Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Cracker Tutorial by Sabrina

Hello everyone! I'm here today with the promised Christmas Cracker tutorial, and ask that you forgive the lateness of the posting as I promised it a week ago, earlier than I was able to post it.

Before I begin, I must mention that the dimensions given in this tutorial fit the size of toilet paper rolls I use. After teaching two classes on how to make these, the one thing I learned is that all toilet papers rolls are not the same in diameter or length! And the same goes for substituting toilet rolls with paper towel rolls cut down! So before using the measurements given in this tutorial, check your rolls to see if you may have to recalculate your measurements. The length of the roll doesn't matter as long as it isn't  longer than 4 1/2''. When you recalculate just remember that you need at least an inch extra to overlap when wrapping the paper around your roll. If not, it will be difficult to get it to stay glued together.

Now here we go with the tutorial.

I used layers of paper to create the border strips on each side. You don't have to do this. You can use just the base piece in a beautiful Christmas pattern and wrap ribbon around for nearly the same look. But I like the look of paper layers. So this is what I cut for each cracker. I used scraps in the making of this tutorial so they papers may vary throughout the tutorial.

Cardstock base - 11'' x 6'' (If using 12 x 12 you can get two out. If using 8 1/2 x 11 you may want to cut it down to 11'' x 6 1/2'' for extra overlap or for a wider diameter tube)

Solid Colour for strip border on each side - 1 at 4'' x 6'' (or 6 1/2'' if adding extra overlap) and 2 at 1 1/4'' x 6'' (or 6 1/2'' if adding extra overlap)

Pattern paper - 1 at 3 1/2'' x 6'' (or 6 1/2'' if adding extra overlap) and 2 at 1'' x 6'' (or 6 1/2'' if adding extra overlap)

These latter two pieces are attached to each other with the solid colour as a mat and patterned paper on top with equal border on each side. Put the dble sided score tape behind these to attach to the cracker base when we get to that point.

Besides papers and your paper trimmer you will need the following:

-a scoring pad
-a scoring tool
-a bone folder
-scotch tape
-toilet paper roll cleaned off
-cracker strips
-dble sided adhesive/scor tape
-quick dry glue
-something to help roll up the cracker - I have here my fondant roller. You can use a paper towel roll, a pastry roller, a strong tube of some kind that is longer than the 11'' length of the cracker base.

Place the 11'' x 6'' cracker base horizontally on your scor pad and score at the measurements indicated in my photo to the left. I drew pencil lines for you so that you could see it better.

Scor at 1 3/4'', 2 1/2'', 3 1/4'', 7 3/4'', 8 1/2'', and 9 1/4''.

Use your bone folder and fold on the score lines as indicated to the left in the photo.

Fold the cracker base on the center fold on each side like this. (I used my bone folder to hold down in place)

Keeping the sides folded, take your scissors and cut notches along each fold up to the next score lines. Be sure to leave at least 3/16'' to 1/4'' between each notch. They do not need to be carefully cut to be the same, you can do this quickly just spacing them as instructed.

When you open it up, you can then adhere there prepared strips centering each one between the score/fold lines. You see here that I have extra length in my strips. This is another option if you don't want to cut the base at 6 1/2", so that you have overlap help from the strips.

Now we attach the cracker. Place it between notches, and tape it down just outside of the last score line/fold on each side. If you click on the photo you may see better where I placed my tape.

Next we will work on the paper fibers a bit to help keep it's shape so that there is less likelihood of it coming apart.

This is where you take your tube or roller and roll the entire piece around it. Do this from both ends. After that, you will take the cracker base and carefully roll it more tightly without your roller, just using your hands. Careful with the ends. You have to try and include them or they may begin to tear off.

-Now you will need a little glue, even though you have some score tape on the ends. DO NOT glue entire piece as the cracker will not work. Tape only the two ends.
-Center the toilet paper roll and roll onto the cracker base as tightly as you can without damaging the shape of the roll.
-When you get to the end you will need a little glue to the inner side of the tape and finish rolling it. Hold it firmly without crushing it and use your bone folder to reach inside and press/rub firmly with it where the tape and glue are. Do this from each side. If you need to hold it in place a littler longer until the glue dries, do it.
-Now do the same for each of the ends trying to keep the diameter the same as the center.

 You should be able to see through the tube like in the photo to the left.

Now take the tube with both hands holding it at each end. Do the following in one motion.

Turn the left side away from you, and the right side toward you while gently pushing toward the center/the roll. It should snap shut like in the next photo.

DO the above two or three times to soften the fibers in that center fold. This will make it easier to tie your ribbon tightly, and make it easier to break when the time comes.

Pull it apart again and cut whatever ribbon lengths you want. Longer if tying a bow and shorter for just tying as I did.

Tie one end only, and insert the prizes from the other end.

Then tie the end shut, and you are ready to embellish your cracker in any way you wish as I did below in the next photo of the crackers we made in class. You can be as CAS or as embellished as you want. Have fun with them!

To see the posting of these crackers from the Scrapbook Parade class, click here and you can see individual photos of each cracker.

Have fun with them! And if you have any further questions, just leave it in a comment and I'll answer any question you have.

Happy paper crafting everyone!!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This is a fabulous tutorial! Now I wish I'd been saving toilet roll centres... I wonder how many I can collect before Christmas? I'm going to try this, definitely!