How to make your own Christmas crackers
No Christmas table should be without the traditional Christmas crackers, and making your own means that you can fill them with fun accessories and thoughtful gifts for family and friends during the festive season. Here's how to make your own inexpensive Christmas crackers.
Wrapping paper - put last year's leftovers to good use!
Craft knife and cutting mat
Cracker snaps (find at art and craft stores)
Rust-Oleum metallic leafing pen
Twine or ribbon
Template - see below
A4 white paper and printer
1. Cut the wrapping paper into sheets of 18cm x 28 cm. This is the size of the crackers if you print the template below onto an A4 sheet.
For the above template, the white areas represent the parts that need to be cut out. Print out the template as many times as you need on A4 paper.
2. Place the wrapping paper on a cutting mat - with the printed template over the top. Make sure the border of the wrapping paper aligns perfectly with the outer borders of the template. Use tape to secure each corner to keep the paper perfectly flat.
3. Use a craft knife to carefully cut out the two rows of rhombus holes. Don't rush this part - patience is required to get it right.
4. Use a ruler to help fold the individual crackers, following the dotted lines on the template.
5. Fold the cut rhombus section inwards and crease well. Lay the cracker flat on the surface. The folded areas should look like this.
6. Gently lift one long side of the cracker and roll it towards the other side. The cut out rhombus will allow the paper to form a bon-bon shape instead of a tube.
7. Carefully fold the tabs in place and leave closed while you prepare the goodies to fill your Christmas crackers. Repeat the procedure to make as many crackers as you like.
8. These crackers are slightly smaller to allow for printing on A4 paper. You will need to slightly trim the snaps to fit the length of each cracker. Open up the cracker and fold the two ends of the snap to glue them down inside the cracker, along the long side. Now you are ready to make up paper hats and small gifts for your Christmas crackers. These can be bought or homemade.
9. When the fillings are sorted, roll up the crackers and close them securely by tucking the central tab into the cut-out slot.