You can make your own crackers in a snap, and filling them with personalized messages, thoughtful gifts, and festive paper hats is easy.
Total Cost: Reusing items from around the house really minimizes the cost of these. Cracker snaps are about $5 (or less) at craft stores for a package of 25 or pick up cheap crackers at the dollar store (8 for $1.25 at Dollar Giant) and revamp them. Small gifts can be purchased, check your re-gifting stash, or your freebie finds, or make a small treasure.
Here’s how to make your own party crackers:
Step One: Cut your cracker paperCut your paper 3 times the length of the tube you are using. Don’t want to use toilet paper rolls? Make you own tubes from cereal boxes or cardboard inserts.
Tip: Be sure to use cracker snaps longer than your toilet tubes. If the snaps are too short, it’s difficult for your guests to grab a snapper end and achieve a pop.
Step Two: Roll your party crackerTape or glue your cracker snap into the centre of the tube.
On the wrong side of your cracker paper, place a piece of double sided tape along the outside of your center tube. If your paper is thick, you may need to use a crafting glue gun to properly seal your cracker. Press taped/glued edge of tube neatly down along the paper.
Align two more tubes on either end of the center tube with the snap neatly placed inside. These extra tubes help you roll a neat and pretty party cracker.
Glue, or stick three pieces of tape along the opposite edge of the wrapping paper. Roll the tubes, and seal it shut to the paper.
Tip: Do not tape or glue your end tubes to your cracker paper. The outside tubes are used to keep your cracker ends looking perfect, and will be removed later.
Step Three: Make a paper hat (optional)Party crackers traditionally contain a colourful paper crown or hat. Making a paper hat is simple, you need: tissue paper, a pair of scissors, and some tape.
How to make a paper hat:
- Cut a strip of tissue paper measuring 3 1/2″ x 24″ (9cm x 60cm).
- Tape short edges together with double-sided tape.
- Fold in half, create a solid crease.
- Fold in half a second time, create a solid crease.
- Fold in half a third time, crease it again.
- Using scissors, cut one edge at an angle.
- Open to inspect paper crown.
- Repeat for each party cracker.
Step Four: Fill your crackersFirst you need to close one end of your cracker to keep the goodies inside.
How to close a cracker end:
- Slide out one end tube to create a small 1/4″ gap between it and the center tube.
- Make a neat crease in the gap using your fingers.
- Wrap a piece of ribbon or string around the gap. Tie a bow or curl the ribbon to finish.
Tip: Keep the tube in place to keep your cracker paper smooth.Create cracker jokes or fortunes:
Cracker jokes are a big part of the fun. Most jokes are terrible groaners, but they can make for a great dinner icebreaker while giving your guests a good laugh. Find your New Year’s jokes here, print or write them out, and then cut them to a small size.
Find frugal cracker gifts:You might include some traditional fortunetelling tokens:
Fold a tiny origami ornament, insert a tiny toy, or add a tasty homemade treat to sweeten the deal. Other frugal gifts ideas include: re-gifting items you won’t use, quality dollar store finds (I found a camera tripod), and homemade crafts, delicious teas, toys, or games. A tiny deck of cards is fun for kids to play with after dessert is served.
Fill the open cracker end with a gift, a paper hat (crown), candy, and a joke.
This is the fun part, so use your creativity to customize each cracker for a specific guest.
Step Five: Decorate your party cracker
Close the final cracker end using the tips from Step Four. Use crafting stamps, stickers, or a width of gift wrap to add a few finishing touches to your cracker.
Carefully remove the cracker end tubes keeping your cracker snap in place.
Set your festive holiday crackers at the dinner table for decoration, and watch the frugal festive fun unfold.