Create Beautiful Hexagon Shapes With Pure CSS3

Written by Kevin Liew on 26 Feb 2013
229,095 Views • Tutorials

In this tutorial, we are going to make hexagon shapes that support HTML content and also background image with just CSS3. CSS3 has been an amazing revision in creating more advanced styling. Don't believe me? Check this awesome graphic coded purely with CSS.

With CSS Transform, we can easily skew, rotate and other manipulations on DOM element. We are going to use CSS3 rotate and masking to achieve what we want. This tutorial will be slightly complicated in CSS part, and I have tried my best to explain it with illustrations. Alright, let's get started.

HTML

This hexagon can have two different styles. You can either put text content in it or just pure image. The HTML markup is quite similar and they also share the same CSS.

Referring to the HTML markup below, there are two div called .corner-1 and corner-2, we will rotate these two divs to 60 degree to create the shape we want.

<div class="hex hex-3">		
	<div class="inner">
			<h4>CONTACT US</h4>
			<hr />
			<p>We Open Everyday</p>
	</div>		
	<a href="#"></a>
	<div class="corner-1"></div>
	<div class="corner-2"></div>		
</div>	

<div class="hex" style="background-image: url(images/2.jpg);">		
	<a href="#"></a>		
	<div class="corner-1"></div>
	<div class="corner-2"></div>		
</div>

CSS

Alright, it will be a little bit complicated in CSS section. A hexagon has six edges and each angle is 60 degree. We are going to build a hexagon with 3 rectangles. Referring to the picture below, in step 1 to 3, we are placing 2 rectangles on top of the main one and rotate them 60 degree. That's how a hexagon is made.

For the background image, there is more work to make it display correctly. Because we have rotated both corners, the background image is rotated as well. Therefore, to rectify this, we will be using :before to duplicate its content, rotate it back, make it a square, and mask it with overflow:hidden.

Here I have another illustration to let you see it a little bit more clearly.

.hex {
	width:150px;
	height:86px;
	background-color: #ccc;
	background-repeat: no-repeat;
	background-position: 50% 50%;			
	background-size: auto 173px;							
	position: relative;
	float:left;
	margin:25px 5px;
	text-align:center;
	zoom:1;
}
		
	.hex.hex-gap {
		margin-left: 86px;
	}
	
	.hex a {
		display:block;
		width: 100%;
		height:100%;
		text-indent:-9999em;
		position:absolute;
		top:0;
		left:0;
	}

	.hex .corner-1,
	.hex .corner-2 {
		position: absolute;
		top:0;
		left:0;
		width:100%;
		height:100%;
		background: inherit;								
		z-index:-2;						
		overflow:hidden;		
		backface-visibility: hidden;			
	}
	
	.hex .corner-1 {
		z-index:-1;
		transform: rotate(60deg);
	}
	
	.hex .corner-2 {
		transform: rotate(-60deg);
	}
	
	.hex .corner-1:before,
	.hex .corner-2:before {
		width: 173px;
		height:	173px;
	  content: '';
	  position: absolute;
	  background: inherit;
	  top:0;
	  left: 0;
	  z-index: 1;
	  background: inherit;
	  background-repeat:no-repeat;
		backface-visibility: hidden;				  
	}			
	

	.hex .corner-1:before {
		transform: rotate(-60deg) translate(-87px, 0px);	
	  transform-origin: 0 0;
	}			
	
	.hex .corner-2:before {
		transform: rotate(60deg) translate(-48px, -11px);	
		bottom:0;
	}		


	
	/* Custom styles*/
	.hex .inner {		
		color:#eee;
	}
	
	.hex h4 {
		font-family: 'Josefin Sans', sans-serif;		
		margin:0;			
	}
	
	.hex hr {
		border:0;
		border-top:1px solid #eee;
		width:60%;
		margin:15px auto;
	}
	
