As the holiday season approaches, the most impatient are already starting to plan the festivities. This season, in addition to DIY ornaments, you can add extra charm to your table decoration with last minute gifts. DIY Christmas crackers can be a lot of fun and if store bought items are boring to you, try making your own designs with little treasures hidden in them. Just follow our tutorials and you’re done!
Christmas crackers are usually placed next to each plate on the festive the and make a snapping sound when pulled open. The ritual requires two people to open the packaging by pulling the ends in opposite directions. Traditionally, Christmas crackers contain a tissue crown, a joke, riddle or question and a small gift item. The gift is usually inexpensive and can range from plastic toys and noisemakers to magic tricks and edible treats. Of course, luxury Christmas crackers may contain anything from perfume to whiskey. However, jokes are the most important part of the crackers and they are known to be ridiculous.
DIY Christmas crackers tutorial
- gift wrapping paper with Christmas motifs
- marker pen
- cutting mat
- cracker snaps
- transparent adhesive tape
- tissue paper
- gold marker or metallic paint and brush
- paper tags
- twine or ribbon
- craft paper
- washi tape
- printable template
- A4 white paper and printer
Cut your wrapping paper into sheets of 18 x 28cm. (7 in x 11 in). These dimensions correspond to the size of the crackers if you print the design on a sheet of A4 paper. Place the cutting mat on your work surface and place the wrapping paper on top, printed side down.
Now calculate and mark the dimensions and cut using a craft knife and ruler as a guide. Cut as many sheets of paper as you need crackers.
Download the template image and implicate it as many times as needed in A4 paper size. The white areas represent the parts to be cut out.
Place the wrap paper on the cutting mat with your printed template placed on top. Make sure the edge of the wrapping paper lines up perfectly with the outside edges of the template. When you are happy with the placement, use duct tape to secure the paper. The best way is to place the tape diagonally on all corners, making sure that the paper is completely flat.
Use your craft knife to carefully cut out the two rows of diamond-shaped holes. This is the trickier part where more patience is needed.
When all the holes are done, cut out the rest of the pieces to create the correct outline of the cracker, as shown below.
Now it’s time to fold your individual crackers. Using a ruler to guide you, fold along the dotted lines of the pattern. Then fold the diamond area inwards and fold the whole model again as shown in the photo.
Place the cracker on your work area. The folded areas should look like this.
Next, take one long side of the cracker and roll it to the other side. Diamond cuts will allow the paper to get a candy shape instead of a tube.
Secure the cracker in place by inserting the tabs into place. Leave it closed while you prepare the rest of the elements, so that it stabilizes in the shape. Repeat the same procedure to prepare as many crackers as you need.
Make the paper crowns
Cut a strip of tissue paper about 9 cm/3 inches wide. Use the entire length of the paper.
Fold the strip accordion style, then cut triangular shapes at the top.
Separate each strip of tissue paper. Add a festive decorative touch to your crowns with a gold marker or metallic paint. You can make circles, dots, lines or just add gold accents along the top of your designs.
When the decorative designs are ready and dry, cut the strips of tissue paper. They should be about 60 cm (23.6 in) long. If you plan to make crowns for kids as well, just cut them a little smaller. Then, overlap the two ends and join them together with tape to form a circle. When you’re ready, carefully fold the tissue paper crowns so they can fit into the crackers.
Cut small strips of craft paper. Write a personalized message or joke on each piece of paper. Wrap the paper in a small tube and seal with washi tape.
Add the cracker snaps
Cut the cracker snaps to fit the length of each cracker.
Open the cracker. Fold the two ends of the snap and glue them inside the cracker, along the long side.
Fill and close the Christmas crackers
When the snaps are firmly glued in place, it’s time to fill your crackers.
Place a folded crown and a joke in the main body of each cracker. Then you can add small gifts like candies, cookies, chocolate coins, etc.
When all the crackers are filled, roll them up and close them tightly by tucking the central tab into the cutout slot. Gently close the edges in the same way.
In case your crackers contain unique personalized gifts, it helps to add tags with names so that everyone receives the right package.
Now gently tie both ends of the cracker with twine or ribbon. Attach the tags in the same way.
DIY original, easy and ecological Christmas crackers from recyclable materials
- cracker template to download and print
- brown cardboard paper
- cutting board
- craft knife
- cardboard toilet paper rolls
- cracker snaps
- double sided tape
Print out your template and trace it onto the cardboard paper with a pencil. Cut out the main shape of the cracker, then cut out all the triangles using your cutter and ruler.
Place your toilet paper roll in the middle of the brown cardboard paper just between the cut diamonds. Next, make the snap go through the cardboard roll. Fill the cavity with surprise gifts of your choice.
Place sticky tape along the bottom edge of the cracker, leaving a space where the triangles are, then roll and stick the cracker together.
Place a piece of string under the triangles at both ends, pull tight and tie.
Last, cut the ends of the visible snap.
What to put in your Christmas crackers?
- Mini homemade soap bars
- Individual masks
- Dried fruits
- Seeds for growing herbs
- Mini cosmetics or perfumes
- Key ring
- DIY fridge magnets
- Mini nail polish
- Small Christmas tree ornaments made of paper, felt, cork, natural materials like pine cones, etc.
- Personalized message containing a precious memory with the person for whom it is intended
- A small map of the world
- Mini soft toys
- Temporary tattoos (for children)
- Collectible figurines (for children)