Stylish gift ideas for homemade Christmas Crackers

I don't know about you, but things are starting to feel very festive down here at Redside. Advent calendar doors are being opened, the "Sleeps 'til Santa" list has several nights crossed off of it, and preparations around the steading for the big day are well underway.

At this time of year my artistic temperament really comes to its fore. I just can't contain it! The abundance of natural materials from the surrounding woodlands, combined with found objects during walks with my pooches along the shoreline, are perfect for creating homemade Yuletide decorations.

Something else that I like to hand make are Christmas crackers. These are relatively easy to put together, especially if you download and print out one of hundreds of templates that can be found online! The fab thing about making Christmas Crackers yourself is that you can stuff them full of your own festive goodies. I think it’s much nicer to put in bespoke gifts, rather than receive cheap offerings which have had little or no thought given to them.

This year I’ve been looking at local businesses and craftspeople in Edinburgh and East Lothian for Christmas cracker gift inspiration. There’s so much talent around that it’s been hard to choose. But here are a few suggestions:

Edinburgh Gin Minatures

Scotland is traditionally associated with the whisky industry, but more recently micro gin-distilleries have been popping up all over the place! NB Gin, here in North Berwick, and Pickerings and Edinburgh Gin in the capital, are all delicious! I know dharlinks, ‘mother’s ruin’ and all that…! Anyway, why not purchase a miniature gin or two to pop into your crackers? But make sure the receiver is of an eligible legal drinking age first. Cheers!

Bespoke Jewellery

I stumbled across Dunbar-based Alexandra and Ronny’s site on one of my morning travels around the internet. I was particularly drawn to the jewellery that Ronny crafts from found objects, which he then compliments with leather, wire and beads. You have to agree with me that these are unique and stunning pieces, and would make exceptional Christmas cracker gifts.

Amy Britton Textiles

I love these handmade gadget and bits-and-bobs carriers created by Amy Britton. The vibrant colours she uses are so eye-catching, as are the tweeds and tartans. Her smart phone pouch would fit perfectly into a cracker, and would be a wonderful surprise for the person who received it.

Braw Beard Oils

These days we all have a hipster member of the family. Usually a young gentleman with a well groomed, and often rather long, beard. I’m confident that they would appreciate a small bottle of beard oil from Scotland’s own Braw Beard Oils. Handmade and produced from natural ingredients, these are simply perfect for keeping a beard luscious and smelling divine.

Ailey Mae's Chocolate

I’m not sure if this item will actually fit into a Christmas cracker, but as Ailey Mae's chocolate is to die for, I just had to include it. She’s even produced a pistachio, cardamom and orange flavour especially for Christmas. Delicious! And if you do find that the bar is too big for your Christmas crackers, well you can always eat it yourself as you assemble the rest!

If you're feeling inspired by this small collection of festive cheer, but are in need of someone to help you pull your Christmas cracker, then why not give Rhona at Branding Up a call on 07733 321759. She's your branded gifts and personalised incentives fairy godmother. And with her help, you shall go to the ball!


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