Stuff management at the beach is often a sandy challenge. Here’s a solution to keep as much order as possible while minimizing the number of things you need to lug to the shore.
For this project, use four standard beach towels, each approximately 30" x 58 ½", which make great-size beach bags when folded into thirds. Three of them go into the construction of the bag, while the fourth pulls double duty as a pillow (when folded up in the handy pouch) and a towel you can bring out when it’s time to dry off. Add in a few smartly placed zippers, and this tote can easily (and securely) accommodate all your favorite sunbathing accessories.
Materials and Construction
Start by cutting the pouch towel (in orange and red stripes here) down to about 32". Then fold it up about 14" toward the raw edge, and set two 14" zippers along the top (a few inches below the raw edge) so that they zip outward like a purse. Finish the top piece by sewing up the sides just inside the selvage, and create three pouches by placing two seams up from the bottom to where the finished edge meets the zipper. Set aside the pouch piece and place the blue and turquoise towel on top of the pink and magenta.
Connect the top two thirds of the towels with 20" zippers, recessed an inch in along both sides. Set the base of the zippers at the fold where the top two thirds meet, with the teeth facing outward, so they come together to form an enclosed bag when zipped up. Now, with everything unzipped, flat, and with the blue and turquoise towel face up, connect the sides and bottoms of the long towels together, and attach the pouch piece (zipper side up) between the tops.
Decide which towel you want to be sand-side down (blue and turquoise, in our case) and attach an 11' loop of 1" belt webbing to that side to create a shoulder strap. To make sure the strap will wrap around the bag and hang comfortably from the shoulder, test the length by assembling the bag and pinning the strap in place.
Remember that one side needs to be significantly longer so it can wrap all the way around the bag and meet up at the same spot with the other loop. Once it’s in place, attach it in four spots to the top third of the sand side- down towel. Pack up your sunscreen, iPod, and some light reading, and you’re ready to hit the beach!