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With a beach vacation on my horizon, I went in search of the perfect beach towel for drying off or sitting pretty at the pool. I wanted a circle towel in soft colors that was also absorbent enough to be practical. Oh, and there’s always that budget that gets in the way. (I mean, helps me spend wisely.) There were some gorgeous options on the market, but they weren’t in my price range or wouldn’t arrive in time for our vacation. As usual, the best way to get everything I wanted was to find a way to make my own.

Thankfully, there were some beautifully simple bath towels at a large home store that made my color and pattern dreams come true! I grabbed some favourites and then headed to my local fabric store with a 40% off coupon in hand in order to get the really good trim made of 100% cotton. They turned out better than I had hoped and have since been thoroughly enjoyed poolside!

Originally, I wanted to use just one solid cut of terry cloth fabric, but it was so hard to find yardage that was wide enough for a decent circle blanket. After seeing Sandy Nomad’s beautiful beach blankets via Pinterest, I realized I could try for a modern patchwork color block that used towels with just enough texture and pattern to make them really modern and interesting.

I knew if I cut my towels on the diagonal, they’d likely stretch out and I’d end up with truly wonky edges, so I squared things up and offset them just a bit from each other. I ended up with the lushest beach towel that not only made a great blanket for lounging, but did its super-absorbent duty of drying off wet bums once they were done playing in the waves!



three bath towels in similar thicknesses
5.5 yards of fringed trim
straight pins
sewing machine


When you’re picking out towels to use together, stick within the same general thickness of towel. If two of your colors come in a looser, thin weave and your third is the plushest, thickest towel on the market, it may not allow your towel to lay totally flat. That said, don’t be afraid to experiment with textured towels.

I did a color blocked towel, but one of my colors still had a stripe pattern that made it more interesting. I bought four towels for $25 total and was able to make two circle towels with minimal scraps. Then I used a 40% off coupon to purchase my 5.5 yards of trim (per towel), so I was able to spend about $25 per towel on 100% cotton trim. In total, I made two of these for about $38 each and they look like I spent way more on them than that!

You can play around with the arrangement of your towels, but the best way to ensure things will lay flat and not go all wavy on you as you sew is to use the hemmed edges to your advantage. This means working with right angles. I used my boldest color of towel for half of my circle shape and then placed the two textured towels together but not with the same long edges togetherand then offset them to one side.

This added a little more interest than trying to center it on the top towel. To get a good idea of how it’d look, I laid my trim in the shape of a circle and stood back to make sure I liked it. The best part of this design is that I had enough left over from the textured towels to use them to make a second circle towel.

Place the long hemmed edge of the smallest piece of the circle over the short hemmed edge of the medium piece of the circle. Be sure they overlap by about 1/2″ and that the new long edge that they create is flush at the place where they meet. Add straight pins every 2″ to ensure there is no puckering between these two towels. I usually don’t add mine so close together, but it’s better to overdo it on this kind of project.