Fun DIY: Beach Bag Towels

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.

May Arts Ribbon Used: SX-15 Grosgrain

  1. Zainab

    This is beautiful. I have been trying to download the PDF but it seems I can’t. I have been trying to use the link. Thanks

  2. Patty

    What material do I use to stuff the pillow? The material would have to be washable, correct?

    1. Nicole - May Arts Ribbon

      Hi Patty,

      Our blogger who did this tutorial used the poly-fil stuffing for pillows you can find at most craft stores.

      Thank you for reading!
      Nicole @ May Arts

  3. Ann

    These look beautiful. Can’t wait to make one. Thank you for sharing

    1. Ann

      These look beautiful. Can’t wait to make one. Thank you for sharing but i having a problem with the link ? Is it possible to email please

  4. Robert Pattinson

    I really like these towels.

  5. Linda

    I cant open it. It says a technical problem. Can you email it please?

  6. Marisol

    Bella idea…no se puede abrir el pdf…por favor un link donde se pueda descargar…

    1. Brendan Duffey

      Lo sentimos, Marisol. Ya arreglamos el link. Ahora debería funcionar. Gracias por dejarnos saber!

  7. Paula Jennings

    It won’t allow the pdf to open for me

    1. Joe Duffey

      Sorry Paula. The link is working now.

  8. Renee

    I really love this but can’t access the PDF, it’s giving me an error- any change I could get a copy by email?

    1. The Ribbon Lady

      Hi Renee,

      Sorry about that! The link has been fixed. Glad you like the project! 🙂

    2. konni

      I would really like to make this but i cant get the pdf to work

      1. The Ribbon Lady

        Just checked the link, seems to be working fine. Here it is again:
        Sorry you were having trouble!

  9. Sajid Dogar

    Nice .. I have nothing to say about this just wow!!!! This is really useful … Thank you for sharing….

  10. Nikki C

    This looks AMAZING wow so kewl for the pool or beach 🙂

  11. Kristie Maynard

    This is so great!  Love the towels you chose too.  Will have to pin this for future use.  Thanks for sharing this with us!

  12. Darlene Gabriel

    Wow ……..I love this. Thank you so much for sharing it Charlene.

  13. sharon gullikson

    NO WAY! I LOVE THAT!!!! What a great idea…

  14. Sue D

    Love this idea!

  15. Chrissy

    Fantastic project, Charlene!  I love it and those towels are adorable too!

  16. Shona

    Wow Charlene – it's amazing!  What a clever idea – just fabulous!

  17. Dorina D

    What a fabulous project. I love it and can't wait to try this for the kids.  Love it.   great tutorial.



    1. Angela

      Consegui baixa-lo,mas esta em ingles,ñ teria como manda-lo traduzido?
      Adorei,é um trabalho linndo!
      Meus parabens


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