How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for summer. Mentally, I am ready for summer, but the kids still need to finish school for the year and then we can begin all of our summer vacation plans.

In the meantime, I am getting ready for it all and trying to add a few new things to brighten up our summer wardrobe since last years items are faded, worn out and were plenty used. I decided to make and customize a couple things so that I don’t bust the budget since both kids have grown 1-2 sizes and I have to buy all new summer clothes for both this year.

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We spend a lot of time hanging out at the community pool and I have toted along the same bag for the last 5 years and now that the kids are getting older and bigger it seems like we need more space to carry their larger items and more snacks and water bottles. I thought maybe a colorful beach towel bag would be fun.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

I started out with 3 simple items that I paid about $5 total for. I had a bath towel from Wal-Mart, a spool of ribbon from Michael’s $1 ribbon bin, and a kitchen towel from the Dollar Tree. I used these 3 items and some thread I already had and made a tote with handles and pockets. All of the stitches are straight and this would be a wonderful project for a beginner sewer.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag: Supplies

I will tell you all the steps I did, but keep in mind that I added some things that are not necessary. I wanted to have more pops of color, so I added in the ribbon and the pockets on the front to add more pizzazz.

To start out with, fold your towel in 3 parts with 2 parts being 2 inches wider than the 3rd part.

You will make only ONE cut. That cut will be between the 2 equal parts. You can see where I made the cut in the picture below.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

The shorter third part I made of the end of the towel that had a nice, thick finished edge. That part with the finished edge and the center part will remain joined and be the bottom of the tote.

Fold over (twice) the raw edge of the center part and pin in to place, then stitch down.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

Cut the part that is a single piece in half the long way.

Put aside the half with the seamed edge and cut the half with the raw edges in half again making two thin strips.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

Next take those 2 thin strips and fold each one in half and stitch it down to make the handles. Reposition the seam on each of the handles so that it runs down the center. Place ribbon running down the length of the handles and stitch it in to place.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

I cut my ribbon longer to add decoration where I added pockets in the front. If you don’t want pockets, skip past the next section.

Optional: To make pockets on the inside and outside

If you wish, you can take the excess piece that you put aside when you cut out the handles and pin in to the inside of your tote sides. I added this piece to the inside of the front and added the decorate orange pockets to the outside of the front.

I cut the orange towel piece so that the measurements were the same as the inside pocket piece. I pinned both the inside pocket piece and the outside orange towel piece to the front panel of the tote and pinned them down. Next I stitched through all 3 layers on the sides and at the bottom of the pockets.

Then I placed ribbon over the top of the bottom of the outside pockets and stitched that in to place to hide that raw edge and seam.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

To finish making the pockets you will stitch over the top on all three layers equally apart . I had the my pocket stitches line up with the handles so that the excess ribbon I cut from the handles could be stitched down to reinforce the pockets and give definition to the pockets.

To Finish the Edges and Attach Handles

To finish the edges, I folded in once on each side for both the front and back panels and pinned the front and back panels together and stitched in to place. Do this to both sides.

To attach the handles you want to be sure that they do not pull away from the tote. To do this you will need to stitch a box and then stitch an X going from opposite corners in the box to opposite corners. You will need to do this to all four places that the two handles attach to the tote.

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

Finally you are done with your tote and ready for the beach!

How to Make a Beach Towel Bag

About Jessica Shallow-Miller

Jessica is a crafty stay-at-home mom of two, who tries to find ways to save money while being green. She is also the author of the blog Save Green Being Green.


  1. says

    That is amazing! You are definitely crafty!! I would love to be able to whip something like that up-but alas I am ALL thumbs unfortunately.

  2. says

    Ok, seriously … you could sell this. So creative and I love what you did with the straps too. I know sometimes when I put heavy things in my bag, the straps could hurt my shoulder. Such a great idea this is.

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