From time to time I pick up an issue of Mollie Makes magazine because it's pretty and has a good dose of crafty inspiration. When I saw the Christmas issue, I couldn't resist as it came with a few sheets of patterned paper and a template to make your own crackers.
Obviously, this is what I needed to do. With a weekend with friends on the horizon, I also had the perfect cracker-worthy event.
I will admit that it would have been better if I had made them a bit in advance instead of staying up until half past one after Guides on a Friday night, but the telly kept me company and I enjoyed myself. Actually staying up way past sensible bedtime feels deliciously naughty, and then midnight snacks become legitimate and you can sneak some cheese and crackers and have innumerable cups of tea, smuggled under a cosy pile of blankets on the sofa with sparkly, crafty fripperies scattered around.
The crackers were delightfully simple to make, and worked like a charm. I'd never made any before and so I had no idea if the template would work. But for a free gift with a magazine, this was a real treat! I traced around the template onto each sheet of paper and then scored all the places the folds should go with a pair of scissors. To complete the nets, I used a craft knife to cut out the little diamonds.
I used double sided tape as a mess-free adhesive to stick my crackers together, and the very act of tying the twine around the ends made the folds all pop into place and the crackers morphed into their traditional shape. Easy!
The kit came with a little bit of twine and confetti, but I found I needed more and so dug out some of my own twine to tie neat bows at the ends.
Next came filling them: the ends of each cracker are slightly open, so I added a bit of tissue paper into the end to stop anything from falling out, before topping up with gold star-shaped sequins, a little gift and another piece of tissue paper on top. All the remained was to tie the second end closed.
Boom! Cracker complete.
So what did I put in them? Mushrooms.
I'll be honest: when I was looking for something to go inside the crackers, I wasn't sure how big they'd come out so I knew it had to be something pretty small. I popped into Paperchase thinking they'd have something that would fit the bill, and sure enough, I found little red mushrooms. On sticks.
I'm still not sure what they're for. The box just says that they're not for eating, so not much of a clue. Mainly I bought them because I thought they were funny. Anyway, I plonked a couple of mushrooms inside each one, and figured I was good to go.
I duly took them round to a friend's on Sunday, where a whole group of us assembled for a lovely meal. We pulled the crackers and they came apart very effectively: one end would come off as it is supposed to, which I wasn't sure would happen. I was worried they might just tear. But nope, they were pretty darn good; I will certainly make them again next year as now I have the template. I may even put bangs in for next time.
The mushrooms fell out causing both amusement and confusion, until one friend had the realisation that they might be for wreath making, which is why their little sticks are bendy. I have pretty smart friends.
Although we ignored that suggestion and stuck them in some stollen. Classic.
So there we are: my first proper batch of crackers. Excellent work for a free gift. Bring on the festivities!
P.S. This post is one of my December series inspired by Shimelle’s scrapbooking class Journal Your Christmas. My aim is to blog every day throughout the month to document all the little moments that make the most wonderful time of the year. Merry Christmas!