Blog, Makes

Make your own Christmas Crackers

I originally designed and made these crackers for Coast magazine.

Crackers date back to the 1840’s. They were supposed to have been invented by a sweet manufacturer, Tom Smith, who came up with the idea as a way of promoting his bon-bon sweets, that were having a bit of a slump at the time.

My crackers have been designed with a coastal Christmas theme in mind, but you could create crackers for different events, such as a wedding, christening or birthday. For these designs I took photos of fabrics and sweet wrappers and enlarged them to create the scale I wanted. You could do this too, of even draw your own design on paper. There are lots of copyright free images to be found on the internet. You will need the design to fit onto an A4 piece of paper. I bought the cracker snaps on line, but everything else should be very easy to find. You can make paper hats from tissue paper and of course write your own jokes. The jokes can be created for different members of your family or particular friends. I put some tiny old fashioned Christmas decorations in my crackers. You could do the same or add balloons and sweets.

You will need

Piece of A4 Card for each cracker, Piece of A4 paper printed with a design, Cutting mat, Scalpel, Paper scissors, Clear tape, Double sided tape, Ruler, Pencil, Cracker snaps, Sweets, paper hats and tiny toys and decorations

Step 1

Cut a strip off the card so that it measures 16cm x 29.7cm.

Lay the card horizontally, starting from the right hand side measure in from the edge 6cm both top and bottom of the card. Draw a line between the pencil dots. Repeat at 8cm and 10 cm in from the edge. Repeat on the left hand side of the card. Score and fold as shown in image.

Step 2

Where the narrow folded edges are, mark out evenly spaced triangles. Make sure that there is a bridge between each triangle. Using the paper scissor cut out the triangles. Open out the card and you will have two rows of diamonds.

Step 3

Roll the card horizontally to form a long narrow cracker shaped tube. Using sticky tape, attach one side onto the other. Cut the A4 paper into three strips 2 x 6cms wide and 1 x 9.5cm wide. Using double sided tape stick the paper onto the three sections of the card tube.

Step 4

Push the cracker snap into the cracker, and secure it with a bit of tape to stop it falling out. Tie string or twine round one end of the cracker and then fill the cracker with sweets decorations toys etc or even your own jokes. Tie up the other end of the cracker.

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Potato Printed Wrapping Paper

Print your own Christmas wrapping paper.

If you’ve been reading the press recently, you may have seen the headlines about how many Christmas wrapping papers are none recyclable. So we waste lots of resources on something we then cannot get rid or reuse. So apart from it being fun why not print your own Christmas wrapping paper and save the planet at the same time.

You will need

Cutting board

Kitchen knife

Tape or string

Acrylic or poster paint

Potatoes

Kitchen paper

Spare sheet of paper to practice on

Brown wrapping paper

Lid of a food storage box

½ inch Paint brush

Instructions

Step 1 

Using the kitchen knife cut the potato in half and then score and cut out your design from one half. Choose a simple design such as a star or a stylized Christmas tree.

Step 2

Press your potato onto to kitchen paper to get rid of the excess starch. Pour some paint onto the lid.Using a paint brush apply paint to the stamp you have just made. Try the design out on a piece of scrap paper. Print on the brown paper.

Step 3

Leave the paper to dry and then wrap it round your parcel, tying it with stringand adding a bit of foliage as decoration.