This hand towel upcycle project ties together a few different themes I have going on this blog. My love for all things DIY and sewing, my attempts at developing a zero-waste lifestyle and frugality at it’s finest! Plus all the preparation for the move to the new house. This is a great fabric scrap busting project, and a fun way to give english paper piecing hexies a try!
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The new house will have 1 full bath and 2 half baths. I know, I feel like an entitled queen in her palace of multiple bathrooms! But I’m tired of making do with one tiny single bathroom and it’s time we had a selection of bathrooms that works for our family and guests!
But multiple bathrooms means multitudes of towels. And since we are spending every penny on building the house, we need to be careful about all our other spending. Including the non-existent towel budget. It’s a “make it do, or do without” scenario.
But for now,
I’ve had these 2 little hand towels for years and they’ve barely been used. They are in great shape and it would have been a shame and a waste to get rid of them.
The reason we never used them is because, well, reindeer. I’m not fancy enough to have season-specific linens, nor do I want to store things that aren’t serving a purpose at all times.
The new house needs towels. I have towels. They just have ugly reindeer on them.
So I came up with a cute way to upcycle the reindeer with a scrap busting hexie project!
Scrap Busting Project
I loooove a good scrap busting project. There’s something so satisfying about using up little bits of pretty fabrics that otherwise would have no purpose in life!
I happened to have a good selection of nautical themed fabrics to choose from, so that’s what I went with.
As for the hexies, I happen to have another major hexie project on the go, so I actually purchased a die to make cutting out all those paper hexies a breeze! (I’m doing around 720 hexies for that project, insane!)
But since this project only requires 7 hexies per towel, you can totally just cut them out by hand. Just Google ‘hexagon template’ and find one that’s the right size for your project.
How to English Paper Piece Hexies
This scrap busting project involves english paper piecing. Which is not as scary as it sounds! It’s a way of creating more complex shapes out of fabric that would otherwise be obnoxiously difficult to produce.
Basically, you cut out paper templates in the finished size you want. You wrap your fabric seam allowance around the paper and baste it in place, right through the paper.
You may want to practice a few times to get the hang of it.
This pic shows you the stages of prepping your hexies (counter clockwise from 1 o’clock apparently, lol):
Pin your paper to your fabric.
Trim away the excess to leave a 1/4″ (ish) seam allowance.
Working one side at a time, fold the seam allowance around the edge of the paper and baste in place, right through the paper.
Make sure you get a stitch through each corner fold.
Secure with 3 small stitches, not through the paper.
Decide on your layout! I wanted the happy whale to be front and centre!
How to Sew Hexies Together
There are a number of different ways to stitch your paper piece hexies together.
This is the method I prefer, I think it produces a nice clean look.
Again, you might want to practice if this is new to you.
Joining the hexies can get a little awkward as you fold different sections to get the right sides together, but it looks so sharp when it’s done!
Once you’ve got all your super cute scrap busting hexies joined together, take them to your iron and give them a good press!
Then you can carefully remove the basting stitches and take out the papers.
Now cover up those ugly reindeer and machine stitch around your hexies.
I suppose you could hand stitch them too. I think these towels are going to be getting a lot of use, aka laundering, so I wanted the hexies to be super secured in place.
So cute right?! Goodbye reindeer!
These cuties are going to look so great in the new house!
If you’re looking for more DIY sewing projects check out these posts:
What do you think? Way better than the reindeer eh?!