How to Make a Terry Cloth Towel Robe

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Whether you're just getting out of the shower or relaxing on the beach, a towel robe will stay put and allow you to use your hands while you're lounging around the water or getting ready for the day. A handmade towel robe would make a luxe gift to go along with a spa treatment for Mother's Day. Since there are so many towel colors and patterns to choose from, they would also make nice gifts for any occasion, from bridal showers to birthdays, or fun favors for a spa party. Watch the video tutorial here.

Finished towel robes.
(Beth Huntington)
  • 1 1/2-inch ribbon
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine with a universal 90/14 needle
  • 1-inch elastic
  • Safety pin
  • Hook and loop fastener
Materials needed for towel robes.
Beth Huntington

Choose a towel with your desired color and pattern. The long edge of the towel must be at least as wide as your hip measurement (or the widest part of your body) plus 3 inches. The short edge of the towel should be at least the length from your underarm to right above your knee. A thin towel will work much better than a thick absorbent towel for this project.

If you're making one for a child, you can cut a regular bath towel to fit their measurements using the directions from above and finish the raw edges with a small hem or bias tape. See directions for attaching bias tape here.

Choose a towel.
Beth Huntington

Cut a piece of ribbon that is 3 inches longer than the long edge of your towel. Place the ribbon 1 1/2 inches down from the long edge of the towel with 1 1/2 inches sticking out on each side of the towel and pin in place.

Pin the ribbon to the towel.
Beth Huntington

Use a universal 90/14 needle and a medium stitch length to sew the ribbon to the towel with a 1/4 inch seam down the length of each side of the ribbon. Leave the ends open and remove the pins as you sew. The sewn ribbon will form a casing for the elastic.

Sew the ribbon to the towel.
Beth Huntington

Measure around your upper bust, directly under your arms. Cut a piece of elastic to this size.

Measure and cut the elastic.
Beth Huntington

Attach a large safety pin to one end of the elastic.

Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic.
Beth Huntington

Insert the safety pin and the elastic into the ribbon casing on the towel.

Insert the elastic into the ribbon casing.
Beth Huntington

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Maneuver the pin and the elastic through the ribbon casing until the end of the elastic (without the pin) reaches the edge of the towel. Watch carefully as the elastic gets close to the towel edge so it doesn't go too far into the casing.

Push the elastic all the way through the ribbon casing.
Beth Huntington

Sew the end of the elastic (without the pin) to the ribbon casing to secure it in place. Continue to maneuver the elastic through the rest of the ribbon casing until the pin comes out of the other side. Remove the safety pin and sew the other end of the elastic to the ribbon casing.

Sew the ends of the elastic.
Beth Huntington

Fold over the ends of the ribbon twice to cover up the ends of the elastic. Pin and sew in place.

Fold the ribbon over twice and sew.
Beth Huntington

Cut 3 inches of hook and loop fastener.

Cut the hook and loop fastener.
Beth Huntington

Pin one side of the hook and loop fastener to the end of the right side of the towel, above the ribbon casing. Sew around all 4 edges to hold it in place.

Pin one piece of the hook and loop fastener to the towel.
Beth Huntington

Pin the other side of the hook and loop fastener to the wrong side of the other edge of the towel, above the ribbon casing. Sew around all 4 edges of the fastener to hold it in place.

Pin the other piece of the hook and loop fastener to the towel.
Beth Huntington

Wrap the towel robe around yourself and have a friend measure for shoulder straps. Start from the top edge of the towel robe in the front, over your shoulder to the top edge of the towel robe in the back. Add 1 1/2 inches to this measurement and cut two pieces of ribbon to this length. The two pieces of ribbon will become the shoulder straps.

Cut two shoulder straps from the ribbon.
Beth Huntington

Fold over 1/4 inch on the end of the ribbon, then fold another 1/4 inch over. Pin and sew in place. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew. Repeat this step on all four ribbon ends.

Fold the ribbon ends over twice and sew.
Beth Huntington

Wrap the towel robe around you again and have a friend pin the shoulder straps in place. Be sure to place the ends of the ribbon against the wrong sides of the towel robe so the ends won't show.

Pin the shoulder straps to the towel.
Beth Huntington

Remove the towel robe and sew the shoulder straps in place, removing the pins as you sew.

Sew the ribbon shoulder straps to the towel.
Beth Huntington

Throw on a swim suit and some flip flops, grab a good book, wrap your new towel robe around you and head to the nearest beach chair for a relaxing day on the water.

Finished towel robes.
Beth Huntington
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