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Towel Origami

If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ve probably seen towel origami. The stewards or cleaning crew take a large bath towel and fold it into fun shapes (typically animals), and sometimes accessorize it to look more realistic.

Towel Origami folded pig

On some cruises, towel creations are often a bit rushed and shoddy, but I thought these animals were atypically great.

Towel Origami folded hippo

These have been around for hundreds of years, but Carnival Cruise Lines has been credited for making them popular again (they even sell a how-to book).

What has always amazed me is that they’re all created from a single towel.

Towel Origami Folded Bird

OK, quick … what is the first thing you think of when you see this picture:

Towel Origami Folded Monkey

A Ninja, right? It’s supposed to be a monkey, but I like the idea of cleaning crews toiling away folding up Ninjas a lot better.

If you want to learn how to make your own, here is Royal Carribean’s Towel Folding How-to (for non-commercial use only). All pics via Spluch.

11 Responses to “Towel Origami”

  1. on 29 Apr 2007 at 8:38 am Mr. Fabulous

    I never knew such a phenomenon existed. I MUST start getting out more…

  2. on 29 Apr 2007 at 9:37 am Daniel Kim

    Actually, some of these are made from two or three towels. The monkey, for instance, requires multiple towels.

    Still, very nicely done. I think it is a good thing to know how to take mundane objects and transform them into something fun and interesting or useful. This is part of the fascination of origami. It’s somehow very rewarding to take a few random objects and make them into a diverting juggling act, or turn a bit of rope into useful or even life-saving tools with appropriate knots. Recently, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment published a guide on how to fold Furoshiki (, turning a square of cloth into a wide variety of wrappers or carriers.

    Being able to do these things keeps the mind active, and encourages a stance of MacGuyver-like resourcefulness. In addition, you will never be bored if you can make useful things out of ordinary objects.

  3. on 29 Apr 2007 at 2:16 pm Saundra in MO

    Love it!
    I’m going to look for the Carnival book at our library. I doubt it’s there but I can always request it. I just love these little animals! How neat would it be to leave one of these for the little ones to discover as they get out of the tub??
    Thanks Ben!

  4. on 29 Apr 2007 at 7:39 pm Daveman

    Thats amazing! Never seen that before, and you are right! The monkey does look like a Ninja. LOL

  5. on 29 Apr 2007 at 8:08 pm Mist 1

    I thought I had too much time on my hands because I roll all my towels.

  6. on 30 Apr 2007 at 3:35 am Christopher Trottier

    The last one is my favourite. That takes real art.

  7. on 30 Apr 2007 at 9:02 am Leslie Millet

    You can even learn to make one here…

    Hope this helps.


  8. on 30 Apr 2007 at 1:51 pm Melissa

    Oh sweet ninja!!!! I’d buy the book for that one!

  9. on 30 Apr 2007 at 9:05 pm Beenzzz

    Nice little monkey there.

  10. on 03 May 2007 at 1:02 pm Sharon Michaels

    I bought two DVDs on towel origami last month at and loved them. The host teaches 7 different creations in detail on each DVD. A LOT better than some of the books out there on towel origami.
    He also gives some helpful tips on what types of towels to use and how to make them extra special.

    There is also a free video on the site that teaches you one of the creations. No form the fill out to see this video.


  11. on 02 Dec 2007 at 10:32 am dhanapal

    realy great i want more foldings

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