Swim Bag and Matching Towel Tutorial

DIY Swim Bag and Matching Towel
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Are you tired of packing EVERYONE’S stuff to the pool or beach? Want to make someone special their very own sling swim bag to carry their essentials (matching swim towel, sunscreen, and goggles) to the pool or beach this summer? Now you can. These cute swim bag and towel combos can run a pretty penny in the stores, but I am providing you with a tutorial to make one for half the price and more. Can’t beat that!

All you need are two matching beach towels. I found mine at Target(of course) and they were only $5.99 each. I have also seen some beach towels in some dollar stores as well and at Wal-Mart for about $3.

You can make 2 swim bags out of 1 beach towel. So buy three matching towels if you have a sibling that needs one too, or give the other away to a birthday girl. (Or make a pillow to match your towel out of the left-over material). The beach towels I used were 30 in. x 60 in. If your towels measure differently you will have to adjust your measurements accordingly.


One towel you will leave alone because this is the actual matching towel you will carry in the bag. The other towel we will be cutting out two large “U” shaped patterns.


I do not know how to link you to an actual pattern you can print so I posted a picture with the shape and measurements you will need.


Cut out two pattern pieces. Use one end of the towel to cut out both pieces side by side so that the other half of the towel can be used for another swim bag.


Pin your two pieces of cut material together with the right sides facing each other. (Sometimes with terry cloth it may be hard to tell. I chose to have the softer side as my right side so that it was on the outside of the finished bag).


Sew together starting on the outside top edge all the way around the outside of the bag to the other side. (Do not sew the inside or the tops of the U shape yet). I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.


Turn bag right side out. The top of the inside of the bag should still be unsewn. Now turn the seams that are unsewn into the bag so that you are making a hem line all the way around the top portion of the bag. I turned mine in about 1/2 inch so that your sewn portion will be inside the bag. Make sense?

Your bag is now all sewn except for the shoulder strap. Pin the shoulder straps right side together and sew.


Now cut two pieces of velcro (I do not recommend sewing on sticky back velcro. It really messes up your needle). Sew around each piece onto one side of the middle of the bag where you would like them to attach to one another. I did mine just below my seam for my hem.


After my bag was all sewn, I went back and sewed a heavy duty zig-zag stitch close, but not on, my straight stitch. If you haven’t noticed, terry cloth unravels easy and is messy. Because I do not have a surger, I wanted to ensure my bag stayed together and doesn’t unravel, the zig-zag held it all into place.

Swim Towel

And there you have it! Super easy and cute!

I know most of the things I have sewn have been girl related, sorry about that, I just have three of them. But since my son wanted something that he could carry his towel in, I decided to make him a drawstring backpack. So if you have boys, that tutorial can be found here.

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  1. Sewmarm says

    Gorgeous, and you can coordinate the bag to your towel AND swimsuit!

    By the way, it was really good that you used a pin with a prominent and colored head for easy visibility in the tutorial.

  2. Amy says

    I will have to remember to use those pins from now on so they are easier to see. I didn’t really think about that. Thanks for pointing that out! I am glad you like it and noticed the nicely coordinated swimsuit…I did plan that! :)

  3. Meredith says

    Adore it!! May not make them to match towels (heaven knows we have several beach towels) but I would make them each a bag to make them responsible for their own stuff! I bought a gigantico beach bag at Ikea a year or two ago and am tired of being a pack mule.

  4. Natasha says

    Wonderful Tutorial! I’m going to make this for all of my baby girl’s pool needs. Thanks!!

  5. Charlotte says

    super cool! very detailed tutorial…love it! copied the pattern photo…I am making 1 or 2 or 3 of these!! :)

  6. ReminisceHeirlooms says

    I love this bad! May just try to whip out a few. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. missy says

    Thank you so much for posting this! Our neighbor girl just brought hers (a fancy monogrammed store bought one!) to the pool with us last night and I thought it was adorable. I can’t wait to make these for my daughters!! Thank you!


  8. Kristie VanWagoner says

    UMMM LOVE IT!!!!! I want to make one right away. I just was out shopping the other day with my daughter for a swimsuit.She wanted a swim bag to go with it that was $20 bucks plus?? Hmm no way I thought…… so this is perfect. THANKS FOR SHARING!!

  9. Anonymous says

    Thanks for the awesome idea! My daughter and I completed this project in just a couple of hours this afternoon. We heard about it in Molly’s Econobuster Newsletter. I did make the dimensions a little longer, wider and deeper since my daughter is older and wanted to put more than just a towel. This will be perfect for summer camp. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Anonymous says

    I love this, I am going to make them for all my nieces for chrissy, thank you for sharing :)

  11. says

    Hi, I just found this on Pinterest. What a great idea! I am also a SAHM of 5 (3 girls, 2 boys), and from reading your bio, it looks like we have a lot in common! I hope to have some time before summer comes to make some of these, my little ones are finally getting big enough to carry their own beach bags! Thanks for the great idea. :)

  12. Beth says

    This is so cute and such a great gift to give for a “End of Year” gift. I am adding an initial onto the bags I make. Looks very cute! Can even add a cross or whatever the person likes. I am adding pool toys for the bags I am making for the babies I keep and suntain lotion, a magazine, water (still brainstorming) to the bags I am making for my daughter teachers.

  13. Amy Martinez says

    what a cute idea~!! i only have one question: you have the dimentions for tall it is (29″) and the 4″ for each strap, but how about total for the width? surely it’s not 8″???


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