DIY Bohemian Beach Towel


Summer is in full swing and swimming is #1 on our to-do list. A trip to the beach, lake or pool needs a stylish boho beach towel. These easy and inexpensive towels are sure to make a splash!

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Things You'll Need

  • White, 100% cotton towel
  • Rit liquid dye
  • Bucket or large bowl
  • 2 yards fringed cotton trim (I found this at Hobby Lobby)
  • Fray Check
  • Sewing machine with white cotton thread
  • Scissors
  • Large elastic bands

Step 1: Wrap Elastic Bands Around the Towel to Create Patterns

I tested out three different styles and patterns on towels. The pink towel was only dyed on the two ends of the towel. I wrapped four elastic bands about 1½ inches apart (as shown below). I used two to three elastic bands on each stripe and made sure they were very snug. For the single green circle in the center of the towel, I picked the towel up from the very center and then added six elastic bands about 1-inch apart. (Keep reading, I'll have one more design at the end of the post.)

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 2: Prepare the Dye

In a bucket or large bowl, mix about 1/3 of a bottle of Rit liquid dye with about 1/2 gallon of hot water.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 3: Dip the Towel in the Dye

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)


  • Always dye with hot water and rinse with cold water. It will help the dye set. Also adding a couple tablespoons of white vinegar in the rinse water can help keep the colors more vibrant.

Step 4: Rinse Out the Dye

Because I wanted to keep my dye patterns in specific spots on the towels and wanted to keep the rest of the towel crisp white, I was very careful when rinsing the dye out. I ran the dyed portions of the towel under running cold water for quite awhile. When the water started to run clear, I removed the rubber bands (the easiest way is to just cut them with a pair of scissors).

To help set the color, rinse the dyed portions of the towels in a some cold water with a couple tablespoons of white vinegar.

Line dry or put the towels in the dryer.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 5: Pin the Trim to the Ends of the Towel

Cut the fringed trim to the length of the towel's widths. Pin the trim to the ends of the towel. Turn the raw edges of the trim under.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 6: Sew the Trim to the Towel

Using a sewing machine, sew the trim onto the towel.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 7: Prevent the Edges of the Trim From Fraying

Apply a small amount of Fray Check to the edges of the trim. Allow it it to dry completely.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

As promised, here's one more dye pattern to try. This grid pattern is really fun, but it's more of an all over dye job and does not leave any white.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Accordion-fold the towel lengthwise and then accordion-fold it again.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Wrap the towel in six elastic bands; three bands in each direction.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Dip all sides of the towel in the dye and then follow the steps from above to rinse.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
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