Crafting · Tutorials

Revamp a metal tray

I’ve been busy doing some revamping/upcycling this week. I have a metal tray that I really like but wanted to jazz it up a bit. After digging around in my craft stash I found my Annie Sloan chalk paint and some wax paper and knew that I could definitely use those to revamp the tray. I remembered seeing a video a while back about adding typography to wooden items using wax paper and thought I could probably do the same thing with metal so I googled around a bit and found the video again. It is on the Unexpected Elegance blog and you can see it here.

Below is a list of what I used and how my tray looked before the revamp.

I found the graphics I used on The Graphics Fairy, which is a great place to find vintage themed images.

Next I opened the image in Photoshop and flipped it horizontally so that it would print back to front. This means that it will be the right way round once it is transferred onto the tray.

I cut my wax paper to A4 size so it would through my printer and then I printed my image on to the wax side of the wax paper. Make sure to leave it for a few minutes for the ink to dry before you touch it so that you avoid smudges.

This was my printed image.

I then cut round my image leaving a bit of extra space all round.

Then comes the most important part.

Place your image printed side down onto the tray and hold firmly in place with a bit of tape – you do not want it to move at all!

Using a firm edge such as a small ruler or a credit card or something similar rub firmly all over the image. This is what will transfer it on to the surface of the tray. Go over the image a few times to make sure you haven’t missed any bits and then carefully remove the wax paper. You should now have your image right way round on the tray.

I added a couple of coats of Modge Podge to seal it but you could use varnish instead. Hey Presto you have a revamped tray.

I absolutely LOVE my tray now and can’t wait to try this fab technique on lots of other bits and bobs I have in the house waiting for a facelift.

One little tip……….don’t do what I did the first time I read about this technique some years ago and assume wax paper is the same as greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Wax paper is also called freezer paper and one side has a coating of thin wax on it, which is what transfers the image.

We have been having lots of sunny weather here in Northern Ireland so my new tray has been put to good use already.

Have you used this technique for transferring images or text to revamp pieces in your home?

I’d love to hear about it.

Don’t forget to Pin!

Happy May Bank Holday 🙂

 

Freebies · Tutorials · Uncategorized

Creating custom Pin It buttons ( plus a freebie)

Ever wondered how people get those cute Pin It buttons that match their blog? I was getting frustrated that my blog template did not come with pretty Pin It buttons so I decided to make my own. I knew I wanted them to feel like the social media icons over at the right hand side of my site and I knew that I wanted them to match the brand colours from my logo and I also knew I could create them button easily enough in Photoshop. What I didn’t know was how to then get that image used in my blog as the Pin It button. Well it turns out it is really easy. There is a neat little plugin called the jQuery Pin It Button For Images that does all the hard stuff for you.

All I had to do was create the image I wanted to use, upload it to my media library, open the plugin, tweak a few settings and Hey Presto!

If you use WordPress on a self-hosted blog you will find jQuery Pin It Button For Images in the plugins library.

Install the plugin, activate it and then go to the settings.

On the Visual tab you will be able to upload your image and set the size you want it to be.

Save your settings and you are good to go.

I had so much fun creating my button that I thought I would make it in a few different colours and give it away as a freebie to anyone who might want to use it. It is for personal use only and if you do use it I would love to know how you got on. Click below to get your free buttons and don’t forget to Pin them!

Download your free Pin It buttons.

Have a great day x

Tutorials

Make your own Flowers in Jars

I love those little hanging jars with tiny flowers in them that you see everywhere. I have some from Matalan but the jars are green and I really wanted clear ones but couldn’t find what I wanted in the shops so decided to make my own. They are super simple so if you fancy making some yourself, here is how I made mine.

First gather up what you will need.

  • A branch
  • Some small jars
  • Some twine
  • Flowers

I used three jars on my branch but I’m going to make another one with five on it, just go with whatever makes you happy.

