hello-halfpenny-header SHOP BOOK A WORKSHOP Personalised gifts

By hellohalfpenny, Nov 21 2017 09:10PM

If anyone was watching my Instagram stories yesterday you would have seen the making of a set of necklaces from start to finish. You saw me cutting the precious metal, shaping, soldering, reshaping, hammering, personalising, resoldering, cleaning, oxidising and polishing. All before the necklaces were attached together, packaged up with care, boxed and walked to the Post Office to be delivered.

Whilst that may seem like a lengthy process, what you didn't see was me staying up late completing admin and ordering materials, paying my monthly rent for my studio, buying new tools when they're showing signs of wear and more importantly, smiling from ear to ear everytime someone places an order with my little business!

I believe that Black Friday has it's place. Maybe you want a new sofa for the family who is coming to stay, a Playstation for a gift or a new cooker to make sure your old one doesn't conk out on Christmas Day. And in that case, absolutely hold out to see if you can bag a bargain from a big company who can afford to slash the prices (which let's be honest, are usually massively inflated anyway!)

When considering my retail prices all of the above is factored in. Offering big discounts is not. Because that isn't what buying handmade is about. Handmade is about knowing you are getting something that is made with an incredible level of care. Handmade is about supporting a family to put food on the table, pay for swimming lessons and maybe a family holiday. Handmade is about the warm feeling you get knowing you have found the perfect gift for that perfect person. Handmade is about being able to imagine the person making it (and maybe even seeing it for yourself on social media).

I realise I am probably preaching to the converted here but please don't hold out purchasing from your favourote handmade shops in the hope they may do some big reductions this weekend. The likelihood is they won't, and you may even miss the Christmas deadline if you're unlucky.

So it's a no to Black Friday from me, and a yes to suporting small businesses with fair prices all year round!

Lots of Halfpenny love,



By hellohalfpenny, Oct 23 2017 11:39AM

Hello everyone!

As most of you know, I've been taking a little break (which turned into a big break!) over the last couple of months. Life got in the way a bit as we moved house, Reya had her first birthday, we had childcare issues and just general life craziness.

I have to admit I have struggled a bit with the juggle of being a working mum, and in particular a self employed mum where my hours are not fixed or the same each week. I totally realise how lucky I am to be able to choose my own hours and spend a lot of time with my daughter (please don't think this is a moan!) but it I am still finding the balance of wearing both hats at the same time. Recently I have so missed Hello Halfpenny. In the past 4 years I have put so much time, effort and love into building my little business and my lovely loyal followers that the last few weeks have felt a bit odd. Hello Halfpenny isn't just my business, it is a part of me and I really put a lot of pressure on myself when I feel like I'm not doing a very good job.

I had so many plans for new products, Christmas offers and classes that have all just had to fall by the wayside. I was putting off reopening my shop in the hope that I would miraculously find the time to do all of these things (funnily enough that hasn't happened!). So, I am reopening today with all my old favourite designs, a couple of newbies and hopefully one or two special offers before Christmas. I really hope you're not all bored of seeing the same things and I'm sorry that I haven't had the chance to do all the things I wanted to.

Over the next couple of months I have classes coming up at my studio at Croft Myl in Halifax, The Fox and Magpie in Shipley and excitingly, new classes at Tickitty Boo in Cheshire. I will also be selling my work at some Christmas fairs for the first time - details to follow but I am super excited about it! And I have some really exciting plans that will all start to take shape in the New Year.

I know lots of you are starting to get organised for Christmas so please do get any orders in asap. My last day for personalised Christmas orders this year will be Sunday 26th November.

Thank you all for sticking around whilst I've been AWOL and if you've got to the end of this ramble you're a star!

My Etsy shop is now back open so please pop and have a look if you get chance.


Thank you all for supporting me and helping me to have the best job in Hello Halfpenny alongside the best job as Reya's mummy, hopefully I'll get used to these two hats soon!

Lots of Halfpenny love,



By hellohalfpenny, Jan 20 2016 03:19PM

So, last week I taught a screen printing class for adults where I simplified the technique so it can cheaply and easily be done at home.

Before we start, any REAL printers out there I know that this isn't the 'proper' way to print and I am improvising with materials, but I am a huge advocate of 'making do' and if something does a job and allows people to have a play with something crafty then I for one am all for it! :)

I am not a printer, I am an Art and Craft teacher who looooves experimenting! Hopefully you can join me!


- Embroidery hoop - easily purchased at haberdashers for a couple of £s, go for the biggest one you can find then you can always print smaller if you like.

- A piece of voile type mesh - you won't need much. If we're being honest here I actually used an old voile curtain that I had taken down as it had ripped! You will be able to find something similar for a couple fo £s again.

- Small pieces of strong card - something as thick as mountboard is ideal. Strong corrugated card would work but will deteriorate much quicker.

- Scissors

- Craft or stanley knife and something to cut on - ideally a cutting mat but an old plastic chopping board or thick piece of mountboard will do.

- Here I have used block printing inks but acrylic paint or fabric paint which is not too thin will also do the trick!

