Remember the time you entered one of those nice bed and breakfast places or a cabin on a cruise ship, to be greeted by one of those cutely-folded swans or elephants? Decorative towel folding is an art which was popularized by Carnival Cruise Lines, and is still widely used to add a fancy element to room decorations. Although it might look simple, this is quite a difficult art to master. While almost everyone can fold a towel and put it in a closet, it takes certain skills to fold a towel into an origami elephant, monkey or cat.
What is Decorative Towel Folding?
Decorative towel folding is believed to have originated, or at least based on Japanese origami art. As a matter of fact, folding fabrics, including towels, requires a special origami style. While paper origami is made from neat, easy-to-fold squares, decorative towel folding requires folding floppy, soft rectangular towels, which can fall apart easily. Although it takes quite some effort, folding towel animals or other decorative items can be great fun. You can use your creations for brightening up the guest bedroom, or just make it a fun activity that keeps the kids occupied on a rainy day.
Note: If the fabric of the towel you are using for the decoration is thin and falls apart easily, starch and iron it out prior to use.
Simple Towel Folding Ideas
How To Do
This is probably the easiest way of creatively folding a towel. Create a fancy origami towel in just five minutes with a fan shape. To do this:
- Lay the towel flat in front of you. Fold about an inch from the bottom.
- Flip over the towel and fold again.
- Do this till you have no more towel left to fold.
- Open it up to give it a fan-like effect. Keep this over some other folded towels.
How To Do
Imagine how surprised your guests would be to find a cake made of towels on their bed. Towel cakes are popular as bridal shower favors, baby shower gifts, and decorations in honeymoon suites.
- To create a delectable-looking cake made with fluffy towels, you will need two large bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths.
- Place the towels horizontally on a flat surface, and then fold them lengthwise.
- Start with one end and roll up the towel. Do so for all the towels.
- To secure the towels, you can use pins or tie satin ribbons around them. Place the large towel rolls followed by the second layer of hand towel rolls, and finish with the washcloth rolls on the top.
Add some rose and petals on the top. Some people also prefer using lace, ribbons, and pearl sprays, to decorate the beautiful towel cake.
How To Do
Simple and easy to make, this towel couch can be placed in hotel rooms with small notes, toiletries, and other items to welcome the guests. To make this couch, you will need three large towels.
- Fold the towels in half and roll them tightly.
- Place two towel rolls side-by-side, and one at the back.
- Keep soaps and other toiletries on the towel rolls placed side-by-side.
How To Do
Towel candles are easy to make, and can be added to other romantic towel designs like the folded swans or hearts, to create an interesting effect.
- Lay the towel down in front of you and fold it in half.
- Fold about half an inch of the closed end once and flip it over, so that the fold is now facing downwards.
- Roll the towel tightly from left to right or right to left. At the bottom, fluff up the base so the roll can stand on its own.
- The top of the towel will have multiple folds – take the outermost fold and bend it backwards, and fold it down. The inner folds should look like a flame.
How To Do
A towel pouch can be really handy in the bathroom, especially when hung on a towel bar. Not only can it be used to hold fresh flowers or other decorative items, but it can also be used to hold toiletries as well. To make this towel pouch, you will need a full-sized towel, a hand towel, and a washcloth.
- Lay the hand towel in front of you and fold it up at the bottom.
- Fold this part up again and flip the towel over.
- Fold either side of the towel in and tuck one side of the pocket into another.
- Flip over the towel again and place it over a larger towel.
- Create a fan shape with the washcloth by flipping and folding it. Once this is done, fold it in half, so that it looks like a fan. Tuck it into your towel pouch. Decorate the pouch with flowers and tiny toiletries.
Animal Towel Folding Ideas
How To Do
Towel swans are extremely popular and can be found in the rooms of many well-known hotels. Make it is simple, and it looks extremely romantic and beautiful. To make towel swans, you will need one or two large towels.
- Lay the bath towel on a flat surface, and then fold the edges at the corners, so that it resembles a triangle.
- Now roll up the edges so that they meet at the center, resulting in a somewhat triangular scroll.
- Fold this triangular scroll into a ‘Z’ shape, and squeeze the corners so as to set the curves.
