Recycled Brown Paper Crackers

These miniature crackers cost very little to make using recycled materials. The brown paper was cut from an old grocery bag; the torn paper at both ends of the cracker was taken from an old book, picked up at a charity shop for just a few pence; and the heart motifs and holly leaves were cut from scraps of felt left over from a larger project.
designed by Susan Penny

You will need:
Cardboard for the cracker inner (the tube from inside a toilet roll)
Brown Paper
Pages torn from an old book
Felt scraps – red and green
Seed beads – red
Fine embroidery thread to tie cracker ends – red
Invisible thread or fishing line for making the hanger

This is what you do:
1  Cut a piece of thin cardboard 6cm (2 1/4in) x 8.5cm (3 1/4in). Roll into a tube and secure with tape.

2  Cut a rectangle of paper 16cm (6 1/4in) x 9cm (3 1/2in). Roll the paper around the tube and glue in place, making sure it is equal distance from each end.

3  Tear two strips of paper from an old book – if you haven’t got a book then use a comic or newspaper. It is better to rip the paper as you get a nice uneven edge. Glue the paper onto the ends of the cracker.

4  Pull the cracker in either side of the cardboard tube using embroidery thread. Pull the thread up tightly and finish with a bow. Add a small blob of glue to the bow to stop it coming undone.

5  Cut two small heart shapes from red felt and a holly leaf shape from green felt. Glue the hearts to the tied bows, and the leaf to the centre front of the cracker.

6  Glue 3 or 4 red beads to one end of the holly leaf for berries.

7  Make a fine line with glue on the cracker edges and then dip in silver glitter. Put a few blobs of glue on the holly leaf and sprinkle with glitter. Shake off the excess and leave to dry.

8  Cut a length of invisible thread and tie it securely around either end of the cracker where it is pulled in. Your cracker can now be hung on the Christmas tree.