How to Make Hooded Towels: A Fun Sewing Project for Baby Bath Time

Store-bought hooded towels can be cute, but they’re also often expensive, thin or even scratchy. Making your own hooded towels lets you choose just the color and decorations you’d like, and ensures your towels will be soft and absorbent.

You can purchase terry cloth at a fabric store to make a hooded towel, but it’s often easier (and less expensive) to use a regular bath towel and matching washcloth. One bath towel and one washcloth will give you enough material for two hooded towels, so if you can find towels you like at a discount store or on sale, you can save a lot of money by making your own hooded towels.

To decorate the hoods of the towels, you may want to add an appliqué, or decorative fabric patch. You can buy ready made appliqués at fabric stores, or you can make your own from small scraps of fabric. Simple designs, such as these free patterns for duck, heart, flower and star shapes, are the easiest to work with. Use fabric scraps that go well with terry cloth, such as fleece, felt or other fuzzy, low-raveling fabrics.

Make sure to prewash your towel and washcloth, or terry cloth fabric, before making the hooded towel.


  • One bath towel
  • One matching washcloth
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine with zigzag or overlock stitch
  • Fabric scraps for appliqués (optional)

Make a Hooded Towel

  1. Cut the bath towel in half widthwise, making two squares. Set one square aside.
  2. Stitch along the cut edge of the towel using a serger or overlock stitch, or fold the cut edge over about 1/2 inch and zigzag stitch over the cut edge.
  3. Cut the washcloth in half diagonally, making two triangles. Set one triangle aside.
  4. Hem or finish the cut edge of the washcloth the same way you did the towel. This will be the hood for the towel.
  5. Add an appliqué (optional) to the washcloth hood. To do this, simply cut scraps of fabric into the shapes you want, arrange them on top of the washcloth, and zigzag stitch around each piece of fabric. Make sure to have the washcloth with the pointed end at the top when you position the appliqués.
  6. Position the washcloth on one corner of the towel, lining up the edges. Pin them together.
  7. Stitch the washcloth to the towel along the overlapping edges. Leave the lower, hemmed edge of the washcloth unstitched.

Now that your hooded towel is now ready for baby’s bath time, you can use the leftover towel square and washcloth triangle to make a second hooded towel the same way.

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