How to Fold a Cruise Ship Hanging Towel Monkey

how to fold cruise ship towel animals

Towel Monkey Hanging Around Carnival Liberty’s Alchemy Bar

The hanging towel monkey is one of the all-time favorites of cruise ship passengers.  Most towel monkeys hang around cruise ship staterooms.  Ours took a  tour of the ship on the Carnival Liberty, and with these directions it’s almost like the little rascal climbed into the suitcase and came home with us.

towel origami, how to make a towel monkey


After watching Astika, our Carnival stateroom steward, fold a hanging towel monkey John decided to try folding a monkey of his own.  He thought it looked great.  I thought it looked like a towel robot monkey.  I referred to it as Robomonkey for the rest of the cruise.

Start the monkey with the standard body, same as the rabbit, frog, gorilla, or crab.

Lay a large bath towel out flat.  Roll each end to the middle from the short sides.  Start by folding over just a small bit of towel at the beginning of the roll and make the rolls not too tight, yet not loose either.

pull towel corners out of each roll

pull the tips out of each roll

Fold the rolled towel in half with the rolls to the outside.

pull rolls into legs

pull ends of rolls tightly into body with 4 legs

Pull the tips out of the end of each roll.  Hold the two tip ends of one roll in one hand and the other roll in the other and let your two hands have a tug-o-war while they pull the ends of the rolls until the layers pull tight and it turns into the body of your four-legged creature of choice.  For more details and photos for folding animal bodies, Click onto the links for the rabbit or gorilla.  Both of those blogs have more detailed information on folding the standard animal body.

fold washcloth into animal head

step 2 fold over one side of triangle

instructions for making a hanging towel monkey

step 1 fold the washcloth in half corner to corner like a triangle

On the ship, Astika hung the monkey into the metal framework bordering the cabin ceiling.  Obviously people don’t have this at home.  We tied the tips of the monkey’s arms together with a small rope and took it all over the ship hanging it in different places for photos and that worked great.   You can tie its arms together, or use clothespins and hang it on a clothes hanger.  Hang the body up as desired.

folding washcloth animals

step 4 flip over so folded part is underneath

making animal head from washcloth

step 3 fold over other side

Use a washcloth to make the head.  Lay the washcloth flat and then fold it in half into a triangle.

Fold one of the short sides of the triangle up toward the peak, but not quite all the way to the end.  Repeat with the other side.

Flip it over so the folds you just made are on the underside, with the tips of the two folds you just made pointing toward you, although you can’t see them since they are on the bottom.  It now somewhat resembles a square.

folding washcloth monkey head

step 6 fold in half

making washcloth animal head

step 5 fold up the bottom of the square so it becomes a triangle again

Fold up the corner closest to you, the one with your previous folds underneath so the folded tips are now on top.  Again not quite in half, the corner tip of this fold does not quite meet the far corner.

Fold in half, with the part on top to the inside of the fold.  The open edges of all the folded bits point downward on the inside of the folded head so that the narrower portion becomes the top of the head and the wider portion the bottom.

how to fold a hanging towel monkey

finished monkey

towel animal folding directions

point all the open edges downward so widest part becomes bottom of head

Turn head around and pinch or pull things a bit to bring face to the desired shape.

Insert the head into the pocket of space between the folds of towel that extend from the arms to the legs on the top of the hanging body.

Nestle the head tightly into the hollow between the arms.

making towel monkey

shape head as desired

Make any more adjustments desired to the face shape, body position, or to close any gaps between the longer folds of towel over the middle of the body.

towel animal folding

insert head between the long folds

Decorate as desired with eyes or other embellishments.  Eyes can be made from bits of paper or felt or use googly eyes if you have them.  Paper or felt will stick to the towel, but googly eyes need tape.  Double stick works best.

Next up in the towel animal folding series:  Snakes.  Though not actually part of the series from Carnival, I’ve had requests for a one-towel animal so the next towel blog up is snakes.

cruise ship towel animals

Towel Snake

Other towel folding blogs: towel seal, towel cake, more towel animals.

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2012

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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10 Responses to How to Fold a Cruise Ship Hanging Towel Monkey

  1. So glad I discovered your blog…love the hanging monkey!

  2. efratadenny says:

    Nice one. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I wonder where they get the time to fold towels for every single room? I do like it though!

  4. check out the towel Yoda on My Cruise Stories facebook page.

  5. Sartenada says:

    Thank You for this post. Last November we made Nile cruise and once there were on our bed some animals. We wondered and wondered how to…

    This is great post.

  6. Reggie says:

    These are brilliant! And so creative and fun! Thanks for sharing how they are created.

    • I’ve always enjoyed the nightly towel animals on cruises. I learned to fold them through watching the videos we took on our last cruise and then folding the animals to make these blogs. I hope my step-by-step instructions and still photos make it much easier for other people.

  7. Tmnt#1fan says:

    So cool

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