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Hooded Towel Tutorial: Great for Babies and Toddlers

Hooded Towel Tutorial: Great for Babies and Toddlers

Hooded Towel Tutorial

Ah, bathtime! It’s been a few years since I’ve had babies or toddlers in the house, but I still remember the joys of seeing my babies splashing around in the tub. Every time I patted my kids dry, I knew it would be just a few more minutes before they’d be tucked into bed and I could finally take a break from being a mama!

One of the things that made for fantastic bath times were the hooded towels I made for each of my kids.  These were not the paper-thin napkins they try to market as towels in the baby section of Target. These guys were cozy and thick and continued to work great as those babies grew into the toddler years. (I think my kids were still using them into the elementary years!)

Over the years, I’ve sewed up quite a few of these towels for other family and friends—and I started adding a little ribbon on the edge for a decorative touch.  (Trust me, once you see one of these nice, big, thirsty towels, you’ll never want to buy another so-called “baby towel” for anyone again!)

Recently, a friend asked me to sew a few that she could use for upcoming baby showers, so I decided to grab some pictures, and share the idea here on the blog. Yes, this is a sewing project. But it is super easy.  If you can sew a few straight lines, you can do this! 

I usually sew two bath towels at a time, since one hand towel can be cut to make two hoods. (It’s nice to stow away a second towel that I can use for a future baby shower of new baby gift!)

Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

(*Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I will earn a small percentage on items you buy through this link. Thanks for helping me support my family!)


  • a regular-size bath towel
  • a hand towel
  • ribbon (Measure the width of your bath towel. Multiply that number be 2. Then add 2.”)
  • thread
  • fabric scissors or cutting board and rotary cutter
  • fabric pins
  • sewing machine


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How To Make the Towel:

1. Gather supplies

2. Lay your hand towel flat on a cutting board or hard surface. Measuring along the long edge of the handtowel, cut the towel at a 9.5” length. This should leave you with a long rectangle that has three finished edges and one raw edge. (If you want to make two towels, cut 9.5” from the other finished edge as well.) This will become the hood piece. 


3. Lay the bath towel flat. Then lay ribbon along the width of the towels and, leaving about 1” extra on each end, cut the ribbon. Cut two pieces this width.

4. Lay the hood piece flat. Lay ribbon along the length of this piece, leaving about 1” extra ribbon on each end. Cut one piece of ribbon to this length.   (see picture below for steps #3 and #4)


5. Fold one end of the shorter ribbon under and align edge with the shorter side of your hooded piece.  (See picture following Step #6.) I usually place the ribbon about three inches from the longer, finished edge of the towel.

6. Sew the ribbon onto the hooded piece, by sewing one straight seam along each edge of the ribbon. Tuck the remaining edge of ribbon under as you approach the end of your seam, so that it aligns with other end. (See picture.)

7. Now secure ends of ribbon by sewing a short seam along the edge of the ribbon on each end. (See below.)

8. Repeat steps 5-7, using the longer pieces of ribbon to attach to each end of the large bath towel.

9. Fold your hood piece in half, with the ribbon sides facing in. Leaving a quarter inch seam allowance, sew a line along the unfinished edges of the towel.  Reinforce by sewing another line at a half inch seam allowance from then edge.


10. Now fold your bath towel in half, with ribbon sides facing out, and align the hooded piece into the fold, as shown. (The hooded piece should overlap into the larger bath towel by about a half inch.)

11. Pin the hooded piece into place. (Picture below shows what it should look like when you open the larger towel back up a bit.)

12. Sew the hooded piece into place by sewing a straight line along the edge.  (Try to align your  big bath towel and and the hooded piece as pictured below.) Reinforce by sewing a second seam next to the first.

13. Snip off all the extra threads and YOU ARE DONE!


I hope you enjoy the creative process of putting these towels together.  Whether it’s for your own kids, or a gift for someone else’s, these towels should survive many, many bath times in the years ahead!

Comments (34)

  1. Avatar

    Hi, Amy! I love this idea! I have 2 questions for you: 1) do the towels need to pre-washed before cutting/sewing, and 2) if I wanted to add ruffles or lace to the edges (my niece is very much a ‘girly-girl’!), would I just sew it along the edges like a blanket? Thanks, and have a great day!

    Apr 25, 2018 Reply
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      Hi Donna,
      I do not wash my towels first, and its always worked out fine. And yes, I think ruffles along the edge would be adorable!!

      Apr 30, 2018 Reply
  2. […] HERE is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a hooded towel with a cozy and thick towel at your home. Enjoy! […]

  3. Avatar

    Can you add a picture of a baby wrapped in the towel?

    May 7, 2018 Reply
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      Hmm… I will have to search old photos… it’s been a long time since we had babies in this house! But I might have a pic of our towels in use at some point..

      May 18, 2018 Reply
  4. Avatar

    I love it .I follow it as much as I can .I love crafts on sewing .

