Cooking with My Rancher Husband (Well, Sorta)

Here lately, I’ve been cooking with my husband in mind. Every time I tie one of my new aprons on, I either 1) remember different times he wore the shirt now made into an apron, 2) try hard to remember ever seeing him wear it, or 3) laugh about how mad he got the first time I tried to get rid of all the ugly western shirts he would never wear.


I recently made room in my husband’s side of the closet by re-purposing some of his old shirts.

I hand picked some of his old ratty-looking ones but mostly ones that he would never wear because they weren’t his style and couldn’t stand to let me get rid of them.


When I went to the Women in Ag conference in Spearfish Canyon last fall, one of the evening activities was making aprons out of old button-down or snap shirts. I didn’t actually make one there but took the cool idea home with me. I didn’t have a pattern, but figuring them out on my own was easy using an apron I already had.

This particular shirt is nearly new looking but my husband’s had it hanging on his closet rod since we were dating.

One time he saw this shirt along with some other shirts equally as obnoxious looking in a box that I planned on putting out of their misery on a yard sale a girlfriend and I were having. He got really mad that I had priced his perfectly good shirts so cheaply compared to what new ones cost. The fact that I never saw him wear them didn’t matter. I took a risk and cut them up instead, to make into aprons.

I pinned an old apron I had, over the top of his shirt and cut out the front and back, making sure I didn’t cut through the pockets (I didn’t cut down the sides of the shirt, I just left what was already sewn together and cut only 1 ½ inches or so in order to pin the ties in place then stitched over it).


I cut out wide strips out of the sleeves and made the ties and neck strap then turned the shirt inside out, pinned the neck straps and ties in place at the corners,

sewed up the edges, inverted, pressed and top stitched. I took off the tags and re-sewed them on the front.


These went together in a couple of hours.

 This one he’d cut the sleeves off once the elbows were shot and turned it into a haying shirt (trust me, he has PLENTY more; I didn’t leave him shorted) so I had to improvise for the ties and neck band with material from my scrap pile.

Making shirts into aprons was so fun and easy that I made some to give as gifts for my girlfriends. I got old shirts from my girlfriends’ husbands so they had something useful that was made from a shirt their husband used to wear.

I wear aprons a lot more now than I used to and I think of my husband every time I wear them. Having new aprons to wear has motivated me to cook supper by 1.98%! but the best part about making these is now my husband’s old shirts are actually getting worn.

About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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2 Responses to Cooking with My Rancher Husband (Well, Sorta)

  1. Illoura says:

    This is the cutest idea, so practical, easy, comforting/homey and romantic.
    Now I know what to do with all those shirts – or if I happen to see great material on one in the thrift store.
    If there were a girl who was not taking to homemaking skills – from cooking or getting her to sew- I expect this would work using a boyfriends’ shirt- or Daddy’s shirt, and what a great project for any gathering -even as a wedding shower project for the aunts and sisters etc…as a gift to the bride perhaps.
    Thanks so much for this idea with tutorial.

    • ranchwifeslant says:

      I hope you give these a try. They’re so fun and easy. I got some of my late grandpa’s shirts and am making aprons for my grandma to give as gifts to my aunts. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my stuff. I am truly grateful for every reader. God Bless.

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