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Hobbies: Beach Blanket Roll Up for beach lounging

Dena Fishbein
Tribune News Service

Summer is here, and what better way to relax than a day spent lounging at the beach on a colorful Beach Blanket Roll Up? With a pillow and two pockets for your sunscreen, book or sunglasses, this DIY project is going to be your new favorite summer accessory. Plus, it rolls up and has handles so you can grab and go!

Gather:

Beach towel

Fabric

Pillow, any size

Scissors

Sewing machine and thread

Sewing needle and thread

Fabric marker

Create:

1. Measure the beach towel. Mine was 35 inches by 68 inches. Cut a rectangle of fabric to the beach towel measurement, adding 2 inches to the length measurement. With right sides together, pin the beach towel to the fabric, leaving the extra length at the top. Sew around 3 sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving the top open. Turn right side out and press with an iron.

2. Measure the pillow. My pillow was 14 inches by 17 inches. Add enough to the width measurement to match the width of the towel plus 1 inch. Double the length measurement and add 2 inches. Cut a piece of fabric to this measurement. Mine ended up being 30 inches by 18 inches.

3. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew the 2 short sides closed, leaving the bottom open. Turn right side out and press with an iron.

4. Find the middle of the pillowcase and measure out half of the width of the pillow on either side. For example, my pillow is 17 inches wide, so I measured out 8.5 inches on either side. Mark this measurement with a fabric marker down the length of the pillowcase. Sew down those lines. This creates a pocket for the pillow in the middle of the pillowcase.

5. Measure the 2 rectangles on the sides of the pillowcase. Mine ended up being 8 inches by 14 inches. Add 1 inch to each measurement and cut two rectangles of fabric at that measurement. These will be little pockets on either side of your pillow.

6. Fold each side of the rectangle in and press. Fold one of the long sides in again and press. Stitch this side closed. Repeat on the second rectangle.

7. Pin the rectangle to your pillowcase with the stitched side facing where the pillow will go. Sew the 3 other sides onto the pillowcase. Repeat on second rectangle.

8. Put your pillow inside and, with right sides together, pin the bottom of the pillowcase to the top of the fabric, pinning the pillow opening closed. Sew with the sewing machine. If the pillow is too big, you might have to hand-stitch this part.

9. Pin the top of the beach towel to the pillowcase. Hand stitch closed.

10. Cut 2 rectangles for the handles. I cut mine at 3.5 inches by 19 inches. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together and sew 3 sides, leaving one of the short sides open. Turn right side out (it helps to have a loop-turner, but I did mine without). Press with an iron. Turn the open end in 1/2 inch and press.

11. Pin the handle onto the bottom of the beach towel on the fabric side. Sew with the sewing machine.

12. Roll your blanket up starting with the pillow to figure out where the other handle should go. Pin the handle wherever it fits best and hand stitch.

Dena Fishbein is the designer and artist behind many home, gift and paper products found at your favorite stores. To ask her how to embellish anything, visit her blog at denadesigns.com.