Towel Origami Instructions

Updated February 21, 2017

Since origami is the Japanese art of paper folding, "towel origami" sounds like a definite contradiction in terms. Towel origami refers to the process of folding towels into decorative shapes to create a more aesthetically pleasing form. Just as some fancy restaurants fold napkins into intricate designs, certain upscale hotels and cruise ships often fold towels into comparably ornate figures as well. If you'd like to give a hotel suite or a bathroom a special touch, towel origami is a simple way to achieve this.

To make an elephant, lay your towel flat in front of you on a smooth work surface. Turn the towel so that it lays horizontally. Smooth out any wrinkles. Fold the right side of the towel in 4 inches. Repeat with the left side.

Roll the folded over right side to the centre line. Roll the folded over left side to the centre line to meet it.

Fold the rolled figure in half, so the rolls face outward. Stand the rolled towel up. These will be the legs of your elephant.

Bite the edge of a hand towel directly in the middle. As you bite, roll each side of the towel inward toward your mouth simultaneously. This will create a triangle shape.

Roll the tip of the triangle shape inward a couple times to create a trunk. Loosen it so the trunk has a curve.

Grab the top flap right above the trunk and pull it down; this will expose two right and left flaps so they fall down further, creating the ears of the elephant.

Set this rolled hand towel gently on top of the legs of the elephant.


Fold the trunk inward, hiding it, and don't pull down the top flap of the hand towel in Step six and you'll create a towel cat.

Things You'll Need

  • Full-sized towel
  • Hand towel
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."