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Bear Hooded Towel

Do you just hate those wimpy baby towels once your baby has reached, oh, 2 weeks old? You know, the ones that are paper thin? They have a hood, which is great, but babies just grow out of them way too quickly.


I have been meaning to make one of these for the past 12 months (my little buddy just had a birthday). Ooops. Oh well. He has one now. And really, these dimensions are big enough to use for bigger kids too. I want it to last a while.


You’ll Need:

  • 1 bath towel
  • 1 hand towel (not wash cloth)
  • thread, scissors, sewing machine, etc.
First, we’re going to make the pleat in the back. This pleat is totally optional but just gives the towel some shape and makes it easier to wrap around little bodies.


Fold your towel in half lengthwise and mark with a pin. Then measure out 4 inches on either side of the pin and mark with more pins.


Then fold the towel where the pin on the right is and fold it towards the center pin.


Do the same with the left pin. Secure the 2 folds in place with more pins.


Stitch pleat in place, about 1/4 inch from the edge.


Then, fold your hand towel in half lengthwise. You’re going to be using the finished edges of the hand towel as the front finished edge of the hood, so don’t cut it off in this next step.


Measure 10×10 inches, and cut out your 2 squares from the hand towel.


Then, cut a curve into the top left corner. It doesn’t have to be perfect and there is no real guideline, just curve it.


Then make sure these 2 pieces are right sides together and sew around the curved side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then zig-zag right next to it, to secure this seam in place. Trim off the excess material.


Onto the little bear ears.


Then, from your scraps, cut out 2 pieces that are 3.5 x 5 inches. Sew in half lengthwise. Then turn right side out and place the seam up. Press flat with your hand.


Then fold the tube in half, with the seam always laying face up.


Over lap the ends a little bit and match up the raw edges.


Sew into place.


Fold the ends under about 1/4 inch and pin onto the hood, about 1.5 inches away from the center seam.


Then sew into place onto the towel.


Then can you see how the little ears have holes through them?


Just stitch that opening closed using the whip stitch from this tutorial.


Then, lay the main section of your towel down, with the pleat face up. Lay the bottom of the hood against the main section of the towel, with right sides together. Make sure the center of the pleat is lined up with the center seam of the hood.


Pin into place.


Then sew along these two edges, about a 1/4 inch from the edge. Then sew another seam, about 1/8 inch from the edge.


Here’s a look at that pleat in the back.


Now go and bathe your baby and cuddle him/her in their new snuggly bear towel. Okay, maybe it looks like cat ears too. (To keep it more rounded……….hand-stitch the back of the ear all bunched together instead of in a straight line.) Whatever you want it to be……..just name it.


Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Bear hooded towel
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  1. Stephanie says:

    I loved it! I modified it a little to fit a bigger kid (12×12 instead of the suggested for the head) Also, I used the ear concept to make mickey mouse ears. I used 6×4 inches and folded it the same way, but reversed it on the towel head to make it look like mickey ears. I really love the way it came out. The instructions on this blog are great.

  2. bonnie says:

    thanks! Great ideas. worked Awesome. With some minor adjustments I actually just made an adult sized one that looks like a batman cape. the BF *loves* his hot shower in the winter here in Canada. He says the best part is always wrapping up in the towel after. His hero is batman… so… he loves it! and me? well, as long as he sticks to the batman towel and doesn’t start wearing tights, I’m good with that. :P

  3. Rene' says:

    Hi, Just want you to know that I made this for my 15 month old nephew. I gave it to him at my sister-in-laws house, as he and his mom were visiting, and all of the adults that were there wanted one too, as did all the “BIG” kids. It is just great and the pleat in the back really made it lay nice. I left off the ears but I embroidered his name on the hood and it was a great success. I have done the hood on two of my sons towels and he loves them.

    Thanks so much. Rene’

  4. Gigglestuff says:

    This is super awesome. Thanks for sharing. I have to get sewing some Bday and Christmas presents ;p

  5. Baiba Vigule says:

    This is so pretty! And so easy to make! I think, I should make this for my daughters as well :))

  6. Jen says:

    Too cute!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. geraldine says:

    thank you so much for this great idea. I´ve made bear towels for my nephews and friends kids and embroidered their name on and they love them.

  8. Ashley says:

    Hey Amanda, sorry that the wording is a bit confusing. I meant that you fold that piece of fabric in half longways, so that it's like a "hotdog" fold and not a "hamburger" fold, if you've ever heard it called that in school! :) But you want it to be a longer piece that you then sew along the long edge, creating a tube. Then you turn it right side out and then create the ear. I hope that helps…..and good luck!


