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Beach towel beach bags

Lazybug | Posted in Patterns on

Does anyone have a pattern or method of making beach bags from beach towels?  Something generous enough to hold a few towels, sunblock lotion and the myriad of other things you need while on the beach?  Maybe even back pack style, but not necessary.

I’ve a single 26 yr old grandson living in CA very near the beach that would LOVE something like this.



  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Beach towels are somewhat heavy for tote fabric, and they tend to attract a lot of sand when you set them down, especially because they do not sit up well.  The best beach totes are of stiff canvas or clear plastic or woven outdoor fabrics with a zipped or snapped interior pocket.  Ones that have a broad flat base to support the bag in an upright position are best because only the bottom contacts the sand.

    But you can make a pocket towel bag that will work as a tote and a beach towel. The towel has a square pocket at one corner, so that you can fold it up, invert the pocket, and you have a bag with the towel inside.  If you add a handle to the pocket, you can carry the towel and other items inside the self-bag to the beach, and then open up the towel to sit on.

    There are several website online that explain other types of totes and totebags.  Have fun!

    1. Lazybug | | #5

      This sounds similar to a Quillow that I made in fleece a few seasons back for someone to take to football games for warmth. It folded up into a pillow for easy carrying, although I can't for the life of me remember how I did it now.Hadn't thought about it working for the beach, but it is a great idea.

      1. Teaf5 | | #13

        Yep, that's exactly the same concept.  It's just a square pocket mounted on one corner, with the bottom of the pocket along the outer edge of the towel, and the opening toward the middle of the towel.  You fold the towel up behind the pocket, reach inside the pocket and invert it, pulling the towel inward.  A tote would just need a handle on the top edge of the pocket.

        I like to use a pocket that's about 1/4 the width of the towel.  Then I can fold the towel in half, and then in quarters lengthwise, behind the pocket, then fold the towel up so that it's stacked behind the pocket.

  2. Crazy K | | #2

    I have made bags from beach towels that zip and unzip to be used as a blanket at the beach.  They had handles and even a small zippered pocket for keys and some spare change.  I will look for the directions.  It was in a Sew News Mag. several years ago.  I hope I have saved that magazine!  It's a neat idea and even though the bag is quite bulky, it's large enough to hold sandals, bottled water, sunblock, etc.  They are NOT large enough to hold more beach towels, tho.

    Hang in there.........it could take me a bit to locate but I'll get back to you........


  3. Crazy K | | #3

    I found the directions.......it is from June 2004 issue of Sew News.  I have a copy of the directions but can't get the directions off the internet.  I was hoping to send you a link.  If you are interested, you can email me and I will send you a copy of the pattern/directions.  They're too detailed (and with drawings) to write in a post.  This maybe not be large enough for your needs but it's a fun project!

    Waiting to hear.......Kay

    1. Lazybug | | #4

      Wonderful! Thanks for the offer to send the instructions. I am new to this forum and can't figure out how to find your e-mail, but this is mine: [email protected]
      Perhaps you could send the pattern there? It would be appreciated.
      I am anxious to see how it goes together.

      1. Crazy K | | #6

        I sent you an email to which you can just reply to mine.  For future reference, if you pull up this screen to respond to a post and scroll to the bottom, there is a place to check for sending an email to the person rather than a public post.  Click on the email selection and then click on post as usual.......it should come just to me then....or whomever you choose to reply.

        1. Lazybug | | #10

          Call me stupid.I see the spot for sending an e-mail but I don't know your e-mail address. So -- how do I send this?I probably should not be allowed on a public board but I keep trying. LOLJoanne

          1. Crazy K | | #11

            Just click on the email spot..........Threads has my email and will forward it to me via a "message notification from Gatherings"........go ahead and try it.........it works

          2. Crazy K | | #12

            Well...........now I'm the one I should call stupid!  When I gave you all the directions for posting and email and told you about the nice little notification you get from gatherings.......well, duh........that's the notice you get when someone replies to your post on the board.  I guess I'm not sure how you are notified when the email works........but I have sent you an email by that method........did it work?  I just sent it today.

            All this 'techie' stuff is grand........when I know what I'm doing!! ha ha  I shouldn't write anything when I have a headache..........and I had one earlier! No excuse but it's my story and I'm sticking to it...............  We have to laugh at ourselves........life is too short to take this too seriously.


