This last Christmas I bought something that I'd only heard of, Christmas Crackers.
After I pulled one, I dissected another and realized, "Hey, I could totally make that!"
So I did. My cousin recently turned 21, and this weekend I'm going out to see him, and I wanted to make a '21 and over' Christmas Cracker. Instead of some little plastic toy and a paper crown, I added whiskey!
But, you don't have to use alcohol, you can put anything you want in them. Let's get "cracking"!
**These work very well. Just be mindful of the size of the prize inside. I had one that was a very tight fit, so the charge didn't go off. But the other two worked perfectly.**
Step 1: What You'll Need...
- Paper tubes (from bathroom tissue or paper towels)
- Wrapping paper
- Colored paper (optional)
- Hole punch (optional)
- Pull string poppers
Step 2: Confetti
For my crackers, I wanted to add confetti for a little something extra. So I took my hole punch, and punched out a bunch of holes. I did about two thirds of each piece of paper.
The third photo shows how many I ended up with.
Step 3: Inserting Your Explosive
Grab yourself a pull string firework and place a piece of tape over the entire charge (the part that goes 'boom').
And then place your charge in the middle of the tube, making sure that the strings are hanging out of the ends. You'll need them later.
Step 4: More Confetti
Since I'm dealing with bottles filled with liquid (one glass), and I'm unsure of exactly the damage that can be done (use caution), I'm giving myself a little extra insurance. You don't have to do this step, and I'm actually not sure if it will detonate the way I plan.
My idea was to make a pouch of confetti to place over the charge, in the hopes that when he pulls the ends, the firework will rupture the confetti pouch and do more than just drop it at his feet. I'll leave an update after tomorrow. Anyway....
Once your pouch is made and filled with confetti, add some tape to the sides, and secure it over the charge.
Step 5: Add Your Prizes
You'll first want to make sure that your prizes will still fit in your tubes, the largest bottle I had only *just* fit, but I was able to get it in there. I also decided to include the paper crown because hey, he's the birthday bo...er...man.
So put your prizes into the tubes, making sure that the strings are still hanging out of the ends.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
Now you'll want to take your wrapping paper, I've got the good kind that's a bit thicker (and I think the shiny exterior helps here) and cut enough that it will wrap all the way around your tube, as shown in picture two.
After that, mark where the ends of your tubes are, as in picture three, and cut small holes, as shown in picture four.
The next step is to push the strings through the holes with the tip of your scissors or toothpick or something. Once the strings are both through their respective holes, tape one end of the paper to the tube, and wrap the other end around tightly, and tape it in place as well.
You should end up with something shown in the last picture.
Step 7: Tying Up Loose Ends
Now, using whatever method you prefer (I chose a buttload of string), tie up one of the ends.
How I did it was to twist the end like a Tootsie Roll, then I made a slipknot, looped it around the twisted paper (making sure to include the firework's string), and wrapped it around and around, and around weaving the firework string into it as I went.
Then I tied one overhand knot, followed by a surgeons knot.
After that I added even more still confetti because I had some left over. Then, just tie up the other end the same way you did the first.
And repeat that for however many crackers you're making.
Step 8: Done!
I made three for my cousin, and next to the one I dissected, they look pretty similar. The differences being that the store bought one has three rigid tubes (both ends and the middle), and the mechanism for detonation is made of card stock instead of string and gunpowder, and it is entirely contained, meaning that the ends that will get pulled are on the inside instead of coming to the outside.
In future attempts I may try to make my own detonation charge, but for now I'd rather use what I've got on hand. Playing with explosives can be dangerous, so when I do, I'll be sure to test it out before I show you all how to do it.
So good luck with these, and I'll post results as soon as he pops them*. I'll let you all know in detail how they worked, what should be added, changed, etc. and if I feel that they may not be safe, I'll find an alternative detonation mechanism.
*Detonation went off without a problem for two of them. The square bottle, and the smaller of the two round ones. When the first one went off (square), confetti came out, the popper popped, and the prize easily came out. The second one was the larger of the two round bottles, and due to that only the confetti that I had topped it with came out, and he had trouble getting the prize out. The third worked just as successfully as the first, and that is the one featured in the video.**
Some things I'd like to address: Be aware of the size of your prize relative to the size of your tube. If is too big, I suggest finding another tube. Since the paper ends are really all that break, you could probably get a tube used for mailing long objects from the post office or the stationary department at a store. That way you'd be able to make your prizes a bit larger. If you go that route though, you'd have to increase the weight (thickness) of your paper, and possibly increase the size of your charge. However, the size of tubes and prizes for this instructable worked two out of three times, and the one fail was that I didn't look for a larger tube. Other than that, I'd call this a success! So go forth, make these your own! Just don't forget pictures. :)