How to Make a Basket with Towel Origami

Dana Hinders
towel origami basket

A towel origami basket is a pretty yet practical way to make a memorable gift for a friend or family member. This design is also one of the easiest towel origami projects to complete, so it's the perfect choice if you're new to origami in general.

Towel Origami Basket Instructions

To make a towel basket, you'll need one large bath towel or beach towel and one wash cloth or hand towel. It does not matter what color of towels you use. Hotels and cruise ships use plain white for their towel origami, but bright colors can add extra visual appeal to your design. Thick, fluffy towels will give the most pleasing appearance regardless of the color you choose.

Lay the large towel out flat vertically. Smooth out the wrinkles, then fold it in half. The open ends should be nearest to you.

towel origami basket step 1

Fold into thirds horiztonally, bringing the top edge down first. Try to get these folds as even as possible. When you're finished, the top layer should be the open end of the towel.

towel basket step 2

Divide the towel into thirds once more, this time folding vertically. Now, you should have one thick square shape.

towel origami basket step 3

Open up the top layer on the left hand side to make a "pocket" opening. Tuck the right side into this pocket to make one secure loop. You can use a large safety pin to hold it closed, but this isn't necessary in most cases.

At this point, you should have one giant connected towel circle that is 1/3 the height of your towel. (The connection is made by inserting one end of the towel into the pockets created by the folds at the other end, with or without a safety pin closure.)

The photo below shows the towel rotated 90 degrees to give you a better look at the basket connection.

towel origami basket step 4

Once you have a connected circle, stand your folded towel upright with the open ends of the inside layer at the top. Carefully place your hand inside one of the folds in the middle of the loop and push it down to form a bottom for your basket.

Towel origami does not have the same rigid structure as similar paper folding projects. Your basket will have a bit of a floppy bottom. If you're planning on filling it full of treats to give to someone as a gift, you may want to add a cardboard circle or a lightweight salad plate to the bottom to provide some added support. It's also smart to pick up the basket from the bottom to avoid having the entire model accidentally come apart.

towel origami basket step 5

If desired, you can add a handle to your basket. The handle can be made using a washcloth or hand towel.

Place the washcloth in front of you. Roll it vertically from one end to the other.

towel origami basket step 6

Attach the handle to the basket with safety pins. You should use large safety pins with colored heads, if possible. This makes it easier for the recipient to find and remove the pins before using the towels, thus preventing any accidental injuries.

towel origami basket step 7

Filling Your Basket

Fill the basket with your desired items. A towel origami basket makes a wonderful gift for many different occasions. For example:

  • For a baby shower gift, fill the basket with baby shampoo, baby lotion, diaper rash cream, and a small stuffed animal. Tie a pretty ribbon bow around the center of the basket for an added pop of color. The ribbon will also help your basket keep its shape.
  • For a pampering treat, fill the basket with body wash, body lotion, a mesh bath sponge, and the supplies for an at-home manicure or a box of her favorite chocolates.
  • For a summertime gift, fold this basket out of a beach towel. Fill it with sunscreen, flip flops, sunglasses, goggles, small pool toys, and a copy of a magazine the recipient enjoys.
  • You can make a kitchen version of this gift by making the basket from kitchen hand towels and filling it with an oven mitt and various kitchen utensils. Place a large measuring cup in the bottom of the basket to hold everything securely.

If you need to be able to move your gift easily, consider wrapping the filled basket in cellophane to add another layer of protection to the items it contains.

towel origami basket step 8

The Appeal of Towel Origami

The best part of towel origami is that mistakes are easy to fix. If you're not happy with how your towel basket looks the first time around, simply unfold the towel and try again. With practice, you'll be able to easily create towel origami baskets for all your friends and family.

How to Make a Basket with Towel Origami