Great Gifts – Idea #2 Kid’s Animal-Shaped Hooded Towels

I’m pretty sure my 7 month old isn’t reading my blog, so I can show you the turtle-shaped hooded towel he will be getting for Christmas this year.  This probably wouldn’t have been such a do-able project if I hadn’t been able to visit my mom during Thanksgiving break and take advantage of her phenomenal sewing skills and serger, etc.  But I know lots of you have serious sewing skills, and could whip up something like this in no time.

Three Christmases ago, my mom and I made these towels for the three children we had then.  If you can’t tell, we have a butterfly, a frog, and a little ladybug.
In addition to adding the hoods, we actually shaped the towels (for the bugs) and added the contrasting designs.  Here is the butterfly all laid out. (You can see that a serger really helps for the edges if you want to shape the towel).
We kept the rectangle shape on the frog, but added frog hands and feet.
We actually took a slightly different approach to the turtle…
We started with a full-sized bath towel (with each of them).  This one came from Target on clearance.  My mom had the idea to fold it like this to make the shape of the turtle shell.  We trimmed off that section in the middle and rounded the folded corners.

I cut the shape I wanted on one edge and then folded it over to make the pattern to cut the other edges so they would match (does that make sense?).
I then flipped the entire towel over so that I could work on the pattern for the shell.  I just used scratch paper to map it out.  The center octagon used most of the sheet of 8 1/2 x 11″ paper (fold it in half while cutting to make it symmetrical).  

The top and bottom pieces matched (flipped of course), as did the two side pieces.  I used the same shape for all four diagonal pieces.  I used my patterns to cut out all of the shapes from a green towel.  I think I bought another full-sized one, because I wanted to make sure I’d have enough for the shell designs and to cut out the legs (for which I just freehanded a pattern). For some designs, you might get what you need from a hand towel, or even a washcloth.

Mom sewed the towel designs directly on top of the blue towel and serged all of the edges

In the meantime, we used the hand-towel to make the hood.  We folded back one-side, and sewed the inside of the hood to make a nice rounded head.  (If you don’t shape it, they will be pointy, which can be cute, too, but I didn’t want a pointed headed turtle).  You can see how enthusiastic my model was.

It helped to have a head to check the size and shape on, plus decide where the eyes and nostrils should go.
A note here:  These are big towels.  Not your typical baby hooded towel.  My 9-year-old still uses hers.  You can definitely make smaller versions of these, but I make them so they can last for several years.  That’s why I needed the big brother to act as my dress form.
And the finished result:

Shell side.
Tummy side.  Can you see how the towel will wrap around him, kind of like a robe?  And here you get a view of the legs and tail sewn on.

I imagine you could come up with a design for most any animal.  Would your kids love a large warm animal towel to cozy up in after bathtime?

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  1. This is so unbelievably cute!!!!

  2. Kendra, that turtle is beyond cute! And as a mom I think hooded towels are THE BEST! Thanks for the cute idea!

  3. This project is great, thanks for posting it and participating in the FaveCrafts blog hop! Our next blog hop will be January 15 and we hope you'll participate again. Your project will also be featured in a special newsletter that goes out to 850,000+ readers. Thanks again!


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