Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday {Beach Towel Beach Bag}

This might be a little late since summer is almost over! Maybe just in time for that end of summer vacation?!

Materials Needed:
1. Beach towel {size depends on how big you want your bag}
2. Scissors
3. Marking tool {disclosure-I'm only using sharpie for tutorial purposes, please don't use a sharpie on your project}
3. Ruler or measuring tool
4. Sewing Machine

Ok. Another disclosure...this is an old tablecloth that my husband's granny gave me. It was stained up and I didn't want to use it for our table so I decided to make a bag out of it. You want have to do some of the steps that I'm doing if you just use a regular towel.

I traced one of our normal beach towels to get the desired size that I wanted. I think it was like 60x20 or something like that. When I got to this point I realized that it was going to be a little too big for me so I cut it down to about 50x20.

Fold your towel in half and decide if it's the size you like. If you have kids, keep in mind that they might be carrying it too and you don't want them to be dragging it on the ground {even though its super easy to wash} or sagging so you don't want to make it too oversized.

At this point I had to hem the tops of my bag because I didn't use a regular towel that has that hard hemmed edge on it. You can skip this step if you're using a regular towel. If not, I will explain here how to do it.

To hem, use your straight edged ruler and mark down 1/4". Iron flat. Fold over again another 1/4" and iron flat. Pin and sew. Sew close to the edge closest to the inside {fabric} so you make sure you get your inside fold when you're sewing it.

I also wanted a pocket on the inside of mine. If you don't want want to make your bag super easy, just skip this step.

Figure out how big you would like your pocket to be. Mine is 5"x7" which is big enough to fit my iPhone and keys and maybe a few dollars.

Hem the edges of your pocket following the same steps as above for hemming. You want to have a nice finished edge on your pocket so make sure you do this step if you're putting one in.

Pin your pocket evenly in the middle of your bag. Your measurements might be different than mine, but I pinned mine 6" from each edge and 4" from the top.

Sew in your pocket. Make sure you only sew 3 of the sides leaving the top open. {hence the pocket}

 Pin the three unfinished sides of your bag together and sew. I used 1/2" seam allowance on each side. If you want to make sure your lines are straight, you can draw your seam allowances on to your fabric. Just make sure you use something that will wash off or not be visable when you sew over top of it.

Now for the straps

My straps measured 20"x 2 1/2". You can adjust the length and width to your desire. As you can see in the finished picture that my straps aren't too long but long enough to carry the bag on your shoulder. You will need for pieces of material that are 20"x 2 1/2". You can either cut two pieces of material that are 20"x 5" and fold them in half or use scrap pieces to make them. I used scrap pieces.

Pin your pieces together right sides together {wrong sides facing up}. Sew your strips of fabric together on the long sides leaving the ends open. This will allow you to be able to turn them right side out when you're finished. For this I used 1/4" seam allowance

When you're finished sewing all the long sides together, flip your pieces inside out so the right side is on the outside

You should have two pieces that look like this. Long tubes really.

Once you have them flipped right side out, you will need to top stich down both long edges of your straps. Again here I used 1/4" seam allowance. This will give you nice finished edges for your straps. 

Measure in and down to where you want your straps to be. The outside dot is 2" from the edge and the inside one is 4" and 4" from the top. Make sure you make the marks on both sides of your pocket. Again...don't use black sharpie I just did it for demonstration purposes! If you used 1/4" seam allowances for your straps, you should have a 2" wide strap now so it will fit perfectly between the dots.

Sew the straps on to your bag. You can pin them in place if you would like so you make sure they don't move. Sew your straps on in a pattern like in the picture. This will make sure your straps are on there nice and strong. I didn't show this in the picture, but make sure when you get to the bottom of your srap that you tuck the unfinished edge under so you don't have uneven ends like in the picture.

And there you have it...a nice strong beach bag that you can wash all of the nasty sand out of. Now...if only I went to the beach all the time. Ok, ok...a pool bag then right?
Splish Splash!


  1. Wow, you make this look easy :) Great tutorial, I'm going to have to try it out!

    1. It is easy! You could make it with anything really!

  2. WOW! Can I hire you?
    I must really start using my sewing machine.

    1. :) Libby! Sure...you can pay me in starbucks!?!

  3. Great idea! I still have a few weeks of summer vacation left so I definitely want to try this! Thanks for sharing!

    1. :) Thanks! You should try it and post pictures with a link here if you do! I would love to see it!

  4. Super cute!! I wish I had a sewing machine cuz I would definiltey make one! Sewing machine is on my wish list :)

    1. Omg...you should get one. Then we could exchange crafts all the time!

  5. Thanks Kelly!! You should try it!

  6. I love this! I'm totally pinning for next year!


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