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Make Your Next Dinner Party More Fun with Darling DIY Party Crackers

by Robert Mahar
craft & maker

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

While traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, these festive party favors can easily be dressed up to celebrate any occasion! The idea originated in the mid-1800s with a London confectioner named Tom Smith who wrapped his sweets in beautiful papers (much like French bon bons). Tom’s ingenious idea included a chemically-impregnated card strip in the wrapping – so that when the cracker was pulled open it created a cracking or popping noise!

Over the years, the cracker has evolved and now commonly consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly colored paper with treats hidden in the central chamber. This festive paper craft is simple to assemble and highly customizable. They make excellent party favors and can easily double as place cards with tagged with your guest’s name and placed next to their plate at the table!


‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts


Tools and Materials:

Lightweight wrapping paper
Cardstock (60-70# weight works great)
Cardboard tubes (2″ x 4″)
Cracker snaps
Cracker contents (paper crowns, sweets, trinkets, etc.)
Yarn (alternately: string or curling ribbon)
Ruler
Pencil
Scissors
Clear tape
Hot glue gun with glue

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

Directions:
1) Measure and cut your lightweight wrapping paper into 7.5″ x 12″ pieces. You’ll need one piece for each party cracker.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

2) Position one piece of wrapping paper horizontally on your work surface and place a cardboard tube horizontally in the middle of the sheet. Center a cracker snap underneath the cardboard tube. Tape one edge of the wrapping paper sheet to the tube and then continue rolling the paper around the making certain the side edges align. Unroll the paper slightly to reveal the overlapping edge and then apply a thin bead of hot glue about ¼” along that edge. Roll the tube forward onto the glue. Run your finger along the seam to insure contact, being mindful not to burn your finger.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!


‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts


TIP! If working with hot glue becomes problematic – consider sealing the edge of the paper with a strong double-sided tape.

TIP! Rather than purchase pre-cut 2″ x 4″ cardboard tubes you can also cut down a large 2″ diameter mailing tube. You might also consider utilizing toilet paper tubes and adjusting the size of the wrapping paper accordingly.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

3) Cut the cardstock into 2.25″ x 7″ piece to create cuffs for each end of the cracker. You’ll need two pieces for each party cracker. Roll a cut piece of cardstock into a smaller diameter than the tube and tuck into one end of the cracker – position it to align with edge of the wrapping paper. Be certain that the end of the cracker snap is inside the stiffener cuff and not sandwiched between the stiffener cuff and the wrapping paper. Secure in place with a dot of hot glue. Repeat this process, creating a cuff in the opposite end of the cracker as well.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

4) Using your fingers crimp and gather the paper on one end of the cracker between the cardboard tube and the cuff. Cut a length of yarn, string or curling ribbon (about 10″) and tie around the gathered paper, double knot and trim the ends.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

5) Place cracker contents onto the open end. Traditional party crackers contain a toy or trinket, a sweet, a paper hat and a riddle or joke. Once your cracker is filled, repeat the previous step, gathering and tying off the open end.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

6) There are many ways to decorate your party cracker! Consider creating a band of contrasting colored wrapping paper to wrap around the center of the cracker securing it with a piece of tape.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

7) Finish off your party cracker with a pom pom! Below you’ll find a complete pom pom making tutorial video from my CreativeLive class: Stylish Pajaki Chandeliers. I secured mine to the center of the party cracker with a dot of hot glue, but they would also look fantastic tied around either end of the cracker. For inspiration on other ways to decorate yours, check out my Party Crackers Pinterest board.

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!


‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts


8) To open, grasp the party cracker at both ends making sure you’ve got a hold on the cracker snap and give it a good tug. The cracker will open with a pop revealing all of the goodies inside!

Party crackers, traditionally known as Christmas Crackers, can easily be dressed up as a DIY party favor to celebrate any occasion!

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Robert Mahar

Robert Mahar is an arts and crafts professional who teaches imaginative do-it-yourself projects through high-quality video tutorials on CreativeLive.