Crafty Christmas Crackers

Making your own gifts and decorations is now an absolutely fundamental part of my Christmas preparations. This year I have been crocheting up a frenzy, creating gifts for friends and family. We will be staying at home this year, so I will have less time travelling and more time to spend in the kitchen cooking up some unusual Christmas treats for us and our guests, which I am looking forward to.

So when Cartridge Save invited me to take part in crafting my own Christmas crackers, naturally I couldn’t resist. I’ve made crackers once in the past, but I bought some little party treats to put inside them, so they did not feel as authentically home made as they could do. So this year I have gone out to do something special. I also experimented with different materials, to try and find the ‘perfect’ cracker. I’ll report back on the snaps and bangs after Christmas!!

You can find full instructions on making crackers on the Cartridge Save Crafty Christmas page. They also have some other lovely little crafty ideas, such as making adorable mitten cards and a paper wreath, which I am thinking of having a go on later. 


In simple terms though, you select some pretty paper, then score a line with scissors along one side to help the cracker pull properly.

 Next, put in your snap and put on a dab of glue to hold in place. I tried this, and putting the snap through the middle but it was more inclined to fall out this way, so it would seem Cartridge Save has the best method, but we’ll see how it goes when they are pulled!

Next use a toilet roll and one cut in half (I’ve used quarters here as we didn’t quite have enough toilet rolls saved up!) and glue along the top edge to secure. At this stage I was starting to think that the paper I had was a little too thick as it was quite resistant to the process. It is a lovely pattern and double sided though, to keep the inside edge of the cracker looking neat.

While that was drying, assemble your cracker treats. I used some tissue paper to create my own paper crowns. This was great because every Christmas some of the males in our group tear their hats on account of their massive heads, so I was able to create some extra large sizes to accommodate the super caputs in our midst. It’s the little touches that really make Christmas special I think (especially as the person who wears their hat for longest always wins a prize at our house).

Next I wrote some jokes. I’ve deliberately left this out of focus. You’ll have to find your own.

For the special treat, I create mini origami delights – I told you this year I wanted to make my crackers much more homemade through and through! I am looking forward to the hopping frog making an appearance, he can go quite far! They have all been decorated with glitter glue accessories to make them a bit more Christmassy!

Finally, since it’s Christmas you’ve got to have some sweets in there really, haven’t you?

You roll up your cracker, glue the edges down, then twist the paper and secure at one end. Fill with your treats and secure the other end similarly. The first cracker was EXTREMELY difficult – the paper I was using was definitely not up to the job, it was far too thick. I got there in the end though and added some Christmassy ribbon and this super adorable wooden reindeer to decorate. I knew there was no need to go over the top with such pretty paper!

For the next cracker I used some thin wrapping paper. This twisted really nicely, but perhaps is too thin, and doesn’t feel as nice a quality. You can just make out in the picture though that I also added little bells to the ribbon, so now we have sleigh bell crackers of which even Saint Nicholas himself would be proud. The final touch was an iridescent snowflake (to offset the footballs – my crackers have no gender based predispositions.) You can see that I folded the edge of the paper in to neaten the edges and to stop you from being able to see the loo roll lining!

The next experiment was a slightly thicker wrapping paper. This was perfect and worked really nicely with my jingle bells. The final decoration is a simple flock Christmas tree. I think this is my favourite of the crackers I made, the paper is really pretty and it’s very festive.

Finally, I thought of trying the thin paper again, but folding it double to create more strength. This was definitely an effective method, so great to employ if you just have budget paper in the house (nothing wrong with that, good to watch the pennies at Christmas too).

Can’t resist those reindeer

These are my little crackers. I’m really pleased with them and have another two left to make when I’ve got a minute. I hope my friends like them! We’ll be doing Christmas II again on 28th December when we recreate Christmas in full for our friends, so these will be a key feature on the table. I even downloaded Vine for the first time, so hopefully you can hear their pretty jingling noise for yourselves! What do you reckon?

Cartridge Save are running a competition for the best crackers made from their guide – I’ve got my fingers crossed as I would use the prize, Amazon vouchers, to make Christmas II even more special this year!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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