How To: Paper Pieced Hexies + Template

How to make Paper Pieced Hexagons for patchwork with template

As you all know, I’m a big fan of using up every little scrap of fabric I have. My ‘affliction’ can be a bit of a burden sometimes especially when I’m tripping over big bags of fabric scraps on my sewing room floor.

So a few weeks ago I decided to start making paper pieced hexagons using the smaller pieces, with no particular end project in mind, but as a way to start to reduce my overflow and busy my idle hands at the same time.

Making hexagons is quite addictive it turns out, and the fact that it’s a portable project had me making them during Emma’s swimming classes, and even in bed!

I didn’t intend on blogging this patchwork project as there are so many hexie tutorials out there already, but an overwhelming demand from my Instagram followers for me to share a ‘How to’ means you are keen to see how I do it.

Obviously I won’t be reinventing the wheel here, but I pride myself on finding the simplest way to do things, so hopefully you’ll see that hexie making wasn’t as hard as you always imagined.

I drafted up my own hexie template in photoshop and have converted it to a PDF for you to download and use. Read on for the template and instructions.

You will need:

  • Lots of fabric scraps
  • Printed Hexagon Template
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Pins

How to:

Vintage fabric scraps

1. Gather up all your scraps. I like to keep anything that is around the size of my palm or bigger. If you don’t have many scraps, ask your crafty friends, I’m always donating bags to friends for patchwork projects. You could even organize a scrap swap to build up your stash.

Hexagon template free printable

2. Print off the template, it works best when you select ‘print/scale to fit‘ on your printer settings. Feel free to use scrap paper for this, it doesn’t matter if it already has something printed on it as the paper hexagons will eventually be discarded.

3. Cut the hexagons out on the black line. You can cut through 3-4 pages at a time to be more efficient (or get some helpers to do it for you).

4. When you think you have enough paper hexies to start you off, make yourself a cup of tea and pop in a DVD. Hexie making is great for catching up on missed movies.

5. Thread your needle with a thread that will contrast with the fabric you are using. I’ve used neon for the picture, but all those thread ends left on sewing bobbins are ideal for this. Tie a big chunky knot in the end.

how to stitch paper hexagon

6. Some people like to pre-cut the fabric into hexagon or squares, I don’t bother with this as I trim fabric as I go. Any shape will do as long as you have about 1cm (1/2″) or more around the template.

7. With the template on the wrong side of the fabric, pin your template and fabric together (pin is on the right side of fabric).

8.Trim off excess fabric.

Stitching paper hexagon instructions and template

9. Fold first side of fabric over template edge keeping it as close to the paper as possible ensuring a consistent shape, then fold second side over so it overlaps at corner neatly.

10. Insert needle at this point to lock it in place. The knot will be on back and the needle pushes to the front.

11. Next corner you will stitch from front to back, and continue all the way around. Finish by stitching through, (but not knotting the thread) to the front. Trim thread.

12. Now make a whole heap more.

Tip: The ideas is to fasten the hexagon shape with a stitch through each corner, and as you can see, only three big stitches are required. As the paper template and basting thread will eventually be removed, you don’t want the stitches to be too small and fiddly, making removal difficult.

Hexagon rainbow

Here are all the ones I’ve made over several weeks, 196 in fact!
They look so pretty, it helps that they are nearly all vintage fabrics. I’ve been playing around with lay outs and colour combinations.

Paper pieced hexagon tutorial

So what do you think I should make with them all? I don’t really need another quilt, but my sister suggested a table runner would be a good way to appreciate them.

I’m also quite keen on the great idea from some of my instagram followers to frame it as an artwork or make a wall hanging.

Hexagon patchwork template and instructions

Hexagon patchwork template and instructions

I’d love to hear what project you’d like to see me transform them into.

rainbow hexie stack

Edit: I’ll be showing you how to sew these together in a couple of weeks so you won’t be kept in suspense for too long, just need to decide on my project first!

Edit: Project finished, pop over and check out my tutorial for how to make a Hexagon Table Runner

For more scrap busting projects, check out my e-book Six Baby Gifts to make with Fabric Scraps


  • Kim Werker says:

    I’m fairly new to your blog, and I’m utterly in love with it. Thanks for so much inspiration!

