I loved this idea from Girl Loves Glam! Who needs an extra beach bag when you can have a beach bag and towel in one? Or, better yet, it gives you TWO beach bags for all that stuff that comes along with taking 2 adults, a toddler and a baby swimming! I love that the pockets and all are absorbent towel materials since you use a hand towel and wash cloth! Her bag is so cute with the great print, and ruffles; I of course got lazy and this is mine:
It was also super cheap; my beach towel cost $4.50 (though, of course, now you can get them for 2 for $5 at you-know-where) and the ribbon cost me $1.50 (on sale). I also added buttons for $1.76. My hand towel was an old hand-me-down from my Great-Grandma (like half of the other things in our house!) and my wash cloth is from a set that I bought cheap for burp cloths! I figured if I liked it a lot when its all said and done, I can always upgrade and have 2, right?!
All that said, if you were paying attention, I said “loved” above! It wasn’t quite what I was looking for. If you want a bag to just throw in your suit, a book, sunglasses, keys, phone etc- this is great and Glam Girl’s tutorial is probably the easiest way to go. I took sand toys in ours and it worked as well. However, I was hoping for something more “tote” like with a little more space. So coming soon will be version 2 of the Girl Loves Glam beach towel and tote in one! (There may even be a version 3 since I have 2 ideas in mind…)
I made a few modifications from the Glam Girl’s tutorial (which you can find here). As I said, I skipped the ruffles to be frugal (though they do make the bag super-cute); I also planned to add large buttons on the ends of the ribbon so I didn’t lose them in the casing when the towel was opened completely. I couldn’t find on her tutorial if she does something to avoid that problem… maybe I didn’t read close enough-I’m a skimmer sometimes.
Also, here are a few clarifications and tips:
Since I didn’t add the ruffles, I just measured 8 inches up from the bottom for my washcloth on the front. I pretty much eyeballed the hand towel, but I think you could do the same 8 inches.
You may want to consider more quality materials… yes, mine was cheap, but I’m afraid it may last that way too…my washcloth is pretty thin….
When you are buying your ribbon: I’d suggest a stronger grosgrain ribbon, though mine is the shiny satin kind; I don’t know how long it will hold up…I planned on a little more ribbon than the length of my towel, so there is enough for it to lay flat when using it as a beach towel. I think I ended up using about 4 ½ yards each side; since it was a 9 yard roll, I just cut it in half. That’s where the buttons come in; I wanted something to catch them so they don’t go back into the casing and get lost forever! Sew a button on one end of your ribbon, thread the other through (the tutorial suggests a safety pin, I actually clipped on a binder clip and then pushed it through with my chopstick), and then sew the other button on the other end. (So you’ll need four buttons.) Before you cut, you may want to make sure it is long enough for the shoulder straps to hang as you’d like. If you tie your straps in a slip knot, it’s very easy to untie and use as a towel again.
As I said, it’s a great idea for someone who just wants to take a few things but not bother with an additional beach bag. Stay tuned if you are like me and want a little more…