I was talking to the Laura Ashley team this afternoon about writing a festive post for their blog in a couple of weeks time and it reminded me that I never actually shared the one I put together for them last year. So here it is. Quite a bit late, yes. But in plenty of time for this Christmas.
Making your own crackers is not a new thing. In fact, there are plenty of kits on the market that you can buy. You simply need to pop in your own gift. However, I’m pretty sure that most us have off cuts of wallpaper or wrapping paper lying around and they’ll do the job absolutely perfectly.
If you’d like to have a go (or perhaps challenge your children to make them, if you fancy a quiet hour or two), here’s what you’ll need:
a tube approximately 12cm in length (I made my own with card stock and sticky tape)
wallpaper or wrapping paper measuring 35cm x 20cm
double sided sticky tape
ribbon or twine (I actually cut strips of fabric in this example)
jokes (you could have your children handwrite them or type them out on a computer and print them off)
small presents or chocolates to pop inside the crackers
STEP 1: Pop the cardboard tube in the middle of your wallpaper/wrapping paper and secure it with sticky tape.
STEP 2: Add a length of the double sided tape along the bottom of the wallpaper/wrapping paper, and wrap the paper around the cardboard tube to form a cylinder and give you your basic cracker shape.
STEP 3: Take one end of the cracker and gently pinch the paper about 10cm in until it forms a neck.
STEP 4: Leaving a small hole to pop a cracker snap through, add a strip of fabric (or ribbon or twine) around the neck and tie in a bow.
STEP 5: Thread a cracker snap through the tied end and secure it to the inside of the neck with sticky tape. Then pop a paper hat and a joke in to the cracker through the open end.
STEP 6: Choose a small gift or chocolate (or two) - this is the bit I like best because you can select things that people genuinely want or will use as opposed to plastic tat which will inevitably get swept away in the post-Christmas dinner table clearing.
STEP 7: Gently push the present in to the middle of the cracker and seal the open end with another strip of fabric (or ribbon or twine).
And you’re done. Your very own homemade crackers. You could add a luggage label to each one and use them as place settings for Christmas dinner, put them on your tree or even stick them to the top of Christmas parcels as a final festive flourish.
What do you think?
And what gift would you like to find in your Christmas cracker?