The Christmas cracker has been a long standing tradition, but they don't have to be just for Christmas. Valentines day, birthdays, Easter, New Years, there are many special events through the year you can use cracker.
What are they exactly?
A fun, snapping tube with a surprise plastic toy and a tissue paper crown inside. Packages of crackers can be anywhere from $14 and up. And that's for the super duper cheapy ones, perhaps a pack of six.
Now add up those last few lines I just wrote. That's right. We spend that much money on snapping tubes with crap inside.
You can easily make your own with with little to no money spent, and very little time invested. The best part - you chose what goes into them!
The trick is to use lightweight, thin paper to wrap the tubes. If you don't care for your crackers to snap, then these could cost you nothing, making them with things from around the house. If you do want your crackers to 'snap', that should be your only expense. I had trouble finding snaps in the stores, so online would be the best option for purchasing them.
Collect some empty tissue paper rolls. Using some clear tape, attach your 'snap' to the inside of the paper tube. You only want to stick it down so that it doesn't move around, so don't press the tape too firmly. Bend up the end so that it will stick through the end of the paper once it is rolled and tied closed.
Select your paper. I chose to print some patterns I created onto tracing paper (because it's thin), then decided to overlay that over some minty green tissue paper that I had salvaged from some gift wrapping. If you like the designs I used, you can find them for download at the end of this post.
If you are using your own patterns / paper, cut your pieces so they are 11 x 5.25 inches.
Centre the paper tube along the edge of your cut out paper sheets. Tape the edge in place and roll it up, securing the other end with clear tape as well.
Tie up one end with some ribbon, loosely enough that the end of the snap isn't too constricted. Then fill the other end with your goodies. Candy, chocolate, small gifts.... to bouncy balls, toy cars and stickers for kids. It's all up to you. Once everything is in there, tie up the open end.
For kids, you could recycle some of their little toys / things into the crackers... perhaps some that they've forgotten about. I found a small empty container, and it fit some crayons perfectly. Voila! It will seem brand new to my little two year old!
Add a tag if you have them stuffed with special gifts for each person. The more personalized you can make them to each individual, the more appreciated they will be!
Patterns available for free download;
Large Print Abstract Floral
Delicate Swirling Floral