crafty christmas – make your own crackers

many years ago i used to work for a retailer buying their christmas department. it was a huge amount of fun and as part of the development process i learnt how to make crackers. they are not difficult, you just need a little bit of patience and a some time to pull everything together. it’s so wonderful to pull a cracker on the day, and for your guest to have something personal as a gift rather than something fairly random or useless, and yes they do have to laugh at the jokes otherwise no turkey!

because of time constraints this year i’m going to fess up now that i bought ready-made barrels, as i knew i only had one evening to make them in. i feel like a bit of a cheat but you know what cheating once in a while doesn’t hurt? just don’t tell father christmas shhhhhhh

what you will need:

– to make the barrel of the cracker you can do this two ways, make from scratch or cheat like i have this year and buy ready-made barrels. i bought mine from little crafty bugs.
– however if you would like to do this from scratch you will need some card (not to thick you need to be able to roll easily) and cut these in rectangles measuring 8cm x 16cm of which you will two of these and one measuring 10cm x 16cm.

– wrapping paper to decorate your cracker. don’t choose anything to heavy or thick as the cracker won’t pull if you are making your own barrels
– any other decorations you fancy to make your crackers look pretty
– small gifts
– snaps
– jokes
– paper hats or tissue paper of choice
– tissue paper
– ribbon or twine
– paper tags
– craft knife and cutting mat
– ruler
– paper punch
– double-sided sticky tape
– glue stick

not cheating way
cut a piece of wrapping paper 16cm x 36cm. glue with either double side tape or glue stick you first piece of card measuring 8cm x 16cm at the left hand edge. leave a gap of 5 cm and then stick your piece of card measuring 10cm x 16cm. leave another gap of 5 cm and stick your final piece of 8cm x 16cm card, which should take you flush up to the right hand side.

on the long edge put a single line of double-sided tape. roll this a stick to the other edge. you now have your barrel.

the cheating way
buy your barrels, roll them, done yay! he he

before rolling the barrels, i used a paper edging punch to make a lovely decorative edge. i bought mine from hobby craft. warning these punches are highly addictive!

punched edgesi measured the sections of the barrels and cut rectangles of wrapping paper to fit the required area and stuck these on with glue stick.

next roll the barrels carefully and tuck them in to secure.

wrap decoration  rolled barrels

now you need to prepare your contents and put in the snap. place the snap inside the cracker and then secure one end of the cracker. with these ready-made ones you simply twist them, and then tie with ribbon, twine or maybe a spot of tinsel.

if you are doing it the proper way tie around the centre of the wrap where there is no card and pull tight carefully not as to tear the wrapping paper.

for the contents you will need a joke, a hat, a gift and anything else you fancy. i popped in a couple of chocolates too. i also wrapped the gifts in tissue.

contents for the crackers

if you are making the hats cut tissue about 10cm deep and then trim the edge however you like and then stick with some double-sided tape.

stack the contents up and slide carefully into the centre barrel and shake gently until they are completely in the centre.

tie the other end of the cracker and you are done.

i added tags, which i couldn’t help but use a paper punch on and then hand stamped initials of our guests so the crackers could double up as place settings too.

here are mine and Mr HPMcQ’s finished crackers, ready and waiting for christmas day. happy christmas all x

finished crackers



    • December 18, 2013 / 20:51

      thanks donna x

  1. December 18, 2013 / 14:58

    Oooh your crackers look lovely!!! Great colour.

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:09

      i’m quite partial to yellow 🙂

  2. December 18, 2013 / 15:53

    I love making our own crackers! It’s so nice to get a relevant something instead a piece of plastic rubbish! And I love yours

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:38

      they are so satisfying aren’t they? glad you like x

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:39

      thank you ali x

  3. December 18, 2013 / 17:06

    Wowee those are stylish crackers! Love that you can put what you choose inside too.

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:39

      absolutley anything, and whats best is that fit diamonds quite well 😉

  4. December 18, 2013 / 18:15

    They are lovely, I love that you’ve personalised them to the recipient! We’ve made our own crackers from a kit this year, perhaps next year I’ll have a go at making them from scratch!

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:41

      even if you just do what i did and get the barrels just to take some of the pressure off! x

  5. December 18, 2013 / 19:12

    very clever lady very clever! didn’t know you are such a crafter 🙂

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:42

      ha ha i love that i have surprised you, do i not look crafty?

  6. December 18, 2013 / 20:33

    You crafty monkey! I will definitely try this next year so am pinning. NO time this year…have not even written card yet…EEP!

    • December 18, 2013 / 21:43

      arghhhhhh you’ve got plenty of time….

  7. December 18, 2013 / 21:33

    They are absolutely gorgeous – I’m not sure I’d want anyone to pull them

    • December 22, 2013 / 11:18

      thank you, they will indeed be pulled they have some great little table gifts in them!

  8. December 19, 2013 / 08:50

    Wow they look fantastic, so much better than shop bought ones

    • December 22, 2013 / 11:19

      thanks nikki, and yes no matter what they look like they will always be better than shop ones as the gifts are personal and the jokes are worse! ha ha

  9. December 19, 2013 / 20:38

    Oooh those are really professional! I’m a bit sick of crackers and all the plastic tat thah comes in them so I’m liking this idea. Not sure what to put in them though

    • December 22, 2013 / 11:20

      there’s plenty of little bits and bobs. i can’t tell you on here as people might be spying. i requested diamonds!! well, don’t ask don’t get! ha ha ha x