Introduction: Make Your Own Personalised (Christmas) Crackers

Picture of 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
- Scissors/Scalpel

- Wrapping Paper/Some kind of patterned paper
- Glue
- Ribbon
- 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!


jgroenert (author)2010-12-11

This is nice. I bought a bunch of stuff from (English Cracker Co. I think) but i like your version with out the cardboard tube. After they have been "cracked" I track down the tubes to save for next time.

WalterL5 (author)jgroenert2015-07-27

I've been really happy with the DIY cracker supplies from Olde English Crackers,

enitatorres (author)2012-12-09

Why don't you glue both ends of the cracker down?

Algag (author)2010-12-07

are you able to put the actual file on here it is hard to get the proportions right from printing out the picture

germanboy (author)Algag2010-12-07

I can see if I can find it again, was a fair while ago I made this! Will upload as a PDF in the next few days, hope this helps :)

Algag (author)germanboy2010-12-17

thanks alot :D

zyx456 (author)2010-12-08

I wanna see you crack it open : ^)

andreaboylee (author)2010-12-03

wonderful idea!

germanboy (author)andreaboylee2010-12-03

Thanks, glad you liked it :) They are great for this time of year :)

pogoman12345 (author)2009-03-08

im going to put like 50 crackers things in it when i make mine

Just like Mr Bean! It'll bring the house down. ;D

thewizard42 (author)pogoman123452010-12-02

Do it xD

MrMystery96 (author)2009-12-30

I find it helps to have a cardboard tube (such as a toilet paper roll cut to size), in the center for stability and ease of building.

Honestinwilkesbarre (author)2009-01-04

A lot of those in the US don't seem to remember these. I'm American, and I remember them. In fact, I've been seeing these in Everything A Dollar Stores for years.

porcupinemamma (author)2008-12-28

You always need one daft reader, and I guess that's me. of course it was in step five-might help if I read the whole step. Sorry. BTW I love your idea. I'm going to look for some cheap-o crackers and try to make beautiful ones like yours. Thanks Again :0)

porcupinemamma (author)2008-12-28

At what point do you add the gifts, and do you have any suggestions for some fun cool gifts?

germanboy (author)porcupinemamma2008-12-28

Hey, Step 5 is where the cracker gifts are added, and that step also mentions some filling ideas. Other than those mentioned, sweets, small stationary items, small toys or anything else small enough to fit inside works well. Just use your imagination :)

pyrocop1 (author)2008-12-20

This is my first proto type using a pull string novelty trick noise maker

pyrocop1 (author)pyrocop12008-12-25

We popped ( broke) 10 of these today at the same time. What a fun time it was. I also placed all the cut out triangles inside, making confetti, along with some candy. Everyone loved them. Thanks again

germanboy (author)pyrocop12008-12-21

Wow looks good :) I like the idea of using shiny paper and the pull string noise maker is a good substitute for the cracker snap. What size template did you use?

pyrocop1 (author)germanboy2008-12-21

I used the template you gave here, I just had to cut down one edge to make it work. I am using standard 8.5x11. I printed it on card stock it worked very well. Also when gluing I found wrapping it around a 2" Pvc pipe made life so much easier. I also double up on the pull string also,always good to have a back up. Or just a louder noise. Either way it good.

Nymph (author)2008-12-23

Oh I love this Instructable! I'm Aussie and when living in Oz we always had these at Christmas time. You're right about the bad jokes, tissue paper crowns and plastic toys being half the fun. Thanks for posting this!

AnarchistAsian (author)2008-12-18

ha ha, at first i thought you meant food crackers...

nice though!

mg0930mg (author)AnarchistAsian2008-12-22

Me too. I guess these aren't commonly around in the states.

