Hooded Towel Tutorial

Hooded Towel Tutorial - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Did everyone have a Merry Christmas?
I sure hope so!

I have a 7 month old and since babies don’t really understand Christmas, I tried not to break the bank this year on his presents. But as a mom, I had to have some presents for him to “open”. 🙂
One of them was this Hooded Towel.

He is getting a bit too big for his baby towel, so it was time to make a bigger hooded towel for him.
(My two-year-old is the one modeling the towel in the picture. And after all the candy and sleeplessness, that is the best picture I could get. 🙂 )

These towels are the easiest to make and kids love them!

And with all of The Ribbon Retreat’s ribbon, fabric, and trims,
your embellishment possibilities are endless!

– Supplies –

Hand Towel
Ribbon, Fabric, or Trims
Coordinating Thread
(I used white to sew my ribbon and red to sew the towel.)

The first step is to get your hand towel and fold it in half like a “hamburger”.

Then cut down the fold.
Discard one half.

Next we will cut our ribbon.

Lay your ribbon across the edge of the towel, add a few inches, and cut.
We will seal our ends after the ribbon is sewn on the towel.

You will need three strips of ribbon.
One for the hood, and two for the edges of the large towel.
The ribbon will go on the edges that will be wrapped around the child.

I put my ribbon about one inch away from the edge.

Pin your ribbon on the towel and then sew all the way around the ribbon.
Be sure to back stitch.

You will do this on the hand towel (the hood) and on both sides of the large towel.

Once you’re done sewing on the ribbon, trim the edges of the ribbon and seal.

Here is how the hand towel will look when the ribbon is sewn on.

Next we will make the hood.

Fold the hand towel in half.

Now turn it over so the ribbon is facing the table.

Pin the edges and sew.

Now take one corner and turn it down.

Next we will pin the corner to the top layer of the towel.

Repeat with the other corner.

Sew the corners to that top layer of the towel.
Do not sew straight across. Sew one corner and then the other.
Remember to back stitch.

Now your hood is ready to be attached to the big towel.

Fold the big towel in half and find the center.
The towel should have the ribbons on the edge facing up.
This is the “outside” of the towel.

Lay the center of your hood over the center of the towel.
Align the raw edge of the hood along the top of the big towel.

Pin the two edges together.

Sew all the way across, back stitching at the beginning and end.

And you’re all finished!

You have a super cute hooded towel for your kids, grandkids, or even for gifts!

Embellishing them is the fun part so make sure to check out
The Ribbon Retreat for all we have to offer at fantastic prices!

Hooded Towel Tutorial - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

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    Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


  2. Kristin
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Would this hooded towel work for bigger kids? Like 8 years old

    • Shirley
      Posted December 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I think it would. But just keep it in mind when you’re purchasing your towels. Some towels are on the small side and some are larger. The cheapest towels are usually on the smaller side. I hope this helps! 🙂

    • Pamela Harmon
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      I made this for our grandchildren that were 10-12. They used it longer than I expected.

  3. Sherrie Pridemore
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


    I which collection of ribbon is this ribbon found? I used all my best guesses on the categories and decided to ask the designer. I am always looking for stuff suitable for boys. I have found several but miss the boats and anchors. How fun for beach bags and beach, lake, boating attire.

    If you just give me the name of the collection, I’ll be able to find it. Thanks for your help and such simple directions.


    • Shirley
      Posted December 28, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Hi Sherrie, that ribbon is no longer available from the manufacturer. I used it for my two-year-olds hooded towel I made last year. I wanted them to match, so I used the rest of it for this one. We have lots of other cute ribbons for boys, as you’ve mentioned. Sorry about that! 🙂

  4. Jennifer
    Posted December 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Can you not use a washcloth instead of cutting a hand towel in half?

    • Shirley
      Posted December 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      It depends on the size of the wash cloth. I don’t think they would be big enough. But if you find one that would work, go for it! 🙂

  5. Sherrie Pridemore
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Jennifer if you are doing an infant one a finger tip towel might work. They are very difficult to find not already embellished, and just like towels and wash cloths the sizes vary greatly just a thought. I used to make bibs out of them all the time, but can rarely find plain ones. Let us know if something else works.

    Shirley-I’m glad you don’t have it any more because that means I did my homework, I am sorry you don’t have it any more because I really like it.

  6. Nina
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this simple tutorial! I just made hooded towels for my girls and they are over the moon in love with them 🙂 I embroidered my hoods before assembling and let them choose towel color, embroidery design, fabrics for the appliques and thread colors. They really feel like they created them themselves and in a way they did. Love that this gave my 2 and 5 year old a way to get excited about handmade crafting! Thank you!

    • Shirley
      Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      You are so welcome Nina! The towels you made sound absolutely adorable! And that is awesome your girls were able to help. It’s great to get them started early! 🙂

  7. Carla
    Posted January 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve made these for years but used a wash cloth and they worked out fine. However, my hoods were not shaped like yours are and I want to try that. It looks more finished!

    Another hint…I would buy a second washcloth and fashion a wash mitt out of it for mom. I sewed ribbon on for trim first, then turned it inside out and just made sort of a “slip cover” for my hand, cutting the cloth around the shape of my hand but bigger. Then I sew it up. I left the ribbon a little bit long make a loop for a hanger before I sewed up the end.