- Masking tape.

Step one:

Choose a design that is simple to start with. Simple geometric shapes work really well for screenprinting so if you are unsure to start with, how about a series of triangles of different sizes or chevrons. If you don't have much experience using a stanley knife I would recommend sticking to straight lines for your first one as curves are much harder. There are lots of patterns and shapes that you can print off the internet - just be sure not to infringe any copyright.

I chose these two as I was interested in doing a layered, two colour print.

Step 2 -

You now need to make a stencil with your chosen design. You can do this in either paper or acetate. The benefit of acetate is that it can be washed and used again and again, paper you will only get 3 - 4 uses out of it at most. Again, in the interest of keeping costs down and improvisation, I have used laminator sheets instead of acetate (pack of 50 from the £1 shop). I actually find them better as they are thinner and also have a bit of natural static in them. Carefully cut around the design using a craft knife making sure that your fingers on the other hand are always away from the direction of the blade. If you have a sharp blade you should be able to cut through the acetate and the paper together or you ay prefer to trace it through with a permanent marker. Don't be disheartened if it is not as neat as you would like at this stage, it is unlikely to affect your screenprint and this bit takes a lot of practice.

I have done one on acetate and one on paper to show you that they both work just as well!

Step 3 -

Take your embroidery hoop and stretch a piece of the mesh across it. Tighten your hoop as tight as it will go and pull the edges of the mesh so it is taut across the hoop - like the top of a drum. Trim the edges of the mesh with scissors - this doesnt need to be too neat but leave approx 2cm all the way around so you can pull tight again if it loosens off.

Step 4 -

Place the piece of paper or fabric that you are printing on flat on the table and place your stencil over the top. If you are doing 2 or more colours like me, this will be the stencil that will be in the background of your print. Use a small piece of masking tape to hold the stencil to the paper or fabric. Place your 'screen' over the top of your stencil. You will need to use your other hand to hold it down tightly whilst printing. Squeeze a large amount of ink or paint onto another surface -either another piece of card or a plate. You will always need more ink/ paint than you think you will and you wont be able to squeeze more out whilst prinitng so best to have too much than too little!

Step 5 -

Pick up your small piece of stiff card. When printing 'properly' this is called a squeegee! Using this card pick up a large blob of the ink and dot across the top of the design. Hold the edge of the screen down tightly with your non dominant hand. Holding your squeegee with your other hand at a 45 degree angle from the surface of the paper scrape down across the design. This action will be pushing the ink through the screen and through cut areas the stencil. Continue to pick up more ink and scrape across until all areas of your design are covered.

I have gone right up to the edge of the hoop on this stencil as my design was larger than the edge of the hoop but if you design fits neatly within the circle you can just go over the area of the design (like I have with the black later on).

Step 6 -

Carefully peel back your screen and stencil from the paper or fabric. You should now have your first screen print! Wahoooooo!

Leave the print to dry (or blast with a hairdryer if you are impatient like me!) Then wash and dry your screen and stencil and repeat the same process with the other layers of your print. You will need a new squeegee for each colour.

It is a good idea to work from lightest colour through to darkest so the colours sit nicely on top of each other.

And here is my finished print! Ready to crop and frame!

I hope you have found this tutorial useful, I would love it if you could leave a coent below with any other tutorials you might like to see.

For more inspiration for printing ideas check out my Facebook page where I will post more finished outcomes from the people who attended this class in real life!

If you would like to receive tutorials like this to your inbox don't forget to sign up to my mailing list at the bottom of the homepage.

Thanks for reading,

Lots of Halfpenny love,




By hellohalfpenny, Jan 12 2016 09:48PM

In September of last year I made the decision to hand my notice in at my job as a Secondary school teacher. I didn't hate my job but I certainly hated the 30 mile comute and the fact that I had no time at all to put into my business. So at the end of December I finished work feeling apprehensive, excited, ambitious and also pretty exhausted from the crazy busy Christmas season Hello Halfpenny had just had!

But as I said earlier this wasn't what we had intended.

In November we were supposed to become parents for the first time. I always had in mind that when we started a family I wanted Hello Halfpenny to be my main source of income, allowing me to be at home but also focus on what is important to me creatively. But sadly that dream came to an end in July with the loss of our little boy Devan.

It's been a tough journey and one that still has it challenges, but I am very much a believer that things happen for a reason and that also you are in charge of your own attitude to happiness.

If things had been different ...

I would have never have dusted off my blowtorch and created my new silver range.

I wouldn't have had the bumper Christmas sales I had in November and December.

I wouldn't have had the courage to quit my job and focus on Hello Halfpenny.

I wouldn't have raised £500 for baby loss charities and

I wouldn't have just spent New Years in Mexico with my husband and best friends.

Is life awful sometimes? Yes. Are you allowed to take as much time as you need to deal with that? Absolutely. Do I always believe everything I have just said? Of course not.

But just know that if you are having a rough time, you will come out of the other side and things will seem brighter, I promise! <3

Here's to a happy and healthy 2016.

Lots of Halfpenny love,



Bottom image courtesy of Pinterest