It’s that time of year when the days whiz by and before you know it, Christmas is upon us again. Well we’ve got a super way to cross one of those Xmas essentials off the list, and you can save some pennies, do some recycling, and occupy the kids all in one by making your own environmentally friendly Christmas Crackers. Just follow the easy instructions below, you can miss out any bits you don’t need, and before you know it you’ll have some fantastic green Christmas decorations.
What you need:
- Empty toilet roll middles
- Coloured paper, tissue, crepe or old Xmas wrapping paper for covering the crackers
- A few boiled sweets or chocolates
- Some bits of ribbon
- Thick tissue paper or crepe paper for hats
- Glue or sellotape and scissors
- Stickers or coloured shapes
- Confetti or glitter
- Coloured pens or pencils if you use white paper
What to do:
- First up are the all important hats. Take your tissue or crepe paper and either make your own template, or print off our ready made template here. Cut out and stick at the join using either sellotape or glue. When complete, fold the hats and insert into the toilet roll tubes.
optional extra: You could customise your hats with stickers or glue feathers or bits of coloured paper to them to make them more individual. Make sure they’re no longer than the length of the toilet roll tube though otherwise they’ll get squashed when you scrunch the ends up later.
- Next up is that all important cheesy joke. Write out some funny Christmas themed jokes (see the joke sheet for some ideas) on coloured paper, or you could use white paper and decorate the edges. Cut the jokes out and insert them into the tubes.
optional extra: You could make the edges wavy or jagged to add variety.
- All Christmas Crackers contain treats, so why should environmentally friendly Christmas crackers be any different?! The easiest thing to use as treats are sweets or chocolates. Try to find fairtrade chocolates and natural sweets without artificial colours or flavourings. Add 1 or 2 sweets or chocolates to each tube – boiled sweets are best so they stay fresher.
optional extra: If you plan in advance, you could look out for items to include instead of or as well as the sweets and chocolates mentioned above, such as pine cones, conkers or acorns, you could make small bracelets to put inside, or you could make mini jigsaws to put together after Christmas dinner. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be!
- Because there will be no bang when your crackers are pulled, you may like to sprinkle some glitter, sequins or confetti pieces into the cracker instead – just beware of who’s cleaning it up afterwards!
- Now that the filling is complete, it’s time to wrap the tube. You could recycle Xmas paper from last year, or use coloured or white paper and decorate with stickers, or add you own design with coloured pencils or pens. Make sure you leave about a toilet roll tube worth of extra paper at each end of the tube ready for making the two handles.
- You may find an extra pair of hands could be handy (!) for the next stage. Pinch the paper together around one end of the tube, taking care not to go too close to where the tube is, and making sure you don’t tip the tube up and empty all the filling out. Secure the paper with a small piece of sellotape to hold it in place. Pinch in at the other end and secure with tape in the same way.
- And for the finishing touch, tie a piece of ribbon around each end of the cracker to hide the sellotape and make sure the filling stays tightly locked away until you pull them.
So there you have it. Do it yourself environmentally friendly Christmas Crackers. The perfect way to kick-start a cracking, creative and green Christmas!