Introduction: Reusable Christmas Crackers
Want to reduce all the cardboard waste at the end of Christmas Dinner? You've come to the right instructable! They are simple enough to make though experience sewing in a straight line and using snaps is recommended.
These are so neat because you can add anything you like into them!
- Fabric - 1m will make 6x crackers
- Interfacing - 1m will make 6x crackers (you want soft interfacing, you want the fabric to hold it's shape and have structure but not be overly rigid. I used iron for ease)
- Thread for sewing machine (any colour but matching is always nice)
- Fabric Glue (it's easier than sewing those hems down in a tiny circle but you are welcome to do that too!)
- Kam Snaps - size 14, 1x set per cracker (I used any colour as it was hidden by the ribbon casing)
- Kam snap press (or pliers)
- An awl
- Ribbon, 1 inch wide - 100cm per cracker (50cm for each end)
- Ribbon 2.5 inch wide - 19cm per cracker
- Toilet rolls - 1 per cracker
- Whatever you would like to put in the middle of them!
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Step 1: Step 1: Measure Fabric + Interfacing
** I missed pictures of this step as it was 10pm at night when I decided to start this... I recommend not starting projects later in the night... **
Start out by measuring and cutting your fabric into 7" by 18" rectangles. Each rectangle will make 1 cracker so if you want a set of 6 crackers, cut 6 rectangles. Once you have these, lay out your interfacing and put the fabric on top. I then cut the interfacing roughly to match the fabric and then iron the interfacing on according to the interfacing instructions. Trim the interfacing to the size of the fabric and cut the rectangles to make 2x 7" by 9" rectangles from each piece.
Step 2: Step 2: Sewing the Tubes
With your freshly interfaced fabric pieces, we are going to sew down the sides of the 7" lengths. This will mean your tube will be 9" long. Each half will be different hems to allow the cracker halves to fit inside of each other.
Sew one half with a 1/4 inch seam and the second half with a 3/8rds-inch seam.
Helpful tip: To make sure you match the halves, I recommend daisy-chaining them when sewing. All this means is that instead of trimming the threads after each cracker tube, you leave them and continue sewing with the 2nd half.
Once you have sewn the tubes, iron the seams open down the centre.
Another helpful tip: If you have a large iron, like I do, finger press them open first and then use the tip of the top of the iron to run down the centre. You want to avoid ironing the tubes normally as this will flatten them!
Step 3: Step 3: Turning Them Right Side Out and Hemming
Once your tube hems are ironed, trim the threads and turn them right side out.
If your fabric is directional, now is the time to pay attention to how your cracker halves are going to go together.
- The inside halves of the tube (where the cracker halves meet) have a 1cm hem
- The outside halves of the tube (where you pull) have a 1inch hem
I found it much easier to fold them up first to create a crease, unfold the hem, then use fabric glue to seal and refold the hem.
To be clear - I totally didn't measure this, just eyeballed, and they turn out great. Don't get too hung up about how much or how little they are hemmed. The 1 inch hem is to make them look prettier from the outside.
Step 4: Step 4: Kam Snaps!
Now for the kam snaps!
Grab your 2 tube halves and poke holes using an awl. The picture shows holes being poked into both sides of each tube making 2x sets of kam snaps but I later found that only 1 set of kam snaps were needed for each cracker to give a good pull and snap noise!
Find which tube has the smaller seams - this is the half that will sit on the outside. Start with this tube and use the press (or whatever you use to apply kam snaps) to apply the kam snap bit with the bigger hole (female part).
Now get the tube half with the bigger seams and apply the kam snap bit with the smaller hole (male bit).
Get your toilet roll and put it in the tube half with the bigger seam and smaller hole (male bit). Then put the other half on the other side of the toilet roll and ease it over the first cracker half to snap the kams together.
This part can be a bit tricky! They are stiff and can be a pain in the ** to snap together but once you've done it this once, it is MUCH easier to put together!
At this point, I recommend grabbing a test subject and testing your cracker to make sure the kams are on properly.
Step 5: Step 5: Ribbons and Finishing!
Get your 1-inch wide ribbon and cut to 2x 50cm lengths. Use these to tie at the top and bottom of the cracker. Feel for the toilet roll if you need to!
Get your 2.5cm wide ribbon and use the fabric glue the ends together to make a tube. I had an overlap of around 1cm - 1.5cm and they fit nice and snuggly. Test them before you glue if you aren't sure as you really don't want a really loose tube for this.
Once the glue is dry, slip it over the end that sits on top and voila. You have a finished Christmas cracker!
Step 6: Further Hints
If you want to make more than 1 cracker, I recommend doing the steps in batches, ie sew all tubes, then iron all seams, then turn them all through, etc. Can be more efficient that way :)
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