Here’s Parenting Tips & Tricks for Christmas No.13 – Home Made Christmas Crackers.
I used to love making these as a child. I think my Mum used to think we had ‘problems’ given the amount of toilet tissue that was being used – but we just wanted to get the tissue off the roll for the tube inside!!!
I’m told it’s not advisable to use toilet rolls anymore – any other things we should do to sterilise our children’s upbringing? Perhaps there will be electronic toilet roll dispensers in our homes next year that we just swish our hands past and out pops a sheet at a time … yes I can see that this would have the same effect as the Andrex Puppy in my house – lots of swiping to see who can launch their sheet of tissue the furthest across the bathroom floor (enough already). If you have been saving the toilet roll tubes for the recycling – I will leave it up to you to decide if you want to recycle them in your Christmas crackers. The alternative is cutting kitchen roll tubes in half.
You will need (for each cracker):
- 2 toilet roll tubes / 1 kitchen roll tube
- Crepe paper / tissue paper / wrapping paper (about 8″ x 11″)
- novelty toy and/or chocolates
- snappers for crackers (available from craft shops)
- curly ribbon
- adhesive gift tags (they come in boxes of 100 in card shops for £1.00) or a picture cut from recycled Christmas cards.
- pre-printed jokes (made up by Mummy/Daddy on the computer)
Cut each tube into two – this is so that the cracker can pull easily in the middle for one tube and to support the cracker at either end for the other tube.
Make sure that your crepe/tissue wrapping paper can fit easily around the main cracker tube with about 1/2 – 1″ left over and also leaving enough for the half tube that supports the cracker ends, at each end of the cracker tube.
Place the two parts of the main cracker tube onto the paper, thread the cracker snap through the middle, pop your novelty toyand/or chocolate and joke into the the cracker tube and carefully roll paper around till it meets up again.
Use your adhesive gift tag to seal the cracker and to make it look more festive. Or use a small piece of tape to secure the paper and then stick your recycled picture in place.
Pinch the paper that is left at the end of the tubes about 1 1/2″ away from the cracker and push the ends together to make that cracker shape (you could twist, but it’s not as effective). Place half of tube no.2 into the ends of each cracker.
Secure the cracker snap at each end (just inside the outer tubes) with a small piece of tape – this is just to make sure it doesn’t fall out and is still a very snappy cracker!
Where you have pinched (and pushed) and the cracker has taken shape, you can now add some curly ribbon for an extra Christmassy look. Pull the ribbon against the edge of some scissors to slightly stretch and give a more curly effect. You can make your crackers personal by writing names on the tag or leave them for your family to choose which they like best.
Take a look at all of the other Parenting Tips & Tricks for Christmas, to save you time, money and pick up some crafty ideas …
Tips and Tricks No. 1 – Cadbury’s White Chocolate Fingers (intro to Tips & Tricks)
Tips and Tricks No. 2 – Advent Treats in Organza Bags
Tips & Tricks No. 3 – Recycling Christmas Cards into Gift Tags
Tips & Tricks No. 4 – Hand Painted Christmas Wreaths
Tips & Tricks No. 5 – Clear the Clutter
Tips & Tricks No. 6 – Recycling the Cost of Christmas
Tips & Tricks No. 7 – Saving Money on Kids Toys (and Big Boys Toys)
Tips & Tricks No. 8 – Gift Bag it!
Tips & Trick No. 9 – Christmas Fairy Cup Cakes
Tips & Tricks No. 10 – Cookies with Love
Tips & Tricks No. 11 – Children’s Christmas Parties (and Tea Parties)
Tips & Tricks No. 12 – Lets Swop Toys!