Introduction: Make Your Own Personalised (Christmas) Crackers
How to make your own personalised crackers with what you want inside! They make great presents, or just fancy table decorations for whatever festive celebration you happen to be having a party for :) I made 9 or so of these for my girlfriend for Christmas, each with a different gift inside. The last cracker in the set had a necklace inside, she liked them :D
Materials and Tools Needed:
- PC & Printer
- Wrapping Paper/Some kind of patterned paper
- Cracker snaps (Can be salvaged from a cheap shop bought cracker set, purchased from a local craft store, or from the internet)
- Cracker Gifts!
Step 1: Template
Use your favourite design software to print the included template onto paper. I suggest printing onto thickish paper as this will give your cracker more strength, giving it a better feel and the ability to hold heavier gifts without deforming.
I printed the template to A4 page size which will give you a final cracker size as shown in this Instuctable.
There is however no reason you cant scale the template up or down, just remember the size of the gifts its possible to put in the cracker also changes. Also consider the length of your cracker snap if your using one, the final cracker length must be abit shorter than the length of the snap.
(Now I can't remember whether the template here is actually mine or not. I did dissemble a cracker to make a template from it, I made other templates, and I also found a template online. This template was however the best of the prototypes I made. If it isn't mine and someone recognises it, tell me and I'll give credit where its due.)
The template used in the pictures is the same as the provided template just not as clean.
Step 2: Gluing the Template
A nice easy step for this stage, take your wrapping paper/coloured paper and glue your template to it. Obviously you want the coloured sideof the wrapping paper and the printed side of the template side to show.
Make sure that the Wrapping/Coloured paper is of a larger size, so you can trim it down after you've glued it. This means no white patches near the edges of the cracker.
I used standard "Pritt Stick" type glue, however you can use what you've got handy, as long as you can get a nice evenly stuck bit of paper.
Trim the excess Wrapping/Coloured paper off using scissors or scalpel.
Step 3: Folding
Fold the template along the DOT-DASH-DOT lines, so it looks as shown in the picture, I found it easier to do this before cutting. I also found it's easiest to place a steel ruler, or any straight edge, onto the paper and use the edge to start the fold. Then to remove the ruler and finish the fold by hand.
Again sorry the template in the pictures isn't as clean as the one I've provided, just ignore those lines in the middle!
Step 4: Cutting & Gluing
Flatten the cracker out again a bit, just enough to cut it. Cut along the DASH-DASH-DASH lines, it should now look like the first picture.
Then apply glue along the inside edge, to a thickness of one "triangle". (On the second picture I've highlighted the glue area in photoshop to make it easier to understand) Then roll the cracker up and hold until its glued :D
I found it easiest to put a ruler through the cracker and then apply pressure to the glued joint to make sure its stuck well.
It should now look like the third picture.
Step 5: Cracker Snap and Filling
Now comes the time to add the bang to your cracker. Take your cracker snap feed it through the cracker aligning the "bang" bit roughly in the middle of the cracker. Glue one end of the snap to the inside of one of the "handles" of the cracker, I used hot glue for this, as its strong and sets quikly.
Now use your ribbon and tie off one handle, the snap will bend in doing this.
Then... (the best bit in my opinion) FILL! I used various items, such as chocolates, make-up and a necklace. You can add the standard hat and joke if you wish.
The cracker snaps I used came from a cheap pack of crackers I bought. I took the crackers to bits carefully and salvaged the snaps, hats and jokes.
You can also buy cracker snaps from craft stores or the internet.
Step 6: Tying It Up
This is the final stage of the whole process, your almost there now!
Take another bit of ribbon and tie of the other handle, just like you did for the first. Make sure the snap end is sticking out
Tip: To get the ribbon to curl pull the ribbon over a reasonably sharp edge (like the blade edge of a pair of scissors), the pressure of the pull determines the tightness of the curl.
Finally bend the snap end down to touch the cracker handle and glue it there, just like you did before...
... and now your finished! Happy cracker pulling!