Let’s go Crackers! A step-by-step guide on making your own Christmas Crackers

It’s that time of year again. The decorations go up. There’s mayhem everywhere! The tree struggles to stand upright with the weight of its baubles, …… and we always forget something! For us, it’s usually the crackers. Rushing out to the shops, only to find that all that’s left are ridiculously expensive ones, or rather cheap, what on earth do I do with a plastic moustache novelty kind of ones?

If you have card and ribbon laying about, then you can make your own. The beauty of doing this is, you can put your own gift inside and tailor it to the recipient.

Here’s what you need

Card (thick card will give you a solid cracker, but it will be harder to pull!)

Ribbon

Scissors

Glue or double sided tape (strong)

Cracker Template CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Here’s what you do

Download and cut out the cracker template from the link above.  Use a heavy duty card for this so that you can use it again and again. Adult supervision is required for cutting, especially the diamond shapes. A small sharp pair of scissors are ideal, as you will be able to pierce through the centre of the diamond first to get the angle to cut it out.

Place the template on the back (wrong side) of a piece of A4 card, lining up the template to the edge of the card. This means that you only have to cut one long side.  Please note that the thicker the card, the harder it will be to pull the cracker.

Carefully draw round the template, making sure you trace all the shapes.  If you prefer you can use a pen. It won’t show as you are working on the wrong side of the cracker.

Carefully cut out the 4 triangle shapes along the two long edges. You need to be fairly accurate with this as these are your guide for scoring the fold lines.

Using a ruler and a blunt tool, score down either side of the diamonds. Use the top triangles as your guide when lining them up. Score a line down the centre of the diamonds too.

Fold the card up along the centre score line.

Next, fold the ends back over towards the centre of the card, then fold the centre back over towards the end so that an upside down V is formed.

Fold one side of the card so that the wrong side is outer and the shapes are visible. Once folded they should look like triangles. Carefully cut out the triangles and once the card is opened out they will be diamonds.

If you are using thick card, a top tip is to weaken the fold down the centre of the diamonds by folding it one way and then the other. It will make the cracker easier to pull.

To form the cylinder shape, curl the cracker around a rolling pin if you have one. If not, use your hands taking care not to crease the cracker.

Run a line of glue along one of the long sides, making sure you glue the centre and both the ends.  If you are using double sided tape, it is best to use a heavy duty one, especially if your card is embossed or glittered.

Once the glue has dried or the tape is stuck, line up one end of the cracker. The edge of the triangle on the side should line up with the bottom of the first diamond. If you used the rolling pin to shape your cracker, a top tip is to slide it back into the cracker so that you can apply pressure to the joins, pressing down on the rolling pin, to get a firm bond.

We have animals at The Crafty Co, so we don’t put cracker snap pulls in ours. If you want to add them to your crackers, insert them before you fold the diamonds in. Once the join is completely dry, carefully fold the diamond shapes inwards and tie some ribbon or cord around. Don’t pull it too tight or you’ll break the folds.

Before tying off the other end, insert your gifts.

This is a great opportunity to get the kids involved, let them write out all the jokes or maybe you could have forfeits for the family. Keyrings, pens, marbles, jewellery and small items are great to put in the crackers. Just make sure that you keep the surprises age appropriate, and remember, small items are a choking hazard.

It’s a good idea to add a name tag to each cracker so they are given to the right recipient. There will be tears if grandma gets the toy instead of a hankie, and you can bet your life, you will have trouble prising it off her!

Once your cracker is filled, tie off the other end and add any embellishments if you fancy.

Male themed crackers are usually quite difficult to find, but we think this tartan themed cracker is perfect.

These ones are bright and fun, and can be used for any occasion.

As we mentioned, these don’t have to be given just at Christmas. You could make them for any occasion, birthdays, weddings, baby reveals, the list is endless.

Get your creative hats on and get making.

We love seeing your creations so don’t forget to tag us in your makes #CraftyCoCreations

Happy Crafting

The Crafty Co

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