Towel Origami

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Providing a tip to the room cleaners at a hotel may actually be worth it to prevent stealing, for fine service, or may in some places just get you swans. During my most recent visit to Cancun, Mexico, a tip goes a long way, and ensures that you will be provided with a surplus amount of towels and blankets but in creative ways. My room was not the only room that had received these decorative swans and designs but all the rooms have been associated with this art of displaying towels and not just one, multiples in each room. Fascinated by these towel displayed I have looked into it more and have figured out that this towel origami is a form of art that lots have practiced.

What really appeals to me is how this form of art is unique. Until I visited an out of the country hotel I have never seen this type of towel origami displayed anywhere else. We mainly received towel animals with a few different designs thrown in. It adds fun and excitement to the room and is a creative idea. I choose this form of art because it is something different and made me second guess myself on “Is this really art?” and almost anyone can do this with a little time and practice.

The first picture, and my favorite, is of two swans portrayed as a husband and wife. Not only are the swans considered the art but the way they are displayed. They are shaped in a way that creates a heart through the middle of the two. The next picture is a doll which looks to be made up of a series of smaller towels. I think the sticker eyes and mouth really add character to this type of display. Next to the doll is a swan which also seems to be made up of multiple towels. I like how they incorporated the towel origami in the display for the soap. The third picture of the towel art is displayed in a way which is almost represents an angel. The two towels on the side seem to be wings. In a lot of the towel origami they include Kleenex to add decorations the works of art and help specific what they are like with the swans and angel.

After doing some researching about towel art, I found John Pullum who creates DVDs that show how to create different animals with towels. Here’s the link for a video where he shows how to make an elephant.

After viewing this form on towel art I wonder:

  • To what extent is this considered art?
  • Why are mainly animals are created and not just designs?
  • How many different towels are used in creating these works of art?

Brittany Bryant



14 thoughts on “Towel Origami

  1. These are so cute! I love cute art works like these. I am more about cute, colorful and simple art than serious and sophisticated kind of art. I never thought that this could be an art too. I think, so far this was the cutest blog! I love it 🙂 . I believe animals are easy to create that’s why mostly animals are crated instead of designs.

  2. The two terms that readily came to mind when I read this post: creative and artistic. In my opinion, artistic is defined as an ability to appreciate art or beauty and/or having an artistic skill. Our textbook also seems to use that definition. Of course, art critics or high art patrons see things differently from one another. Thank goodness for differing opinions, views, skills and talents. I know I would marvel, study the piece, certainly take photos, post on social media, talk about, and be further inclined to leave a higher tip if the artists were to get further creative on my visit. After all, art can be bought and if it inspires me to reach further into my pocket, the artists may well be reaching one of his intended purposes.

    That the subjects of their works of arts, animals, are an appropriate focus because awww appeal reminds of us our pets. Since many of us do not travel with those pets, we likely miss them. Animals are cute and create a warm fuzzy feeling, and perhaps they encourage us to reach further into our pockets. Times are tough, customers are choosing their vacations more carefully, and they are trying to spend more wisely. The unique and distinctive seem more likely to attract visitors and their dollars.

  3. I love these, and they always brighten up a stay in a hotel. They remind me a lot of balloon animals, especially when you mentioned that it is usually only animals. Maybe it is because animals shapes are the most recognizable. I definitely think this is art; it is creative, made for an audience, and it can be interpreted in many ways.

  4. These are cute. They’re probably mainly animals because they are easy to make and everyone loves animals. I feel like I’d find these in a craft book. The amount of towels used is probably like 3 or 4. I doubt they’d use up all their towels in one product. Other customers need some towels too.

  5. Origami is something that I’ve always wanted to do but have never been able to pull it off. The fact that these room cleaners make these animals for a lot of room in a limited amount of time is quite impressive, they are not getting the credit they deserve, aside from you of course haha. They are seen as just room cleaners when in reality they are obviously more than that, they are artists that are overlooked. I’m glad you posted this to highlight the talents of people who are taken for granted by most and not seen as actual artists.

  6. Looking at the towels turned into different representations of animals is very interesting, I believe they may tend to create animals instead of designs because if the towel was just folded in a pattern it may just seem seem like it had been folded in a special manner. Giving the towel a personalty appeals to most people and is unexpected so it makes much more interesting.

  7. I’ve seen this type of towel origami at resorts and casinos, mostly animals as mentioned in the blog. What I always wondered when I saw them is how long did it take the staff to make them, especially if they’re doing them for every room. It does add a special touch to a stay at a resort along with mints on the pillow. I’ve only ever seen one or two towels used and usually they work in a bar of soap or mints to the design.

  8. I’ve seen this before whenever I went on cruises and such during my travels. I personally feel that it is based on animals than designs because it brings a happier sense of mood to the room as well as the person. If it was a design I could see it complimenting the room but not bring as joyous or relaxing emotions as seeing the animal designs. Plus it gives it a personal touch.

  9. Art in unexpected places. Very cool. This Towel origami brings beauty and elevates the everyday , so it is Art! These remind me of some shower gifts that I have seen before. Check out this website for a relatively easy , and espensive (but super thoughtful) wedding shower gift. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see all the pictures. I have also seen bouquets of roses made from rolled up kitchen towels and washcloths…..or even baby clothes. Normally, I do not like “crafts” , but towel origami is different because it is making art out of useful everyday items.

  10. Not many people would come into their hotel room and consider their towels made into swans art; however, this origami art is taking something ordinary and making it beautiful and interesting: Art. Super interesting that you thought “out of the box” for this blog post! Art is all around us and is often taken for granted.

  11. Very cool! I have never seen anything like this before. It’s interesting how they were able to create these out of towels, seems like it would be a lot trickier than paper. I’m actually not sure why they chose to create animals, maybe because its unique. I’d would be interesting to see what other types of things they can create. I’m sure these towels put a smile on every guest’s face.

  12. This is pretty dope. i can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like this. it must be so hard to get the towels to stick like that. i wonder who designed this and came up with the idea. this is totally amazing art.

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