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

Crafting

What I’ve learnt about Etsy

Recently I was asked to design a custom print for a lovely customer to give to her husband on their anniversary. I came up with four slightly different designs using the words she wanted and she was delighted with the one she choose. Hopefully her hubby will be too!

I have added all four designs to the RecklessHen Etsy shop and I could hardly believe that it took me longer to do all the descriptions and edit the photos and get them into the shop than it took to design the prints! Surely there must be an easier way? Will I get quicker at it the more I upload? Is there some quicker way to add to your shop? If you are an Etsy aficionado I would love any advice you might have.

Anyway, after spending the best part of a day and a half designing, editing photos and uploading I have managed to get all four designs into the shop and thought I would give you a preview.

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 🙂

Freebies

Free Autumn printable

I just love the colours of Autumn – the reds, browns, greens, golds and oranges that seem to speak of cosiness and warmth and evenings indoors wrapped up on the sofa. I love the crisp cooler air that means it’s time to put on a sweater and get out the wool to knit or crochet a new scarf and hat. I love the crunching sound of leaves under my feet and sitting in front of the fire at night with a crocheted blanket on my lap and lots of candles dancing on the walls around the room. I love how my cooking changes as the days get cooler and the salads and barbecues of summer change to soups, stews and hearty casseroles to warm and nourish. I love getting out my recipe books and planning crumbles, pies and delicious treats to make use of all the amazing fruits of the season. I have many happy memories of coming home from school to be met with the smell of freshly baked apple pies and scones just out of the oven. In Autumn more than other seasons I find that the smell and taste of food evoke childhood memories.

free Autumn printable
Free Autumn printable from RecklessHen

At this time of year, I love to decorate the house with a few bits and bobs that bring the Autumn indoors. I try to find a new piece to add to the collection each year, this year it was some silk leaves in fabulous Autumn shades. I also made an Autumn themed printable to frame and put on the table in the hallway. I was so pleased with it that I thought it would be a nice freebie to giveaway so you can download it from the link at the bottom.  It is designed to be A4 size but I trimmed mine to fit an 8 x 10 frame as I found a lovely red frame hidden away in a cupboard that I had put away ‘somewhere safe’ and forgot about.
Free for personal use only Autumn printable from RecklessHen
Free Autumn printable from RecklessHen.

Our Autumn wordart printable is Free for Personal Use only.
You can download it HERE.
We hope you like it and can use it in your home, we’d love to see a picture if you do.
Leave a comment if you have an idea for a free printable you would like to see on our blog and don’t forget to follow us for updates.

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 .

Crafting

A pleasant way to spend the day

Today has been lovely so far. This morning we went to one of our favourite breakfast spots, General Merchants. They do a great selection of slightly unusual breakfasts and today we both opted for Elvis and a latte. I can wholeheartedly recommend Elvis and not just because I am a fan of its namesake. In this case, the Elvis in question consists of toasted sourdough, back bacon, banana and Meridian almond butter. It was delicious and very moreish. Then it was off back to Casa Hezza (a.k.a Heather’s house) to get some photos of our Vintage Granny blanket and to start to write up the pattern so we can share it with you. The Vintage Granny started life as a way to use up some of the ever growing stash of our favourite Stylecraft Special DK. We have so much extra yarn, in every colour imaginable that it was hard to choose but Heather knew she wanted to create a blanket that had a vintage vibe to it and used some of the colours from the Attic24 Hydrangea blanket. She soon whittled the hoard down to nine scrumptious shades and set about deciding what to make. Should it be a stripey blanket, a ripple, a granny square or something else? After many hours deliberation, and quite a few glorious detours via pinterest, she decided that the Granny Square from The Patchwork Heart would be perfect. If you haven’t found the beautiful patterns on The Patchwork Heart blog you really need to pop over and have a peek, they are fabulous. We took loads of photos of the blanket and really hope you like the colours. Surprisingly we have since discovered that Heather chose the same shades as those in The Patchwork Heart Vintage pack so just goes to show great minds think alike. Heather is the vintage loving half of RecklessHen whereas I am more of a brights girl but I do love the muted, almost faded effect of these colours together. I will write up the pattern and colour sequences and post them tomorrow.

