Make Your Own: Beach Bag Towel

Welcome back to the May Arts Blog!

Wanna make a Beach Bag Towel of your own? May Arts Ribbon carries the highest quality grosgrain ribbon perfect for this project. Our GN series is a woven Petersham-esque grosgrain. Because it lacks the traditional thick edging of an American style grosgrain, it is softer and more supple. Our 225 denier SX grosgrain is heaver in weight, has smoother ridges with no lumps in the weave, and is very durable. Enjoy this awesome summer Beach Bag Towel tutorial..

I don’t know about you, but we’re ready for Summer!  Have you seen the luscious new May Arts Ribbon colors?  Be sure to head over and check them out.  They’re sure to put you in a creative state of mind.

Summer is on it’s way!  It’s time to start preparing for those visits to the beach and pool.  I’ve got a fun project that’s not only inexpensive but super useful too.



I was super excited to find some high quality hand and bath towels on clearance at my favorite clearance home decoration store.

Super cute, right?  Well, watch this…it goes from great looking beach bag with pockets for everything from sunscreen and sunglasses to your favorite summer novel (or Ereader, if you’ve made the technology leap.) to a comfy pillow and beach blanket.  Another great feature…wet swimsuit, no problem.  Just wrap it up in the towel and take it home to wash and dry without the drippy mess.


  • 1 Bath Towel
  • 3 Matching or Coordinating Hand Towels (same length as bath towel width) May Arts Grosgrain Ribbon – QH (1 1⁄2”)- Approx 7 yards
  • 6 inch piece strong sew on velcro
  • Sewing machine/thread/scissors


Step 1. Fold up one long end of one of the hand towels 1 inch. Stitch in place. Pin two hand towels together. Sew around all edges leaving a 6 inch opening on the hemmed edge for stuffing.


Step 2. Stitch the bath towel to the free edge of the handtowel. Stitch again on each side of the opening. Measure the length of your towel and hand towel. Cut ribbon to that length plus 2 inches. Press the ribbon in half along the LENGTH. This makes it easier to sew to the towel. Pin and sew ribbon to both sides.


Step 3. Pin the edges of the remaining towel together. This helps to make sure the side are even. Cut the towel in two along the folded edge.


Step 4. Fold the cut edge of each piece of the hand towel over about 2 inches. Flip to the right side, fold down 1 inch and stitch to form a hem.


Step 5. Sew a strip of ribbon along the hemline. Don’t worry about the edges. We’re going to cover those.


Step 6. Measure the sides of your pockets and add 2 inches. Press in half, then stitch to the sides of the pockets making sure to turn the ends under 1 inch for a smooth finish. Set the pockets aside.


Step 7. Stuff the pillow but do not sew the opening closed yet. (I learned this part the hard way!) With the pillow end to the inside, fold the towels into a bag. Turn the ends under about 1 inch; position and sew on your handles. The length is entirely personal. I cut 40 inches of ribbon for each handle.

VERY IMPORTANT: Pull the stuffing out of the pillow before sewing the handles and pockets. I know this seemsredundant but it’s nearly impossible to sew with the pillow already stuffed.


Step 8. Sew the handles to the bag. Sew the pockets to the bag just covering the base of the handles. I sewed down the length of the pockets to form individual pockets to hold sunscreen, books, sunglasses, etc.


Step 9. Stuff and hand sew the pillow closed then….Head to the beach or the pool in style!

I have a full pictorial PDF tutorial and supply list for you to download or print HERE!

Thanks so much for joining us on the May Arts Blog.  We love to hear your comments and suggestions and we love to see how you use our tutorials so be sure to let us know what you think.

Blog post by: Charlene Driggs


May Arts Ribbon Used: SX-15 Grosgrain

  1. Loly Borda

    I love this project! Thanks for sharing all the details!


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