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Spread some holiday cheer with this adorable DIY Christmas project.
A hooded towel was my favorite gift and then sewing project when my son was a baby through his toddler years. As he got older he pretended they were super hero capes. While you can make hooded baby towels I’m a fan of using regular sized bath towels that can be used as kids grow.
Hooded towels for kids are a great way to snuggle up wet little ones and get them warm and dry quickly after a bath. Now I have a great nephew and am breaking out all of my favorite projects and sewing them up for him. I made him a simple hooded towel (you can can see the video on my YouTube channel) and then got the inspiration to make one that looks like a Santa hat for the holidays!
80-90% of yout time will be spent on the hood then you sew it to the towel and you’re ready to go. Most hooded towels are made with a bath towel and a hand towel or washcloth for the hood – but I couldn’t find either in red! Not to worry – you can always make the hood from a second bath towel, and if you are making a few hooded towels, that will be the most economical way to go anyway. You can make 2 hoods from a hand towel and 6 hoods from a bath towel.
- 1 Red Bath Towel
- 1 Red Hand Towel (or a second red bath towel)
- 1 White Hand Towel
- 1 White Wash Cloth
- Curved Hood Trim Template from Etsy (optional)
- Rotary Cutter
- Rotary Mat
- 9″ Circle Ruler by Lori Holt
- Fabric Scissors
- Heat Erasable Pen
- 3″ Soft Sculpture Doll Needles
- Straight Pins
- Red & White Threads & Bobbins
- Sewing Machine
- Serger (optional)
If you prefer to have an ad-free, printable PDF pattern with the curved hood template*, you can find it in my Etsy Shop >
* You don’t need to buy the template unless you want the curved line and a printer friendly version of these directions. You can follow all the directions and simply use a straight edge instead of curves on the hood trim.
HOW TO MAKE A santa hat hooded towel for the holidays
Please read all instructions before beginning. Seam allowances are ¼”.
I made my Christmas dog bandanas simple so they would sew up quickly. You can of course create them to fit your vibe by adding more embellishments. Some ideas include adding a dog name or saying on the collar channel with machine embroidery or heat transfer vinyl if you are a Cricut or other cutting machine user. You can add ribbon or trim, beads, sequins and more! (If you try any of these I’d LOVE to see what you do! Please send me a photo or tag me on social media.)
STEP 1: MAKE THE HOOD
CREATE THE POM POM
- Cut a 9″ circle from a white wash cloth. (fig. 1)
- To gather the circle to form the pom pom on Santa’s hood, sew half way around the circle, close to the edge, with the longest stitch your sewing machine can do. Leave 8-10″ of both top and bobbin thread at the beginning and the end of the sewing.
- Repeat with the second half of the circle. (fig. 2)
TIP: Some people sew all the way around the circle and pull the threads to gather but my thread broke when I tried that, especially when gathering something bulky like a washcloth, so doing half at a time will be easier.
- Organize the threads on each side of the circle. Gently pull one of the top threads to gather. (fig. 3)
- Push the gathered section towards the side you are holding in place to help the process along.
- Continue until you can’t gather it more. You might want to gather from both sides of each half circle – gathering 1/4 of the fabric at a time – for easiest and best results.
- Repeat with the other side of the circle.
- Take all 4 threads from one side and all 4 from the other side and tie them in a knot. (fig. 4)
- Use a large needle (I use a 3″ soft sculpture needle) and put 4 thread from one side through the eye of the needle. Sew the gathered parts of the circle so they are all condensed in the center to form the pom pom. (fig. 5)
- Put aside until the last step.
MAKE THE WHITE HOOD TRIM
- Cut a 16½” x 4” piece from the white hand towel.
- Serge or zig zag stitch 3 sides over the edges. (fig. 6)
- Print the template at actual size, cut the page in half and connect A to A as described.
- Tape together, matching dashed lines with A marking. Place the template on the raw edge – the side that you didn’t serge or zig zag stitch – and cut the curve. (fig. 7)
CUT THE RED HOOD PIECE
- Cut a 16½” x 9½” piece from the red hand towel – or from the second red towel if you couldn’t find a red hand towel to match.
- Serge or zig zag stitch 3 sides over the edges. (fig. 8)
ADD HOOD TRIM TO THE RED HOOD TOWEL PIECE
The white towel piece will fold over the raw edge of the red hood towel piece.
- Place the curved white towel edge (or straight if you aren’t using the template) over the raw edge of the red towel and decide how far you want the white to go over the edge. (fig. 9)
- Hold in place and turn both towels over. Fold the rest of the white towel over the raw edge of the red towel. (fig. 10)
- Using a heat erasable pen, draw a line on the white towel, about 1/2″ from the fold. (fig 11) The pen will erase when you apply heat with an iron.
- Pull the white towel away from the front without moving the part folded over the back. You need to move this section so you don’t sew through it when you sew the back side on. (fig. 12)
- Pin in place.
- Sew, close to the edge of the white piece and along the pen line, using a white top thread and red bobbin thread. (fig. 13)
- Turn the towel pieces over and fold the curved side of the white towel trim over the raw edge of the red towel. Flatten, pin & zig zag stitch on the white curved edge. (fig. 14)
CREATE THE HOOD
- Fold in half, right sides together, matching the short sides, to create the back of the hood. (fig. 15)
- On the side opposite the white trim, the back side of the hood, serge OR sew ¾” from the edge then zig zag stitch over edge to prevent fraying.(fig. 16)
STEP 2: SEW THE HOOD TO THE BATH TOWEL
- Fold the red bath towel in half, matching the two short ends, wrong sides together.
- Place a pin or clip at the center and open the towel slightly on your workspace, wrong side up.
- Place the seam of the red hood on the center of the towel, wrong side up, overlapping about 1″. (fig. 17)
- Pin the full length of the hood bottom in place along the towel. (fig. 18)
- Using red thread for both the top and bobbin, sew close to the edge of the hood. (fig. 19)
- Turn over and sew the length of the hood again along the bound edge of the towel. (fig. 20)
SEW THE POM POM TO THE HOOD
Using white thread, sew the gathered section of the pom pom to the tip of the hat. Sew around the in a circle to secure the pom pom to the hood. (fig. 21)
👶🛁 Make bath time jolly and bright with a handmade hooded towel that captures the magic of the season. 🎅🏻
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🎄 Tara Reed
P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!