Most families (especially those with kids) have an abundance of toilet paper rolls and tissue paper saved from birthday and other holiday presents. And while these items are recyclable, both also come in handy for craft projects. That's definitely the case for these Christmas crackers, which are quick and easy enough for an older child to help with and a festive holiday tradition to start in your own family.
Christmas crackers, which are British in origin, are perfect stocking stuffers, and they're also a lot of fun to open at parties. They often feature a cracker "snap," made with chemicals, that creates a loud noise when the cracker is pulled. I've left that technical element out for a variety of reasons, but these crackers still pack a punch of fun. Read on for a quick craft that combines upcycling with holiday cheer. P.S. They're so easy, you'll find yourself making them for other holidays, parties, and special occasions that call for little surprises!
1. Gather your materials.
- Toilet paper roll tubes
- Tissue Paper
- Ribbon, string, twine, or other material for tying
- Trinkets, candy, or any stuffer you choose
Some other popular items to stuff crackers have included folded paper crowns, jokes, and love notes or holiday wishes.
2. Fold the wrapping paper.
Fold a standard piece of wrapping paper in half with the folded end closest to you. Place a toilet paper roll tube at that same end in the bottom center of the wrapping paper.
3. Stuff your cracker.
I think it’s easiest to stuff your cracker at this point. You can also stuff it after you have rolled up the toilet paper roll tube and have tied one side. If you have small pieces (like coins or candy), you can also stuff a few pieces of tissue paper into the ends of the tube to keep everything from flying out when the crackers are opened.
4. Roll up your cracker.
Starting with the folded end closest to you, roll wrapping paper around the tube and continue rolling tube until you reach the end of the wrapping paper. You can add a piece of tape to secure the wrapping paper if you’d like, but it’s not necessary since you’ll be tying up the ends anyway.
5. Twist and tie.
Gently twist the tissue paper close to the tube and, using string or ribbon or whatever you’d like, tie off one end of the cracker. Repeat with the other side. Tying close to the toilet paper roll tube keeps the tension better for pulling the cracker apart.
Enjoy and happy holidays!
7. Or make a Christmas cracker game.
Another quick and fun idea is to fill the crackers with part of a story. Around the dinner table or after opening presents, family members can take turns opening the crackers and using the prompts to create a holiday tale!