          3. Lazybug | | #14

            Kay, the beach bag instructions came yesterday -- our mail comes late in the afternoon and I read it after a lo-ong day. Thank you so much for sending it. Hope I can figure it out -- next week is cleared and I'll begin then. I'll post on this later. I like the idea of a tote. BTW you have beautiful handwriting; this makes me think you probably are an artistic person.
            Thanks again.

          4. Crazy K | | #15

            Hi.....Glad the pattern arrived.  Hope you have fun with it.   My suggestion to use wonder tape (the sticky stuff!) to hold the zipper is the most important.  I tried pinning the first one and it walked all over the place in spite of many many pins!  When I used the tape, it worked so much better.  When you get it done, you may wish to give the recipient a quick lesson in re-folding and zipping.  If someone looks at it un-done, they scratch their heads and wonder how to fold it back up!!! 

            My daughter has one of the first ones I made and it's still going strong after many washings and trips to the boat and the beach.

            Thanks for the compliment on the handwriting.  I don't know that it makes me creative........altho I do try!  I had teachers that taught good penmanship and my mother and her mother had beautiful handwriting.  Maybe I inherited it!

            You'll have to let us know how your bag turns out.  You may find that other family members will make requests after they see it!! ha ha

            Happy Stitching!


      2. Crazy K | | #7

        I have to tell you that you sparked some ideas for me.........while searching for the photocopied directions for the bag I ran across a very large basket FULL of beach towels and zippers, webbing, etc.......just waiting for me to work on them!  I could probably make bags for half the neighborhood!! ha  I remember buying the towels at a wholesale club and they were ridiculously cheap..........I think under $12 per and they are the very large, very thick and luxurious towels that sell for 3 times that or more in the department stores..........I couldn't pass them up.  They've been waiting for several years now.....I think its time.  Either that or I should just pass them around to the grandkids as beachtowels and forget the sewing part!! teehee :-)

        I had a chuckle and just had to pass that along.  I'm telling on myself here because I know if I cleaned up my sewing area (I take up a large portion of our basement) I would see these things more frequently!!

        Have a great day!


        1. Lazybug | | #8

          Kay, I think we all have stashes of various stuff that doesn't present itself readily. Mine shows up when I get into a "reorganization" fever -- I have a room for sewing but it also shares company with guest beds. Every fall before company appears for the winter season I clean it out a bit and find the most amazing stuff that I didn't know I had. 13 yards of jumbo red rickrack, 4 steel rulers (kept losing them), my Mother's thimble I thought I'd lost, and old fashioned paper with various safety pins attached, 1 1/2 yds of lots of children's fabrics, 3 yards of puffy irridescent fabric saved for a pattern called "date jacket" -- and me married oh so many years ago. On and on.
          Guess we're all the same.

          1. Crazy K | | #9

            I need to get into a 'reorganization' fever more often!  We have a partial basement....the mechanical takes one small room.......I take the remainder which is finished (however, I use the term loosely since it was done before we purchased and not done too professionally but it works for my use).  I have 7 large shelving units for fabric, supplies and my saved sewing magazines.  I have a 6 ft. cutting table, two 6 ft. tables set up in an 'L' for sewing machine and sergers and then a 4 ft. table for the other sewing machine that is my primary embroidery machine.  I also have my ironing board set up all the time.  I've gotten into a bad habit of buying full bolts and rolls of different things that I use often.  I've been helping my daughter with her business (http://www.bebebelladesigns.com) by doing samples and an occasional item to fill in an order so I have bolts of her fabrics in there as well.  You would no doubt laugh if you could see the mess I'm in right now.  They say 'messy people are most creative' but I'm not so sure.........!!  I think I may have passed the creative stage and am just in the messy stage!  When we moved here, the movers carried in 33 - 15gal. storage tubs.........and I have acquired more since.  I do try to sew for charity to use some of this stuff up but time doesn't always allow when I have the urge to do that!

            Woe is me............so much to do, so little time...........and I know I'm not alone in that feeling.........

            Happy Sewing.........hope your pattern arrives quickly.......it was sent first class in a business size envelope.

          2. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #16

            "They say 'messy people are most creative' ".... and "Dull women have immaculate houses."

            I guess we're quite fun, imaginative and artistic, huh?    :-D

          3. Crazy K | | #17

            I would love to think so!!  I think I'm fun (after all, I do spend lots of time with myself).......I have a great imagination.........lots of practice with all those sleepless nights waiting for teens to come home!!.........and the artistic part........will that may be my downfall.......but I continue to try!

            Happy Day!  The sun is shining and it's finally a nice warm day here in the upper midwest.


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