dye measurement converts to one full package of powder dye each. These measurements are for 3 gallons of water.
However, I used only 1 1/2 gallons of water (24 cups), so I used only half of each package. It’s okay to add a bit of extra powder to ensure your colors are really vibrant, but do not use much more than what your recipe calls for. If the dye cannot complete dissolve in the water, it might temporarily stain your sink even if it’s stainless steel.
Step 4: Cut kids names for customized aprons
The last step in how to customize a kids apron is to cut their names out of iron-on material. I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut both names out—one out of silver glitter iron-on and one out of a really pretty purple glitter iron-on.
I’ve had these iron-on rolls for a few months now, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect project for them. This was it! The colors looked really great on the dyed aprons. I used my EasyPress 2 to adhere the iron-on names to the aprons, using the Cricut Heat Guide to figure out how much heat I needed to apply.
Want more Cricut? Check out my detailed guide to using the Cricut Maker Knife Blade, my EasyPress 2 guide, my Cricut Explore Air 2 review, my debossing and engraving tip tutorial, how to slice text in Cricut design space, my plant-themed coasters using Infusible Ink, and my tutorial for the new EasyPress Mini and using iron-on with wood! Also check out my free cut file gallery and the latest project for my printer stand and storage for my Cricut machines!
Note: The EasyPress might temporarily blanch the color in the areas where you applied heat. Don’t freak out! It’s temporary. You’ll see in my pics that the color went back to normal after it cooled.
And here are the final customized kids aprons for my friend’s girls! They are so cute, and the girls love them! I’d love to make one for Ramona, but she’s still traumatized by the kids Home Depot apron we tried to put on her earlier this year.
She had a melt down in the store and apparently hasn’t gotten over it. Believe me, I tried with one of these aprons, and she was having NONE of it. Maybe next year!