How to Make a Beach Towel with Pillow & Handles

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DIY Beach Towel with Pillow & Carrying StrapsWhether you are going to the beach, camping, or even to a baseball game this is the perfect project for you! When I was growing up, we kept this huge, ratty, thousand pound blanket in the trunk of the car for any occasion we might need to sit on the ground. I am not kidding!

The fabric was literally hanging on by the thread, it was so big I would be tripping over it, and it weighed so much we would take turns carrying it. We finally let that blanket go after many years of being dragged around, but since then I have always been prepared with a beach towel or blanket of some sort! So when I saw this amazing towel/pillow/bag, I jumped right on it to make my own!

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DIY Beach Towel with Pillow & Carrying Straps

What you will need:

  • Large beach towel (mine is 30×60)
  • Pillow form that is 6-10 inches narrower than the towel (this gives you room to sew it together and then fold it over for carrying)
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric scraps
  • Scissors

First lay out the towel. You need to put the pillow form about an inch(ish) from the top of the beach towel.

pillow placement for beach towel with pillow

Put the pillow here

Next fold the pillow and towel over itself so that the pillow form is covered with the towel.

top of beach towel folded over pillow form

Fold over like this

Line up the sides and pin the towel down so it won’t move and then start sewing from one corner. Don’t worry about your stitches being seen, they will be covered up with fabric.

beginning to sew the beach towel up around the pillow form

Start sewing

pillow form all sewn into the beach towel

Finished sewing

Now cut two long pieces of ribbon. These are your handles, so make sure they are the length that you are comfortable with. Take one of the ribbons and fold the ends into a triangle shape.

Working with the bottom of the towel (the end that is not folded over the pillow), sew one end of the ribbon about a third of the way in from the side along the hem.

add first ribbon handle to beach towel

Add the first side of the first ribbon handle

Do the same with the other end of the same ribbon, attaching it to the other side of the bottom of the towel. This makes a handle loop from one ribbon attached to both sides. I made the handle cuter by sewing buttons over the ends of the ribbons. 🙂

add second ribbon handle and buttons to beach towel

Now add the second side if the first ribbon handle and some buttons

Once you have attached the first handle, you need to fold the towel twice. Put the top edge (with the pillow) and bottom edge (where you attached the first handle) together, then take the fold and bring it up to meet the top and bottom edges. This is going to help us sew the other handle on in the right place.

beach towel with pillow folded for handle placement

Fold the towel like this to mark where the second handle goes

Now mark the fold that is even with the top and bottom edges with two small dots to indicate where you will be sewing the two ends of the other handle. This is going to be about halfway down the back of the towel when it is laid out.

Now this is important, and I shouldn’t have to mention this, but out of excitement this is where I went wrong the first time. UNROLL THE TOWEL BEFORE YOU SEW ON THE OTHER HANDLE. Just trust me here.

Once you have sewn on both handles, roll it back up to make sure the handles are even, and a good length for you.

attach the second ribbon handle to beach towel

Attach the second ribbon handle and add buttons

Now that we have the basics done, next is just spritzing it up! This is where the fabric scraps come in. I actually had an old pair of pants that I didn’t fit into anymore so I cut strips out of them to use. These strips need to be about two inches wide so you can fold them over the edges.

I used fabric glue for this part but you could also use an iron on adhesive. You need to cover the sewn edges around the pillow part, the two long sides, and then the bottom.

add fabric to cover the seams on the beach towel

Cover the seam around the pillow

add fabric around all the edges of the beach towel

And all the way around

I had a few scraps left over, so I took two small pieces and tied them like fringe to the bottom of the ribbon handles.

decorate the ribbon handles of the beach towel

Jazz up the handles

To use, I folded the two sides in towards the middle, then rolled it up. Super cute! Now you are good to go!

fold in the sides of the beach towel to roll up for carrying

Fold in the sides and roll it up

Have fun being outside this summer!

beach towel with pillow spread out on the beach

Beach time!!

And for more summer fun, stock up the cooler with a shrub or some water kefir to quench your thirst at the beach!

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More cool DIY projects you should try:

DIY Beach Towel with Pillow & Carrying Straps

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About Ashley

Ashley is an artist, photographer, and all around crafting diva. While the country holds her heart, she's currently living an adventure in the Big Apple and dreaming of her someday homestead with horses and huskies.

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