How to Make Wearable Beach Towels for Kids

Here is my typical Saturday morning…get up, the usual breakfast, get dressed, and off to swim lessons. Play with the mister while the lil’ lady has her lesson and then….{insert deep breaths here} full panic mode from the lil’ lady cause she is freezing. I get her in a towel, but the second she has to do anything besides stand there panic strikes again cause she will have to let go of her towel and will get cold.

Please tell me this sounds familiar…anyone?

I knew there had to be a way to avoid this VERY frustrating situation. This wearable beach towel was just the answer. She can wear it so it keeps her warm and she can still get her stuff together with her now usable hands! Hooray me! Why did I not make one of these sooner?

You can make your own wearable beach towels for kids too. It takes less than 15 minutes.

When I originally set out to do this project I was going to attempt a hooded beach towel. Then it dawned on me that my kids don’t like to have things on their heads. Ever! So if I was looking to stop some complaining  a hooded towel was not going to help me out in that department. So I simplified and just made it wearable. I’ll pat myself on the back later 🙂

Here is what you will need:

A towel, scissors, and a sewing machine.

custom towels for kidsStep 1: Fold the towel in half and mark the head hole with pins or a pen. You want to make sure their head fits through but you don’t want to make it so big that it falls off of their shoulders.

Step 2: cut down about 1 1/2 inches on both ends of the marked head hole.

diy beach towels for kids

Step 4: Cut along the folded edge from one end of the head hole to the other.

Step 5: Try it on for size if possible.

Step 6: Fold the long edges of the head hole over 2 times and sew into place. Do the same for the short edges of the head hole.

personalized beach towelsStep 7: (Optional) After trying it on, if the towel slips off of their shoulders, you need to make a few pleats. Do that by cinching the two long edges closer in. This will create pleats as shown with the red arrows. Pin it and sew into place.

Now your kiddo is ready to wrap up in their towel and still be able to use their hands to eat lunch or help pick up!

wearable kids towel tutorial

See! She can use her arms and doesn’t have to let go of her towel! No more complaining makes for one happy kid and an even happier mom! Now if I could only remember to buy an extra kid’s gardening shovel when I’m at the store next, so they will stop arguing over the one that we have.

Don’t you think beach towels for kids make a perfect gift!

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

24 thoughts on “How to Make Wearable Beach Towels for Kids

  1. Christine Olah says:

    Seriously just saved my sanity…getting my daughter back to the trailer from the beach is pure torture (the towel falls off…is too tight…is too long…is too short…aghhh). Just cut a hole in her towel for now, will sew when home! Thanks so much!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re soooo welcome, Christine! Glad to help you find something for your little one that works!

  2. Lisa Yo says:

    So excited to make this!

    I have 2 questions :
    1. How do I know how big to make the hole for the head? Do I simply eyeball or is there a way to measure ?

    2. I’m having a hard time understanding the pleat part to prevent the falling off the shoulder . Can you explain?


    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Lisa, I just eyeballed the cutout based on the size of my kid’s head. The pleat part makes it so the hole can be big enough for the kid’s head to go through but no allow the towel to fall of their shoulders. It creates more of a rectangle shaped hole.

  3. Judy Hill says:

    I used bath sheets instead of the beach towels. Debating whether to sew up the sides to make arm holes.

  4. I loved the tip about the pleats to prevent the towel from slipping off the shoulders. Thanks!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome, Dee! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome, Dee! Thanks for being part of the Hey There Home family!

  5. Penny says:

    I love this idea! I pinned it a few months back, and I just found beach towels on sale so I’m making one each for my granddaughter and grandson. I haven’t used my sewing machine in 15+ years. I have made one, and I’m struggling with the neck. The long edges aren’t a problem, but the short sides are difficult for me. The long edges have plenty to fold down and sew. I don’t sew on a regular basis (as you can tell by the fact my sewing machine has set for 15 years untouched). I’m more of a visual person, and I couldn’t really see how you did the short sides. Oh well, they’re beach towels for my grandkids and they will like them. Thanks for the awesome idea!

    1. Hi Penny. I pretty much made a long rectangle and folded the edges under and sewed them to keep them from fraying. I’m excited to hear that you whipped out your machine!

  6. […] from my twins for several summers now.  NO MORE!  I did something about it after finding this awesome tutorial from my friend Corey at Tinysidekick.  I followed Corey’s basic tutorial but added my own twist by adding some adorable pom pom […]

  7. Alysha says:

    I love this! The only change I would make is to make poncho “sleeves” – I can see my daughter freaking out when she lifts her arms and the air gusts in at the sides – “mommy i’m cooooolllddddd!!!!” Otherwise, I am in love with this! my little man wants nothing to do with a hooded towel either.

    1. Ha! That is a good point. You could even use ties to hold it together at their sides. Kids are so weird!

  8. This is such a great idea! I need to do this for my grandson. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze

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  10. Jerr says:

    So glad that I ran across this on pinterest these would make awesome birthday gifts So while pop pop has my older 2 at a picnic and my little 2 are napping i’m going to make 4! After i saw this i started thinking of a way to shorten them for toddlers i’m going to cut across the bottom then fold up 1 in. and sew across then i can use the pieces that are left over to make bibs! Thank you so much for sharing! Happy 4th of July=)

    1. That is a great idea! I need to still make one for some more kids I know and thought that folding them up for the littler ones would be perfect. My daughter loves hers! Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to see photos of your finished towels. You can send them via email or post on my facebook page!

  11. I need to do this to every single towel for my kids! My little one, especially, loses his mind and can’t do a single thing if he is “freezing to death!” after his shower or swimming. Thanks for the fantastic idea, Corey!

  12. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest! I need some of these just for bath time.

    1. These would be great for bath time! Especially in the winter months when my daughter doesn’t want to brush her teeth cause she’ll have to let go of her towel. 🙂

  13. too neat! Brilliant idea! I will have to try this for the grandbabies 🙂 Stop by our Snickerdoodle Sunday sometime, we would love to see you there!

  14. This is genius Corey, want to make one for me?

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