I'm British (in my head). So because I'm British (in my head) there are certain things that are a part of my celebration that are British. For instance, I start my Christmas day watching the Royal Christmas Message. I eat a mid day dinner with my family. I settle down to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special. And, I end my day with a Christmas cracker.
No, not saltine crackers or cookies or anything. A Christmas cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper with a prize in the central chamber, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper (direct quote from Wikipedia). I have purchased crackers before and my family enjoyed them. I decided this year I'd make my own...for New Years Eve!
The normal inserts for Christmas crackers are a toy of some sort, a joke or fortune, a noise maker and a paper hat. My cracker is for my kiddo so I put more personal items in mine. I have a pretty necklace, some nail polish, some candies, a lip balm and a fortune for the new year. We're also a planner household so stickers are always welcomed. You can put whatever you want to in yours. You can go with small, whimsical items for everyone or you can customize each person's cracker.
Once you know what you are putting in your cracker, you have to begin the prep work.
What you need are ...
* 2 toilet paper rolls or 1 paper towel roll
* wrapping paper
* curling ribbon cut into 4 pieces, each 10"
1. Your first step is to cut the toilet paper rolls for each cracker or cut the ends off of your paper towel roll. If you are using 2 toilet paper rolls, keep 1 of them intact and cut the other in half. If you are using a paper towel roll, cut off 2" on both ends of the roll. You should be left with about 7". You can keep it that length or cut it down. My toilet paper roll is about 4 1/4" long.
2. Your paper rolls should be spaced out. Cut a piece of wrapping paper to fit the roll spacing in length. In width, you need 6 1/2" - 7". Not more than that or your cracker will be bulky.
3. Add tape to the wrapping paper and the center piece or roll BUT NOT THE OUTSIDE PIECES! The outside pieces will be removed so do not tape them to the paper.
4. Instead, push all the rolls together and roll the wrapping paper up tightly, covering the paper rolls. Then tape the center piece closed first and then the end pieces. Only use a small piece of tape for the end pieces. You are actually closing the paper, not the outside pieces of paper roll.
5. Once things are taped, hold the center piece and remove the end toilet paper roll pieces. Try to maintain the shape of the paper.
6. Hold one end of the tube and add 2 pieces of the curling ribbon. Tie the ribbon tie VERY SLOWLY. If you are delicate, your wrapping paper will tear. If you take your time, you will achieve a pretty tie with paper intact.
7. Turn to the other end and you will see an opening. This is where we will fill it with goodies.
8. Again, choose items that mean things to your guests and add the items to the opening. Very carefully close it, just like you did the first side.
Tada! You have a holiday cracker. I say holiday but you could seriously do crackers any time of the year. Can't you see Valentine's Day crackers? What about Fourth of July crackers? How perfect is that? If you have larger tubes (wrapping paper, shipping tubes) you can make birthday crackers! I'd love a birthday cracker.
If you have young children, they will love opening these for Christmas or New Year's Eve. If you have older children, they'll enjoy getting the items to put into the crackers and making them. Thinking about trying this? You should! If you are at a loss about what to pop in your cracker, take a look at my Winter Crafts Pinterest Board to see the holiday cracker ideas that I found.
And of course, if you do make this, tag me on Instagram and let me see what you've made and what you decided to put into your cracker!