Over the winter my very favorite beach bag was ruined. Apparently a water bottle was left in it which caused a bunch of mold to grow. I washed it several times, sprayed it to within an inch of its life and washed it again, to no avail. We camp on a regular basis and I can’t be without a large bag to carry all of our towels, goggles, swimmies, water bottles, etc back and forth to the pools and beaches! I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I decided to whip up an X-Large Bag with a beach towel. I picked up the towel from Walmart for $6, along with 2 yards of cotton webbing for under $2. Keep in mind, this is an X-LARGE Towel Beach Bag! I can carry 5 towels, water and snacks, cover-ups, camera and sunscreen and still not fill this bag!

Pool Tote TutorialThis is a super easy beginner sewing project, so let’s get started!

DIY Beach Tote with Inside Pockets


Towel – mine was 28″x60″.
Cotton Webbing – 66″
Sewing Machine

Towel Beach Bag Tutorial with PocketsThe first step is to create the inside pockets. Fold the top of the towel down 5″. Sew down each side of the pocket with a .25″ seam allowance.

Beach Bag with PocketsNext, mark off small sections of the pocket you created and sew vertical seams to create smaller pockets. I made two larger ones for sunglasses and glasses and smaller ones where I can put my phone, keys, etc.

Towel Bag TutorialFold the top of the towel with the pocket down another two inches so that there is two inches between the top of the pocket and the top of the bag. Pin in place.

Pool Bag TutorialFold towel in half, lining the tops up and pin in place. Sew down both sides with a .25″ seam allowance.

Beach Bag TutorialTurn the towel right side out. Because I added the pocket, one side of the towel had a top stitch and one didn’t. To make it uniform, I top-stitched the side with the pocket, matching it up with the other sides stitch.

Now it’s time to add the straps. I wanted mine long enough that I could wear it on my shoulder or across my body, like a messenger bag, so I used approximately 33″ of cotton webbing for each strap.

Towel Pool BagMeasure in 5″ from the side and pin the webbing on the inside of the bag. I pinned about 3″ of the webbing on the inside. Do the same for the other side. Flip the bag over to the side with the pocket and pin the second strap the same as you did the first.

Pool Bag StrapsNOTE: Learn from my mistake – one of the seams of my pocket was located where I wanted to place my strap! I just cut the strap so that it stopped at the top of the pocket (I could have ripped out the seam, but I’m a lazy sewer!).

Pool Bag TutorialFor the strap end on the side with the pocket I placed it so it laid inside the pocket (I sewed in place by moving the top of the pocket out of the way). Don’t forget to burn the cut edges of the webbing so that there is no fraying!

Towel Beach BagNow sew each strap end in place. I sewed all the way around and then added an X as well to reinforce the strap.

That’s it, your bag is complete!