Freebies

A girl with a plan(ner)

I spent last week tearing my hair out trying to get to grips with my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I got it for my birthday last year because I really wanted to make my own planner stickers, but it has been sitting forlornly in its box on a shelf ever since. Things keep coming up and I just haven’t got round to learning how to use it yet and I was finding it really frustrating. So last Monday I decided that this was the day that I would master the Silhouette Cameo. I thought that in a few hours I would be printing and cutting lots of lovely new stickers to go in my Erin Condren Life Planner. Boy was I wrong! I connected up the machine and linked it to my computer via Bluetooth (see how techie I am lol) with no problems. I got the software running and started to design my first set of stickers and that is where it all went wrong. I am used to using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements but this software was just not doing what I wanted it to do at all. After many, many hours and more than a little name calling, I finally had a page of stickers. I printed them out on my computer and they looked fine but when I put them through the Cameo the cut lines were going through the middle of the stickers. I checked on the screen again, everything looked fine, I could see the cut lines and they were not in the wrong place so I printed them out and tried again, and again, and again (I’m sure you are getting the picture). By this stage I was extremely stressed, more tense than the most tightly coiled spring on earth, and more than a little bad tempered. I’m sure if you asked my hubby or kids they would agree wholeheartedly. I finally worked out that the problem was that the registration marks you have to set were ever so slightly out and it was completely ruining my stickers, sheet after sheet after sheet of sticker paper was going in the bin. Eventually, on Friday, my son appeared and within no time at all he had sorted it out. So five days of temper tantrums and stress later and I can now print and cut my own stickers. Yay go me 🙂
My first sticker sheet is very simple, nothing fancy, but I thought I would give it away as a freebie anyway.  You can print the PDF file on to an A4 sticker sheet and cut the stickers out with scissors, or you can just print on to A4 copier paper and then cut out and glue the stickers in to your planner. If you have a Silhouette Cameo you may even be able to import the pdf and print and cut it but I have no idea how to do that yet. Any advice on using the Cameo would be very, very gratefully received.
Now that I have got the hang of basic rectangular stickers I will move on to other shapes and see how I get on and hopefully I won’t be turning the air blue!
cupcakes-&-cocktails
Cupcakes & Cocktails planner stickers PDF
 

Freebies

A little crochet humour

I have been missing for a week or two as I have been planning a new venture and there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day for everything I want to get done with the result that I have neglected the blog and I am very frustrated with myself. I think I really need to plan my time better. Thank goodness for my Erin Condren Life Planner or who knows if anything would ever get done. On a positive note, I am really enjoying being part of the Makelight membership and learning and connecting with so many other amazingly creative people. Although I am way behind on the courses I get lots of inspiration from the photos and blog posts of other members and I am constantly in awe of their creativity and drive. It has definitely made me up my game when it comes to my Instagram photos which have really improved over the last three months. Here are a few of my favourites from May.
instagram May
I’ve also been trying to keep up with my crocheting and I am on row 64 of my Attic24 Hydrangea blanket so I am three-quarters of the way through it and I LOVE it. I think this will definitely be my favourite blanket so far. Even though I know I shouldn’t start another project, I confess that I am doing the Vintage Sweethearts CAL in Crochet Now magazine. I am not using the wool recommended, instead I just matched the colours to my favourite Stylecraft Special DK colours and am using up some of my yarn stash. And as if two projects on the go aren’t enough I also got the beautiful Primavera blanket pattern by Debbie Bliss on Yarn Shop Day and have started that too.
Heather (the Hen from RecklessHen) has made up a pattern to use up her yarn stash and it is so gorgeous. She is calling it the Vintage Granny and once she finishes it she will write it up and we will put it on the blog. I know you will really love it. Here is a sneak peek.
Vintage Granny sneak peek
And finally, as a wee treat, here is a free crochet humour printable to download. It is 6 x 4 so it goes in a standard frame. I printed mine out on glossy photo paper but inkjet paper would be just as good.


Clicker here to download.
What are you working on at the moment?

Freebies

Hooked for you tags, free to good home

Good morning, what a lovely, sunny day it is here in Belfast. The weather has been fabulous for the last week and I am hoping it lasts for the rest of the month (and June, July & August too, but that is probably too much to wish for). Today I have a freebie for you. It is a cute set of gift tags for the crocheters among you. I was searching through some photos at the weekend and came across some crochet themed clipart I bought quite a while ago, planning to make stickers with it. I decided that I really need to be better at organising the files on my computer so I know where stuff is and it doesn’t get forgotten about and also that it was really time to put the clipart to good use. I have a few things I have crocheted to put away for birthday gifts so I thought it would be a good idea to make some tags to go with them. I had so much fun playing around with the graphics and trying to come up with suitable messages to go with them. I really need to do this kind of thing more often because I love working with graphics and designing things.

free Hooked For You gift tags
free Hooked For You gift tags from RecklessHen (personal use only)

I came up with three different designs so I hope you will like at least one of them and be able to use it on your gorgeous handmade yarn goodies. I printed mine on normal A4 white card and then I just cut them out, punched a hole at the top and put some coloured yarn through to hang them from. I think I might have to go and make some matching stickers now and I can think of lots of ways to use the pretty images in my EC planner.
I found that printing the tags from the pdf reader built into Google Chrome gave better colours than using Adobe Acrobat Reader but that may just be my printer. The link to download the tags is below the images. Let me know what you think of them, I always love feedback.
Have a great day whatever you are doing.

Download your hooked for you tags here.