DIY Custom Beach Towel

By Jul 21, 20164 Comments

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This summer I have been on the quest for some super cute beach towels! Nothing too over the top, but something with a little design.  I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I decided to make my own. This DIY Custom Beach Towel tutorial is super easy. You can make your own design with a few simple items from around the house! It’s a perfect personalization project for a birthday present, too.

Making your own custom beach towel is super easy with this tutorial. You can create any pattern or saying you like, and embrace the summer fun at the beach or pool.

DIY Custom Beach Towel

Custom Beach Towel Supplies (this post contains affiliate links):

Shopping Tip: The darker the color of the towel, the better the design will show up.

How To Make A Custom Beach Towel

Before you start the project you will need to pick a design. I chose a simple starfish, because you can arrange it in so many different patterns. I also decided to make another towel with words.


Once you pick your design, print it out on the computer and size it to the paper. The starfish I used was roughly 8 inches across. In order to make a word stencil I printed the letters out to fit the entire 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper.

A simple piece of cardboard can transform in to a stencil.

After your design is printed, cut it out and trace it on to a piece of cardboard. Cut the design out of the cardboard so you have a stencil.


When your stencil is cut out it is time to place it on the towel. Spread the towel out so it is completely flat and arrange the stencil. Make sure you cover all parts of the towel you do not want to bleach. I used extra boxes and pieces of cardboard I had lying around.

To make the dots on the starfish, I knew I needed something that would be heavy enough to stay on the towel while I sprayed the bleach. Quarters and dimes worked perfectly! I arranged the quarters near the center of the starfish and then placed the dimes going out towards the tip!

Use coins to make a simple design.

To make the bleach solution, mix equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on to the starfish pattern. Again, make sure that you are avoiding the areas that are not part of the design. The bleach should be applied so the towel is wet, but not dripping or completely saturated. It is best to spray about 8 inches away from the design.


Use bleach and water to create a custom towel!

Let the towel dry for about 15 minutes and then remove the the cardboard stencil and coins. Rinse the towel under water to remove excess bleach and wash in cold water. Dry the towel, and you are ready for summer fun!



It is so fun to play around with the design of the towels. This is a great way to take a basic towel and customize it for a theme or special occasion.

For my towel with words on it I chose the phrase “Make Waves” because  I thought it was a cute, beachy term! Other cute designs include an anchor, sand dollars, or sea horses!

Use bleach to make DIY custom towels!

We love anything fun or beachy! It could also be as simple as adding a child’s name. The more customization, the better! Play around and make it your own!

About Leah Leatherby

Hi! My name is Leah Leatherby. I graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Textiles Marketing and Science. Since then, I have had four little ones – three boys and a girl. My life now consists of planning parties, baking cookies, and watching my kids. My husband has 75 first cousins alone, so we pretty much have an event every weekend! It keeps us busy, and lets me get my creative juices flowing.