AnarchistAsian (author)mg0930mg2008-12-22

yeah, probably...

teh darkcloud (author)2008-12-20

Pretty cool. My orchestra teacher gave these to us yesterday (she's British) and explained the whole British tradition thing. I think I've seen instructions for these before on Zoom. (that show that used to be on PBS Kids)

andros1200 (author)teh darkcloud2008-12-22

I used to watch that a couple years ago. good times

bnmz101 (author)2008-12-21

Can you provide file used to create the template. This looks like lots of fun!

germanboy (author)bnmz1012008-12-22

The picture in step 1 is the template I used, just copy and paste it :) I can post it as a PDF if you really want?

boilermaker (author)2008-12-19

These look great! They would make a nice holiday treat. What material is used for the snapper? Any suggestions for other materials that might be used in case the original one isn't readily available?

pyrocop1 (author)boilermaker2008-12-21

Here is what I used. Here is link to buy them in the US Skylighter

germanboy (author)boilermaker2008-12-19

Hi thanks for your comment :)
The snapper is made from a cardboard material with a gunpowder type compound that emits a loud bang when the two ends of the snapper are pulled. They are a one use pre-made item, although I'm sure you could make them if you really wanted to! You can buy them, or salvage them from existing crackers.
A quick google search for "cracker snap" turns up a lot of results including this one:

I should probably add this information into the Instructable, I was unaware that crackers aren't as widespread as I thought!

Hope this helped

falcotheimpaler (author)2008-12-18

never heard of this, i'm sure my family hasnt either... what a way to scare my girlfriend...

Wow I thought crackers were a common item at Christmas celebrations, but it after a quick read of wiki it turns out they aren't everywhere! It's pretty much an English tradition to have crackers on Christmas day, generally laid out on the table, and they are opened before the Christmas meal. So unfortunately/fortunately (which ever way you look at it) the bang wasn't much of a surprise when these crackers were opened, the gifts however were :)

Rehtwol (author)germanboy2008-12-19

I only realized this when I mentioned it to one of my mates... He looked at me and said "you break crackers as a Christmas tradition?"... Since part of my family is English I have always had them at Christmas, normally the mass-produced ones with pieces of plastic in them :P I might also add that traditionally the person who ends up with the longer end (it will always break right at the tied parts) will have good luck in the coming year... Just as a note to everyone, the standard "hat" you would find traditionally would be a paper crown out of the same stuff they pack gifts and glasses with... Add a joke and you have effectively a traditional cracker. Again, thanks for a wonderful guide, they look very professional as a finished product :D

germanboy (author)Rehtwol2008-12-21

Thanks for the kind comments and the extra information :) I hadn't realised crackers weren't part of everyones Christmas! The cheap plastic toy and the bad jokes are half the fun.

Rehtwol (author)germanboy2008-12-19

Forgot to mention that also, sometimes you find really small ones (like 6" max) that one puts onto the Christmas Tree as decorations!

you can knit them too! But then there is no toy, hat or motto inside. These ones you have made are great! Also I love the fact you have included the pattern. I can now make them myself - as an ex pat Brit I always have a hard time finding them here in the States.

kathynv (author)2008-12-21

We aren't British, but a Bristish friend turned us on to these a couple of years ago. Since then, it has been a hit or miss thing, trying to find them in the states (as of Christmas 2008, Costco had them for about $15/box, and they have nice prizes inside) Now that I know I can make them, I know what I'll be doing next year. Thank you so much! This year, since I am giving everyone jewelry, I am going to use your template and make non-cracking crackers as wrapping for the jewelry. I'm sure they'll be well received, and thank you again.

germanboy (author)kathynv2008-12-21

Glad you liked the Instructable :) Would be cool if you could post a picture showing your version of the crackers when you've made them :)

volquete (author)2008-12-20


mbudde (author)2008-12-19

I've never seen these before, but they look really cool.

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-12-18


germanboy (author)Sandisk1duo2008-12-18

Glad you liked it :)

PKTraceur (author)2008-12-18

Nice! Would there be an alternate way of using a snapper?

germanboy (author)PKTraceur2008-12-18

Hey thanks for the comment, and glad you liked it :) Not quite sure what you mean by alternate way of using a snapper though. As in can something by substituted for the snapper? Or other uses for the snapper?

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