Making Christmas {Cracker Hats}

I've just realised it's been an entire week since I last posted here! I'm not sure where the last week ran away to, but I haven't had a gap that long for a few months now. A combination of being off work with an injured back, which is still unfortunately ongoing (even after getting an acupuncture needle stuck in one of the muscles in my bum, and passing out during a blood test!) trying to get some of my sewing projects finished and going to the Macarons and More Cookery School (which was one of the best day I've ever had, but more on that later this week!) has meant I have a whole weeks worth of unwritten posts to catch up on!

So, I've officially started making Christmas! I'm not cooking Christmas dinner this year which feels a bit odd. By this point I'd usually have a fair few lists on the go, and would probably be beginning to flap a bit about whether to dish up, or put everything in serving dishes on the table, about gravy boats and giblets and goodness knows what else. This is totally ridiculous of course; I cook a roast dinner without a flap all the time, but for some reason at Christmas, as much as I say I'm not going to, I can't help but decend into a chaotic and twirly mess (to quote Friends - that bit of Monica in me coming out again!)

This year though, we're off to my sisters, and as her boyfriend is a chef it's pretty safe to say I won't be I've elected to flap about crackers instead! Starting with kraft paper hats (obviously!)

Pastry (as usual) was rather interested in what was going on....

I started off measuring round my head with a piece of string, and then cutting a strip of paper slightly longer than this length (I have a really big head, so they will probably end up too big for everyone else, but they can see how annoying an ill fitting cracker hat is for a change!) I guessed the height, but I was going for more of a crown than a tiara, and stuck the ends together with double sided tape. 

Then (this is oh so technical) I flattened the circle out, making sure I folded them along the existing 'seam' so they looked a bit neater, then folded the whole thing in half, and in half again.

Then you just chop one corner off at and angle. I measured mine so they were all the same, but freestyle hats, or giving everyone on the table a different shape would be fun! 

That's my very best no-makeup-messy-hair-cracker-hat-model pose! 

Then I used the eraser bits on the end of the pencils as make shift stamps, and added some sparkly gold dots to half the hats...

I used a craft knife to cut one of the erasers into a little triangle to stamp the other three hats. They turned out really pretty, but everyone had been informed they're not allowed to actually touch them because the ink rubs off if you so much as breath on it! 

Ready to go in the crackers! I'm in the process of collecting little cracker gifts for everyone, and will probably put in some chocolates, or a scratch card, and D is thinking of suitably bad jokes to put in them too. 

I haven't decided what the actual crackers are going to look like exactly, but I have lots of gold crepe paper left from the wedding, and it's nice and stretchy so I should be able to tie up the ends without it tearing fairly easily. 

Our plan to get Christmas sorted by December is coming together quite nicely! I haven't done anything about Christmas cakes as yet (I think I've missed Stir Up Sunday now too!) but most of the shopping is done, we've already watched Love Actually, I've bought all the wrapping paper and I've started on the peppermint hot chocolates! Later tonight I'm planning to order all the bits I need to make the gifts for the little people I usually buy for - although I'm sort of thinking I might have to have a back up plan in case I run out of time...we'll see! 

I have a love hate relationship with this time of year - I love it everything about the build up to Christmas, I love buying presents for people, decorating, cinnamon on everything,  mulled cider, Christmas markets and planning to catch up with everyone, but I also hate that every single year  I manage to become an anxious ball of stress about it all - which is daft I know, but I always think in October 'Ohh I've got months left to make all those things' then suddenly it's a month to the day, and I haven't even ordered the fabric and I'm flapping about hats! 

Time to put Harry Potter on and calm myself down I think! 

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