Projects by Design: Leather apron

I’d been wanting to make a shop apron for awhile, but since I’ve started wood turning, that need has gotten even more pressing. And while buying one is certainly an option, where is the fun in that? Not to mention, I had a series of requirements for it that would make buying one that fit my needs all the more difficult. That’s how I design most of my work- by using problem solving to inform my decisions. Here’s my thought process.


Project: shop apron

Tasks for use: woodworking (especially turning), metal working, general shop activities

Purpose: protection (flying wood pieces, metal sparks), cleanliness (dust, finishes, rust), tool holding

Inspiration that influenced the design: several items pinned to a pinterest board, including an apron from Etsy, A holster from Etsy, this apron from Veritas, and inevitably a long list of design influences with no known source, just from experience and looking at things.

Elements to consider in design:

  • Overall build dimensions: proportioned to my height and shoulder width to allow ease of movement while still serving the purposes outlined. Consideration for what physical tasks will be done while wearing it, and how might that change she shape of things?
  • Requirements for tool holding: how many tools? which ones? Weight distribution and ensuring items stay in their allowed place during movement
  • Wear and strain influences: where will this piece feel the most strain in day to day use? How can I manage that strain? Do any of the outlined purposes change how this piece will mature over time?