Every year when preparing for Christmas, we pick up the obligatory box of Christmas crackers (bon-bons), make a cursory glance over the contents and not think about them until Christmas Day when we are reminded of how much junk is actually inside. Has anyone ever worked out what the plastic monkey actually does?
So this year, I was determined to make my own with the thought that I could make them a little bit meaningful, if not somewhat delicious. And they’re so easy to do!
STEP ONE: BUY SUPPLIES
Head to your nearest Riot Art & Craft Store (there are stores at Westfield Chatswood, Westfield Hornsby, Macquarie Centre and Warringah Mall) and buy a kit. It contains the tubes, snaps and ribbons for six crackers. They have a few different types, we chose the most basic. Lincraft also sells the snaps on their own if you want to customise a bit further.
At Riot, we also picked up some brown paper, a few rubber stamps (minis were only 99c) and a red ink pad. Otherwise, you could use some festive wrapping paper or your children’s paintings. You’ll also need to buy some crepe paper for the crowns (approx 6.5cm x 30cm per hat).
While you’re at the shops, pick up some gifts to pop in the crackers. When making mine, I asked for a few small gift ideas on the North Shore Mum’s Facebook group, and there was lots of great suggestions, such as:
- Mini nail polish/lip balm/ toiletries
- Nail clippers
- Key chain
- A crystal or stone
- Lindt Balls
- Boiled sweets
- Mini torch
- Condom (yes, really!)
- Super bouncy ball
- Bottle opener
- Instant Scratchies
- Matchbox car
STEP 2: CHOOSE SOME JOKES
No Christmas cracker is complete without a cringe-worthy joke. I decided to do a mix of jokes and some conversation starters. Laugh Factory is a good website for jokes… there’s a whole section for clean jokes, perfect for kids and in laws alike!
STEP 3: MAKE THE PAPER CROWNS
- Measure the paper to 6.5cms x 30cms
- Bring the two short edges together and glue, then turn inside out so the glue is on the inside.
- Fold in half, then half again, then cut across the top on an angle from the right corner to form the ‘points’ of your crown.
- Unfold to check you have what looks like a paper crown, then refold and put aside.
STEP 4: MAKE THE CRACKERS
- Cut the wrapping paper to length, so that it is just a little longer than the snap, and wide enough to snugly wrap around your cardboard roll.
- Take the paper, and glue along one long edge, then roll up and seal tightly.
- Twist one end of the paper and secure the end with ribbon
- Now is the time to thread through the snap, and add your paper crown, joke and treats to the tube. Overfilling can make it difficult to snap the cracker later so keep this in mind. Once you are happy with the contents, twist the end and secure with ribbon.
- Making some tiny cuts around the tied ribbon area will help thicker paper to come apart easily.
And you’re done! Have a wonderful festive season.