  9. Amanda says:

    I love this easy pattern. Thank you! I'm just wondering, though, if when sewing the 3.5 x 5 in. pieces for the ears, did you mean "widthwise" instead of "lengthwise"? I'm sure I can figure it out anyway, I was just afraid to mess up! Thanks again!

  10. Bevin says:

    I have been wanting to make a hooded towel for my kids and with your instructions it was so easy! In about 30 minutes I just made 2! Thanks!

  11. Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun says:

    featured this on my blog today

  12. subha says:

    Thanks for this tutorial – it is great! it inspired me to create a froggy hoodie towel for my little one. I also have made one with a strip of cool looking fabric across the front of the hoodie part. adds a nice touch – and easier than making a face!

    thanks again

  13. hmsimoneau says:

    found it!

    I just did 2 layers of towel. Sewn right sides together and turned out. Used the factory hem of the towel for the edges. :)

  14. Hayley says:

    Thanks for your tutorials! Love them! Since mid July, I've made 5 of these. One by the "book," one out of a baby-sized towel and 2 washcloths for the hood, and three w/out ears. I've used leftover hand towel fabric to make a bath mitt, thanks to a posting of a child-sized oven mitt template online. Trying to find it to reference, but the baby's awake….

  15. Ryan says:
    I know this is an old post but I finally did this – minus the ears, but I may add them on later. love it! thanks for the instructions.

  16. Brook says:

    Ok, Basketball hoop and towel are completed! I was so excited how it turned out that I wanted to share with you!

    Sorry it's moving… I doubt this towel will ever sit still. :)

    1. phyl. says:

      Oh, Brooke, your hoodie towel turned out just perfect and look how loved it is already. I’ve been making these for years (without the pleat). I’ll be putting that pleat in the back from this day forward. I’ve shared my sisters’ grandchildren for years and finally will be getting my very own grandson in September. I’ve been making things for grand nieces and nephews forever, it seems. Now, I’m becoming the most obnoxious grandmother ever. Our new little joy already has a full collection of hoodie towels with his name embroidered on them along with other little cuties that no other child will have one like.

      So glad Ashley published this tutorial. Even old dogs like me can learn new tricks. Since I’m recently retired from teaching, I have more time to spoil the little folks in our life and I can blame it all on folks like you and Ashley for sharing your ideas! Thanks again to both of you lovely ladies!

  17. Ashley says:

    Hahahaha Brook!!! Yeah, if I ever make a hoop, I'll have to post a tutorial. Tell him good luck for now. :)

  18. lucy says:

    You are completely amazing to be able to make those, i'm just researching things babies need as i'm going to be an aunt soon. i am in the middle of planning my sister in law's baby shower next month, she's due in November but i'm getting a head start. I've just found a great site doing organic and natural fibers and the do these lovely baby bath towels made from bamboo. my brother is really into his green living and even has solar panels, bless him. They will be raising this baby as eco-friendly as they can so making your own is very much what him and his wife are into and it'll give her a project before the baby's born.

  19. Brook says:

    I'm having my mom's group over on Saturday for a craft day and we are going to make these. I thought I should at least make one before everyone was counting on me to know what I'm doing so I'm working on it right now. As I pin, my husband is telling me that you should write the instructions for putting together a basketball hoop because he thinks with your help he would have been more successful!!! Thanks for making it so easy!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Oh how great! My husband and I were just complaining that our daughter has grown out of her baby towels but we'd love to have a bigger one with a hood. I'll definitely be using this tutorial – thanks!

  21. Suzie-Q says:

    Ok I just made it and I really do LOVE it!!
    thank you so much for this idea!!

  22. Beth- the mama bee says:

    I like that you added a little pleat in the back, I haven't added one before but I think I will from now on. My kids have a lion and a mermaid (that's a much differnt construction).

  23. von Hand zu Hand says:

    so cute!
    i really love it!

    so i set a link to yout tutorial.
    i hope you'll agree.

    thank you.

    many greetings, doro.

  24. Erica says:

    I agree those baby towels just don't cut it. I made some for my son a little after he turned 12 months and love them. I didn't do the pleat but I covered the seam with ribbon. I'll have to try doing a pleat, it would probablly wrap a little better this way. I love your site. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  25. Deb says:

    Too cute! Will have to try and make some for my kids and nieces.

  26. Kylie says:

    LOVE IT! Thank you!

  27. Casey says:

    so adorable! I have to make one for each of my kids now

  28. Rose says:

    very cute! I'll have to do a pink one too :)

  29. Southcott says:

    i love this. i have been wanting to make one for so long. as i feel the exact same way you do. its ridiculious that they cant make hooded towels bigger. Thanks for the post

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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