How to Make an EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies

EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies on Tree

How to Make an EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies

With just 10 EPP hexies per side, you can make an English Paper Piecing (EPP) tree-shaped ornament for your Christmas tree. If you are new to EPP, this is a great starter project. With their gently-cornered angles, the hexagon shapes are easy to work with, and for this project the paper pieces stay in, so there is one less step to complete. Use a coordinated fabric collection like I did, or use up a fun mix from your scrap basket. If you feel fancy, embellish with buttons or beads before joining the two sides together.

English Paper Piecing is an old technique that stabilizes and stitches two pieces of fabric together. Our EPP Hexagon Flower Garden Table Topper provides an overview of English Paper Piecing.

Ready to give it a try? Or already know how to EPP and want a relaxing TV project to add some holiday joy? Let’s make an EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies!

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EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies on Tree

How to Make an EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a traditional hand stitching technique gaining favor with modern stitchers. An EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies is a festive starter project. Make both sides to match, or mix it up so that each side is an entirely different tree!

Materials

  • 1/2-inch hexagon paper piecing templates
  • 5 charm coordinated charm squares or fabric scraps from your stash
  • Fabric glue, such as a Sewline glue pen
  • Neutral or coordinating thread
  • Thread conditioner, such as Thread Magic (optional, but recommended)
  • 7-inch piece of ribbon or rick rack for hanging (not pictured)

Tools

  • Hand sewing needles
  • Fabric scissors
  • Thread snips
  • Needle threader, if you need one
  • Thimble, if you use one
  • Quilt clips, such as Wonder Clips (not pictured)

Instructions

  1. Gather your materials and tools. Select fabrics for your tree ornament. You will make 2 sides with 10 hexagons each. I chose to arrange my fabrics in rows and make matching sides, but you can create any arrangement that makes you happy!EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-1-Gather Supplies
  2. With a dab of fabric glue, baste paper templates to the back of fabric, leaving a generous 1/4-3/8-inch all around. This can be a square-ish rough cut to get started.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-2-Prepare for basting
  3. Now that the pieces are a more manageable size, it's easier to trim a 1/4-3/8-inch seam allowance around the 6 sides of the hexagons. You can eyeball this cut if you feel confident or measure before cutting if you're not sure. Add a line of glue to one side of your first hexagon.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-3-Add glue to first side
  4. Fold that edge over the paper to create a smooth edge and finger press.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-4-Fold first edge over glue
  5. Add glue to the next side.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-5-Glue on second side
  6. Finger press in place. Continue until you have all 6 sides of the hexagon glue-basted.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-6-Continue glue basting 6 sides
  7. And when you turn the hexagon over, you have a clean, crisp shape with smooth edges and sharp corners, EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-7-Front of basted hexie
  8. Glue-baste 10 hexagons and decide on the arrangement you want for your tree. You will do this one more time to make the other side of the tree.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-8-Lay out hexie tree
  9. Thread a needle with 12-18 inches of thread - not longer, as the thread passes over the edge of the paper templates with each stitch, and that can weaken the thread. Tie a quilter's knot at the end. Using a thread conditioner helps prevent thread tangling and fraying. Simply pass the thread over the conditioner a couple of times before stitching a section.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-9-Thread needle and condition thread
  10. I like to construct these little trees row by row. To join two hexagons, at one corner, insert your needle inside the fold to hide the knot and prevent it from popping out to the right side of your work. You will start with 2 hexagons, right sides together for your first EPP seam.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-10-Bury knot in fold at corner
  11. Right sides together, whip stitch from one corner to another, taking a securing stitch at each end. Your stitches should be quite small, taking a bite of just 2 or 3 threads from each fabric as you pass. These stitches will be almost invisible on the right side. Bury the thread end into the fold and trim.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-11-Begin whipstitch RST
  12. You have completed one row! Finger press the seam open and place the row on your design space. Continue stitching rows together.mv_img id="24956"]
  13. Now it's time to join the rows. Starting at the top, turn the right side of the top hexagon to the right side of a Row 2 hexagon along adjacent sides. Whip stitch from the outside edge to the center (from the outside corner to the inside corner. Do not cut your thread.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-12b-Continue sewing rows
  14. When you reach the center, pivot the treetop hexagon (white in this illustration) until it's edge aligns with the next hexagon in the second row, folding the already-stitched Row 2 hexagon as shown.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-13-Add next piece RST stitch one side
  15. Take a reinforcing stitch and continue as before to the corner. Secure and bury the thread end. Trim thread.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-14-Fold outside piece to make center turn
  16. Continue adding rows until your tree shape is completed.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-15-another view adding top
  17. Make 2 EPP trees. You will insert the ribbon hanger and join the sides next. If you want to add buttons or beads as embellishments decorating your tree, now is the time!EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-16-One side complete
  18. Your ornament in now ready for final assembly! Do not remove the papers - they will stabilize the piece.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-17-Make second side and cut hanger
  19. Wrong sides together, clip the front and back of the tree-shaped ornament together, inserting both ends of the ribbon at the top, forming a hanging loop. Clips alone keep some ribbons in place while stitching, but my metallic rick rack was unruly, so I added a bit of fabric glue to keep everything in place, then clipped.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-18-Glue hanger and clip
  20. Whip stitch all around the outside edge of the ornament, taking a few extra stitches through the hanger to secure it. I used the same thread all around and the tiny stitches are barely visible. Your your fabrics are very high contrast, you can change thread colors if you like. Bury your thread at the end.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-19-Whip stitch outside edges
  21. Here is the EPP tree-shaped ornament with hexies on a white background.EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies-20-On white background
  22. And here is the same EPP tree-shaped ornament with hexies on a red background.EPP Tree -Shaped Ornament with Hexies-21-On red background
  23. On my lighted tree, this EPP tree-shaped ornament with hexies says, "Merry Christmas!"EPP Tree-Shaped Ornament with Hexies on Tree

Browse through more English Paper Piecing projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy.


EPP Wreath Ornament on Tree

You may also want to make an English Paper Pieced Wreath ornament with hexies.

White EPP star on tree

Or, try an English Paper Pieced Star ornament with diamonds


EPP Tree ornament Pinterest 1
EPP Tree ornament Pinterest 2
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