Getting Crafty- How To Make Your Own Christmas Crackers

Cindy Barganier Textiles

Springtime Fun



I had the small, strike-off samples from my fabric line  just sitting around the studio and decided to have a little fun with them at Christmastime. I made my version of English crackers except that they don’t really pull apart to reveal the goodies inside. You just untie the ribbon. Not as exciting maybe but a lot easier and it makes for a really pretty table presentation. I will show you how mine turned out then teach you how to make your own. It would be a great activity for the children to make once school is out.


Cindy Barganier Textiles

Ordinarily, I would have used the same fabric (or of course you could choose a really great paper, craft or wrapping) but since I am showcasing the line I used as many patterns as I had place settings for.

You will need:

a tube that fabric or paper comes rolled on (toilet paper rolls felt a little too short to me)

small saw or extra sharp box cutter

a sharpy marker

a ruler

your fabrics or papers

double sided tape

glue appropriate to the product you are working with. I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue

ribbons of your liking

goodies to fill the tubes (small candy, tiny tubes of lotion, rings, earrings, gum balls, etc)

Start by marking 5″ increments on the long tube like this:

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Next, cut the tube into smaller 5″ long tubes. I was setting a table for 6 so I made 6.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Clean up the edges by just running your hands over them to knock off the torn paper from the saw blade. Cut your fabric or paper pieces to 8″ x 13″ rectangles.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Ready your goodie pile so that it will be close at hand for stuffing.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Center the tube on the fabric square as shown with length of tube running down length of fabric.

This wasn’t planned but worked out so well that I added a step. This tube happened to have a piece of double-sided tape on it that made the wrap so easy I added it to every other tube.  Simply pull the first long edge around tube and secure to double sided tape. This will hold it in place while you work with the other side.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

I guess you have figured out that I am not being a perfectionist with this. I am just after a fun look and surprise for my family. Therefore, I am not going to the ironing board but simply turning under the raw edge and pressing with my fingers. Pull this side around to finish wrapping the tube.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Run a line of glue and hold until it is secure. I only ran the glue the length of the tube itself and left the ends free.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Gather the fabric on one end and secure with a coordinating ribbon. I used paper raffia on this one and spread the ribbon after it was tied to give a softer look.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

At this point you will want to hold the tube and pour your surprises into the other end filling the tube.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Tie the other end and Voila! Your very own cracker.


Repeat as often as desired. Aren’t you proud of yourself? Don’t be afraid to use whatever you have. I couldn’t  find the right color green ribbon so I used survey tape. Just have fun with it.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

I had so much fun making these. Now, if I could only get my tree up. sigh


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How To Organize A Move


moving at xmas

photographer Brooke Holm

I have two clients who are preparing for moves during the holidays. Having just gone through this with my daughter last Christmas I know how crazy that can be. My fondest memory is of removing the breakable ornaments from  the tree at the old house, soaking the water up out of the stand, cramming the whole kit and kabootal into the back of my van and setting it back up in the new house before the kiddos arrived. Hey, it’s Christmas. You do what ya gotta do!


It’s a situation where they desperately want it to look like this.

But in reality it looks like this.



It can get overwhelming.


I thought maybe a little help from Martha would be in order. I have my own moving tips that I will share in a few but for now  file this away.



martha stewart

 martha stewart 001




And probably the most useful, here are box labels that you can print off on self-adhesive labels. Martha and I both recommend color coding the boxes by room so that people who are helping you with the move can see at a glance what goes where.

Moving label templates

Moving label templates


I take sheets of colored construction paper and tape a different color to the door frame of each room. The boxes containing items for that room  then have the dot colored to match the construction paper. I  go a step further and print off the sheet from the client notebook showing that room drawn to scale with each piece of furniture placed where I want it. I tape this to the colored paper like it is a mat board. This way the movers or your friends are able to reference the chart and you don’t have to personally answer so many questions.


My best tip is this: you need to be able to walk in each room without climbing over boxes filled with books and accessories so I designate one room whether it is the garage, a playroom or the guest room and decide ahead of time that this is going to be the messy room for a while. I unpack all of the boxes for this room ( it gets its own special color) and just sit things wherever they will fit by category: lamps, paintings, vases etc. This becomes my store where I go “shopping” to decorate the house.

There are two definite advantages to this system.

1. You don’t feel like EVERY room in the house is in turmoil which leads to a sense of accomplishment

2. Because I won’t remember where you “have always” used that lamp or hung  that work of art I will probably use it in a fresh way and you will feel like you have new accessories. Win, win.

I hope these little starting pointers are helpful. Still feeling overwhelmed?


keep calm


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How Did You Make Those Lamps Float??

A little background on Friday’s  bedroom reveal. If you missed it go here to catch up. I was so pleased with how the wall sconces turned out but getting there was no small feat.

I found these great lamps at Tuesday Morning for $9.99 and knew instinctively that they would be perfect but then had to put on my engineer’s hat (which doesn’t always fit real well) and figure out how to retrofit them since I didn’t want them to just hang over the headboard.





At first I planned to hang them by this really beautiful antique chain from the canopy but the lights flopped down since they are bottom heavy so it was on to plan B. Then C. 🙂

In the end I had Jim at Gowan Iron (who made the bed for me)  clip off the hooks that were on the top and craft what amounted to a very heavy duty plate hanger that hugged the back of the lamp at the top and bottom.



The bed projects out from the wall 6″ so I had an extension bar welded to the back of the “plate hook”. We made this as small in diameter as possible because we had to make a slit in the bed hangings for this bar and for the cord to pass through.


Then we had a plate made that would screw into the wall that also had an extension that would slide over the other extension and be secured by a little screw.

That multi-talented man of mine (OK, I confess, he is the real brains behind figuring out how to make all of this stuff work) then secured them to the wall.



They fit like a glove. (Thank  you Jim)

And voila! Lights that float on scrim.

floating lamps


Don’t get any ideas about having Jim make some for you. He told me in no uncertain terms that he would kill me if I ever walked in the door with lamp shades again.

I sent him a text the next day saying I would like for him to make 6 more pair more me.

tee hee. Wasn’t that MEAN???

What magic tricks do you have? Let’s talk.

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