Just in case you haven't noticed Graphic 45 has been hosting the most amazing 12 Days of Christmas event. There's a boatload of serious eye candy on their blog so you should run right over with a napkin for any drooly accidents. AND because they are the most generous crafty bunch ever... check out the prize pack you could win just by leaving a comment on the Graphic 45 blog! A winner will be announced tomorrow so hurry over.
Now, I happened to be given the 12th day of celebrations and here is my little contribution....
We have a combined Christmas in my household, celebrating both my husbands Italian roots and my British background. One of the Brit traditions we always include is the Christmas Cracker. Just before dinner, guests grasp the ends and pull apart these little treats, a small snap inside ‘CRACKS!’ as it breaks open. Inside is a paper crown to be worn during the feast, a joke or motto, and a small treat, gift or trinket.
Cracker snap (I purchased mine from Michaels’s 12 for under $3)
Double Sided Tape
• Botanica Minis in Cranberry/Amber/Orange
• Velvet Hydrangea leaves
Trinkets and treats for inside the cracker.
And here is how to create your very own Traditional English Christmas Cracker.
Begin by creating the paper crown. The crown should be quite simple and not heavily embellished as it will be rolled up. Create your own version or use THIS .template
I’ve cut the two pieces from the template from 12 Days of Christmas. **NOTE the template only measures 11” across. Clip or incorporate the extra 1” however you see fit.
Use some double sided tape to adhere the layers together. Take a 28” length of coordinating ribbon and affix it with double sided tape to the crown, adhere the middle of the ribbon with the middle front of the crown. The extra length at the sides will be used to tie the paper crown to your head.
I lightly embellish with some dots from the 12 Days of Christmas Banners and a festive 12 Days of Christmas Sticker. DO NOT over embellish.
Now we move on to creating the actual cracker. Begin by cutting two pieces of coordinating paper into 5” x 6” rectangles.
I’m going to use the piece from the 12 Days of Christmas 6x6 Patterns & Solids Pad for my inner tube. I place a double width of 2 sided tape down the length of the short edge of the paper. I want this inside tube to be slightly smaller than the outsider one.
With the inner tube now created, I roll my paper crown tight enough to fit inside. I can also place any other treats, jokes or small items inside at this point. (Psst! If you have trouble keeping them from falling out, you can sneak them in later!)
Using a small piece of tape (or hot glue, or any other adhesive) tack a snap into place. This will help to keep it in place when it is pulled apart. Do not affix it in the centre, where the snappy bit is.
By bending the strip like the photo below, you further help the snap to stay in place.
I fold a standard piece of tissue paper in half and tightly roll it around my tube. Don’t worry about the excess width, we’ll need it. Tack in place with a tiny bit of hot glue or double sided tape.
Try to avoid squishing the ends as you wrap the second piece of 5” x 6” paper around the outside. Align this outer roll with the inside one.
You should have something that looks like this...
At this point I usually trim about 1” from either end of the tissue. Making sure the the ends are neat and tidy.
To create clean, crisp rolls at the end I make an extra tube that is slightly smaller than my cracker. This doesn’t have to be pretty as it is going to be my rolling tool.
Insert the roll tool inside the end of the cracker. You’ll want to leave about 1-2” of space between the end of the tool and the edge of the crackers tube.
Firmly twist until you have a nice tight seal and a neatly rolled end. Peek inside and you should see the end of the snap poking out of the centre of the twist.
To ensure the twist does not unfurl, tie a small piece of ribbon to hold everything in place.
If you were having trouble keeping your treats inside the cracker, you can now sneak them inside by pushing them in the open end before repeating the same twisting technique to seal the opposite side.
The final step is to embellish the exterior. Use coordinating ribbons, and tags, Fussy cut flowers and lords-a-leapin’. I’ve added a decorative brad and some beautiful flowers and leaves from Petaloo.
When you’re setting your Christmas table, place one cracker on each plate and have guests pull them apart before the feasting begins. And make certain that everyone wears their silly paper hats… they make Christmas merry and jolly indeed!