Homemade Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are a common holiday tradition in numerous countries. When pulled apart, they make a popping noise and a small gift is revealed. Making them at home is easy and a great kid-friendly activity. This is a guide about homemade Christmas crackers.

Homemade Christmas Crackers, Two people pulling apart a Christmas cracker.
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Photo of homemade holiday crackers.In 1847, Crackers were invented by Tom Smith who happened upon them by accident. Crackers are an integral part of British celebration and tradition that dates back to Victorian times: To learn more about the history of the Cracker visit

This tradition was brought to my family through my brother in law, and now is looked forward to each year. Here is an easy way to make your own Crackers.


  • toilet paper tubes
  • tissue paper
  • ribbon
  • charges or snaps*
  • candy
  • small prizes
  • confetti
  • little pieces of paper with jokes, fortunes, or poems on them
*These have a string on either end and when you pull them they pop. You may be able to purchase these at a party supply store locally. If not, you can find them online at stores like this one: Toilet paper tubes and tissue paper


To create the crown fold a full sheet of tissue paper in half (hot dog style) and fold it in half two more times the same direction. Then draw part of the crown on the bottom and cut. When you unfold it you should have points all the way around. Attach the two ends with a piece of tape and fold it so it will fit into the tube. Tissue Paper Crown

Putting the Tube Together:

Tape a charge inside the tube so that the strings come out each end place your candy, crowns, fortunes, prizes, and confetti inside the tube. Then wrap in up in tissue paper with extra sticking out each side. Tie each end with some ribbon, make sure the charge string is sticking out, you will pull these to make the pop and the prizes will come out.

To Use:

Have everyone gather in a circle with their cracker. Then cross arms, with each person holding one end of their cracker and grabbing the end of the cracker of the person next them. At the count of 3, everyone pulls on the crackers. The crackers will all pop and the prizes will fall out of the tubes. Then everyone can put on their crown and read their fortunes! It's a nice tradition. Hands holding holiday crackers in a circle

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I use paper rolls from toilet paper, paper towels, gift wrap, and anything else that has a roller in it. I have used them for all sorts of gifts:

  • Pets - fill them with treats for you pets
  • Moms - fill with little items that a mom or any woman would like, small trinket, little manicure sets, jewelery
  • Dads - small tape measure, pencil, small tools
  • Candy - fill it up with your choices

Once I have these filled, I wrap them with the appropriate wrapping paper. Gather the paper at the ends and tie with ribbon pink for females, blue for males, and label them. At some craft shops you can buy the "snapper" that goes in the center, if you are using these be sure they are long enough to stick out both ends so they can be pulled.

I also do these and sell at craft fairs, I find making separate one for boys and girls, mom, dad, and pets are great sellers. I wrap them once they are filled and put a small sticker on them for what category they are for. Mom and Dad ones, I tie with pink or blue ribbon, same with the boys and girls. Be sure to mark what they are for, boys or dads, girl or moms, pets should be labeled for cats, dogs, or birds.

Have fun making these and the ones that get them will have fun opening them.

By Rose Marie G. from Merritt, BC, Canada

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Turn ordinary Christmas crackers into glamorous décor items for your Christmas Eve table. Christmas decorations need not cost an arm and a leg. Just by adding a few simple elements to something as ordinary as a cracker, it is possible to have a table that wows your guests without breaking the bank in the process.

finished decorated crackers

Approximate Time: 5 minutes per cracker

Yield: one cracker


  • silver Christmas cracker
  • miniature candy cane
  • white paper tray doily
  • small red bell
  • red or silver ribbon
  • standard scissors
  • Sellotape
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks


  1. Cut a piece of lace border from the paper tray doily. Wrap it around the cracker and use a piece of Sellotape to keep it in place. Tip: If making six crackers, two paper tray doilies will have enough lace borders to wrap them all.
  2. paper lace glued onto cracker
  3. Tie a piece of ribbon around the candy cane, make a bow and neatly cut the ends.
  4. candy cane decoration with bow
  5. Add a small drop of hot glue to the knot of the bow, so that the bow won't come loose.
  6. Hot glue the candy cane and bell to the Christmas cracker.
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Great fun for party treats or for packaging small gifts! Cut a paper roll in half. How large a cardboard tube you need will depend on the size of the treats you plan to include or the size of the gift you plan to wrap using this technique.

Photo of the holiday popper with candy spilling out.

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It's always nice to reuse things. A good thing in our house is to make our own Christmas crackers or crackers for a special event. We saved some empty toilet rolls.

Empty Toilet Rolls Crafted into Crackers

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Holidays and Parties Christmas GamesNovember 15, 2011
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