A couple of weeks back on facebook, someone posted a photo of some Christmas napkins, I thought they looked great and very easy to do. The only problem I had was working out the size! The napkins are semi-circular, which is actually quite a nice shape as it’s got the width across your lap but it’s not too long, but it does need to be long enough! I cut mine to just over 18″ diameter and I wouldn’t like them any smaller.
I used two Christmas fabrics, stitched them together with a quarter inch seam , turned them and then edge stitched round to hold the edge. They’re very quick to make, I made seven yesterday evening (I know, funny number, I needed seven and didn’t have enough fabric to make it eight!!) On their own they don’t look anything special, until you fold them into a Christmas tree, don’t they look great! A bauble or a bell holds it together and finishes it off nicely!
This morning I finished all the Christmas crackers, I only found out this year that they are mainly a British tradition. The supermarkets here are full of them, the problem is the ones you buy have really tacky presents in them, you have to be spending £10 to £15 for 6 to get anything even slightly decent! This is why I like to make them. I made some tiny purses last month for the ladies, I also found some kazoos, erasers, mini highlighter pens, bulldog clips, nice chocolates and of course some silly jokes, every cracker has to have a cheesy joke in it.
Making crackers is not difficult but it one of those projects where there’s lots of stages and it’s easy to forget one! I used kitchen roll tubes cut in half for the inside, I’ve been collecting them since August! You also need spare as two extra are needed to hold the ends in shape whilst you tie them up. If you forget to put them in (did it once!) it’s hard to wriggle them back in. The cracker snap is stuck to each end of the paper so that when it is pulled apart, the snap will crack! The paper also needs perforating gently so it will pull apart when pulled at each end. I bought a perforator last year, there is definitely a knack to it, too hard and it cuts through, wrong place and it tears….I found it worked best to do the perforation so it ended up on the tube, rather than in the bit where its tied. I used double-sided sellotape to stick the paper down.
I tried to be organised with the gifts this year, I had them all laid out with a name tag, but at the end I had a chocolate and a joke left, so someone hasn’t got one!
You can make them out of any kind of reasonable weight paper and decorations can be as simple or elaborate as you want! I used old-fashioned brown paper for my crackers, the decorative papers were free in a magazine and the stickers in the middle of the cracker are made by East of India. I tied a bell and a bauble to one end and tied a froth of curling ribbon at each end. It took me all afternoon to make fourteen!
Today I’ve been trying to get ahead before our guests arrive tomorrow, so the big shop is done, I’ve made the cranberry sauce and the gravy (Jamie Oliver’s recipe!) brandy butter and whisky cream ready for the pudding. This evening I made three dozen mince pies, I always use a star cutter for the top as my sealed lids always leaked! A dusting of icing sugar finishes them off nicely!
So tomorrow it’s the last minute tidy-up before everyone arrives! How are your preparations going?