Thursday, December 2, 2010

{Monster Hooded Towel} : : : A Tutorial

Ages and ages ago, I told Squirrel I'd make her a towel like Little Bird's. Well, I finally got around to it, and have tucked it away for Christmas as one of her handmade presents.

The kids love these hooded towels, so I thought while I made it, I'd create a tutorial for others to use as a handmade gift idea.

Please excuse the terrible photos--because I have busy fingers who like to sabotage my crafting, I am a nighttime seamstress, which makes photography a bit more difficult! :)

So here's the Monster (or Dino) Hooded Towel Tutorial!

Okay, here's what you need: 

1 regular sized bath towel

1 matching hand towel
1 contrasting hand towel
2 white wash rags

On the matching hand towel, fold it in half so the ends meet. Then use your favorite dinner plate to trace around and cut (the folded end).

With the contrasting hand towel, fold it in half (and then cut it) hot dog style, so you have two long strips of towel. Cut these roughly in half in a zig-zag style. Trim the ends so they have clear end points. 

Once you've cut them, you should have two two-layered strips that look roughly like this. We'll call them Scales A (layers one and two) and Scales B (layers one and two)

Next, pull apart the strips and sew Scales A, layer one to Scales B, layer one. 
Repeat for layers two. 

 When sewn, you should have two matching strips that look like this:

Next, sew layer one and layer two together, right sides together. In order to get the cleanest seam, use a straight stitch, and each time you come to a point where you need to zig or zag, make sure the needle is on the INSIDE of the corner: 

When you are done, you should have a set of scales that looks roughly like this: 

Now you need to turn these scales so the seams are on the inside. Use a pen to push the sharp corners of the scales out. 

You should now have a set of scales that looks something like this: 

Next, fold the bath towel in half, and cut along the fold. 

Pick up those hood pieces from before, and lay them like this on the halves of the large towel. Sew each hood piece to the towel piece, only on the bottom. I used a serger, but if you don't have one, just use a zig-zag stitch or a french seam.

Once you sew them, they should look like this: 

Now, you are going to place the scales between the towels. 
With the scales facing inward, layer them this way (towel, scales, towel) and right sides together. 

A towel/scales sandwich:

Make sure to pin really well! Those scales can slip around on you! 

Then, sew the seam, making sure you are catching all layers, from the front of the hood to the bottom of the bath towel, putting it all back together. 

Turn it right side out, and voila! Almost done! 

Next, use your two washcloths to cut out some teeth! 

And eyes! 

And use the scraps from the contrasting towel (scales color) to cut pupils for the eyes.

Sew the teeth in the same way you sewed the scales (straight stitch!) and then flip them. Pin them to the underside of the hood, and just do a single straight stitch across them. 

Use a straight stitch to sew two layers of eyes together, and then a zig zag stitch to sew one layer of pupils onto the eyes. 

Using a zig zag stitch, sew the eyes onto the monster!

You're done! 

Much cuter on a kid than a mommy, but hey, I sew at night.

You can also make a monster towel with horns instead of scales. (like the one seen here: 

 If you wish to do this, simply make the hood FIRST. Do not cut the large bath towel in half. One the hood is sewn, attach it to the bath towel. Make eye(s) and teeth in the same manner and attach. 
Cut out two 2-layer horns. Sew the horn layers together, leaving the bottom open. Stuff each horn with towel scraps. 
Cut a slit on each side of the hood. 
Insert horns. 
Sew the slit, and the horn closed with a straight stitch. 



  1. OH this is a GREAT tutorial!! I have three boys and am trying to make them each a hooded towel for Christmas this year. I'm doing a monkey, a frog, and a ninja. I may be using your tutorial to help me figure out the logistics! I will post mine on my blog when they are done : ) Thanks for sharing this, it's SO cute!

  2. I'm so glad you made this tutorial. I found a cute little towel like this on etsy but it was $40. It's nice to have some instructions.

  3. How did you sew such nice circles around the pupils of the eyes? Did you just make them bigger and then cut them down?

  4. Tai Lee--I did just cut them down, kind of spiraling around until they were pretty even. And I cut them both at the same time so that they would be the same size. Thanks for your comments!

  5. That is so great! Fabulous instructions too. I can't wait to make one!

    I'd love to have you share this at my For the Kids Friday Link Party! Stop on by and see what we're up to!

  6. Do you sew the scales together on both the zig zag and the straight edge or just the zig zag side?

  7. Hey Anonymous! I actually just sewed the scales together on the zig-zag side, but if you wanted, you could also do the straight-edge. IT might make sewing the scales to the larger portion a little easier, as it would prevent more sliding. Good luck!


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