Lay out your branch and jars so that you can see how far below the branch you want the jars to hang. Once you are happy with the spacing cut three pieces of twine, the length of each should be about three times the distance from the jar to the branch.

Tie a small loop in each end of your three pieces of twine. This will involve a bit of trial and error until you get the loops in the right position so that your jar will hang where you want it to, allowing a little extra length to allow for tiring it to the branch. Cut off any excess twine. This is what we will use to hang them from the branch. Cut three smaller pieces of twine to go around the neck of each jar.

Find the middle of your long piece of twine and tie it to the branch, making sure the ends are level. Thread the small piece of twine through the loops on the ends of the long piece of twine and tie tightly round the neck of the jar. Repeat for the other two jars.

Put a little water into each jar and pop in a flower or two. Add a hanging loop made from twine.

Hang on the wall. It really is that simple.

If you try this I’d love to know how you got on.

Don’t forget to Pin It if you liked it.

Thanks and have a great weekend x

Tutorials · Uncategorized

How to make an Easter wreath

You know you have a problem with procrastinating when you realise the fabric you bought and the wooden eggs you painted to make an Easter wreath have been sitting there for a couple of years and you still haven’t got round to making it! That was my reality this morning. I was looking on Instagram and saw a lovely floral wreath made by @justlaurajayne so I decided today was the day the wreath would be made.
I thought maybe some of you would be interested to see how I made it so I’ve put together a tutorial to show you what I did.

Make an Easter wreath by RecklessHen
How to make an Easter wreath by RecklessHen

First get together all the supplies you will need. I used

  • a wire wreath frame
  • burlap ribbon or strips of burlap
  • garden wire
  • a selection of Easter decorations
  • hot glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • a bow, or ribbon/fabric to make a bow

Easter wreath supplies by RecklessHen
Easter wreath supplies by RecklessHen

For a 30cm wreath frame you will need about 18-20m of burlap ribbon, depending on how full you want your finished wreath to look. I didn’t have any burlap ribbon but I had quite a bit of burlap fabric so I cut it into 12 strips which were about 1.5m long and 6 inches wide.
Start by folding your burlap in quarters and threading a small length of garden wire through it and twisting to secure it. Then use the wire to attach the burlap to one of the spokes of the frame.

Begin pulling loops of the burlap up through the outer ring on the wreath frame. Next pull a loop up through the middle ring and then through inner ring.

Once you have done these three loops, twist the burlap firmly and work your way back up the wreath frame in the opposite direction, pulling loops of burlap through each segment in the wire frame. Continue doing this until you have all the frame filled.

Secure the end of the burlap to the wire frame in the same way as you did at the start, by threading garden wire through it and twisting round the frame.
Lay out your Easter decorations on top of the wreath until you are happy with how they look and then glue in place.
Easter Wreath by RecklessHen
Easter Wreath by RecklessHen

Make a bow and glue it to the wreath, add a loop of garden wire on the back as a hanger and Hey Presto, it’s finished!
Easter Wreath by RecklessHen
Easter wreath by RecklessHen

My wreath is finally hanging proudly on the door and I am off to put the rest of my Easter decorations up.
Happy Easter x

Crafting · Tutorials

How to crochet an Autumn Pumpkin

Feeling very autumny, I spent a few happy hours last week on a Pinterest safari looking for crochet patterns for autumnal bits and bobs. I found loads of fabulous leaf patterns, acorn patterns, squirrel and hedgehog patterns and of course pumpkin patterns. A crocheted pumpkin seemed a good place to start as the patterns were all pretty similar and straight forward and I knew I had some orange wool in my extensive stash. So I got a cuppa, my wool and my hook and settled down to start only to realise that the pattern I had chosen was for chunky wool and mine was DK. Not to be beaten I decided to wing it and try to come up with something that would pass as a pumpkin.  I was really happy with how it turned out and thought I would share the pattern in case it is useful for you. First, here is what it looks like.

crochet a pumpkin
How to crochet an Autumn Pumpkin by Recklesshen

You will need:
Double knitting wool
4mm hook
Toy stuffing
Twig about 1cm thick and about 3-4cm long
Hot glue gun
Wool needle

Here is how I made mine.

