Turn a Towel Into a Treasure by Folding It Into a Gift Basket

Get crafty with these easy step-by-step origami techniques for making a folded towel basket that you can use to hold smaller gifts.

Updated January 17, 2024
towel origami basket

There's something extra special about giving a gift or presenting a basket of goodies with a personal touch or artistic spin. Not only does this add an extra little treat with a fluffy white towel or a colorful pattern to match the occasion, but it makes the gift all the more fun to receive. Better yet, learning how to fold towels in a basket is a total piece of cake! 

Towel Origami Basket Instructions

To make a towel basket, you'll need one large bath towel or beach towel and one washcloth or hand towel.

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.

Quick Tip

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. Matching your theme will make it pop all the more! 

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 a third of 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.

Related: Relaxation Gift Basket Ideas and Shopping Guide

Towel origami doesn't 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 their 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

Craft a Charming Towel Basket

Mastering the art of folding a towel into a basket is more than just a fun party trick. It's a practical skill (who doesn't need an extra pair of hands to hold something from time to time), but it's a way to elevate and add an extra-special touch to any occasion. Grab your towels and get folding!  

Turn a Towel Into a Treasure by Folding It Into a Gift Basket