DIY Art Smock for Your Little One – Free Pattern Included!

APR 4, 2020 updated May 19, 2021

Looking for a way to let your little one’s personality shine while they’re crafting their next masterpiece? A reversible artist’s smock featuring Petal Signature Cotton™ is just the answer. Mix-and-match Marketplace designs or let your pint-sized Picasso create their own design and then download the free smock pattern to get started!

How to Make a Child’s Art Smock

Child Art Smock Materials

  • 1 3/4 – 2 3/4 yards of Petal Signature Cotton™, Organic Cotton Sateen or Cotton Poplin*
  • Free Art Smock Pattern, available in sizes XS – XL
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors 
  • Pins or Wonder Clips
  • Coordinating thread 
  • Marking tool

*Please refer to the smock pattern to determine total yardage required based on your size. All seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise stated.

Featured Smock Designs

Smock Outer Fabric: Orange Pop by katerhees

Smock Lining Fabric: Hatches – Periwinkle
by kristinnohe

Step 1. Prep Your Pattern Pieces

Print out and assemble the free smock pattern. Lay your pattern pieces on the fabric and cut out your pattern pieces. Mark your notches and transfer any markings from the pattern onto the fabric.

To help center your pocket in step 3, transfer the pocket markings from the pattern onto the fabric.

Step 2. Create the Smock Pockets

Fold and press all four edges of each pocket piece in by 1/4″. Fold and press the top edge of the pocket piece down by another 1 1/4″. Stitch 1 1/8″ from the top, all the way across, to secure the top edge of the pocket.

Step 3. Attach the Pockets

Place one pocket piece on top of each smock body piece. The wrong side of the pocket should be touching the right side of the smock body piece. Align the corners of the pockets with the large and small circles you marked on the Smock Body pieces in step 1. Topstitch and edge-stitch around the sides and bottom of each pocket piece. 

Optional: Stitch straight down the center of the pocket, top to bottom, to create two pockets. 

Step 4. Stitch the Smock Together

Pin both smock body pieces together, right sides facing. Stitch together along the neckline and armholes using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Do not stitch across the shoulders yet! Clip the curves.

Stitch along the outer curve, leaving a gap between the notches at the center front. Clip the curves.

Step 5. Create the Overlap in the Smock Back

Pull the back shoulders through the opening in the center front, turning them right-side out. Cross them over one another, bringing them back through the opening, taking care not to twist them. Insert the back shoulder pieces into the front shoulder pieces. Stitch along the shoulder lines with a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Step 6. Finish the Smock

Turn the smock right-side out out, pressing in the edges of the center opening. Press and edge stitch around all the edges, making sure to secure the bottom opening.

From rainbow snails to marvelously mod designs, these collections will get you started on your art smock masterpiece.

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  • When I print out the pattern the test size only measures 1 1/2″ x1 1/2″ instead of 2″ x2″. Will this affect the size of my pattern? I’m afraid to cut for fear it will be too small. And yes it was printed at 100%.

    • I figured it out . The fit to page button was on. Once I unclicked it the test size was 2″x2″. Can’t wait to start.

  • I’m new to printing out a pattern and would like to know if the test square needs to measure 2″x2″. Mine measures 1 1/2″ by 1 1/2″. Will I need to enlarge my pattern first before I start?

  • I just made this smock for my granddaughter and it was so easy! The only thing I changed was the way I joined the straps, making it easier to press and no confusion or twisting straps. I turned it completely right side out and pressed all edges flat. Then I turned under 3/8” and pressed the front of straps, slipped the rear half inside by 3/8” and top stitched across the strap, then all around. Is completely reversible and with two totally different prints so she can be playful or serious as she creates. Thanks for a well thought out, easy to assemble paper print as well as the fabric apron. Well done!

    • Hi Finkster,

      Thanks so much for sharing your alternative method and we’re so happy to hear you enjoyed the pattern!

      Kind regards,
      Meredith F.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Made the medium size smock. No problems at all. Love the pattern and the tutorial.

    I did encounter a problem when I went to make the small size smock though. When I went to cross and match the shoulders, I found that the back shoulder was only about 1/2 inch wide. Yet the front shoulder was about 2″ wide.

    Need help/advice, please!

  • Help! Complete novice with patterns here..printed it out on A4 but can’t match them up? Only have one set of numbers ( in the triangles), so have tried by eye to match, but not working out…:(
    Does it go numerically across? And the letters?
    Sorry. Any tips appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Mil,

      We’re sorry for the unexpected trouble! The numbers run numerically left to right but you should be able to match the numbers to their “partner” top to bottom (example: the #1 triangle on one page connects with #1 on the next page). While the pattern was designed on US Letter sized paper, if you print the pattern at 100%, you should not run into an issue of any pattern pieces getting cut off. If you have any other questions, please let us know!

  • Sarah Willis

    Such a fun project. I just finished two smocks for my older granddaughters who are soon to be 4 and 5. I can’t wait to mail them!


    I made this in size small for a 2 year old. It came out very well! Thank you!

  • The children i want to make this for live far away. And I doubt that their parents have a measuring tape. Can you give me approximate ages to go with each chest measurement?

    • Hi Marti,

      Thanks so much for your question! Unfortunately we’re unable to provide a size to age correlation chart but you may wish to do a quick Google search for average sizes based on specific ages. Sorry we couldn’t be more help!

  • Deb Rowlands

    This doesn’t look like it prints in A4 paper like most PDF patterns I am use to. What size paper do I need or do you have a A4 paper size version for this pattern. Most useful.

    • The directions need to be printed in portrait mode but the actual pattern has to be printed in landscape mode.

    • Hi Deb,

      This pattern is designed for 8.5″ x 11″ paper. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  • Perhaps I’m not seeing it but are there instructions available without the videos in-between for easy printing?

    • Hi Laura,

      You can find text only instructions here. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  • Such a clever design!! What a surprise when the edge was one continuous seam!! It went together very quickly and the finished apron was very neat. I may shorten it and make a summer top to go with shorts.

    • Hi Ellen,

      We would recommend basing the size off of your son’s chest measurement outlined on page three of the pattern. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

    • There are going to be a lot of adult-size pattern requests. I just responded back on the email that was sent to me requested the same thing — an adult-size pattern.

    • Franny Van Nevel

      I highly recommend The Mary Mulari crisscross apron pattern. I’ve made scores of these aprons and it’s a great pattern with clear instructions.

      Sorry I can’t post photo but it’s available through her website and some fabric shops.

    • Hi Carol,

      While we don’t have plans to make an adult version of this pattern, there are lots of great options out there! We suggest searching specifically for crossback apron style patterns. The York Pinafore has a great apron expansion pack and is a tried-and-true pattern in the Spoonflower office.