Monday, January 23, 2012

How to make your very own elephant. (Out of a towel!)

While on our Christmas Cruise, my Mom and sister and I decided to go to Carnival's class on how to make towel animals.  Considering my parents own an Inn and I work there, we thought it would be a cute element to add to our rooms!  It was such a fun class that we bought the little book that they were selling that instructs you on how to make over 40 different kinds of animals. 

 I hadn't given the towel animals a try until recently, when we had a family with three little girls staying at the Inn. On one particularly slow Friday afternoon, I decided to surprise them with a few animal friends when they came home from school.  They were first greeted by a monkey with a little note hanging from the blinds, then an elephant, and finally a gorilla! They were just tickled over the silliness of it of it all (and so was I!).  After posting the pictures to my facebook, a friend of mine asked me to explain how to make them. So, here are directions and iTouch pictures on how to make the easiest of the three, the elephant!

Supplies Needed:
 One large towel, one medium towel, and two paper "eyes".

Step One:
Lay the large towel flat. Fold the horizontal edges into the towel approximately 4 inches on both the top and the bottom. The hot dog way. Not the hamburger way. You understand the middle school reference to folding, right?

 Step Two:
Roll both sides of the towel until they meet in the middle. Make sure that they are rolled nice and tight and that they are the same size!

Here is what it should look like once you're done rolling:

Step 4:
Carefully pick the towel up and fold it in half with the crease facing the ceiling.  And just like that, you've made the body of an elephant!

Step 5:
Grab the medium towel. Now, I'm sure the employees of Carnival have a much fancier way of doing things, but here is where you and I have to improvise a bit.  If you have some kind of hook to fasten the center of the towel to, good for you, you artsy crafty gal.  If, like me, you are hookless, then bite the center of the medium size towel, and hold on to both sides of the upper edges.  Like so:

Step 6:
Begin rolling the top edges of the towel as tightly as you possibly can until they meet in the center. The goofy picture on the left is me in the middle of the process and the goofy picture on the right is what it should look like once you're just about done :)

 Step 7:
Grab the towel by the bottom, looser end of the roll, and turn it around so you are looking at it like this:

Step 8:
Pull the material on the top front down a few inches to create the elephant's forehead. Spread out the material that creates the "ears" to make them a little bit bigger and wider, but be careful not to unroll it. Bend the elephant's trunk underneath the head a bit.  If you rolled the medium towel/trunk tightly enough, you should be able to bend it so that it stays in whatever position you want it to stay in!

Step 9:
Gently set the head on to the body. Be sure to set it so that the trunk is balancing over the fold of the body, not the crease where we rolled the edges together. It might take a couple of seconds to get it to balance properly on the edge. If you have small children you also might want to figure out an easy way to fasten the head to the body so it's a little more durable.

Step 10:
Make a pair of eyes to place on the forehead. (I just trace a penny, cut out circles, and draw pupils onto the circles.) Feel free to improvise with anything you might have around the house, though!

Ta da! That wasn't so hard, was it?  If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, and if you try it let me know as well!


  1. So. much. awesomeness. These are so fun! I need to make some for the kiddos :)

  2. Thanks for posting this! I can't wait to try it out! :-)

  3. Very cute! And to note, I had never heard of "hamburger vs. hotdog" folding styles until starting to teach high school! I was trying to explain fold horizontally, etc. when a student finally said, "Ms. Massie, just say fold hamburger style!" It's like an universal language I never even knew about. :)