Crafting may be the last thing on your extensive festive to do list, but learn how to make your own Christmas crackers - it's remarkably simple and really rather jolly


Save a few pennies on your festive food shop this year and learn how to make your own crackers. This cracking merriment is essential for making the Christmas lunch go with a bang – so why not make your own? Hand crafting may be the last task on your mind in the run up to the 25th, but it is very simple and really rather jolly.

Fuel your Christmas crafting session with a glass of homemade Christmas Pimm’s. Or if the troops require fuel, try our spectacular log from the black forest. Perfect even for the figgy pudding nay-sayers.

Or learn more about this cracking invention essential for the Christmas table. Read the history of Christmas crackers before attempting your own.


  • A4 paper (decorated or covered in wrapping paper)
  • Cardboard tubes – loo rolls are ideal
  • Ribbon, wool or string
  • Sticky tape and glue
  • Cracker snaps, available from most craft shops
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Decorate the Christmas cracker while it is flat, as it is much easier to do than when it is assembled. When your design is finished, turn the paper over.

Make sure one of the longer sides is at the top. Put the cardboard tube on the paper so that the ends are pointing towards the shorter sides of the paper and the tube is in the middle.

Make a mark at each end of the tube. Draw two lines through the marks from top to bottom, so the paper is divided into three sections. Measure 2cm and 4cm from each line and draw lines from top to bottom. There should be three lines at each end of the paper.

At one end, fold along the middle of the three lines. Make a cut from the fold about 1cm from the end of the paper. Keep doing this all the way along the fold. Repeat this at the other end.

On a flat surface, put some glue along the edge of the paper. Put the tube at the top and in the middle, and roll the paper around it. You might need sticky tape to really secure the edges.

Stick the cracker snaps in. Tie one end of the cracker with ribbon, wool or string. The cuts should gather up.

Now it is time to fill the cracker with goodies of your choice. Don’t put anything inside that’s too heavy for the tube, but treats  – and then tie up the other end.