DIY: Spa Towel Wrap
September 2, 2009
I hope you’ve had your coffee, cause I’m getting up close and personal this morning.
When you step out of the shower or bath, what is your first layer of choice, after drying off your bum with your towel? Are you a robe person? Do you immediately dress? Or do you dance around to bad 80s metal in your skivvies? (Don’t tell us, if the latter is you.)
Quite frankly, I am none of the above. (Although Mr. CG loves to belt 80s rock ballads while shaving, but don’t tell him I told you.) Robes make me sweaty (except on the coldest mornings), and I can’t imagine getting dressed right away. And I’m much too bashful to run around in my underwear. Day after day, I turn to a spa towel wrap because it covers me with cozy terry cloth, but frees up my arms for all that I must accomplish between 7 and 8 a.m.
My old storebought spa wrap was getting a bit tattered after years of use, so I thought I’d just make myself a new one. My five year old daughter is just as “anti-robe” as I am (“It’s too sweaty mommmmmmiiiiiieeeeeee” ) so I also made her one too.
One clearance towel + 1/2 yard of cute cotton fabric + one afternoon = glam spa towel wrap.
Here is the pink version I made for my girl:
Let me say this loud and clear. When it comes to sewing, I am an amateur. I can thread my machine and sew a straight stitch, but that’s about it. I am learning a bit more with each sewing project, but truly I say to you, my skills are very basic. So when I say that this is a simple sew project, I mean it.
Here is the grown up version:
Turn a towel and some fabric into a stylish spa wrap for you, your child, a friend, or family member. It’s easy !
How to Make a Simple Sew Towel Wrap:
- Large towel of choice (make sure it’s long enough to wrap around your body)
- Matching thread
- 1.5 inch elastic
- Velcro strip
- Optional: washcloth if you want a pocket
- Optional: prewashed cotton fabric of choice for pleated detail
A quick note on towel selection before I proceed. The thinner the towel the better, because thick terry cloth will strain a standard sewing machine needle. Also, be absolutely sure the towel will wrap, and overlap, around your body, not including any ribbing or trim common on the end of most modern towels (that portion you will be cutting off). For an adult, consider buying a bath sheet, which is larger than a bath towel, to guarantee the full wrap around and necessary overlap.
Step One: Trim the ribbing detail off the end of your towel and hem the edge.
Step Two: (Optional, and only if you want the glam pleated effect like I did) Create pleat like this. a) Cut 5 inch strip of fabric, b) fold fabric like a sandwich edge to edge, c) run strip of fabric through sewing machine and pinch pleat every inch.
Attach pleat to the side of your wrap that will overlay and show on top.
Step Three: Create casing for upper elastic band like this. a) Fold over top of towel and sew a 2 inch seam, b) with a safety pin attached to your elastic, pinch elastic through your casing, and c) create gathering with cloth, and anchor elastic in place with sewing machine.
Step Four (Optional, and only if you want a pocket). Using a washcloth, trim three sides to size, and allow 1 inch for inside seam. Pin the bottom of your washcloth to your spa wrap and attach with sewing machine. Do your best to seam the sides as well. I found it easier to simply hand stitch the sides of my pocket to the towel wrap with a needle and thread.
If this photo appears convoluted, that’s because it is. I’ve pinned the bottom of my washcloth to the towel, and measured my pleated fabric accordingly. Then I attached my pleated fabric and stitched the internal bottom seam of the pocket with my machine.
Step Five: For your closure, attach Velcro to inside of wrap with sewing machine. Now would be a good time to mention that you should sew very slowly through this stage, or better yet, turn the needle by hand to avoid breakage.
My impatience brought me this.
Step Six: (Optional, if you want straps) For my daughter’s spa wrap, I added some straps from the ribbing that was part of her original fuchsia colored towel. I simply repurposed it by folding it over, and with a simple seam, creating some straps for her shoulders.
Final result with straps:
Here is the mini spa towel wrap that I made for my girl with a towel, cotton fabric, elastic, and some Velcro.
For the bottom of my daughter’s towel wrap, I also added a ruffle in terry cloth and pleats in cotton fabric, following the same procedure with the terry cloth that I did in Step Two.
How charming is this little ruffle and pleated fabric at the bottom?
I kept the grown up version strapless, but added the glam pleated pocket and trim.
Who says you can’t be glamorous even in the bathroom?
Each one of my homemade spa towel wraps took me about 2 hours to finish, and cost me less than $10 dollars since both my towels were on clearance.
Imagine the possibilities ! You could keep it simple and streamlined, or add darling little buttons, embroider a monogram, or embellish with your trim of choice. Or create a beach version with a colorful beach towel.
One final plea. Professional sewers: Take pity on me. Tell me if there is an easier way to accomplish all that I have pronounced. Non sewers: Do not be intimidated. I couldn’t sew to save my life three years ago, and I just decided to teach myself. Purchase a simple machine, new or like my older model, and just start a simple project. You’ll be patting yourself on the back in no time.
And if all of this makes you dizzy, then check out these alternatives online:
Happy bathing friends.