Home Craft How to Fold Towels Into Animals (Bear, Elephant, Turtle, Seahorse)

How to Fold Towels Into Animals (Bear, Elephant, Turtle, Seahorse)

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I love the way animal shaped towels look in pictures from cruises and luxury hotels. They are so adorable and really fun to find unique shapes. Why not add them to your own home? Who wouldn’t love to walk into a room and see a cute little animal looking back at you? These are perfect as a baby shower gift, gift for kids, or as a room decoration. Learn how to fold these and become the local “animal tamer”!

Folded towel animals on bed

Animal Shape Towels

Whether you are using these as part of a baby shower gift or as a fun present for kids, these towels are sure to make everyone smile. You are going to be surprised at just how easy they are to fold. I love how absolutely adorable they are as a room decoration but also how useful they are. Sometimes it’s just super fun to make something that is both cute and useful.

If you like this idea, you might also like our tutorials for how to fold napkins into flowers. They are ideal for your dining table at a party! Of course, if you are more interested in making something for a baby shower gift check out this washcloth teddy bear or even this cute sleeping baby made from diapers.

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Green towel turtle on bed

What’s the Best Sized Towel for Making Animals?

These animals can be folded in many sized towels, so there isn’t anything special you have to buy. I like using a hand towel for smaller ones since it can make it easy to manage, but you could also use a full-sized towel. Of course, a beach towel could work but is a bit harder to manipulate.

Washcloths are great for smaller creatures and for most of the ones included, multiple towels are needed to create the larger animals.  Trial and error is best when making these to fit your needs. 

Yellow towel bear on bed

Can I Add Other Decorations to the Animal Towels?

You can definitely dress up these cute little animals with other items to make them look even cuter. I like the idea of adding ribbons and bows around their ears and head. You can also add stickers or even tie small gifts to them.

If you are giving these towels as part of a present, I love the idea of adding a balloon to them. For baby gifts, adding clothes or toys is really cute. Add a hat to the animal or even use a teething ring as a bracelet or collar.

Grey towel elephant on bed

Supplies Needed

Pink towel seahorse on bed

How to Make a Towel Elephant

Place a large towel on a flat surface then bring the sides in to meet in the middle vertically.

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Folding gray towel

Starting on one end, roll the towel keeping it tightly together until you reach the halfway point.

Rolling gray towel

From the other end of the towel, repeat the same process until the two sides meet in the middle.

Folding gray towel

Fold the rolls in half so the towel now has 4 “rolls” and is a stack.

Folding gray towel

Place a second towel on a flat surface

Rolling gray towel

Starting from the middle top of the towel, begin rolling the sides toward the center creating a point at the top and two rolled sides with loose bottoms.

Rolling gray towel

Flip this over and pull down the top of the towel to create a “face” and two floppy ears on the side.

Folding gray towel

Roll the pointed end upward for the nose.

Add googly eyes onto the face.

Adding googly eyes to towel

Place the head/face/ears on top of the stack from earlier to create the elephant head.

Gray towel elephant on green towel

How to Make a Towel Sea Horse

Place a towel onto a flat surface, then starting from the middle top of the towel, begin rolling the sides toward the center creating a point at the top and two rolled sides with loose bottoms.

Rolling pink towel

Repeat this a second time so you have two matching towels. 

Rolling pink towel

Place the two rolled towels in opposite directions on top of each other.

Stacking towels on each other

Pull the two loose ends over the pointed end of the towel on top and tuck it in against the others.

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Flip this over.

Tuck the bottom flap of the towel under, then pull the top towel from both ends inward toward the center.

Folding ends of towel into towel

Sit the towel upwards and shape the pointed end into a nose.

Rolling pink towel

Add googly eyes.

Adding eyes to towel seahorse

Lean against a wall to look like a sea horse

Pink towel seahorse on green table

How to Make a Towel Teddy Bear

Place a towel on a flat surface and begin rolling it into a long tube – folding to the middle of the towel. 

Rolling yellow towel

Roll the other side in until the two rolls meet in the middle.

Rolling yellow towel

Turn the towel over and twist at the middle fold then fold down onto itself.

Folding yellow towel

Use a rubber band to secure the top 1/4 of the towel into a big “loop”.

Adding rubber bands to towel

On either side of the top of the circle/loop, add a small circle with a rubber band to hold in place.  This creates ears.

Adding rubber bands to towel

Add googly eyes onto the top.

Adding googly eyes to towel

Then sit and shape to look like a bear. 

Posing bear towel

How to Make a Towel Turtle

Place a towel onto a flat surface and begin rolling it from both ends until it meets in the middle.

Rolling green towel

Flip the roll over, then bring each of the ends in to the center.

Folding green towel

Flip the roll over again.

Folding green towel

Fold the towel outward creating a small box/square of the towel then set aside.

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Twisting green towel into square

Place a second towel onto a flat surface and repeat the first step of rolling it from both ends until it meats in the middle.

Rolling green towel

Fold this over itself so you have 4 “rolls” and then gently tug the end of the towel out just a bit from the end of each “roll”.

Folding green towel

Now pull each side down by holding onto the two rolls on each side creating a base with 4 “legs” sticking out.

Twisting towel into leg shape

Spread this out and place the first bundle of towel square on top of this leg base.

Stacking green towels on top of each other

Fold a third towel into a triangle.

Folding green towel

Then fold each side of the widest end upward to meet at the top point in the middle.

Folding green towel

Fold the outside corners inward to make a small ‘tube”.

Folding green towel

Stuff this tub underneath the other towels on one side between the legs so just part of it pokes out to create the turtle head.

Adding rolled towel under stack to create turtle

Add googly eyes to the head. 

Adding googly eyes to towel

Display or gift as desired. 

Green turtle towel on blue table

More Fun Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Babies are always welcomed and if your friends are having kids like mine have been lately, you’ll want to have some great go-to gift ideas on hand. Below are some of my favorite baby shower gift ideas.

Crafting Tips

  • If you want to make your animals stay together for long term displaying, you can easily add a little stitch here and there with needle and thread to keep them in place.
  • For adding more character to your animals, feel free to add things like googly eyes, colorful ribbons, or clothes before displaying.

Yield: 4

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Folded towel animals on bed

Follow this detailed tutorial to learn how to fold towels into animal shapes. Make an elephant, seahorse, teddy bear, or turtle in minutes!

Active Time
30 minutes

Total Time
30 minutes


Estimated Cost


Make these in any color or pattern towel you want. They can be made with washcloths, hand towels, bath towels, or even beach towels.

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Recommended Products

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Finished Project Gallery

Get creative with your animal shapes to make them using patterned or colorful towels and add to a gift. 

Woman holding yellow bear towel

These are ideal for surprising kids with when included in a gift basket or for adding to an upcoming baby shower basket.

Woman holding grey elephant towel

Add cute bows or even sunglasses to your animals for a unique look.

Woman holding green turtle towel

To hold the shape long term, you can add simple stitching around the edges. 

Woman holding pink seahorse towel

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