Since I was a little girl, I’ve had this picture in my head of the perfect way to make everyone in the family – wherever they are – smile at the same time and think of each other.
Maybe I did myself in early with grand visions of a Norman Rockwell holiday where everyone – for at least a few minutes – really got the whole happy holidays thing.
But, I was good with my Christmas daydreams. We lived very, very far away from all of our family and I dug the whole theory of being a bit closer.
Unfortunately, it took me until I was 36 to figure out my version of that secret formula – a little longer than originally expected.
But, perfection came in the form of Christmas crackers.
Not the ones you get at the store. But, lovely treats, crafted by hand and stuffed with little trinkets and goodies that add that personal touch of heart.
They are SO easy to make. Plus, a great way to use up old toilet paper rolls (recycle, reuse, reduce).
I first learned them from the lovely, warm ladies over at Leapenhi Paper Designs in downtown Courtenay.
These little treats are now an annual tradition in everyone’s holiday boxes.
Here’s what you need:
- Toilet paper rolls. You can also cut up old rolls of wrapping paper, but I find it too tough for my short attention span.
- Paper (Two types) One for wrapping around the tube (I recommend the handmade papers at Leapenhi) and one to use as decoration in the middle (Scrapbooking paper is perfect for this) You can also use tissue paper (which is not recyclable, though), felt, even leftover material.
- Snappers – the thing that makes the cracker pop. Leapenhi and Scrapbook Central sell them in bulk.
- Decorative wire, ribbon or string
- Glue sticks or a hot glue gun
- Stencils, glitter pens or anything you might want to use to decorate them including paper or material scraps
- Trinkets, sayings or personalized gifts to stick inside the crackers
1. First, make sure your paper is the right size. I used pieces that were 9-inches by 6.5 inches. But, toilet paper rolls may differ in size. Test drive one to make sure you have enough extra on the sides to tie them up and enough around the middle to seal them up.
2. Then, take your toilet paper roll and paper. Place the roll in the middle of the paper so that the longest part of the paper is in the same plane as the ends of the roll and the shorter ends wrap around the roll. Glue one end of the paper to the roll, wrap the paper around it, glue the other end to the roll to seal it up.
3. I then took pieces of an alternate coloured paper cut into 2.5-inch pieces and wrapped it around the roll, gluing the ends down. A hot glue gun works best with heavier paper.
4. You can work in any additional embellishments you like. Last year I used glittery stickers. This year, I used scrapbook paper cutouts.
5. Next, take a snapper and slide it through the roll so it sticks out evenly from each end.
6. Cut the decorative wire, string or ribbon into 4-inch pieces. Twist one end of the paper on the end of the roll, then take a piece of string or wire and tie it around the end making sure it is snug so your trinket inside won’t fall out.
7. Place whatever trinket you are putting in your crackers inside. Take the other end and twist the paper, then take the second piece of string or wire and tie up that end.
8. Trim the ends of the snapper so it doesn’t stick out of the paper, but you still have enough there to pull it.
That’s it. I swear.
This is a great, easy, green way to celebrate the holidays with a bit more personal style and have a fun tradition over the miles.
About the Author (Author Profile)Robin Rivers is Our Big Earth’s Publisher and Sr. Partner. Able to survive on coffee alone. Often can be found leaping tall buildings with the help of great friends. Predisposed to odd hats and the color orange. In love with imagination, her kids and that crazy guy who married her.
Sites That Link to this Post
- upcycling toilet roll ideas | frugalandthriving.com.au | September 20, 2012
- What to do with all that leftover wrapping « emeraldcitykids | December 18, 2012