- Fan out the lower half of the swan and place it on the spot that you want it to be.
- Now repeat this procedure to make another swan, place them beak-to-beak, and press them forward to form a nice heart shape.
How To Do
Towel butterflies are easy to make, and create quite an impact, especially when decorated with other items like roses and candles. To make a towel butterfly, you will need two large towels.
- Place one towel horizontally on the place that you want to keep it, and make fan-like folds by folding an inch, flipping over, and then folding another inch. Once this is done, open up the towel to create a fan shape.
- Scrunch it in the center so that the towel now resembles the wings of a butterfly.
- Roll the other towel tightly to make a long cylindrical roll.
- Place it in the center to complete the towel butterfly.
How To Do
Folding a towel elephant is quite a challenge, but the effect is just awesome. To fold an elephant towel, you will need one large towel and a washcloth.
- Lay a full-sized towel flat on a surface, and roll the edges so that they meet at the center.
- Now fold the scroll so that the rolls and the center seam face outwards. This forms the body of the elephant.
- To make the face, lay another towel on a flat surface and clip the center of the long side of the towel.
- Now, starting from the left corner, roll the sides of the towel to the center. Repeat this on the right side as well, so that the place you clipped the towel becomes a point.
- Turn the towel over, so that the rolls now face the underside. Roll up the pointed end upwards to make the elephant’s trunk.
- Grasping the flat area of towel between your two towel points at the side, unroll it away from the center.
- Tuck in the sides to make a distinct forehead and two flapped ears.
- Place this atop the ‘body’ that you had made, and put it up for display.
How To Do
Making a towel monkey can be difficult, yet the effort is often quite satisfactory. It can look especially good in bathrooms meant for children. To make a towel monkey, you will need one large towel and a small hand towel
- Lay the towel horizontally and fold in half to the right side. The center of this fold will create a center crease.
- Now, open the towel and roll back both sides halfway up to the crease.
- Fold the towel into another half, such that, the folded sides are facing outwards.
- While not losing control of the towel, using your fingers, gently push out the tip of each end of all the four corners.
- Holding two of these corners each in both your hands, gently pull them apart, in such a way that the rolls start to open up four fabric twists. These are the arms and legs of the monkey.
- For the head, you will need a hand towel. Repeat step one and two for the hand towel.
- Roll the close-end of the towel towards the open-end, in such a manner that it resembles an envelope.
- From the end closest to you, pull out one corner downwards and the other corner outwards, in such a way that it resembles a ball with a small tail.
- This is the head of the monkey. Attach it or place it over the body to complete the towel monkey.
Flower Towel Folding Ideas
How To Do
Flower designs are quite popular, as they are easy to make and look extremely good. To make this towel flower, you will need two colored towels, one small and one big.
- Lay the larger towel on a table and fold the corners that are nearest to you towards the center.
- Now, fold the other two corners into the center also.
- Carefully keep one hand beneath the towel and flip it over. You should now get a diamond shape on the table.
- Flip all the outer edges of the diamond and bring them to the center.
- Carefully reach under one corner and pull the flap over partially, to form a petal-like shape. Do so for all the four corners, and slightly fluff the finished flower.
- Repeat the above-mentioned steps for the smaller flower as well, and then place it over the larger towel flower.
How To Do
Towels in different colors like red, yellow and pink can be folded to make beautiful roses that amp the romantic atmosphere of any room. To make a rose towel, you will need colorful towels and faux stems or leaves.
- Place a towel horizontally on a flat surface and fold it up on the long side.
- Fold one corner of the towel down, and from this side, roll the towel once towards the center.
- Twist the leftover part of the towel once.
- Roll over this twisted section till you are left with no more towel to roll. Tuck in the last part into the fold that was created when the towel was twisted.
- Do this for three more flowers, and decorate them with pretty pink pins that will hold the towel rose together, and make it look beautiful.
- Small hand towels can be used to make the leaves, or you can attach faux leaves to your pretty towel roses.
While you may be bending some of the traditional origami rules, once you master the art of creative towel folding, you will find it to be a fun and enriching activity. So make sure to employ some of these instructions for folding towels, which will impress your guests and delight the children.