It’s so easy to make your own Christmas crackers! Add a wow factor to your holiday dinner table with these DIY Christmas crackers made out of wrapping paper and a toilet paper roll.
You can use Christmas crackers as place cards or give them as a stocking stuffer. Use fun cartoon paper for kids or classy wrapping paper or kraft paper for adults. Then tie on a gift tag and customize the contents of each cracker with treats that specific person will enjoy!
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DIY Christmas Crackers
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.
Step 2: Measure and make marks on the paper
- Cut a piece of wrapping paper to 29-1/2 cm long by 20 cm wide.
- Place the wrapping paper with the shorter edge in front of you.Make pencil marks on both long edges of the wrapping paper at the dimensions shown in the photo. First 5cm down from the top, then 2cm, 2cm, 11-1/2cm, 2cm and 2cm. There should be a 5 cm section left on the bottom.Important: the 11-1/2 cm section should fit the length of your toilet paper roll. Measure your paper roll and adjust the center measurement if necessary. The rest of the numbers can stay the same.
- Use a ruler to make lines from one side of the paper to the other at each of the marks.
Step 3: Fold the paper
- Fold the wrapping paper back at the first, second, and third lines.
- Now fold the paper so the second line is sticking up (creating an upside-down 'V' if you look from the side).
- Repeat these folds at the other end of the paper.
Step 4: Cut sections out of the paper
- At one end of the paper, adjust the folds so there is a single fold at the middle line as shown in the photo. The 5cm and first 2cm section should be folded flat behind the paper.
- Cut a series of triangles along the folded edge from the bottom to the top of the 2 cm section.Try to keep the triangles roughly the same size, but it's okay if they're not completely the same width.
- Repeat these triangle cuts on the other end of the paper.
Step 5: Roll up the Christmas cracker
- Add glue tape to both sides of the 11-1/2 cm section. Add more glue tape to the right side of both the 5 cm sections (above and below the triangle cuts).
- Place the toilet paper roll at the left edge of the 11-1/2 cm section, pressing it onto the glue tape.
- Roll up the paper roll until it meets the other side.Press down on the seam of the middle section, as well as the 5 cm sections, to make sure the glue tape is secure.
Step 6: Finish off the Christmas cracker
- Apply glue tape to both ends of the cracker snap.
- Insert the cracker snap into the Christmas cracker and through the paper roll. Press down on both ends to secure it to the rolled wrapping paper.
- Cut two pieces of ribbon, each of them roughly 14 inches long.Tie one ribbon around one side of the cracker, in the middle of the section with the triangle cuts.
- Fill your Christmas cracker with gifts, letting them slide down into the paper roll. If you need more room, shake the cracker to get them all the way down.(A snowbank is the answer to the riddle in the picture below, by the way - haha.)
- Tie the second piece of ribbon around the other side of the cracker, closing it off.
- Your Christmas cracker is complete!
Where can I buy cracker snaps?
Outside of the UK you can generally only buy Christmas cracker snaps online. Both Amazon and Etsy have cracker snaps available for purchase, as well as more Christmas cracker specific websites like Olde English Crackers.
What can I put in my DIY Christmas crackers?
The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can put in your homemade Christmas crackers! Here are some ideas:
- Holiday treats, like candy, lollipops, or wrapped truffles
- Christmas ornaments
- A Christmas fact, trivia, pun, or joke
- The classic paper hat
- Beauty products, like lip balm, travel sized hand cream, face mask, or a small shaped soap
- Trinkets, hair accessories, keychains, or jewelry
- Stationary, like fun pens or shaped erasers
- Toys like a bouncy ball, balloon, or dice
- Stickers, temporary tattoos, or fridge magnets
- For the adults, a sample size bottle of alcohol (spiced rum, maybe?)
What is a Christmas cracker?
Christmas crackers are small gift packages made to look like wrapped candy. They usually contain a paper hat, a joke, and a trinket — and they make a popping sound when opened!
Crackers are placed around the Christmas dinner table, and are a holiday tradition in the United Kingdom and in many commonwealth countries, like Canada and Australia.
How do you open a Christmas cracker?
You open a Christmas cracker by pulling on both ends of the package. You can pop open a cracker by yourself, or with someone else.
With a group of people around the table, everyone will cross arms and use both hands to pull on a cracker. Usually each person will keep the contents of their own cracker, but sometimes whoever has the largest side of the cracker (they will split unevenly) will keep the gifts.
What is the origin of Christmas crackers?
Christmas crackers originated in Victorian England and were invented by a baker named Tom Smith. On a trip to Paris he saw sugared almonds being wrapped like bon bons in colourful paper and decided to copy the practice for his own sweets.
Smith added a motto or riddle to each package, but the crackers didn’t gain popularity until he added the snapper to create a little bang as the cracker was pulled open.
Crackers don’t have to be only for Christmas. Customize the wrapping paper and contents to make crackers for other special occasions, like a wedding or baby shower!
Here’s even more Christmas craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!