    Ok, as a new quilter/scrapper, I have what may be an obvious question, but I’m going to ask it anyway – how do you sew these guys together? I can’t quite figure in my mind how they won’t get quite bulky overlapping at the corners…

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Thanks Kim. All will be revealed soon, but to put you out of your misery I will reveal the secret to paper piecing. The pieces are hand sewn and butted together rather than overlapping. I’ll post another tute as soon as I start sewing them.
      Yell out if you have any more question, it helps me to ensure the content and instructions are super clear for newbies.
      Cheers Cinti

  • Carmel says:

    Thank you so much for this. I asked on instagram what the idea with Hexies is. Trouble is, you’ve now made a rod for you’re back because I’m desperate to see what happens next!

    How do you sew them together? What do you do with the paper? It’s all so exciting!!

  • Alessandra says:

    thank you!!!!
    xxxx Ale

  • Nash Khan says:

    Oh My Goodness, this looks gorgeous, and you’ve made tons of ’em!

  • Mhairi says:

    I have been saving scraps to make hexagons for a quilt, eventually, so this is really exciting to see how it’s done, with such lovely fabrics too!

  • Carina says:

    Wow – thanks CraftGossip for leading me to you. I love this post, the idea, the photos all of it. I can’t wait for your next tute. What happens to the paper etc etc. No pressure but will be waiting. Oh and yes a table runner will showcase all those beautiful colours.

  • Bonita Turner says:

    Paint with the pieces. I am not a quilter, but love paper piecing and have decided to eventually create a wall hanging with the results of the hexies being used as paint appliqued on a backing in the shape of a large tree to which I will add other appliqued birds, nests, etc. sky might be blue with white off white hexies for clouds. So dream it, stitch it.

  • angela says:

    Great tutorial…looks much easier than I thought! I’m going to give these little hexies a try!

  • jet says:

    aaaw this is great, when i got married years ago i made for us such a quilt for our bed.
    Stupid because my ex didn’t wanted to give it back when we got devorced.
    I never had the right template to start over. so thank you perhaps i will start over one day.
    I’m now single, so it’s less work to make a new one.LOL
    thank you for t he sharing, have a fun happy crafting weekend.XD

  • Erin says:

    I just discovered you via a pin of your teepee haven’t got to that yet however you are now in my favourites.
    I vote table runner.

    • Miss Cinti @ My Poppet says:

      Thanks, isn’t pinterest a wonderful thing!
      Yes. I think i will start on a table runner this week.

  • erica says:

    So you leave the paper inside the stitched up hexagon? I’m so excited t start mine!!!

  • Diane W says:

    Hi,thanx for sharing.I think they would look great stuck on a canvas for the wall,just random colours look great 🙂 x

  • Sue Richard says:

    Interested in your technique for sewing the hexies together!

  • HIlary T says:

    I just started making hexies last night using this tutorial and am already addicted! Quick and easy small project to take anywhere to work on. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Carolyn says:

    Thanks for the tutorial but when I put the hexies together I can see the minute whipped stitches I’ve used. What stitch can I use so this stitching doesn’t show ever so slightly?

  • LaughingRain says:

    I have used hexies to make a honeycomb for a quilt block and also baskets but I like the idea that just came to me to make a background for a shadowbox that I am planning to put things in to commemorate my great grandmother and grandmother. My mama told me that my English great grandmother pieced with hexagons.

  • A-M says:

    Thanks for this easy to follow tutorial. I am determined to do something with my scrap material! I am looking forward to doing this after work while I wait for my life home.

    • A-M says:

      That should say lift home at the end! My work life isn’t that bad… In more relevant news, I made my first paper hexie today, and it isn’t awful. Hurrah and thanks again.

  • Kat says:

    I don’t understand. lol I am new to your site and love it but I’m not understanding the “hexies”? I am new to quiltting sewing everythinglol so please bear with me. How would you make like a quilt from these? Please don’t think I am to crazy (well I guess I am)lol But please help

  • Iris says:

    I have never paper pieced so I am looking forward to how you are going to sew the pieces together and what do I do with the paper.

  • vicky says:

    What dimensions are your hexagons?

    • I can’t remember vicky, I’ll dig one up and measure, they are an arbitrary size that fit nicely on an A4 page. You can enlarge or reduce the template if that suits you better.

  • Liz McGuire says:

    I love hexi’s too. Many years ago, my mother-in-law made a full size quilt with hexi’s. It was absolutely gorgeous, but I have to tell you she didn’t use a paper template, she used a paper towel, which she didn’t remove and it stayed in place perfectly, wash after wash. Thank you

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