How to Turn Hardware Aprons into Stenciled Flower Pockets

Inexpensive hardware aprons are stenciled and coffee stained, then hung and filled with flowers. You'll love how easy these unique flower pockets are to make!
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One of my dreams is to visit the French countryside and shop the markets! I visited Paris as a teenager (on a teenager's teeny budget) but I long to go back and do it right this time! I would buy fresh flowers, and hunt for vintage goodies to stuff my suitcase with!

While I'm waiting for my European adventure to begin, it's fun to bring some of that French countryside feeling to my home with easy decorations and Ooh la la! these flower pockets are fun and so easy to make! Best of all, it cost me less than $5 to make both of them!

If you're wanting to add more European farmhouse style to your home, keep reading for links to some of my favorite affordable projects!

Make it your own

Of course, you can add your own creative style to a hardware apron to make your flower pockets look exactly the way you envision! I love sharing ideas to inspire you, and motivate you to take one of my crafts in your own direction!

Inspired by a friend

These stenciled flower pockets are made from inexpensive canvas hardware aprons that I found online at Walmart. You guys, they were less than $1.50 each!! Now you might be wondering how on earth I even thought to repurpose a canvas apron as a flower pocket. Well, that is where the beauty of the creative community comes in! I was inspired by my friend Cindy over at County Road 407. A couple months ago she shared a  garden-themed cubby sitting on an old pine dresser, and she used an antique hardware store apron with some greenery tucked in to hang from the dresser.

I was so charmed by this idea and wanted to recreate the look in my own style. I chose to DIY my hardware aprons with French stencils and gave one of them a grungy coffee stain to make it look old and tattered (as if I'd pulled it out of a bin at a French market, you know one of those bins where everything is ancient!).

If you've been following me for awhile, you'll know that I like to share the step by step HOW TO so you can literally see how I make something, which makes it easier for you to recreate it at home! It's kind of my trademark, and you'll find the steps below to create your own decorated hardware apron flower pocket.

If you'd rather just purchase an antique hardware apron to use as a flower pocket, you can check these ones out.


How to Turn Hardware Aprons into Stenciled Flower Pockets

The supplies list is short for this DIY craft idea, and you may already have some of the supplies at home.


Step 1: Create stencils

If you own a Silhouette or Cricut machine, it's easy to make your own stencils. You can design them to say whatever you want, and can customize the size to fit your project perfectly. I created a 12x12 sheet of French-inspired stencils, including an old date surrounded by a wreath, lavender stems and a measure. I used an English to French translator on Google to come up with some sayings that seem like they would be appropriate for a hardware apron flower pocket:
  • Atelier Ru de Marche means Market Street Workshop
  • l'outillage artisanat means craft tools
  • outils de jardin fleurs means flower garden tools

If you don't have any way to make your own stencils, you can use simple alphabet stencils or find ones that have the look and feel that you want for your flower pockets. Search Amazon for inexpensive stencils for your project.

My second apron is a mix of DIY stencils and a store bought one with French words.

Step 2: Iron

My aprons were very wrinkled straight out of the package, so I took a few minutes to iron them smooth. That way the stencils will be easier to apply.

Step 3: Paint Stencil

You'll need very little paint for your stencils. Here are my tips to prevent bleed through and get the best results:
  1. Tape stencil to fabric so it doesn't move (painter's tape is perfect for this).
  2. Add a dab of paint to a bowl or piece of cardboard.
  3. Dab brush in paint and then pounce to remove some of the paint (you can always add more if needed).
  4. Always pounce paint onto project, don't brush.
  5. Start from outside the stencil and work in.

The homemade stencils are a one-time use only (unless you use stencil material), but the store-bought stencil can easily be washed and reused multiple times! This stencil was too large for my apron, so I chose to just stencil a couple of the words.

By following my tips above, your stenciled design will be nice and crisp, with no bleeding edges.

If you're not planning to coffee stain the canvas apron, then your flower pocket is finished! Hang it with the long ties to a dresser and add some flowers. I hung this pocket from my recently found curbside dresser I painted to look vintage. I'm using this dresser to store faux garlands and florals, so this flower pocket is right at home!

Step 4: Coffee stain apron (optional)

This step is for those of you who love to decorate with vintage, primitive, dare I say 'grungy' looking items! The beauty of using this stain is that you know the apron is not really dirty, it just looks it, LOL! The coffee stain has vanilla and cinnamon added, and smells really good! The recipe comes from Tracey at My Sweet Home Living and she calls it Coffee Grunge. Tracey suggests using inexpensive items from the dollar store to make your grunge (save the expensive stuff for baking!).

Coffee stain recipe

In a jar, mix up the following:
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup instant coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon.

Give the mix a shake. Then use a foam brush to paint the coffee stain wherever you want a grungy look. I started just in the corners, but then decided to coffee stain the entire front of the second apron flower pocket, along with the ties.

I stained right over the stencil, which was dry. And to add a little bit of extra grunge, I sprinkled some instant coffee granules on the wet stain, mainly in the corners. This left some rusty looking speckles that really make this hardware apron look like an antique!

I set the coffee stained apron outside in the sun to dry, before I styled it.

Ideas for a hardware apron flower pocket

I'm sharing a couple different looks for you here, to give you some ideas for how to use these flower pockets in your home!

First up, I hung the apron from a drawer of my white cottage dresser. This dresser is one of my favorite pieces, I just love the look! Notice that the knobs are too close together to tie the pocket to, so I tucked the ties into the corners of a drawer, and closed it. The closed drawer provides a snug fit and keeps the hardware apron in place. I tucked in a few roses, as well as a mason jar filled with dried rose buds.

The contrast of the coffee stained apron against the white dresser is especially appealing to me! I want to try hanging the pocket from the mug rack in my kitchen, and maybe adding a couple of rolling pins to go along with the 'patisserie' (bakery) stencil!

For another look, I took the flower pocket upstairs to my studio and tied it onto the chicken wire in my blue painted cabinet. Obviously you don't want to put anything too heavy in the apron, but some flowers and a jar of my chippy white mini spindles makes a charming addition.

For funsies, here's a picture of both French stenciled flower pocket hardware aprons, so you can see the color variation ❤❤ I'm excited to style these for Fall with some small pumpkins and greenery! Oh, and maybe one of my primitive farmhouse sunflowers!

I would love to know if this is a project you could see yourself doing? Please let me know! And don't forget to PIN IT!

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More Ways to Add European Farmhouse Style:

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  1. Just adorable. They would be an adorable gift. Where are the peonies from? Love your blog.

    1. Thank you so much, I appreciate your visit! The flowers are from Hobby Lobby.

  2. How fun to find those inexpensive aprons and be able to turn them into exactly what YOU want! The coffee staining takes it over the top. I love it! I'm very excited to have inspired you too. Especially because I think you are probably the craftiest person I know. It's all so cute. pinned

  3. Cindy this turned out SO great! I love the extra touch of "rust" and the stencils are beautiful:) pinning! Tanya @

    1. Thanks so much Tanya, it was fun to grunge these up! And they smell amazing 😉

  4. Great tutorial! I never thought of turning hardware aprons into stenciled flower pockets before. Such a creative and practical idea. Can't wait to try it out myself! Thanks for sharing this awesome DIY project. 🌸👩‍🔧 #DIY #CraftingFun


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