Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Saturday, 8 October 2011

'The Everlasting Christmas Cracker'

Today my Mom and I went to the monthly meeting of 'Birmingham and District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers'.  It was an all day meeting, because we all like each other so much we chose to have an open morning before our afternoon talk.  The afternoon talk was about ;The History of Ribbon Weaving in Coventry, Nuneaton and Bedford.
Ribbons were very fashionable and were used in the hair as well as embellishments for garments.  It was not uncommon for ribbons to be changed on dresses.  They were in great demand and used lavishly by the wealthy.  They were mostly made by very poor families at home in cottage industries.
One fact I can remember was that out of a population of 3000 in the 1800s in Bedford 1600 people were employed in ribbon weaving.  That is over half of the population.  Literally every other house had a loom.  The architecture of houses were designed around the loom with large windows to maximise the natural light.  Obviously with the onset of industrialisation, weavers were put out of business and extreme poverty was widespread.  Eey by Gum, times were hard!  It was a very interesting talk, but my eyelids did get a little heavy as the room was nice and snug and if I sit still for too long I nod off!  
In the morning two Guild Members lead a fun workshop, 'Making Everlasting Christmas Crackers'.  These were fairly simple to make and you could natter away while making them.  I chose to make one for both of my boys for Christmas.  I am not so sure mine are 'Everlasting' mine are more of a 'Don't touch, just look or it will fall apart variety!'  

Step One:  First Gather a fine selection of loo roll inner tubes!   You need three for one cracker.  Two of your  tubes need to fit easily inside one another and the third tube needs to be cut in half.  A bread knife appeared to be the best tool for cutting cardboard tubes neatly in half.

Then you have two pieces of fabric large enough to coat your tubes and tuck in the ends.  Using PVA glue stick a tube and a half 2cm apart in to a roll of fabric.  (I hope you catch my drift).  You make two of these halves....
I found I had more success if I used a lot of glue!  I think double sided sticky tape maybe useful too.
These are my Mom's fine Festive Specimens.  If you look really closely you can see how the two halves fit together.  Then you just need to tie the ends with something pretty and you can decorate them how you like.  We had lots of ribbons, sequins, beads and other pretties to choose from.  I would like to receive one for Christmas and I think it would be perfect to find a nice diamond ring inside!!!  Well a girl can dream can't she?


  1. It sounds like you had a fun crafty day with some good company :) Those crackers are very pretty! How do they work exactly? I've heard of them and seen pictures, but I really don't know what they are. I assume you pull the ends off to open it. I thought it was just confetti or something on the inside. I didn't know people put gifts in them! Seeing as I also thought they were much smaller the confetti vs. gift theory made more sense at the time. I shiny diamond ring would be a pleasant surprise I think! Fits perfectly inside one of the crackers ;)

  2. It sounds like such a lovely day you spent with your Mum and friends! I love hearing about old crafts and ways and history. I guess you need to give a big hint to your guy about the diamond ring. My hubby got me a big sparkler for our 25th anniversary and I love it!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Sounds like you had a great day out and I love the idea of everlasting crackers..may have to give it a go :)

  4. I have many you can look but don't touch projects and a few "please don't check the seams"
    Your crackers are cracking :)
    Must be lovely to spend some crafty time with your Mum.

  5. Brilliant post and lovely crackers ~ I love spending crafty times with my mum too, so nice! I DO love those crackers, and have bookmarked this page for festive fun!

  6. Lacey, crackers are a big part of Christmas in the UK. They are on the table as a decoration for Christmas dinner. Two people share the pulling of a cracker and there is usually a small 'banger' in the middle that cracks and bangs when you pull it. Inside is a small gift, a motto or joke and usually a paper party hat. They are fun :) Bryon would like them but they may frighten Mina!

  7. they look cute!

    your adventures and your writing about them, make me smile :)


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