I found these amazingly adorable hooded towels on Pinterest a year or two ago by Crazy Little Projects. I fell in love with them immediately. Not only are they super cheap and super cute, but, most importantly, they’re super easy. I made J a duck towel for the bath and a shark towel for the beach about two years ago. Last year for Nolan’s 1st birthday I made him either the dog or shark…I can’t remember now. I want to say dog.
Since poor C is still using baby towels and J’s duck is looking a bit forlorn, I figured I’d make them each a towel for Christmas. Although there are a ton of choices, it was super easy to decide on one for each: Elmo for C and a Princess one for J.
I picked up my supplies: a red bath towel and matching hand towel for Elmo from Target and a purple bath towel, matching hand towel and yellow hand towel for the Princess crown from Walmart. There isn’t a particular reason I bought them at two different stores…just turned out Walmart didn’t have an appropriate shade of red for Elmo. See, chalk it up to yet another reason why Target kicks Walmart’s butt!
Check out the Princess hooded towel tutorial on Crazy Little Projects’ blog for the clear and easy to understand directions. I’m just going to give a quick synopsis and I’m sure it’ll be confusing since I can’t explain anything, haha.
Since the crown is a separate piece this one was a tad bit more “difficult” than the other towels I’ve made previously. Which means not at all. I started by cutting the yellow hand towel in half so the width was about 8.5 inches.Then I cut a crown shape from one of the halves. Crazy Little Projects has a template if you want to use it. I just eyeballed it. I made the crown go the entire width of the towel (there were 4 spikes) and the tip of each spike was about halfway up the length of the towel. I laid the first one on top of the rest of the hand towel and cut out a carbon copy. I matched them and sewed them together, leaving the finished edge of the towel open as instructed. I flipped it right side out so the stitching was hidden.The jewels were next. I scrounged up some sparkly purple scraps from a long ago project which worked perfectly. Now Crazy Little Projects does it the smart way and has you use Heat n Bond on the back of the jewels and then attaches them using an appliqué stitch. I didn’t bother. Instead I cut out four diamonds and sewed them directly onto the crown with a zigzag stitch. I’m sure it won’t last nearly as long but if there’s one thing you’ve learned about me by now it’s that I am L-A-Z-Y.Now time for the part I’ve done before: making the hood. I cut the purple hand towel in half the fat way and put half of it aside for a future project. I folded the finished edge about 4 inches up and stitched it down.I folded the hand towel in half (so the folded part was on the outside) and zigzagged it on the back to form a hood.I flipped it right side out and then pinned the crown on. I took Crazy Little Projects advice and took the hood into the bathroom so I could adjust the crown as needed. Don’t I look nice 😉 I sewed the crown onto the hand towel along the bottom edge. Crazy Little Projects advises tucking the open edge of the crown in before sewing it down to hide the raw edges. Since with mine the end of the crown is already a finished edge I didn’t bother folding it in. It would’ve looked nicer, yes, but honestly I don’t think my machine could’ve gotten through all of those layers. I recently broke a needle and was on my last one so I didn’t want to risk breaking this one and having to wait until I could make it to Joann’s to purchase replacements before finishing the towel. It looks fine.Then it just needs to be attached to the towel! First, Crazy Little Projects recommends folding the bath towel in 3-4 inches on each short side and sewing it down, which I did. Then you find the center of the towel by folding it in half and form a pleat that’s about an inch wide. Sew across it. Then take the hood, match the hood seam with the center of the pleat and pin together. Make sure you match the right sides of the towel together. Although as you’ll see in a minute for Elmo, it’s really not a big deal if you’re not paying attention and mess that part up.Sew the two towels together and voila, finished!
The Elmo towel was even more straightforward than the last one and very similar to the towels I’ve already made. Once again, refer to Crazy Little Projects Elmo tutorial for the complete (and better!) instructions. Especially since for some reason my camera did not like this shade of red and the photos are difficult to see.
So same thing. Cut the hand towel in half the fat way, fold the finished edge up about 3 inches and sew it, fold the towel in half (with the finished edge on the inside) and zigzag down the back to form a hood. Next cut out your face pieces. I used regular fabric for the eyes and mouth and an orange towel for the nose (since that’s what I happened to have on hand). I just eyeballed the pieces and am actually surprised at how well they turned out! Usually circles are extremely difficult for me. Once again Crazy Little Projects recommends ironing Heat n Bond to the back the pieces and sewing them on with an appliqué stitch. And once again I ignored this advice and just zigzagged them on as is. I’m sure they’ll be fine… There was one step on here that I’ve never seen in her other tutorials before, including the princess one. She instructs you to sew a line across the top of the triangle and then cut it where the seam is. Not sure why, but not one to question experts I did as told. Then I did the same things as above to the bath towel. Folded each side in about 4 inches, sewed it together. Folded it in half to find the middle, formed a pleat and sewed it down. Matched the seam of the hood to the middle of the pleat in the bath towel and attached them together. And that’s it!Like I said I wasn’t paying attention to make sure the right sides were together with the Elmo towel so it turns out that the seams I sewed on each side of the bath towel are facing out, not in. I actually made this exact same mistake on Nolan’s towel. Fortunately unless you’re looking super closely you’d never even notice the mistake. And even if it was an obvious mistake it’s not like a 20 month old is going to care. He’s just going to be excited to see Elmo! I can’t wait to give them their towels Christmas morning!