Christmas crackers DIY ideas
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I’ve been looking for plastic-free and eco friendly Christmas cracker ideas for my own family this year. There’s just no way I could ever feel okay about those little throwaway plastic cracker gifts. It’s good news that from 2020 Waitrose and John Lewis will stop selling Christmas crackers containing plastic toys. This puts pressure on other UK retailers to up their environmental game too.
It’s not just the toys that cause plastic waste, though. Plastic windows on cracker boxes, micro-plastic glitter and plastic bags containing the gifts are all major factors in creating seasonal plastic waste. I’ve come to the conclusion that I agree with Julian Kirby, lead plastic campaigner for Friends of the Earth: that the best way to avoid plastic waste is to make your own crackers. There’s an extra creative joy to be had in making – and filling – your own. Instead of unwanted instant rubbish, your own crackers can be filled with little treats you know won’t be wasted.
I found so many lovely ideas I thought I’d share them with you too. I’m thinking I might fill mine with really good chocolates as well as some quiz questions or silly jokes.
How to make your own from scratch
Since first writing this post, I’ve had a go at making my own, repurposing Who Gives a Crap loo roll holders and the lovely papers that the rolls themselves come wrapped in.
I bought some cracker snaps on Ebay and made paper hats from more of the paper wrappers. Instead of jokes, I printed hard to pin down lyrics taken from well-known Christmas songs as a simple quiz. My family do love a music quiz. I’ve kept the answers on a separate sheet in case I forget them myself!
To make the crackers, I simply cut the papers to remove all the unwanted branding and text, ironed the paper where it was too creased, then filled the inner tubes with a hat, chocolate and quiz question. I added the snaps between the tubes and the outer paper wrappers, trimmed them to size and then added ribbons as finishing touches.
Here’s a photo to give you an idea. What do you think?
I already know – and love- Helena Tyce’s designs, so I was thrilled to discover these DIY Christmas cracker kits. There are three beautiful colour options to choose from (green, white or blue) and the kit will arrive flat, tissue wrapped and boxed up with all the instructions you need to make your own.
The crackers themselves are professionally pre-cut and folded to make it easy for you to assemble. No blue or tape is needed. Also included in the kit are cracker snaps, hats, jokes and ribbon lengths. You can choose to buy 4 to 15 crackers and they are reusable – as long as you slide the contents out rather than pulling them. If you throw caution to the wind and do pull them, they can be recycled easily.
Made from responsibly sourced paper, you can personalise each one with up to 12 characters. Just lovely.
You can also buy the kits without personalisation if you prefer:
These crackers are a much more environmentally friendly option, made from sustainable, recyclable paper and filled with hat and joke ready for you to fill with personal gifts and surprises.
At first glance these handmade personalised cotton crackers might seem a little pricey. They cost £60 for 5 or £110 for 10. But when you consider that they are individually embroidered and reusable year after year, this seems much more reasonable. You can personalise with your own message and choose from different thread colours. These crackers make a lovely place setting idea – you could personalise with individual names. There’s no ‘crack’ however – these crackers simply unroll into a napkin. There’s plenty of space inside for filling with your own well-chosen treats though…
How jolly is this set of reusable handmade eco-friendly cotton fabric crackers? They come in a set of 6, ready to fill up with your own treats and surprises and tie up with ribbon.
These hand-lettered personalised crackers come already filled with traditional paper hat, joke and chocolate treat. You can add your own extra treats too before finishing with white and grey twine. You can choose to opt for a traditional snap – or to leave it out. Handmade in kraft card and twine, they are a great plastic-free option.
Kraft Christmas crackers DIY kit
I love the simplicity of this kraft paper christmas cracker diy kit. The decoration possibilities are endless. I love the idea of tying on seasonal foliage or dried flowers.
You could also paint the cracker itself – I like this idea by Annie Sloan for using up bits of leftover paint and wrapping with rustic sack cloth.
Or mix it up by going for half kraft and half red. You could add natural hessian to the red ones and red berries or ribbons to the kraft paper ones to make them really special.
Sustainability, style and seeds… what more could you ask for from your Christmas crackers? Blooming crackers are made in Cornwall from 100% recycled card printed with two botanical designs and tied up with paper raffia ribbon. This means the whole cracker is recyclable. Each box of 6 crackers contains a snap, paper hat, joke and a packet of seeds. The flower and vegetable seeds are beautifully packaged inside glassine paper bags and each has a QR code that links to full planting instructions. I’m not sure you can get much more eco-friendly than that. It would be very easy to untie the raffia ribbons if you wanted to add in one or two of your own treats and surprises too.
Handmade from re-purposed maps and baker’s string, these crackers are filled with little vintage and found gifts as well as a paper hat and joke. I love that idea! Each cracker is different because the gifts are all hand-picked. You could also very easily add in your own treats too.
This is a very special box of crackers. Full size cotton napkins are embroidered with a festive monogram and tied with gorgeous velvet ribbons. Inside there’s a cardboard barrel for you to fill with your own chocolates or surprises. I love the Christmas pine cone design that is embroidered alongside your monogram intial. Very grown up and sophisticated. Again, no snap or crack – these crackers are unwrapped and unrolled to reveal the surprises inside and a personalised napkin.
If you love rainbow colours, these personalised fill-your-own crackers would be perfect.
Discover more individual Christmas crackers on Etsy here
You might also like to discover other festive eco-friendly ideas:
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