Making Your Own Hex Templates

After Patti gave us that awesome lesson in English Paper-Piecing, I noticed a lot of our members expressing interest in trying more.  I hear it in conversations, I talked about it with some of you, I read it on your blogs, and despite my insistence that I had tried EPP and it wasn’t for me, I have apparently been bitten by the hexie bug, too.


Anyway.  There are many ways to get your stash of paper templates built up.  One is to buy them.  Periwinkle carries them, Paper Pieces lets you order them online, but if you’re up to a little fussing, you can make your own.  Incompetech offers free graph paper and hex templates that you can download in PDF form so that you can make as many as you want.

I chose a 1″ hexagon (to match what I was already making) and chose the ones with the dot in the centre. I’ll explain why in a minute.

Now I have a PDF that contains 14 – 1″ hexagons. You can start cutting these out if you like. However, it looked to me like there was a lot of paper going to waste.  And plenty of room to add another row of hexes on all side. So I did and you can, too.

Grab a mechanical pencil – 0.5 or 0.7 will work best, a clear ruler with 1″ markings on it – most rotary rulers will do, your printed hex template and a pair of scissors.

One inch hexes have some consistencies about them.  If the length of the side is 1″, then from point to point across the middle is 2″.  (However, it is NOT 2″ from side to side…) Keep the [1″ side, 2″ point to point] rule in your head as you go along.

Lining up your ruler along the tops of the hexes, (this is why it’s handy to have the extra dots…), draw 1″ lines from every point and make a dot 2″ away from every intersection.

Turn your paper and following along the diagonals from top to right-hand side, draw 1″ lines between end of previous 1″ lines and the dots you made.  Continue to make 2″ dots where needed as you go and work across your paper. The time you take to make the dots will save you a ton of time later, especially on the four corner hexes…

Draw a line across the top and the bottom through your dots.  The distance will be 7″ total from end dot to end dot.

Turn your paper again and finish connecting the last of your lines and dots.

Now you have prevented paper waste, doubled your hex count to 28 and added 4 half hexes as well! Cut carefully.

If you wish, you can also use a cut hex or row of hexes to trace new ones on the next sheet – just remember, though, that whatever speed you gain in tracing, you’ll lose in accuracy as some hexes will start getting wonky with each trace.

Have fun!!