How to make your own DIY Christmas crackers
Why not make your own Christmas crackers this year? They’re slightly cheaper – especially if you make more of them. More importantly, it means you decorate them to suit you (black and pink crepe paper would be our choice) and you can fill them with your own gifts and sillies, from skull rings and candy necklaces to cherry lip balms and beautiful poems…
What you need to make Christmas crackers
- Lightweight wrapping, crepe or tissue paper. Light paper will tear more easily when the cracker is pulled, and you do want it to tear easily. As to whether the wrapping paper depicts hollies or skull and crossbone motifs, that’s entirely up to you.
- Toilet roll tubes – you’ll need two per cracker. If you’ve got a touch of OCD you can pop these quickly in the microwave to sterilise them.
- Cracker snaps (if you’re not British just google ‘cracker snaps’ – they’re so cheap to buy wherever you are in the world
- Sticky tape / sellotape
- Curling ribbon
What to put inside the Christmas crackers
- Your own choice of bad jokes, riddles, fortunes or beautiful poems
- Paper hats
- Small gifts or novelty items (think sideways – skull rings or handcrafted necklaces or engagement rings or used Japanese schoolgirl knickers [er… lovely. But it could, perhaps, be someone’s idea of an ideal gift?] will all fit inside a Christmas cracker…)
How to make your Christmas crackers
See the visual step-by-step guide then read the instructions below:
1) Take your paper and lay it out.
2) Put a toilet roll in the middle. Cut another toilet roll in half to make two little tubes. Put them on either side of the long toilet roll. Leave about two inches between each toilet roll.
3) A quick check: The middle toilet roll is where you’ll stick the novelty items – the two little toilet rolls will be the ends you pull.
4) Use sticky tape to attach the cracker snap lengthwise in the middle of the paper. Tape both ends of it down.
5) Start folding the paper around the toilet rolls. When it’s snug and round against the middle one, glue it down so it keeps its shape.
6) Pinch and twist in the paper in the gap between the middle toilet roll and one of the ends. Tie neatly round it with curling ribbon – very pretty!
7) If you’ve got any excess tissue paper left round the bit of the cracker you’ll pull, just fold it in and glue or tape it down to make the end look neat.
8) Now for the fun bit – fill the middle bit of the cracker with whatever you want! Sweet cherry hair slides, pretty lip balms, balloons, bad jokes, paper crowns, mint humbug sweets, uniqe jewelry, your own poems, maybe even an engagement ring if you’re thinking of ways to propose – it’s really up to you.
9) Now you’ve filled your cracker, finish off the other pulling end, just like you did with the first one.
10) Ta-dah! And there you have it – job done. You’ve made something really personal this Christmas and it wasn’t that hard. You can treat the Christmas cracker as another present and leave it under the tree. You can also add gift tags to the cracker, so that it’s clear who the presents inside are for, regardless of who it is that does the pulling.
Good links for making your own Christmas crackers
- A great way to make Christmas crackers – with pictures
- Make your own Christmas crackers the flashy way – using rollers