Scrap Busting Project – DIY Hexie Hand Towels

DIY Scrap Busting Project - Hexie Hand Towel Upcycle. Learn how to embellish blah hand towels with super cute english paper pieced fabric hexies! Simple scrap busting sewing project. Zero waste hand towel upcycle. Breathe new life into ugly stuff using cute fabrics!


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!

DIY Scrap Busting Project - Hexie Hand Towel Upcycle. Learn how to embellish blah hand towels with super cute english paper pieced fabric hexies! Simple scrap busting sewing project. Zero waste hand towel upcycle. Breathe new life into ugly stuff using cute fabrics!

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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. (I can’t wait to show you my next frugal project for the house, it’s a good one!)

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.

fabrics for english paper pieced hexies

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!)

I have this Sizzix 1″ Hexagon Die. I love big steel rule dies because I can cut through like 6 sheets of paper at once.  Or if you need a different size, these hexagon nesting dies might suit.

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):

How to english paper piece hexies

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!

Scrap busting hexies

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.

How to English Paper Piece Hexagons

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.

english paper piece some cute hexies for a great scrap busting hand towel upcycle project!

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!

Hand towel upcycle, zero waste project

These cuties are going to look so great in the new house!

DIY some cute hand towels with this simple scrap busting project. Upcycled hand towels using english paper pieced hexies.

If you’re looking for more DIY sewing projects check out these posts:

2 Hour Baby Blanket
Quilted Laptop Bag Tutorial
Quilted Coffee Cup Cozy
DIY Toothbrush Travel Wrap

Fabric scrap busting project. Pretty English paper pieced hexagons on an upcycled hand towel. Simple hexie project

What do you think? Way better than the reindeer eh?!

Happy sewing!


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