Beach Mat to Tote Bag

By  Melony Miller Bradley 


  • Beach towel, in color or print of choice
  • Fabrics, in coordinating colors, 1 yd. each: small print, large floral
  • Fairfield Poly-Fil Soft Touch Pillow Insert, 12”x16”
  • Black frog closure
  • Wide cotton twill tape, 1-1/2”-wide, 1 yd.


  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, straight pins, rotary cutter with mat, iron and pressing surface, needle
  • Size
  • 1. Size varies.
  • Beach Mat to Tote Bag
  • 1. Cut 3"x width of fabric strips of small print fabric. Cut enough strips to go around outer edge of towel. Press in 1/2" seam allowance on long edges of strips; press strip in half lengthwise with right sides out. Pin in place around edging of towel on all four sides, mitering corners as needed. Sew in place.
  • 2. For pillow, cut two 13"x17" panels of floral fabric. Sew right sides together on three sides, leaving 1/2" seam allowance. Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff with insert. Sew pillow bottom closed with whipstitch by hand or by machine. Machine straight stitch pillow edge to top end of towel "front" as shown.
  • 3. For pockets, cut four 9-1/2"x11" panels, two each of floral and small print fabrics. Pair panels as desired with right side out. Press 1/4" seams in all four edges, machine sew, then repeat to hide raw edges. Repeat for second pocket.
  • 4. On towel "back" on opposite end from pillow, pin first pocket in place, centered on short side of towel with pocket facing away from edge. Pin second pocket in place with pocket openings facing each other, 4-6" away from first. Cut twill tape into two 18" lengths; pin in place beneath pockets. Machine sew in place.
  • 5. Roll towel to form tote and determine closure position. Hand-sew frog closure in place.