Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Crackers with Heart2Heart Challenges

This is my last post with the design team at Heart2Heart Challenges. *heavy sigh*  

I have had so much fun with this group the last six months--the different challenges have definitely stretched me creatively; staying on schedule for posting assignments has been its own challenge at times, with holiday travel, other commitments, and computer issues! But I think the best part has been getting to know and work with my fellow design-team members, through the wonders of the Internet. I truly feel they are now friends, if only in the virtual sense!
I wish Mary Vogel all the best for a New Year of adventures in crafting, as she moves on to fresh creative pursuits. Big high-fives to Haley and Shirley as they take over the reins at Heart2Heart. To the DT gals, I'll continue to follow your inky antics!
I highly encourage you to think about applying for the next DT call with this group. Follow Heart2Heart and watch for the deadline.

NOW! On to this week's challenge:
Christmas Project #4

Christmas Cracker made using the Cricut Artiste cartridge
Christmas crackers are a staple of the Christmas dinner celebrations in Canada. A throw-back to our British colonial days. We always had them when I was a kid. You pull them apart with a big bang and a little gunpowder smell, and they contained a tissue-paper hat, a riddle or joke, and a little toy or other small gift. One year, when my kids were younger, we hand-made them, using old toilet-paper rolls and Christmas wrapping paper, buying the cracker snaps at Michael's. The kids made up the jokes, which were made everyone laugh because 7 and 9-year old's ideas of humour are too funny...

Anyway, when I saw the 3-D party-favour available on the Cricut Artiste cartridge, it reminded me of a cracker, and I decided to try one out.
The Artiste booklet recommends cutting these out at 11". I used a solid colour card-stock, but a patterned paper would work well, too. The next step is to score all the fold-lines, using a scor-board, or in this case, the CMTH clear ruler and a scoring stylus, on a foam surface.
Once all the lines are scored, the centre "box" is formed by adding strong adhesive to the flaps and tucking them in. I used 1/4-inch Terrifically Tacky tape for this purpose. Then you push the bow-tie-shaped ends towards the box, forming the "ruffles." 
I would recommend threading the cracker snaps through the cracker, and adding the contents before doing this step, as the crackers are effectively closed at that point. Once the ruffles are formed, the ends of the cracker snaps should be adhered to the "ruffles," so that they will be pulled apart when the cracker is pulled (here is a link for instructions on making and filling crackers).

I tied the ends of my crackers with tulle ribbon in green, ensuring that the ruffles stay closed. Any ribbon would work well for this.

I added a stamped tag (also cut with the Artiste cartridge), tied with some hemp and jingle bells purchased at Michael's.
I added patterned paper to each side of the cracker, cut at 2" by 3.75".  As these will also function as place-cards at our dinner table, I added the name in contrasting card-stock, cut with the Artiste's new font, at 1" size. I sanded the edges of the letters a bit, for better definition against the patterned paper.

So, now to get my sons (now aged 17-21) to come up with some jokes and riddles, suitable for mixed company! I found a source for the paper hats, and will add some Christmas candy to the crackers.

How about sharing your Christmas-themed creations with us at Heart2Heart Challenges?  Here are the guidelines for playing along:
  1. Use mostly Close To My Heart products, though it doesn't have to be 100%.
  2. Create your artwork, with a Christmas theme--card, scrapbook layout or other crafts are welcome.
  3. Post your project to your blog or other online gallery.
  4. Come back here and directly link to your blog post, not your blog home page. 
  5. Mention Heart 2 Heart somewhere in your blog post indicating that you are playing along with us and link to our site. 
  6. Consider adding the H2H badge to your blog. We'd love to spread the word and see more crafters participating! 
  7. Finally, you have the whole month of December to link up. There won't be a December top-ten, but we love to see your creations, and will be leaving comments.
Just a reminder - link to the specific page your artwork is on - if we go to your blog and it's not at the top, we have a hard time looking for your entry. 

Happy crafting, as we enter the Christmas countdown...

CTMH Supplies Used:
Card-stock in Cranberry, White Daisy and Desert Sand
Pear & Partridge paper pack
Inks in New England Ivy and Smoothie
Cricut "Artiste" cartridge
Natural hemp

Other Supplies:
Terrifically Tacky Tape 
Jingle bells


  1. Fantastic crackers Caroline! I remember them too - we still have them at Christmas dinner :)

  2. Love these - your Xmas dinner table is going to look so festive and I am rolling my eyes imagining the jokes the three musketeers/stooges will come up with! LOL!!

  3. OH wow, Caroline - fantastic! I would love to pull one of your crackers!!

  4. Your Christmas cracker is gorgeous! I love how you incorporated the name right on the outside. I bought my crackers last year but want to make them this year, so thanks for the inspiration. Tracy;)


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!