Crafts · Travel

DIY Travel Roll

(This post contains affiliate links of products used.)

Is she ever gonna post the finished travel roll project?


Finally! And it’s because this is my first tutorial with the steps and photos. Please ask questions or make suggestions if any of it is clear as mud.

I know I’ve teased it for way too long and I apologize for that.

The starting supplies were a goof up from a project I started as Christmas gifts. See Failure is an Option post for further explanation.


The towels were purchased through Amazon. They are not the ideal thread count or weave but for this application they suffice. I bought them while I was off work with the broken wrist and ordered almost all of my gifts and project supplies online. So, I purchased the towels without feeling of them in person (very important when purchasing linens!).

The ribbon purchases I made for the projects did not disappoint at all. The ribbons you see on the front of the project came from and I was very pleased with the order. The printed ribbons are less than a $1 a yard and shipping is only $2.50 for orders under $50. Great service and products!

Finished Travel Rolls and Ribbons
Finished TravelRolls and Leftover ribbon from

I will definitely be using them again.

The smaller grosgrain ribbons were purchased through Amazon and they are American Crafts brand. I am very pleased with the quality of these ribbons.

American Craft Grosgrain Ribbons
American Crafts Ribbon Pack

The failure part was the Steam-a-Seam 2 double stick fusible 1/2” web I used to iron the ribbon to the towel. (It is permanent!)

Supply List:

Towel (mine was 16” x 19”)

2 -20” pieces of Decorative ribbon 1/2” wide – used Steam-A-Seam Fusible Web ironed to the towel approximately 4” down from one short end of the towel and then measure down 4” from first piece of ribbon and adhere second piece of ribbon to towel. See this tutorial on how to apply Steam-a-Seam 2.

1- 32” piece of ribbon 3/8” wide – you can use Fray Check or pinking shears on the ends to prevent fraying

Pins ( I love the these flat button pins)

Sewing Machine

Shears or Rotary Cutter

Iron (My hubby just gave me this iron for Christmas. I will be doing a review of it in a later post)

Measuring Tools


  1. I first double folded one end of the ribbon over to the opposite side of the towel. I used a glue stick to temporarily hold it in place until I could sew it down.

2. I then folded the other end of the ribbon over just once to the opposite side of the towel. I then used Fabric Fusion glue to adhere to the towel. You might want to do these steps ahead of time and let sit for a while so the glue can set. Go get a cup of tea or coffee or grab a Diet Dr. Pepper out of the fridge and chill for a little bit.

Now that the glue is dry, you can proceed with the actual sewing part.

3. Fold up the long end of the towel 6 “ (the side that the ribbon is folded over once) pin on the short sides.

4. Mark with pins how far apart and how may pockets you would like for the items you want it to hold.

I gathered up my toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, deodorant, and face wash to use as guides as to how far apart the stitch lines should be.

Finished Travel Roll with Toiletries
Travel roll -flat with toiletries

5. Starting with side opposite of the ribbons, make your first stitch line right next to the binding of the towel, backstitching at the beginning and at the end where the front part of the towel meets the back part of the towel.

6. Now stitch where you placed pins using the same technique as in Step 5. I avoided stitching on the ribbon due to the thread showing on the opposite side on the ribbon. I tried to stitch to one side or the other of the ribbon.

Towel Pin Pocket Placement
Steps 3,4,5,6

I also pinned the ribbon from front to back. This kept the ribbon in line front to back and kept the ribbon from shifting while stitching. See how I know this is very important in the photo below where I was ripping stitches out. 😦

  1. The last stitching line will be in the towel binding closest to the ribbons. Before
    doing this step, fold the 3/8” wide ribbon with one tail 13” long and the other tail 19” long. You do not fold the ribbon in half because one tail needs to be longer to compensate for the rolling when items are in it.

    Ribbon folded with short tail and long tail
    Step 7

    Insert ribbon fold in between the front and back about 2” from the top of the pockets you just created on the front of the towel. Make sure the ribbon is inserted to where the fold is just past the binding onto the terry cloth part. Pin in place.

    Pinned ribbon in towel binding
    Steps 7,8,9
  2. Starting from the fold, stitch a line down the middle of the towel binding using the same technique as in Step 5. (see pin placement in above photo) You can backstitch over the ribbon if you want extra hold.
  3. Last step, Stitch down the ends of ribbon that was folded twice over the towel. These stitches will be perpendicular to pocket stitches. Make sure to backstitch.

You’re DONE!


Finished Travel Rolls in Yellow Bowl
Travel Rolls in my great-Granny’s bowl

Fill your roll with toiletries. Start rolling it up on the opposite sides of the ribbons. Once rolled up, bring longer tail of smaller ribbon around the back and tie together with shorter tail of ribbon into a pretty bow.

Finished Travel Rolls
Hot Pink Camo Roll Full of Toiletries

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and enjoy using this roll while traveling.




9 thoughts on “DIY Travel Roll

  1. Thanks for linking up to the Creative Craft Bloggers Group Link Party! I hate packing my toiletries in a ziplock plastic bag. This will be a fun sewing project that will be very useful on our next trip!

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