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We love that the only item you have to buy new to make Christmas crackers is the snap strips that make them go bang - easily available from homeware stores like Lincraft or Spotlight, and some two dollar shops. You might like to buy the trinkets for inside the crackers, but we collected small secondhand items throughout the year including keyrings, tiny instruments, jewellery and toys.
Collect small goodies for the inside of your crackers. These can include: handmade crêpe crown hats, mandatory bad jokes and useful trinkets (you'll really impress the family with hand-selected, quality trinkets, instead of those cheesy plastic keychains or whistles that never work and get thrown out anyway).
Re-purpose the cardboard from toilet paper rolls, or cut an aluminium foil or wrapping paper roll into the desired size (these products tend to be used a lot around the festive season, so it shouldn't be too hard to find them).
Use second-hand or offcuts of Christmas wrapping paper and cut into wide rectangles just enough to wrap around the roll and leave a few inches of frill off the sides. For a toilet roll, this should be about 15 cm by 24 cm. **If you were feeling ultra-green, you could even use napkins, or another material instead of paper - in this case, skip step 4 and ask your guests to only hold onto the snap stick, not the material.
Place the roll onto the wrapping paper, pretty-side out. Glue the cracker snap strip lengthways into place inside the roll, and allow to dry.
Place your gifts inside and wrap the paper around the roll. Dig into your stash of old ribbons and string and tie up each end just tight enough to close, but not to rip the paper. Place on the table and voilà, a completely green festive table decoration and gift!