Only in Minnesota do you get weather that is a frozen tundra or a hot sauna in one year. This week we are experiencing ninety degree and above temperatures. That is much too hot for my family; so we will be in the air conditioning or at the beach. This is the land of 10,000 lakes and refreshing fun in the sun is never very far away, thankfully. But that does mean packing up all the summer essentials, but I didn’t have a beach bag…yet.
Most using things I already had around my house, I was able to make a great beach bag quickly, easily, and cheaply. I made a large bag so it will carry everything I need for a day at the beach. I even added pockets to keep everything neat and organized.
All you need for this beach towel bag is:
- Large Beach Towel
- Hand Towel
- 3/8 inch Rope
- 1/2 inch Grommets with Setter
- Marking Chalk
- Sewing Machine
Looking through my linen closet I found an old beach towel. I also found hand towel that is too bright for my bathroom decor. You can also pick up cheap hand towels and small towels at the dollar if you like your towels too much to make them into bags.
Start out by deciding how large you want your beach bag. I made my beach towel bag about 19×24 inches. If you make your bag a little smaller, you can get small matching bags for your kids out of one towel.
Lay out your towel with right sides together and pin along the top edge so that the opening of your bag will line up. Measure and mark out the size of bag that you want and pin along the markings. At this point you can make the bag anyway you want. You could make the bottom larger than the top or give the bag a rounded bottom edge, whatever floats your boat. 🙂
Cut out the bag along the markings with a good pair of scissors.
Set that aside and start working on the pockets. Let’s begin with the large front pocket.
Cut the hand towel in half. Take one half of the hand towel and one of the beach towel sides. Center the hand towel on the right side of the towel with the bottom cut edges together. (see photo above)
Using thread that matches the hand towel, sew a straight stitch down both sides of the hand towel close to the edges. And you don’t have to worry about finishing the edges because the hand towel already has finished edges.
Next you will use the other half of the hand towel to create smaller pockets on the inside of the bag.
Figure out where you want to place the pocket. I used the patterned band at the top of the bag to line up the openings of my pockets. Then decide how deep you want your pockets and mark that on the hand towel. Also mark the placement of the pocket on the beach towel. This is going to be on the inside of the bag: so make any marks on what we are considering the “wrong side” of the beach towel.
Place the top edge of the hand towel toward the bottom with the right side of the hand towel facing the beach towel. Line up the depth mark of the hand towel pocket with the placement line on the beach towel and pin in place.
Use thread that matches the hand towel on top and thread that matches the beach towel for the bobbin. Sew a straight stitch along the bottom and then fold the pocket up into place. This hides the seam with the rough edge.
Next sew a straight stitch up both sides and one in the middle to create two pockets. And your pockets are really to go.
Next all you need to do is sew the bag together.
With right sides together, I recommend first stitching the three edges of the bag together with a straight stitch. Then stitch the edges again with a zigzag stitch to finish the inside edges. If you have a serger, or know someone how does, that’s even easier to make nice finished edges.
Next turn the bag right side out, and it’s time to finish up with some nautical inspired handles…aka rope. 🙂
You are going to need grommets for secure, finished opens that the rope can be fed through.
Mark where your want each handle to begin. I placed my grommets about 5 1/2 inches from the middle of the bag. Use your scissors to cut a small “X” where you need each hole. Then follow the directions for your grommet setter.
Cut a long piece of rope. I measured the rope on myself because I wanted the bag to cinch up when slung across my chest. But you can make the handles however long or short you want.
Thread the rope through the grommets and knot the rope on the inside of the bag.
And that’s it! You have a great beach towel bag with plenty of space for summer necessities.
On my first trip to the beach I was easily able to carry my towel, swimsuit, book, sunglasses, sunscreen, cell phone, and water bottle with room to spare. The rope keeps the bag cinched tight when you are carrying it so your stuff will stay safe.
If it’s too hot to even enjoy the beach, stay inside with some cool options from Heartland America.
Heartland America has a variety of fans and portable A/C units for your cooling needs. So stay cool and safe indoors when it’s too hot to go outside.
Summer doesn’t want to cool down anytime soon, so stay cool whether you are at the beach or at home. I hope you are having lots of fun this summer with your family and remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.