    When doing that I try to make sure and get a softer brand of towel. Might not be what you want to use on an infant, but for a sticky, grimy toddler it would be good for scrubbing!

    • Shirley
      Posted January 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Great idea Carla! I thought that if you are making them as gifts, you can easily use the second half for a second towel. And I LOVE the mitt idea! Definitely would be a good use for the leftover!

  8. Posted January 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait to try this, carla great idea fort a mitt! What a cool gift this. Would be!

  9. kara
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Just made 2 of these using your tutorial and they turned out great! Thanks so much for taking the time to share an easy-to-follow tutorial!

    • Shirley
      Posted January 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      You’re so welcome Kara! I’m so glad you love it! 🙂

  10. Blake
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I think this looks great! I’m getting ready to dive in and do it. But isn’t there an unfinished edge on the hood that can unravel?

    • Shirley
      Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Blake! Yes there is an unfinished edge, but I haven’t had any problems with it unraveling. I’ve made two this way and one has lasted for two years. They are so fun! Good luck! 🙂

  11. Patti
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    What a surprise to see someone else showing the world how to make these wonderful hooded towels. I’ve been making these for the past 25 years not only for my own children but for family members and for baby gifts. Everyone knows that Grandma/Aunt Pattis will be giving them a one of kind made just for them baby towl. I’ve even made an Large Male one. I do make my hoods just a little bit differen, but thanks for showing how easy it is for make these cute and easy hooded towels.

  12. Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I made these hooded towels for my daughter’s twins. Their 1st birthday is coming up. I had their names embroidered on the hood too. Can’t wait to give them to her and see how she likes them!! I also make cloth diapers and bibs.
    Thanks so much for your tutorial!

  13. cynthia solberg
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Made two of these today, and two to make tomorrow. After the first one the second one went very smoothly and quickly. Love the hood, and directions were very easy to follow. I fought with the bulk of the towels when sewing the hood to the towel…will maybe buy less expensive towels next time….Thank you for the directions and pictures. G REAT tutorial and idea!! As for the raw edge on handtowel….i zigzaged edge on my second one…then i did a handstitch when the hood and bath towel were finally sewn together….gave it a much more finished look and only took 10 -15 minutes…..

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      They are super easy huh! I ran into the bulky problem the first time I made mine as well, so I avoided sewing directly on the edge of the towel (the binding) and that helped a ton. The zig zagging is a great idea! Thanks for sharing your experience! – Shirley 🙂

  14. Libby Cummings
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Made one of these for my five year old this weekend and he loves it! The directions are fantastic and really easy to follow. You did a great job! I plan on making my neices and nephews one of these for Christmas this year.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted October 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad he loved it!! I wanted to make so many more after the few I’ve made, it’s so easy! Thanks for sharing! – Shirley 🙂

  15. Jill
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you SOOOO much for sharing this! I’ve made a few now, and I’ve slowly developed a problem. The bobbin thread bunches up & looks ugly as I sew the two pieces of towel together. Any ideas on how I can fix this? Thanks!!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted February 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jill, I’m so glad you love it! I am not a super skilled seamstress so I will be asking about your question. The only thing I can think of that I do is to rethread everything, bobbin and spool. It also could be the tension. Hope that helps for now! I’ll try to get back to you soon with a better answer! – Shirley 🙂

  16. Christina M
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Jill – sounds like a tension problem! I was just sewing on a project and ran into the same issue. I was surprised because it wasn’t super bulky, but cranking up the tension to abt 5 worked wonders!!

    This is such a fun craft! I was given one as a gift after each of my girls were born, but no one made one for my new little guy 🙁 He’s 3 months old but so long that baby towels are almost too small. Besides, who doesn’t love a tiny baby snuggled in a giant towel! I’ll be making him a cute little boy one soon!!

  17. Laurel McCreary
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Hey all,
    Just a couple thoughts on this project. #1 I always made a 2nd hooded towel w/ the remaining hand towel–just couldn’t bring myself to waste it! #2 The raw edge is not a problem at all. My granddaughter is 2 1/2 and has been using hers since she was born. #3 A washcloth does work too–just not folded the same way. I made the towel/washcloth style for my own kinds. BUT I like this style much better. #4 The towels can fit kids up to 8 ish–remember it is a full-size towel after all! I made two for a family friend–one for the new baby & one for the 5 year old big brother. He’s still using his. #5 Walmart is the answer for plain towels! They have a ton of colors & even a choice in how absorbent you want the towel to be. I literally buy the cheaper ones (not rock bottom, but close!) because they’re easier to work with, absorb little-guy bath water just fine, and seem to always have a lot of color choices. Love this pattern & am Pinning it right now so I keep it for the next grandbabies!

    • Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Laurel! Wow….thank you so so much for your suggestions, ideas, and compliments! You are amazing, and we appreciate your comment! Thank you so much for sharing! Have a wonderful rest of your day! Michelle 🙂

  18. Mary
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tut. Just made two and thought they were big. After reading some of the comments, They are just right.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted August 18, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary! Awesome!!!! Great job! Aren’t they so much fun?!? I am so glad that they weren’t big, but just right! Thank you for your comment and have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

  19. Leah
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, very helpful

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted January 26, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Leah! Have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

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