Re-usable Fabric Christmas Crackers
Project by Sarah Holliman
Make your own sustainable and re-useable Christmas Crackers. An alternative and environmentally friendly sewing project for the festive season.
You will need
One selection pack of Christmas fat quarters
Bias Binding for the top and bottom of the cracker – I made my own, optional Ribbon or Ric-Rac trim
In R Form by Bosal
Toy Stuffing for the cracker barrel (if you are not filling it with a gift)
Ribbons/embellishments from around your home for decoration
Scissors/Rotary Cutter and Mat/ Pins/Thread/Needles
1. Decide on the colour way for your crackers. If you are making a set of six crackers it may be nice to make 2 of each design or you may wish them all to be different. I used a colour way of 2 of each design and then chose a co-ordinating fabric for the inside of the cracker, although you could use a plain fabric for the inside as it is not very visible. I also decided to make my own bias for the top and bottom of the cracker so I chose an alternative coordinating fabric for this.
2. With a rotary cutter, cut 2 pieces of fabric measuring 12 inches by 6.5 inches for the cracker. If you are using a directional fabric, make sure your design is placed lengthwise.
3. Cut 3 pieces of Bosal In R Form. Two pieces measuring 6.5x 3 inches for the top and bottom of the cracker and one piece measuring 6.5 x 4 inches for the middle barrel piece.
4. Place one fabric panel facing downwards, on the reverse side of this piece place the two smaller pieces of Bosal at the top and bottom of the fabric and the larger piece in the middle, leaving two channel gaps in between – these will become the gathering points for the cracker ribbons.
5. Iron all three Bosal pieces to the reverse side of the one piece of fabric, ensuring they are securely in place.
6. Take the other fabric panel piece and place it underneath the pattern side of your Bosal pieced fabric so that both right sides of the fabric are placed together. Pin into place.
7. Sew around all four sides of the two rectangle panels, leaving a small gap for turning.
8. Turn out the right way, stitch up the gap and press with an iron to ensure the Bosal pieces are firmly set in place.
9. Quilt the whole panel piece as you prefer.
TOP TIP I have found that a long line of quilting stitches placed quite close together give a good sturdy structure to the cracker – if the quilting is further apart the cracker does not seem to keep such a formal shape.
10. Sew 2 lines of running stitch along the two channels where there is no Bosal structure – these will become the points where you add ribbons to your crackers.
11. Add a bias binding to the top and bottom of the cracker. You could make a simple bias from your co-ordinating fabric. Simply cut 1.5 inch strips of fabric and fold to make a bias binding.
12. Place one side of the binding on the front of the cracker and sew into place. Pull the bias over the top of the cracker and slip stitch into place on the back.
13. With right sides together, fold the quilted piece lengthwise to form a cracker tube. Sew a seam down one side of the cracker to join. It is a good idea to double stitch over the binding ends of the cracker for extra strength otherwise the seam may easily become undone as you turn the piece inside out.
TOP TIP As the cracker is quite thick to sew and can pull out of shape, I found it easier to start sewing in the middle of the seam first, stitching down one half of the edge and then flipping the piece over to sew down the other side.
14. Turn the cracker inside out through the cracker ends – this can be a little fiddly so take your time. Gently pull your cracker into shape.
15. You could put gifts inside the barrel of the cracker but if you are just using them for decoration, it is best to add a little bit of toy stuffing to give it shape and rigidity.
16. Using ribbon pieces tie the cracker around the channels and pull into shape. Accessorise as desired.
17. Your cracker is now complete, you can make a whole set. They are completely reusable they can be enjoyed for many years.
AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Made by Sarah at SJStitchery for The Craft Cotton Co 2021