No English Christmas dinner table is complete without the Christmas Cracker – it’s a delightful combination of the tacky and ridiculous – complete with terrible joke, nasty plastic gift and tissue paper paper hat. Using this festive item as inspiration, I wanted to come up with a simple fabric version that could be used in the traditional way, or as an fun way of wrapping a special Christmas or birthday gift…and Melody’s fabulous fabrics are the cherries on the top for this quick and easy make. And the other bonus? They can be used over and over again, so they’re eco friendly as well as cute!
You will need:
- 2 pieces of fabric 8.5 inches wide by 11.75 inches
- 2 pieces of cardboard tube (i used the inside of a kitchen towel) 4 inches long
- Several pieces of ribbon for ties in pretty colours – around 16 inches long
- Spray starch
- Rotary cutter and ruler
- Scissors for cutting cardboard
- Small amount of fusible web cut into strips
- Strong double sided tape
- Pinking shears or decorative scissors (optional)
1. Take one of the cardboard tubes and cut through it lengthways. Cut around half an inch off then tape back together to make a smaller tube. (See figure 1) Put aside for later.
2. Spray starch the fabric.
3. Put one of the pieces of fabric in front of you with the wrong side facing upwards and with the short sides top and bottom. Fold the top over by 3 inches and press. Use the fusible web to secure into place. Do the same to the other piece of fabric.
4. With the pencil, draw a line 1/2 an inch underneath the raw edge.
5. Draw another line on the opposite edge, 1 inch from the bottom.
6. Use this as a guide to fold the bottom edge up by 1/2 an inch. Press and secure with fusible web. Repeat on other piece of fabric. (See figure 2)
7. Trim the left hand side of the long edge using pinking shears or decorative scissors if required.
8. Place strips of doubled sided tape all over the fabric, making sure 1 piece is close to the ‘hem’ of the bottom edge, and 1 piece is close to the ‘decorative’ raw edge. (See figure 3)
9. Place one of the cardboard tubes on the edge of the fabric, lining it up exactly with the ‘hemmed’ edge and roll to wrap the tube completely in the fabric, ensuring a smooth finish. (See figure 4) Repeat with the other tube. (See figure 5)
10. Slot the thinner tube into the fatter one to ensure the fit. It should be snug but not tight.
11. Use the ribbons to tie one end fairly tightly. (See figure 6)
12. Tie the other end and admire your handiwork! (See figure 7)
13. Now fill your cracker with treats – and add a paper hat, terrible joke and a cracker snap if desired
You can decorate the top of the cracker any way you please – use fabric flowers, or wide ribbons to add extra embellishments!
Depending on the thickness of the fabric, you may find your cracker ends are a bit floppy – you can either add extra interfacing, or place a screwed up piece of tissue paper in the ends to help keep the shape on the festive table setting.