Create your own party crackers to celebrate both Christmas and New Years with family and friends.
In my family homemade crackers at Christmas time are a bit of a tradition. We’ve made them every year for a while now, and it’s not just the kids who love them. Last year we made some brightly coloured tie-dyed paper towel crackers which went down a treat but this year I’ve gone with more traditional festive colours of silver and gold. With just a few tiny tweaks, these crackers can be adapted for New Years celebrations as well.
How to Make Party Crackers
You will need:
- Cardboard tubes: either toilet rolls, paper towel rolls cut in half or you can purchase empty cracker tubes here
- Tissue paper in white, gold and silver (or your preferred colours)
- Cracker snaps
- Christmas bells
- Stapler and scissors
- Scissors with a zig-zag edge
- Jokes and novelties to put inside your crackers: see our suggestions below
First we make paper crowns to include in our crackers. To do this take 4 large sheets of tissue paper and unfold it onto a table top. Cut the entire pile in half lengthwise. Put one half aside and fold the other half back up, still stacked. Cut this section into three horizontal strips and finish the top of each piece with a pair of zig zag scissors, this will give you 12 paper crowns large enough to fit an adult-sized head. Stick a piece of double sided tape on the inside edge of each hat but leave the paper backing attached (i.e. don’t stick it into a hat shape), this makes an ‘adjustable’ paper crown that will fit any size of head. Fold the hats small enough to fit inside a cracker.
The next step is to organise what you will be filling your crackers with, which of course depends on your budget and whether you will be making your crackers for Christmas or New Years. For our Christmas crackers I included some Christmas jokes (you can find a link to a printable sheet of them at the end of the post). As a fun alternative to jokes you could instead print out these Fascinating Christmas Facts. If you are making crackers for New Years, perhaps create some fortune cookie style ‘fortunes’ or add some non-Christmas themed jokes that you like.
You will also be needing some novelties to go in each cracker. This can be anything small enough to go inside a cardboard tube so you can be as creative as you like. Here are some ideas…
For Christmas Crackers:
- Mini nail polish
- Lip gloss
- Mini erasers
- Mini stamps
- Hair clips
- Novelty jewellery
- Mini emery boards
- Novelty keyrings
- Lego minifigs
- Miniature figurines
- Matchbox cars
- Individually wrapped lollies, sweets or lollipops
For New Years Crackers you could use any of the above plus:
- Party blowouts
- Party poppers
- Light up rings
- ‘Lucky’ dice
- Mini bottles of bubbles
- Scratchies for the grown ups
Once you have your jokes and novelties sorted you can begin making the crackers. Cut a stack of tissue paper into large rectangle shapes, big enough to be the under layer of the cracker. Then, using a contrasting colour, cut a stack of smaller rectangles and finish the edges with the zig-zag scissors. This is all done fairly quickly because you can cut all of the pieces at once.
To make each cracker stuff the tube with your chosen goodies plus a cracker snap and roll it up in the under layer of tissue paper. Twist the end and staple the snap in place to the tissue paper. Finish with the smaller piece of tissue paper in the contrasting colour and tie with a ribbon.
As an extra Christmassy touch I added a little jingle bell to each bow, but this is totally optional.
Now make as many as you need – this year I made twelve.
To create crackers suitable for a New Years celebration simply lose the bells. As an optional extra you could glue a little ‘2015’ sticker to the centre as I have done in the picture below.
Don’t forget to get your free printable jokes: Christmas Cracker Jokes
Kate Grono is a Mum of two, graphic designer and craft guru, and her blog is packed with arty and crafty goodness so be sure to pop over and check it out! You can follow Kate at The Craft Train or via Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.