Christmas Crackers are a big thing in England and several other European nations.... not so much here in the State. That may be in part due to the availability of the cracker snaps. I mean sure you can make them without the snaps but that's half the fun. I've only found snaps at couple of places on the net that sell out of the U.S. I have heard tell of them being in Micheal's but have yet to see them. After that you are left with ebay or amazon. Both of which will most likely be coming from another country. With me that brings up the legality of shipping them. The Royal Mail specifically states that cracker snaps are illegal to ship. The USPS just states explosives. I know these are shipped every day but I would like to avoid this quandary.
Having worked in the fireworks industry a number of years. I set out to create my own cracker snaps out of something readily available in most states. I know about booby traps but they had a bit more bang than I wanted. So after some trial and error testing, I finally settled on champagne poppers. That I know of these are only illegal in four states, (Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.)
Okay on to the instructable after stating that I am not responsible for your use of this guide.
Step 1: Materials Needed
The materials needed are pretty simple
Hot glue gun
Step 2: Disassemble the Champagne Popper
The first step is to take the popper apart.
Remove the paper discs and confetti from the bottom. You can now see the detonator. If you cut up the side and around the shoulder you can easily remove the detonator without damage. Make sure to remove the paper holding the string to the neck of the bottle. Don't cut it at the neck or you will cut into the detonator.
Step 3: Building the Cracker Snap
Now that we have our detonator we can build the cracker snap.
Since I had the flexible straws I cut them just below the flex. I then cut the longer piece lengthwise to make two halves as shown in pic A.
In the first half of the straw, hot glue the detonator into the end of the straw with the string hanging over the edge.. (pic B) Once that is set I generally neaten it up by running glue all the way to the end and working with it until I have closed the curve into a more solid piece.
Now take the string hanging from the first straw half and place it into the second straw half as shown in pic C. Make sure the first half swings freely, but don't leave a big gap. Glue the string into the straw the entire length of the string. Again, once this has set you can neaten it by gluing and rolling the entire length.
I add a finishing touch by cutting a piece of straw (salvaged from the flex scrap) just a bit longer than the detonator. Then I slid it over my snap to cover the detonator and glued it into place on the detonator side as shown in Pic E.
These work well, with a little less bang than using a booby trap. I have never used an true cracker snap but it seems to me they might require a little more pulling pressure than the real thing. Also make sure you use these inside the tube and not on the outside as I have seen some people suggest.