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Make these beautiful handmade Christmas crackers to wow at the dinner table

·3-min read
Photo credit: House Beautiful/Oliver Gordon
Photo credit: House Beautiful/Oliver Gordon

Tired of the shop-bought Christmas crackers available at this time of year? If you want to get stuck in with some festive crafts, then you'll love this simple and impressive tutorial to make your own Christmas crackers.

A sustainable and eco-friendly way to reuse bits and bobs from around the home, there's no better way to add a personal touch to the festivities, and best of all, no cracker will look the same, so yours are sure to stand out from the crowd.

For a fun, handmade look, we love these floral crackers made by Yvonne from craft blog Yvestown (pictured below). With a ribbon tied at either end, these crackers look wonderful, and they should be a source of inspiration if you need to make your own crackers for any other occasion, whether that be for Easter, birthdays or a baby shower.

Photo credit: Yvonne Eijkenduijn,
Photo credit: Yvonne Eijkenduijn,

These crackers from Rural Arts (pictured below), made with leftover pieces of patterned wrapping paper, has been used to great effect. Just look at what you can create with minimal materials?

To make yours even more festive, why not use spare Christmas wrapping paper in greens and reds, or go for full-on glamour with gold and silver paper? Alternatively, kraft brown wrapping paper lends a traditional, classy look and gives you a blank canvas to decorate as you wish.

Alternatively, you could try decorating plain white paper with pastel stars, trees or swirls like Deborah from DIY blog Pure Sweet Joy, or decorate using ribbons and trinkets like Catherine Ogilvie's homemade version. Other ideas to make your own Christmas crackers include adding washi tape, stencils or even painting your designs, or using floral wallpaper for a vintage-inspired and less Christmassy look.

Handmade crackers will look great no matter what your theme. Both fun and simple, this tutorial is a project that can be done with others – and it's a great way to get the whole family involved.

How to make your own Christmas crackers

You will need:

  • A4 piece of patterned paper, wallpaper or plain paper to decorate

  • Cardboard tubes (e.g. toilet roll or kitchen roll holders)

  • Washi tape (buy from Amazon) or paints to decorate if using plain crackers

  • Optional: Cracker snaps (via Amazon)

  • Ribbon or string to tie

  • Craft knife

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Fillings – tissue paper hats, toys, games, jokes

To make:

1. Begin by decorating the outside of your cracker as you wish, then set aside until it's dry. If you're using patterned paper you can leave this step out.

2. Make sure your A4 piece of paper is positioned face down on a table so that the longest sides are at the top and bottom. Position your cardboard tube in the centre of the paper, lengthwise, cutting to shape if necessary.

3. At each end of the tube, score your paper softly with a pair of scissors, making sure not to cut through the paper. Alternatively, cut small diamond shapes out (templates can be found online). This will make it easier to create your cracker ends.

4. Wrap your paper around the cardboard tube, overlapping the edges slightly and gluing in place to create one wide tube. The cardboard tube will give your cracker extra structure so it won't fall apart.

5. Carefully twist one side of your cracker around the ends of the cardboard tube, secure it with festive ribbon and feed your cracker snap through.

6. Gently add your cracker fillings, being careful not to overfill, and secure the other side of your cracker with a ribbon. Then place on your table to welcome guests, it's the perfect finishing touch to your Christmas table decorations.

Tip: Use your handmade crackers as place names; it's perfect if you're hosting guests over the festive season. You could draw or paint the names on, or alternatively, string a small tag to the end of the cracker with the name printed on it. Your guests will love the extra effort you've gone to.

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