Recycling Christmas Cracker Scraps

In these days of sustainability, climate change and avoiding SUPs (Single Use Plastics), it seemed wise if you have to choose crackers to recycle as much as you can of what is left “after the bang”.

Good modellers are scrap recyclers, looking at objects and wondering what they can be recycled into.

Loo roll type cardboard inners and jokes go into household recycling. The shiny red and gold textured foil outers go into the scraps box for household crafts.

Paper hats (tissue paper) of all colours go into the conversions box – a coating of PVA makes for a cloak, robe, skirt or turban to convert a modern figure into something for historical or fantasy gaming.

Ribbons? Good for fabric flags.

Plastic fir trees and berries? Potential trees or bushes. Cannonballs?

The plastic berries had two crafty claimants – me to use them as buffers or edgers for my milk carton conversions to Landing craft and somebody else claimed them for making plastic jewellery!

A bizarre fish skeleton keyring? Not sure yet.

A small silvered plastic picture frame? Obviously awaiting the portrait of The Queen, Empress, King or military hero etc for some ImagiNation.

The odd old pirate joke?

To me, used party poppers have the potential look of storage silos or gas tanks at different scales.

Christmas cards usually end up cut up into gift tags for next year’s presents, the rest recycled.

This odd gift tag caught my eye as a possible flag or symbol for a Bronte ImagiNations country or as a 1930s ImagiNations / VBCW type movement. It has a stylised new dawn, sunrise or tropical palm tree look to it.

New dawn? National sunrise? Tropical palm tree of leaf?

Previously on the Christmas Cracker Recycling section of Man of TIN blog:

Other useful Christmas recycling includes the old Christmas satsuma box into a fort.

Can you see the fort potential yet in this satsuma wooden box crate?

Obviously the best way to make SUP Single Use Plastic sustainable is to recycle and reuse it like my small joy in restoring vintage Airfix, something that Alan Gruber (Duchy of Tradgardland) is up to as well.

Christmas decorations furnish lots of possible alternative modelling uses, as I mentioned in my most recent post:

I would be interested to hear what other favourite Christmas recycling tips for our varied gaming hobby that my blog readers and fellow bloggers have.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 28 / 29th December 2019

6 thoughts on “Recycling Christmas Cracker Scraps”

  1. I love this way of looking at things. Al sorts f things can be recruited into one’s armies. I must admit I have become a bit of a scrooge with bonbons and the like as I consider them not returning value for money but now you mention about the paper hats…

    My own favourite scrounging has less to do with Xmas and more to do with my trips into the Australian bush and beach where I collect stones I think will look good on bases or even as bases when they are flat and skinny enough, as well as terrain – who need plastic rocks? Also seeds and vegetation have their uses, the former even looking like fantasy helmets or as vessels, although I haven’t done this yet. I have also use millipede exoskeletons coated in PVA as part of a fantasy base. Some seaside calcium worm castings also have fantasy uses.


    1. Obviously it would be more Scrooge-ish not buy crackers and just buy Pound Store soldiers instead for everyone at Christmas dinner and ask them to shout bang! Then they can leave or give them all to me …
      Excellent scrounging, James. I too am lucky enough to have reasonably easy access to beaches and woodland as well as garden (centres).


  2. Most creative Mark. I am currently pondering the fish skeleton key ring – perhaps some fossilised bones scenery in rocky terrain or near the sea shore that adventurers stumble upon? A standard for a skeleton army?
    The party poppers are most intriguing, I have not seen the potential in them before…
    At Christmas my daughters make the crackers for family gatherings and personalise with paper decorations, jokes and chocolate. We stopped putting things in crackers as no one was interested in the bits and bobs,time for a re think.
    In my paint brush cup I have a penknife that came in a cracker 20 years ago which I use when modelling as well as a tape measure which is still in use.


    1. Skeleton key ring standard sounds interesting.
      We have old stocks of these things like party poppers to work through.
      Handmade crackers are obviously the best.
      We have made DIY Cracker kits before which are fun but also stick extra thin npersonal gifts into named family shop-bought crackers. Bank notes and seed packets do nicely!


  3. I use the brown paper from bird seed sacks to make”canvas tilts” for GS wagons. More relevant to Xmas is the use of cut down party poppers to make rubbish bins in a model zoo I made for my daughters about 30 years ago !!!!!


    1. Zoo rubbish bins – ingenious! Party Poppers have various “after the bang” uses – fuel silos etc. Some Air / Aerial Wargames use party poppers to simulate flak bursts . Standing at an agreed distance, if it hits your airplane model, this counts as a flak hit. Ingenious too!


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