Remember the excitment of sitting down at the dinner table on Christmas day and deciding who you were going to ask to pull your cracker? When I was very young I usually picked my brother Roger, who I adored like any younger admiring sister would do. When I got a little older and wiser, I realised that my chances of winning were slim against my older, stronger brother, so I would choose a younger member of the clan to help me pull my cracker.
The tradition of crackers is really fun, but the result can be hit or miss as the treats inside vary from plastic horses to keyrings! And as there was just Craig & I for Christmas dinner this year, I decided that I would make my own crackers – this way I could ensure that I would get a prize that I actually want.
Making Crackers are incredibly easy, and extremely fun, a great craft activity for kids, and all you need is some empty toilet roll tubes, paper and string or ribbon.
To begin you want to weaken the paper so the cracker pulls apart easily. There is nothing worse than a cracker that doesnt pull – a predicament that usually ends in a Health & Safety disaster, involving squished fingers and bumped heads! To weaken the paper, I used a tool to perforate a line which which just off centre, but if you dont have a tool like this don’t worry. You can fold the paper and make a crease, or you can dip a paintbrush into water and run this along paper.
Next the fun bit. You want to stuff one tube full of crackery goodness. Inside my crackers I placed a complusary cracker joke (the cheesier the better), a small bar of chocolate (Cadbury’s Magical Elves, for some Christmassy magic) and a treat. In one, a selection of metal charms bought from the local craft store, and in the other a Lottery Scratch card (i’ll let you guess which is for me and which is for Craig!) I also scrunched up a piece of tissue paper and tucked it in at either end.
Next the rolling. If you do have a snap, place this on the paper and glue securely on both ends to the paper. Its best to use a glue gun or another strong glue to ensure that your get the desired SNAP noise.
Roll the paper around the tubes until it covers the tube completely. Make a mark on the paper, unroll and then trim the paper to size. You do not want to have more paper than necessary as this will make the cracker harder to pull apart. Lay the three tubes on the paper, roll and use glue to secure.
Next wiggle the two end tubes out at the sides a little, and use your finger and thimb to crunch the paper to make the classic cracker shape. Loop a piece of string or ribbon around the paper indent, and pul tight so the paper scrunches in to secure the goodies inside.
Once you have tied each end, your cracker shape is complete, you just have to decorate it!
I used scallop scissors, glitter, nestabilities, some silver paper and some elf stickers. Don’t they look great!?
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone and I hope Santa brings everything you are wishing for.