Make, Jane, make!: Beach Towel Poncho-Pack


Small Share

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beach Towel Poncho-Pack

(2014/10: Check out my updated tutorial here!)

Summer has definitely arrived and the meteorologists on t.v. keep telling me that we are in a heat wave here in Southern Ontario. We are very lucky to have a splash pad just at the end of the street and it's been a godsend when the kids have wanted to play outside. But since my kids are still young, they often rely on mommy for many things; and getting ready for waterplay is definitely a multi-step, multi-accessory activity that they need help with.

Last year, I found a this great tutorial for a hooded beach towel back pack at The Train to Crazy and I knew right away that I wanted some for my kids. How great is it to get your kids carrying around some of their sh.. er... stuff? And this year, the trend seems to be the poncho beach towel which allows the kids to stay somewhat covered up while changing. Again, another little thing that helps the kids take care of their own sh.. um.. stuff.

A few weeks ago, we went to Walmart looking for some fun summer towels that wouldn't be a travesty to cut apart and experiment on. They actually carried some really cute hooded beach towels which I would have totally been open to making into backpacks (less work for me!)... but as always, all they had left were princess and butterfly patterns. So I let my middle son pick out a couple of regular adult-sized towels, which I washed as soon as we got some so that I could promptly let them sit in my over-neglected sewing pile for over two weeks.

Luckily my sons never forgot about their promised towels and asked diligently after them every few days to ensure that Mommy wasn't dropping the ball. In the end, they took only about an hour's worth of work, so I'm not sure why I procrastinated so long.

I didn't do any fancy finishing or hemming, just a zig zag stitch on the poncho opening and a straight stitch with a narrow hem on the pack front.

Both backpacks were made from flannel scraps so backpack number one had straps that weren't quite long enough to be sewn into the side seam of the backpack. Instead I sewed the straps straight onto the towel.

Backpack number two was a smaller backpack, but had straps that were long enough to be incorporated into the side seams... giving it a much better fit when worn.

Either way, the boys loved them and took them out for a trial run immediately after receiving them. The best part was when, upon returning, my eldest asked me, "Mommy, where did my new backpack go?"

"It turned into your towel and you wore it home, remember?"

Flabbergasted - "Wha?!? How did it do that?"

"It was magic."

And that seemed to satisfy him.


  1. love this! When are you going to open up your own shop so I can get some of these things!

    1. Whenever you start taking foreign students so that I can send my children to you for schooling ;)