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Beach-Towel Tote Bag

Lightweight, quick-drying Turkish towels are excellent travel mates. You can knot one into a sarong on vacation, or spread it out for a picnic. And with a little simple sewing, it can become an all-in-one park or beach buddy.

woman holding beach towel tote bag

Photography: The Morrisons

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2019


A quick seam turns it into a tote that carries all your essentials, then unfolds to create a comfortable lounging spot (complete with pillow) once you're there. Lay it down to soak up some warmth and a good novel, or to catch some alfresco zzz's. There's space in this pillow pocket for an extra towel, SPF, book, and more.


For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of summer crafts and favorite sewing projects.


  • Towel (Pictured: InfuseZen Diamond-weave Turkish Towel, in Navy-Blue and Cream, $32,

  • Twill tape (Pictured: Mood Designer Fabrics Natural Cotton Twill Tape, 2", $2 yd.,

  • Pillow insert (Pictured: Crate & Barrel Feather-Down Pillow Insert, 18" by 12", $9,

  • Sewing machine and supplies


  1. Fold over one end of a towel about 14 inches. Sew one short side and the bottom shut. Leave the other side open, so you can slide in pillow and other essentials.

    beach towel tote bag step 1 illustration
  2. Sew two lengths of any twill tape, cotton strap, or ribbon (we used two-inch twill tape) into two separate loops to slide the bag into. Sew one end of longer piece of twill tape onto each loop, to link them and sling over your shoulder.

    beach towel tote bag step 2 illustration

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