	.hex p {
		font-size:16px;
		font-family: 'Kotta One', serif;
		width:80%;
		margin:0 auto;
	}

	.hex.hex-1 {
		background: #74cddb;
	}
	
	.hex.hex-2 {
		background: #f5c53c;
	}
	
	.hex.hex-3 {
		background: #80b971;
	}

Conclusion

This hexagon shape tutorial is pretty straight forward. It took me a while to figure it out and along the process of experiementing, I did pick up a few tricks such as CSS transform and masking. I hope you enjoy this, if you have any questions, drop us a comment. If you liked this, please share it via social media. Thanks :)

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36 comments
IFo Hancroft 7 years ago
Can you please explain your code a little more?
Like what does what do?
Where some of the sizes come from?
Like are they relative to something etc?
Do some sizes have to be bigger than others (Like the pixels of translate of .hex .corner-2:before are they relative to the pixels of the divs with and height)?
You just given the code and explain only the basic idea.
I need an opposite hexagon (with the height of its main div larger than its width etc) and I start writing it follow the tutorial and can't really get the background image to show properly (Clearly I am putting some sizes and degrees wrong but I don't know what should I put that will work with my div's dimensions and how to modify the code from the tutorial according to my needs).

In short: Please explain the code in the tutorial. What comes from where? What does it do? Where this sizes comes from? What does it do? Why is it this size? If you change its size how that changes the whole thing?
Reply
Youri van Dijk 7 years ago
Great tutorial! I did find one other tutorial which seemed a lot easier regarding CSS. What do you think of the example by James Tauber
http://bit.ly/1bWKzPJ
The addition of using the :before and :after makes sure that only 1 div is needed.
Reply
Timon G. 7 years ago
You talk about the ''css trangle border hack'', thats great for one color stuff Kevin's is about pictures. Or you can use my jquery plugin ;) -link below-
Reply
Timon G. (Junior Webdesigner) 7 years ago
Hey awsome Tutorial.
I started to work on a jquery plugin for this.
https://github.com/tpmdud/dodecagondiv
Its for hexagon div's and many more.
Hope you like it.
Reply
viomjeet 6 years ago
Where is demo page >???
Reply
Karl Barrière 6 years ago
Great tutorial, thank you!

Only thing: I thought for a couple of minutes that it did not work because -webkit-/-moz-/etc wasn't include in your transform. It's not much, but enough for the beginners to feel a little lost.

But it may be just that I'm highly sleep-depraved!
Reply
viomjeet 6 years ago
but how to create a profile picture in this shape without background image :(
Reply
sergio 6 years ago
Thanks man, cool tutorial.
I noticed a pretty significant issue though when using a background image inside the hexagon. A slight cutoff appears in between the top middle and bottom of the shape and makes the image look jagged. You don't notice it on the demo because most of the imagery is centered with a lot of colored space around it. Anyone have a fix for this?
Reply
pravallika 6 years ago
Thank you very much
Reply
Jurriën Dokter 6 years ago
I am very interested in these hexagons, I just have one problem. I need the entire thing rotated 30 degrees to the right, without rotating the content.(or rotating everything back).

Do you have any suggestions on how to do this?
Reply
neer 6 years ago
Mithu 6 years ago
Cool! Thnkx buddy
Reply
Andrés Amaya 6 years ago
Amazing you save my life :D
Reply
Sherri 5 years ago
Is there a way to calculate the widths, heights, translate etc using the CSS calc function?
Reply
bekamania 5 years ago
I wanna try to update my website with the new one, and make my homepage use hexagon as container of several entities, like about, faq, gallery etc.

Thank here finally i find how to achieve that, but i have several questions.

a. How to rotate this hexagon easily where at the top peek of hexagon is horizontal not the vertek.
b. can this hexagon contain serialize data ie: wordpress loop post
c. the other biggest question how to make all of this responsive
Reply
iman ali 5 years ago
thanksgiving
Reply