The festive season is a time for family and friends to come together and gather around a table laid with delicacy and delights, and no Christmas feast is complete without the age old tradition of sharing a Bon Bon with the person next to you.
The cheery cracker bang amidst lively chatter and laugher is simply festive; plus I'm a big fan of a good ol' dad joke that'll make you LOL, and who doesn't love donning a paper crown!
However, what I don't love about the traditional Christmas Cracker is the pointless plastic toys that are forgotten within 10mins and get discarded along with the lunch scraps, only to end up in land fill and eventually breaking down to nasty micro fibres - no thank you!
So this year I finally got around to making my own. Not only is it a fun DIY project for you and the kids to enjoy over the school holidays (depending on their attention span. i have a particular threenager nefew that , but it's eco-friendly and you can personalise them to suit your style!
My sister and her family are hosting Christmas this year, and while we usually opt for a tropical theme, this year we have decided to go with earthy tones with touches of white & gold, and so I carried this same theme over to my Bon Bon colour palette.
Check it out below and enjoy this festive DIY project!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
~ Bon Bon Snaps
I got mine from Spotlight, but you can get them from eBay too
~ Card board rolls
I saved toilet paper/ paper towel rolls and used those, but you can also buy them at craft stores.
~ Craft paper
I used brown craft paper as it suited the colour palette, but you can use whatever paper you want. Kids art work would make a lovely bon bon wrapping, or maybe get crafty and paint over old newspapers…
Approx. 34cm in length depending on your paper roll size. You’ll need 10-12cm over hang on either end or the roll once your bon bon is tied up to ensure you have a good hold on the cracker.
~ String/ Ribbon
~ Double sided sticky tape
~ Gold Leaf (optional)
I used this for decorative purposes. If you choose glitter please consider a biodegradable option like this one. Traditional glitter is made from plastic and is a huge contributor to micro plastic waste that is terrible for our waterways and the environment in general.
~ Needle & Thread (optional)
~ Tissue paper.
For the paper crowns – any colours to suite your theme/style
~ Fun and silly jokes to make your family laugh out loud
I googled “Dad Jokes” and copy and pasted the ones I LOLed at the most, and printed them out.
~ Charades/ Who am I
Same deal as above. You can find heaps of charade words/ Who am I names online. Or choose your own to suit the crowd.
This is where you can get creative and personalise your bon bons.
It’s nice to choose meaningful and heartfelt items or interactive or personalised gifts.
What I chose is listed below and is just a guide.
~ Seed packs
My go-to for a ready made option is Settler Hive Seed Sets.
However, I made customised seed packs with gold foil, then filled with Basil & Corn, as I didn't want to use stock.
Your standard organic garden variety from Bunnings or similar garden shop is fine. I recommend buying organic as some standard seed varieties have fungicides to preserve the seeds.
~ Olive springs
“For peace in your heart and on the earth”
~ Choccies – Cos you can never have enough on Christmas!
I went with a past family favourite – Ferrero Rocher, but my top pick for a vegan option is Loco Love
Make sure you choose a plastic free option!
I hand made some using the paper crown tissue paper and gold leaf
I have a rather large collection of seaside treasures that I’ve been collecting since I was a child and I thought they’d be a lovely alternative to the crappy plastic toys. Plus, my family is always down for some exrta seashells!
Hot Tip: Do as much prep as possible. I made this up as I went, but when I make them again next year I’ll definitely pre-cut all my paper, tape, string etc
Once you’ve decided on what to fill your crackers with you can get started on crafting your individual items.
If you love what I put in simply follow along below –
Lay out your layers of tissue paper. Depending on how many you need, it’s easier to fold them into layers and draw or pin the stencil on top and cut them all at once.
I made my own stencil and made them all one length (approx. 64cm) and stuck double-sided tape to one end (leaving the paper backing on the upside) so that they length can be adjusted to fit everyone, including little wanderers. If you don’t want to make your own stencil, this is a good printable template. You can also use the template as a guide and change the design on the top if you don’t want your crowns pointed.
I created my mini seed packs by typing the planting instructions and seed type, along with a little tag line like “BASIL – Because who doesn’t love pesto” on A4 paper.
I made mine approx. W10cm x H7cm, typing only on one half of the width. You should be able to get 9 laid out on a landscaped A4 paper in Word. Once printed you can decorate (if desired) the edges of the envelopes. I used gold leaf. Then, simply cut out each section and fold in half so the text is on the front and your black space is on the back. I used double sided tape to stick the bottom and sides together, but you can use glue instead.
You can then divide your desired seed selection into smaller amounts (two packs of your standard organic seed varieties made a nice little amount for 8 mini Basil backs) and pop them into your mini envelopes, sealing with double sided tape or glue along the tope edge,
I then typed out the Olive sprig affirmations in Word. Once printed, cut the affirmations out and tie them to the olive branch. I used a needle and some gold thread that was in my sewing kit to attach to the springs.
Using the left over tissue paper you can either use a hole punch (if on hand) or simply cut layers of tissue paper into small pieces. This can be don’t as ad hock as you like. You can then add gold foil (if using) or biodegradable glitter for a bit of sparkle.
Once you have all of your fillers made you can put them into the paper rolls crackers. Make sure you fold your crowns up in order to fit them into the roll and then you can layer and bundle all the items together (using string in need be) and insert them into the rolls. Next add the bon bon snap making sure you have an even amount of tap sticking out of each end of the roll. Then you can add your confetti. If it’s too difficult to add at this stage, you can sprinkle it into the roll before you tie the bon bon closed.
Gather the paper and cardboard rolls - if using paper towels rolls, cut these down to approx. the same size as a toilet roll, or keep ‘em large for jumbo crackers!
Taking one of the rolls measure out your paper length by rolling it around the roll, making sure the edges overlap. Be sure add 2-4cm extra on the length so you can fold on side under for a neat top edge.
Once you determine your length you can used that piece (or the measurements) to cut the rest all at once. Simply fold your paper into layers at the correct width/ length and cut along the fold lines. Then take one side and fold it up approx. 2cm to create a need edge. Set these aside and taking the double-sided tape, cut as many pieced as bon bons to length of about 4cm. Now peel one side and stick these to the centre of the folded edge, leaving to backing on the topside of the tape. You’ll also need to cut 2x 2cm piece of tape per bon bon to stick down the bon bon snaps.
Next you’ll need to lay out your paper – using weights at each corner to hold it in place – then lay your filled roll length ways in the centre of your paper, sticking each end of the bon bon snap down the double-sided tape. Once it’s in place you can roll it up placing the cut edge against the roll finishing with the folded edge on top. Simply take the backing off the per-placed tape and secure your edge.
Once you’ve rolled all your bon bons in paper, you can start to tie them with string at the base of either end of the roll to create the bon bon look.
And you’re done!
Now you can wow your family and friends with your hand made festive crackers!
Side note: if you have chocolate in your bon bons, make sure you keep them in a cool dry place so they don’t melt.
We’d love to see you’re creations! Make sure you tag us @thecommonthread_ on Instagram & @thecommonthreadstore on Facebook or email some piccies through to email@example.com and we’ll share them on our stories.
Wishing you all a happy and safe festive season!