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April 2024
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Little fixes

I am of an age where I would watch Blue Peter on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and wonder at the “projects” – the making of a Sindy hair salon (yes, really, I’m British, so it was Sindy not Barbie) to a Thunderbirds island.

Now, as a kid, these were really impressive but involved having equipment like “double sided sticky tape” and “sticky backed plastic”. Which as I didn’t get any pocket money until I was 12, was a tall order.

Joy of joys though, I’m now a grown-up and can easily afford such things, but likewise, I can afford to buy pre-made things too.

So, why am I writing this down today?

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

Actually, I’m agreeing with you. I have done odd things round the house: made cushion covers out of trimmed down curtain fabric, bought spare fabric so we can have coordinated rooms. Little things, quick and easy.

A few years ago, I saw Kirstie Allsop making Christmas Crackers and thought I’d give it a go. Kirstie suggested a hot glue gun, and I thought, if I have one, there are a few odd jobs round the house I can do with it too.


Got the glue gun yesterday (I did try this with just “the gun” but that looked a bit odd, so please forgive the extra word). Oh joy. You can see my proto-cracker (though a little naked) here.

A naked cracker with blank moto inside and the snap in place

It’s a little bit of a reuse story – the tubes are indeed empty toilet roll holders. The moto paper are the trimmings from train ticket printouts (as they don’t require power).

Could I just take a moment to say I am VERY tempted to insert the motos before adding the last toilet roll tube as putting it in afterwards is VERy fiddly but then that is the point of a prototype, to work out the best way to do things.

Now, ever since I was a child, I have listened to peoples’ reactions to the contents of crackers, which is why I am doing this.

My son hates the jokes, and has volunteered to make some material for the paper.

I hate the prizes, so I am working on that.

My mum hates the hats, so I’ve asked about alternatives.

It’s July, which should mean I get the time to fine tune all the pieces. We can have a perfect Cracker set for Christmas Day – and hopefully, no waste.

Not quite the end of the story…

Oh yeah?

Yeah! A long while a go I learnt some upholstery skills to re-cover some dinning chair pads but learnt the principles of doing a settee or a comfy chair on the day.

Now, after 28 or so years, our favourite two seater we use in the kitchen (anything bigger just won’t fit in the space) is looking in need of such tender loving care. But one thing I can’t do is fix broken foam.

I had a bright idea to trying washing the arm pads which were in a very sorry state. Being wadding, you have the option to wash them. So I did, and then tumble dried them (energy intensive but hopefully better for the planet than throwing them out and buying new).

They came up beautifully and are just as comfy as they now look. Result 🙂

Really should get on and make the new loose covers and main body…

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