  • Make a slip knot and place it over your hook.
  • Chain 68.
  • Slip stitch into the starting chain to form a circle.
  • Chain 2. (This becomes your first DC)
  • Work a DC into the same stitch as your slip stitch.
  • Work a DC into each stitch around your circle to the end.
  • Slip stitch into the 2nd chain of the chain 2 at the start of the previous round.
  • *Chain 2.
  • Work a DC into the same stitch as your slip stitch.
  • Work a DC into each stitch around your circle to the end.
  • Slip stitch into the 2nd chain of the chain 2 at the start of the previous round*.
  • Repeat from * to * until your crochet measures as long as you want it to be.
    The longer the crochet is the taller your pumpkin will be. I kept going until mine measured around 30cm.
  • Finish on a slip stitch and fasten off your wool.
    You will now have a crocheted tube.
  • Using the same colour wool and a wool needle, do a running stitch around the edge at the bottom end of the tube. Gently pull the wool to gather the edge until it is as tight as it will comfortably go. Fasten off your wool.
  • Using toy stuffing, stuff your pumpkin right to the top so that it is full and plump.
  • Using the same colour wool and a wool needle, do a running stitch around the edge at the top end of the tube. Gently pull the wool to gather the edge until it is as tight as it will comfortably go. Fasten off your wool.
  • Take a long strand of wool and beginning in the centre of the bottom of your pumpkin, join your wool to the centre and then take it up the outside of the pumpkin and down through the hole in the centre at the top, and out through the bottom.
  • Pull this strand of wool and you will see it pulling the pumpkin and forming a segment.
  • Repeat this step, taking the wool up the outside, down through the centre and then pulling to form a segment.
  • Work your way around the pumpkin until you have as many segments as you want. I mad seven segments on mine.
  • Fasten off the wool securely at the bottom.
  • Using a hot glue gun, put some glue on your twig and place it into the hole at the top of your pumpkin.
  • And viola, you have a lovely autumn pumpkin

If you use this pattern we would love to see a picture of your pumpkins.
Happy Autumn 🙂

Tutorials

Ta Dah! I give you the Vintage Granny

As promised yesterday we have been busy writing up the pattern for the Vintage Granny blanket. This is a great stash buster project to use up all your leftover yarn and make room for new, yarny delights. Our colour inspiration came from the leftover colours we had after making the Attic24 Hydrangea blanket with the addition of two others. It is a very vintage inspired colour palette but you can use whatever yarn you have to hand, or use it as an excuse to buy more.

IMG_9115
Vintage Granny Square from RecklessHen

The Granny Square pattern we used was from a tutorial on The Patchwork Heart blog. Her instructions are very easy to follow and there are very detailed pictures to help you every step of the way. We decided to add in some solid blocks of colour which we haven’t really used in a blanket before but thought it would help bring the colours out more and shake it up a little. For joining our squares we used The Patchwork Heart’s Continuous Join As You Go method and again, there are loads of pictures on there to help you. For our border we chose a Linen Stitch edging which you can find on Attic24. Both The Patchwork Heart and Attic24 are fantastic resources for crocheters. They provide loads of inspiration and very detailed tutorials and as crocheters, we can’t thank them enough for how generous they are with their time and knowledge.
The colour sequences we used and the layout of the squares can be found in the download of our pattern Vintage Granny by RecklessHen. As I’ve said before we don’t do random well so there is actually a pattern in the colour sequences of the squares, can you find it? Heather worked out the sequence and I must admit she had to explain it to me so well done to anyone who can see it.
If you use the pattern we would love to see your finished blankets and if you want to keep up to date with our free patterns and downloads you can follow us on our blog, on Facebook and on Instagram .