Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Crackers and a trio of pheasants!

Here is my next Christmas project...I haven't made crackers for well over 10 years but I still have lots of crepe papers, liners, card and snaps and the all important formers so I decided the only way to get Moshi Monsters into them was to make them myself.
I took photos as I went so you can give it a go yourself
Lay the crepe paper, liner and card as shown and push the snap under the card....
Lay the two formers on as above if you are left handed like me! If not, you would feel happier with the long former on the left...you will see why in the next pic...
Roll up the papers and card and run a tiny amount of glue along the edge. Roll the cracker up and press hard on the edge until it has stuck
Now for the clever bit.....Attach a piece of string under your work top.  I used a little metal screw with an eye. Tony was most horrified at drilling my worktop but hey! It won't be seen and you can unscrew it when you are not cracker making!! Pick up the cracker with your non-dominant hand, pull the shorter former out about 10cm and wrap the string around the gap and PULL! Hey presto...it is starting to look like a cracker
You can remove the short former now!

It is a good idea to tie a little ribbon around to hold the goodies in place. You do not need to do this if you glue metallic paper over the crepe. It holds the crimp perfectly but I was in a hurry!
Now it is time to add the goodies! Hold the cracker in you non dominant hand. Pull out the long former until it is just past the card liner and pop the gift, hat, motto, balloon, paprty popper etc into the barrel. Keep the cracker vertical for this part!
Pull the former out a further 10cm and crimp as you did the first end
Yes...I know the former looks a bit blue
I realise that I used it for indigo dyeing cloth many years ago and put it away dirty. Someone is going to get a very stained hat and balloon and BLUE lips!!!! LOL
and this is what they look like unless you decorate your papers before you begin as I used to do MANY years ago!
I like to crimp up crepe paper for the decorations and have a wizzy gathering foot on my sewing machine. I cut the zig zag crepe paper and the sew along the edge and BINGO!!....
all you have to do is cut short lengths of it and glue in place like flowers.... and add more around the ends to cover the non-matching ribbon. Ha ha!!
and finally, glue on decorations. I have used my old scraps (do you remember their WONDERFUL smell?) but you can use photos of children then they know which is their cracker. You could also add tiny springs of ivy, tinsel, ribbons...ANYTHING! the main thing is to have fun and then sit back and feel most proud of yourself!

And finally.........
I was standing at my sink this morning, washing the dishes as you do, and I could not believe my eyes!! These three guys were sitting on the fence, perfectly spaced!!
Yes REALLY!!!! We are not talking Photoshop here!
Happy Christmas to you


Sue said...

Three very regal birds! Lovely tutorial, thank you. Hope you have fun at Christmas.
Sue xx

Sandra Rowney said...

My word, those pheasants are just asking to become a design on a card, " Three fat...hens?"

Sandie said...

Great instructions Moira, and beautifully decorated crackers. I usually make my own and have the snaps and materials ready. Whether I'll get round to making them is another thing. I am way behind this year!! Love the birds on the fence, you could not have planned that. What a lovely suprise.

Kathryn said...

What an adorable way to decorate the crackers! They look like fun to make! :)

HeartsOnAString said...

My late mother used to make our crackers every year. Sadly I cannot find her metal formers and you cant seem to buy them any longer. Can anyone help please? I live in the UK but wouldn't mind ordering from overseas if necessary. Many thanks