By: Amanda Formaro
Age: 7 and up
Add some international flair with a popular tradition in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Christmas crackers are a fun way to welcome guests, as well as pack away a little surprise.
What you'll need:
- 2-3 sheets 5.5" x 13.5" tissue paper
- 3 toilet paper tubes
- Thin ribbon
- Cracker snap (optional)
How to make it:
- If using a cracker snap, tape it inside one of the toilet paper tubes, it should be evenly spaced with equal amounts of the snap sticking out of each end of the tube.
- Lay the tissue paper sheets evenly on top of one another. Place the toilet tube with the cracker snap centered along the edge of the tissue paper and place the other two tubes on either side. You should have three tubes lined up, end to end, along the long edge of the tissue paper. If you have the cracker snap in the tube, be sure the ends of the snap are inside the end tubes as well (see image).
- Use a piece of tape to secure the center tube ONLY to the tissue paper. Do not tape the other two tubes.
- Roll up the tubes inside the tissue paper. Tape the tissue paper to itself once it is completely rolled up. Tape in the middle and at both ends (see image).
- Reach inside each end of the tissue paper and gently pull out the end tubes to expose about an inch of the tubes. Use your fingers to gently find the gaps between the end tubes and the center tubes (see image).
- Take a piece of ribbon and gently tie it around the gap between one of the end tubes and the center tube (see image).
- Insert any trinkets, candy, small presents, or jokes inside the open end of the cracker. Once filled, tie the other end shut with the ribbon.
- Gently remove the end tubes (see image).
- Your cracker is ready for your guests! If you like, you can fringe the ends of the tissue paper (see image).
- To open the cracker, grasp each end firmly and slowly pull in opposite directions. If you used the cracker snap, you will hear a "pop" as you open your cracker.
- Cracker snaps are available at party supply stores and online, and occasionally at craft supply stores. Cracker snaps are traditional with this project but not necessary and can certainly be made without them.
- Aside from tissue paper you can use regular paper, lightweight wrapping paper and even construction paper.
- Ideas for filling your crackers: tiny trinkets, individually wrapped candies, small hand written notes, jokes, and confetti.