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

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

Home & Life · Uncategorized

First steps on Etsy

Today I have been designing new printables to go in the RecklessHen Etsy shop and it has been so much fun being back in the creative zone. I am happiest when I am doing anything creative, it relaxes me and creates a real feel good buzz. So after spending quite a few hours designing some prints and taking photos of them I logged on to Etsy to create the listings in the shop and my feel good mood quickly evaporated! I had completely underestimated the time it would take to get the listings done and how frustrating it would be to think I had finished only to find a mistake somewhere. After checking and rechecking a million times (Ok that’s a slight exaggeration but you get what I mean) I think I finally have them done correctly but I only managed to get 6 items uploaded. I am sure I will get quicker at it the more times I do it  – boy I hope so. If anyone has any advice on using Etsy efficiently I would love to hear from you.
Anyways, the first items are now in the shop so I declare it officially open and you can find it here. All the prints will be available in both printed and digital form so you can either print yourself at home or get a ready made print that you just need to pop in a frame and hey presto – new wall art. I love to change the decor in my home by adding a few new prints and some flowers and moving a few decorative pieces from room to room. Such simple, economical little tweaks can change the whole feel of a room without spending a fortune.
Here is a little peek at the new prints in the shop.


I would love to hear any advice on using Etsy.
Have a great weekend x

Crafting · Freebies · Home & Life · Uncategorized

Mother's Day round up and an Easter Freebie

With Mother’s Day looming how many people have forgotten to order their gifts in time for them to be delivered before Mother’s Day? I always do this whether it’s for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings etc. and I end up rushing to the shops and getting something that isn’t exactly what I wanted. So if that is you today then I thought I would do a quick round up of some of lovely, quick make at home gifts that would put a smile on any mum’s face.
First up is this sweet Crocheted Daffodil from Simply Crochet.

simply crochet crochet daffodil
Crocheted Daffodil from Simply Crochet

You could crochet up a few of them to make a bunch or add a brooch pin on the back to make a cute brooch. What mum wouldn’t be delighted with that!
Next up is a bouquet of Map Roses from Pillar Box Blue.
Map Roses from Pillar Box Blue
Map Roses from Pillar Box Blue

If you don’t have any old maps these would look just as good on pages from an old book or on scrapbooking papers.
Or what about Mother’s Day in a Jar from Hello Splendid.
Mother's Day in a Jar from Hello Splendid
Mother’s Day in a Jar from Hello Splendid

What a great way to pamper your mum, giving her lots of her favourite little treats in a pretty jar that she can use as storage afterwards.
If your mum likes to sew how about making this cute little Teacup Pincushion from Pins and Needles.
Teacup Pincushion from Pins and Needles
Teacup Pincushion from Pins and Needles

You could use some fabric from a favourite old blouse or dress, or from clothes that the grand-kids have grown out of to make this gift extra special.
Lastly, if you like to bake how about making this yummy Rose and Dark Chocolate Shortbread from Waitrose.
Rose & Dark Chocolate Shortbread from Waitrose
Rose & Dark Chocolate Shortbread from Waitrose

Add some pretty packaging to make a gorgeous handmade gift.
There are loads more fabulous ideas on Pinterest for quick and easy Mother’s Day gifts to make, but I warn you that you may end up spending so much time looking at all the great ideas that you don’t actually get the time to make anything (I speak from experience here lol).
Finally, with Easter just around the corner I thought I would make a cute Easter themed freebie for you. I love to add to my seasonal decor with printables because they are such a quick way to change things up a bit. Please remember that our Easter printable is Free for Personal Use only.
Easter Printable from RecklessHen
Easter Printable from RecklessHen

The printable will fit in an A4 frame and you can download it here.
Free Easter printable from RecklessHen
Free Easter printable from RecklessHen

If you like our printable please Pin it and if you use it we’d love to know.
Why not follow us on Facebook or Instagram too we would love to see you there 🙂
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there.

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.

Freebies

Playing with Fonts (and a freebie)

So this week I have been playing around with creating my own fonts. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but didn’t know where to start. Thanks to a fab course I did on Skillshare I was able to give it a go. So armed with my ipad Pro and my apple pencil I got stuck in and had so much fun. My first two creations were OK but need more work so I will come back to them another day and tidy them up for sharing, but my next two fonts were much better and I am really pleased with them. They aren’t professional by any means but I think they are fun and kinda quirky. The first one I call Spotty Dottie. When I am writing signs and posters I often do letters like this with dots on the ends so I thought it would be fun to turn it into a font and it would save me alot of time.
Spotty-Dottie
The second one I call For the Love of Zebras for no reason other than it has stripes in the capitals and it made me think of zebras.
For-the-Love-of-Zebras
If you would like a copy of either of these the links are below and they are free for personal use, feel free to pin and share. If you use them I’d love you to leave me a comment. If you have ever thought of creating your own fonts I definitely think you should go for it. They may not be perfect but you will enjoy the process and learn loads.
Spotty Dottie ttf
For the Love of Zebras ttf