Posts tagged "crackers"

What can I reuse or recycle to make Christmas crackers?

I’ve had “make crackers” on my ideas list for a while and every time I saw it, I thought “mmm crackers” but it turns out I meant Christmas crackers. (Although I do make a good eatin’ cracker as well – I’d highly recommend these honey glazed fennel seed ones, and am perfecting the ingredient levels on my own varieties too.)

So… Christmas crackers. In one of the many, many newspaper articles about having a frugal Christmas during the New Austerity Age, I read that making Christmas crackers is a false economy – because it often costs more to make them at home than you can buy them for in the shops.

But money isn’t everything – homemade ones can be a lot lower waste – using up household rubbish and can contain actually useful (or delicious) prizes rather than bits of plastic tat.

There are many tutorials online for making basic crackers out of toilet rolls tubes and squares of Christmas wrapping paper (with purpose-bought crackers snaps for that bit of bang) but I wondered if anyone had any ideas for making them more interesting or creative.

Is it possible to make reusable Christmas crackers? The body refillable each year?

And does anyone make their own paper hats to go inside them?

(There is a strong “reduce” angle here obviously – both to save on money and waste, but for many people they’re an essential part of the Christmas tradition so best try to reduce as much as possible by reusing and recycling instead.)

(If you’re saying to yourself “what on earth is a Christmas cracker?”, just ignore this post – it’s a silly British thing.)

(There are a lot of asides in this post, aren’t there?)

How can I reuse or recycle plastic toys from Christmas crackers?

Another one from the “Suggest An Item” page, Covert_Operations’78 asked:

How can I reuse or recycle those cheap, tiny plastic toys that come in Christmas crackers, snack packets and the like, please? These are mostly just brittle, non-recyclable plastic ‘shapes’, not like the playable and durable fast food premiums. I don’t buy them, but what do I do with the bunch I’ve acquired over the years at parties and such? Even if I try to reduce by not accepting them, they would have been purchased, and would be given out to others anyway, even if I decline. Thank you in advance!

As I explained last month, I don’t celebrate Christmas so it comes across as Bah-humbug when I say it, but ugh, I hate Christmas crackers – so much waste for a split second of cheer. I understand the “it’s hard to reduce” point – they’ve already been bought and few people want to kick up a fuss and refuse to pull one at a party – but so. much. waste. One idea for the future might be to ask if you can provide the crackers for the party – you can then make them out of recycled materials and/or at least know exactly how to recycle all the paper waste, and you can include small but actually useful items as opposed to the random useless stuff you get in commercial ones.

But what to do with the commercial stuff – those little plastic toys? I know a number of people who would use them to make fun costume jewellery or mobile phone charms. You could also use them in little terrariums. Other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle … non-crisp crisps or non-cracking crackers?

Nacho chipsJohn and I were digging through the cupboards for something to accompany our cheese-and-bread lunch yesterday and we can across half a soggy pack of cream crackers and a long-opened pack of nacho chips. They had lost their crack, their crisp and their snap.

They weren’t out of date, just had been left unsealed and absorbed the steam from our cooking in the kitchen. They tasted fine, just were disconcertingly chewy.

Has anyone got recipe suggestions that would cover up the lack of crunch?

(Photo by sh0dan)