    Virginia. D. Regalado
    May 7, 2018 Reply
  5. Avatar

    love this site and check it daily !!fun ideas and easy instructions i

    May 22, 2018 Reply
    • Avatar

      Thanks for such a sweet comment. Keeps me motivated to keep writing posts! I’m glad you enjoy the site.

      May 22, 2018 Reply
  6. Avatar

    So this size would work for grandkids, age 3 and 5? Or do I need a bigger towel and handtowel? Thanks.

    Dee Fowler
    May 22, 2018 Reply
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      I used a standard bath towel and hand towel, and my kids used those towels well into elementary school. (My daughter is nine, and I think she stopped using the hooded towel just in the last year.) Hope this helps!

      May 22, 2018 Reply
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        Sorry… just realized that might be unclear: I used a standard bath towel and then about HALF a hand towel for the hood. (Like it describes in the tutorial)

        May 22, 2018 Reply
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          Thanks, Amyjoy!

          Dee Fowler
          May 22, 2018 Reply
  7. Avatar

    What a great idea! Got a new Great-Grand baby coming in October. Would this be good for a newborn?

    May 23, 2018 Reply
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      It will be a little big for a newborn, although we definitely used ours even when they my kids were newborns… just some extra towel to wrap around them and keep them cozy! But it’s so nice to have a towel they can grow into and use for several years. I’ve given them often as baby shower gifts and have gotten several compliments about how nice it is to have a towel that soaks up more water than the thin hooded baby towels sold at stores these days!

      May 23, 2018 Reply
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    I can’t wait to try one. Great idea!!

    Louise Mills
    Jun 16, 2018 Reply
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      Glad you found a fun project! I always love something that’s both crafty AND practical! 🙂

      Jun 25, 2018 Reply
  9. Avatar

    If I wanted to make one for an adult…what size towels would you suggest.

    Aug 10, 2018 Reply
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      I’ve never actually sewn one of these for an adult, so this is just a guess: I’m thinking you’d want one of the larger “bath sheets” for your main towel. And then I’d use a hand towel for the hood. (Though you would probably want to cut it down a bit both lengthwise and widthwise.) You might have to experiment a bit with the hood part to get it the right size, but I hope it works out for you!

      Aug 13, 2018 Reply
  10. […] Remover Pads 24.) Sew Your Own Wallet 25.) Rainbow Hand Towel  26.) Placemat Pillows  27.) Hooded Towels  28.) Baby Hats  29.) Pillowcases 30.) Criss Cross Workout Shirt  31.) DIY Travel Case 32.) […]

  11. […] morelikegrace […]

  12. […] 1. Simple Headband  2. Tic-Tac-Toe On The Go 3. Boxer Pajama Shorts 4. Cord Keepers 5. Five Minute Drawstring Bag  6. Tissue Holder 7. Simple Apron  8. Toiletries Roll  9. Pajama Pants  10. Hooded Towels […]

  13. Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing the instructions on how to make this! A neighbor gave me one 20 years ago when my son was born, and it was one of my most favorite and most used gifts. I still have it (hoping for grandbabies in a few years). I just finished making one for the sweet young lady who does my hair since she recently had a baby. I’ll be making many more. Your directions were so easy to follow. I haven’t sewn in probably three years, and this was a fun project to get me going again. 😃

    Dee H
    Oct 23, 2018 Reply
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      I’m glad you’ve been having fun “rediscovering” sewing again! The whole reason I did this post was because I had made a towel for the wonderful woman who does MY hair, and she told me I should add it to the blog.

      Oct 28, 2018 Reply
  14. Avatar

    I was a little confused with step 9. “sew a line along the unfinished edges of the towel” does that mean sew them together or just finish the raw edges?? I sewed mine together and then attached the “hood” to the large towel. Was that correct?

    Oct 28, 2018 Reply
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      Sounds like the way you did it was just right. Yes, I meant sew the edges together to make the hood. Sorry for the confusion! 🙂

      Oct 28, 2018 Reply
  15. Avatar

    Love!! Gonna make some for my LO. Is there a type of ribbon you recommend?

    Feb 13, 2019 Reply
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      I’ve used various types of ribbon, but I like a wide (1.5″ish) grosgrain the best. Sometimes the smoother ribbons seem to pucker just a tad as I sew, but I don’t notice this issue with grosgrain. Really, though, I’ve had great results either way. Mostly, I just go for the cutest baby-related pattern I can find. 🙂 Hope this helps, and happy sewing!

      Feb 13, 2019 Reply
  16. Avatar

    I’ve been making these foe about 3 years now & might have a picture if you’d like one!

    Mar 2, 2019 Reply
  17. Avatar

    Just made one and it turned out amazing. I agree with you that the thin little hooded towels just don’t cut it. So glad I came across your post. Just wished I had sewn when my kids were little. 😊

    Britta SL
    Mar 15, 2019 Reply
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      I’m glad they turned out for you! I don’t have littles to use them anymore either . . . but I still love giving as baby gifts. 🙂

      Mar 17, 2019 Reply

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