Since towels will often not be acceptable for donating to a charity shop as clothes and other fabrics will, using them for a new project yourself is a great way to stop them from ending up in landfill sites, which are terrible for our environment. I’ve been looking at crafts which make use of your old towels in order to save you money and also help the environment in the process. In my last article, I looked at how you can use old towels to make a new comfy bath mat to keep your bathroom floor dry when you get out of the bath or shower. In this article, I’m going to cover a slightly more complex project for those who want to push their craft-making skills a little further. We’ll be looking at how you can make your beach towels into tote bags, which you can then use to carry all your beach or swimming stuff in.
To begin this craft, you’ll need some pins, needle and thread, which can be bought at most craft shops, some ribbon, and an old beach towel with a nice pattern or print. Alternatively you can use a sewing machine for all of the sewing in your bag. This will be a lot easier and quicker, and may mean that the final bag is significantly stronger, however if there isn’t one available, then there is no reason why you can’t make a professional-looking bag by hand-stitching. Begin by laying your towel flat and drawing on a square and rectangle the size that you want your bag to be. Using a ruler or flat edge is a good idea as otherwise it will be harder when it comes to stitching the bag. You will need to then cut out a second equally sized square or rectangle of fabric next, so make sure that there is enough space on your towel to do this. If there is not, then don’t worry, you can use another towel with a complimentary pattern or colour for the other side of the bag. To make sure that the second square is equally sized to the first you can trace around the one you have already cut out.
Once you’ve cut out both of your towel pieces, you will want to hem them. This means bending the fabric at the edge in on itself and sewing it shut. It will mean that the edge of the fabric will have a nicer look and feel to it than if you just leave the raw edge. Because only the top side of the bag will be visible, you only have to hem this side of each square, so work out which will be the top part of each piece of fabric and hem them. Once this is done, you will then want to sew together the two side pieces of fabric, so that the raw edge of the fabric is not showing in the final bag, you must turn the pieces of fabric to face each other, so that the nicer sides of the towel are on the inside. Then sew around the remaining three edges of the bag with a zig-zag stitch as this will be stronger than a straight stitch. Now turn the bag inside out again, so that the nice sides of the towel form the outside of the bag.
Finally, we want to use the ribbon as handles on the bag, so we need to cut off two pieces of ribbon of equal length. To decide how long you want these pieces of ribbon to be put it over your shoulder and see what a comfortable length for a bag strap is. Once you’ve cut your two equal length pieces of ribbon, you’ll want to attach them as handles for your bag, with one handle on each side. Let each side of the ribbon handle go a bit further below the top of the bag and sew it in twice on the inside. Once where the ribbon first meets the fabric, and again at the end of the ribbon, which should be about 2 inches down. This means that each ribbon handle should be sewed to the bag in four places, using a zig zag stitch.
Now this is all done, you should have a nice beach bag for carrying your things to the pool or beach in style and that you can say you made yourself.
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