You can fold an origami snail out of a single large bath towel in just a few steps. This craft is lots of fun for young kids who are interested in bugs. It also makes an attractive and whimsical piece of bathroom or pool decor which, in a pinch, can be unfurled into a clean towel.
Starting with a large, clean bath towel, roll both long edges tightly in toward the centre to create a long scroll. Pick one end to be the head and pull on the corners gently to extend the inner rolls as antennae. Starting from the opposite end, roll the scroll up to form the snail's shell. Leave a short length unrolled at the end with "antennae" sticking out of it to form the snail's head.
Paper Mache Variation
To make a more durable snail decoration, you can use paper mache instead of a towel. Roll sheets of newspaper into a snail shape according to the directions above. Mix equal parts flour and water to create paper mache paste, then tear up more newspaper into strips about an inch wide. Dip each strip into the paste, then apply it to the snail until the whole shape is covered by a layer or two of paper mache. Allow it to dry, then paint it with acrylic or tempera paint.
You can use the towel snail in a variety of ways. If you have guests staying over, you can roll their towels into snail shapes as a decorative touch reminiscent of the special treatment passengers receive on cruise ships. Seal the paper mache variation with waterproofing and you can use it as a garden decoration to add some colour and whimsy to your flower beds or yard. Tiny snails made out of cloth napkins can serve as plate decorations or even prop up place cards at a semi-formal brunch.
You can also secure the head to the shell with a rubber band or a length of string to make a toy snail your children can play with. To use a rubber band, create the snail, then mark or pinch the point where the outside of the shell meets the base of the snail's head. Unroll one layer of the shell and slide a rubber band over the snail's head and down to the point you marked. Roll it back up and thread the head through the rubber band (which should now be at the base of the shell) to hold the snail together.