01 Jun 2015
June 1, 2015

DIY Beach Towel Tote



towel wrap 5towel wrap 1


Sew up a convertible Beach towel and Tote. The front pockets hold sun lotions, magazines and books. A zipper pouch keeps small items together and protected from the sand. It all folds and conveniently zips together for carrying.

Designed by Pam Hastings

You Will Need:

1 Beach towel or Bath Sheet

1 24” Coats Sport Molded Plastic Separating Zipper

1 9” Coats Polyester all-purpose zipper

Dual Duty XP All-purpose thread, to match fabric

1 Yard printed fabric. We used this fun fish print, Shoal from the Spring 2015 Kaffe Fassett Collective for Rowan fabrics.

2 yards of ½” ribbon to match

3 ½ yards Nylon webbing to match




  1. Applying the Separating Zipper
    1. Center the zipper tape of one edge of the zipper along the top finished hem of the towel. The teeth should extend just beyond the hemmed edge. Stitch in place along the zipper tape.
    2. Beginning at the opposite end of the towel. Fold the towel into thirds and align the folded edge with the top edge of the towel.
    3. Pin the remaining edge of the zipper in place along the fold. Open and separate the zipper. Stitch the remaining edge of the zipper in place.
    4. Refold the towel and zip ends togethertowel wrap 11towel wrap 4
  2. Preparing the Plain Pocket
    1. Measure from the closed zipper down to the fold.
    2. Cut a pocket to this length plus 3” by 22” wide
    3. Turn under and press a 1” double-fold hem along the top edge of the pocket. Top-stitch in place.
  3. Preparing the Zipper pocket
    1. Measure from the closed zipper to the fold.
    2. Cut a pocket to this length plus 1” by 11” wide
    3. Cut an upper pocket piece fabric 11” wide by 3”
    4. Fold under and press a ½” hem in the upper edge of the pocket.
    5. Fold under and press a ½” hem along one each long edge of the upper pocket piece.
    6. Place one pocket piece on each side of the all-purpose zipper with the folded edge 1/8” from the zipper teeth. Stitch along each folded edge using a zipper foot.
    7. Pin the two pockets with right sides together along the bottom edge. Stitch in with a ½” seam allowance.
  1. Attaching the Pockets
    1. Un-zip and lay the towel flat. Place the pocket right side up on the towel. Center the pocket along the tape of the separating zipper. Pin in pocket in place.
    2. Baste pocket in place along the side edges.
    3. Topstitch the top edge of the zippered pocket in place. Topstitch along the seam of the pockets.
  1. Webbing
    1. Beginning at the seam of the pocket, pin webbing in place along on edges of the pocket (make sure tape is covering the raw edge of the pocket).
    2. Leave about 18” of web at the top of each pocket for the handles.
    3. Overlap the ends of the tape, turning under the unfinished edge.
    4. Stitch webbing in place close to each edge, do not sew through the separating zipper.
    5. Stitch across the base of each handle to reinforce.

Skill Level: intermediate




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2 Responses to DIY Beach Towel Tote
  1. I am confused about the placement of the second half of the zipper. It says on fold but when looking at the towel layer out I don’t see a zipper one third the way down.what am I missing.

    • You first fold the towel in thirds, then the zipper is at the top of the fold. I have added a picture to the opposite side of the towel to the blog post.


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