home-made christmas crackers

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I know things get awfully expensive at Christmas - I know that - but I can't help but seriously baulk at the cost of Christmas crackers. They're essentially a cardboard tube with a tissue paper hat and a scrap of junk inside, that will just get scrunched and tossed with the leftovers.

This year, I thought I'd DIY our crackers - and stuff it with treasures we'll actually enjoy.

You'll need:

cardboard tubing
tissue paper
stickytape and string
treats and goodies to stash inside

Start by making a paper hat. Measure your wearer's head {you can make two sizes - one for adults, one for kids} and cut paper to this length + 2cm. The depth of the piece should be around 25cm. Fold the paper lengthwise, so you have a long strip about 12.5cm deep. Fold the strip in half {bringing short ends together}, then in half again and half again. Cut triangles from the 'open' side {ie: NOT the side where the fold is} and then unfold the strip. Loop hat and close with stickytape, as below.

Fold the hat up into a strip and insert it into your tube, along with any other treasures you desire. We added festive poppers, Lindt balls and candy canes - you could also add little jokes, toys, cash, a diamond ring - whatever you desire.

You could also slide a cracker strip into the tube, taping it inside, if desired.

Roll the tube in several layers of tissue paper, and tape closed. Be sure to have side overhangs at each end of at least 7 or 8cm.

Tie off the ends with string or twine, trimming the ends short.

Cut into the layers of the end tufts. Do this in a staggered manner. So, for example, I cut through 4 layers of paper, moved around 4cm and cut again, then on the next 4 layers of paper, I cut every 4cm at a staggered interval.

Unfold the 'petals' and this is what the end should look like . . .

If desired, you could tape a piece of contrasting paper around the cracker body. I like them as-is.

For an alternative tuft, cut fringing at each end, around 5mm wide.

Festive. Quick and fun to make. A fabulous project to make with the kids.

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