Home-Made Christmas Crackers

Make these individual Christmas crackers to adorn your own or your host’s table and fill them with small novelty items, such as flower seeds, small coins, pretty hairclips or boiled lollies.

Makes 6

crepe paper, for hats
sharp scissors, pinking shears
double-sided sticky tape and plain sticky tape
sticker stars
8 toilet-paper tubes or other cardboard tubes cut to size
6 cracker snaps
3–4 sheets different decorative papers
ribbon or cord, about 3 m
gifts for inside crackers
seals, tassels, coloured pens
2 colours of tissue paper
box to fit crackers

1 Cut 6 pieces of crepe paper 58 cm x 15 cm. Make 6 party hats, using the pattern and instructions on page 282. Decorate the hats with sticker stars.

2 With sticky tape, secure a cracker snap in the centre of each of 6 cardboard tubes.

3 Insert a gift, surprises and rolled-up hat.

4 Cut 6 pieces of decorative paper 37 cm x 17 cm. Use pinking shears to trim the short edges. Place one tube in the centre along the long edge of a piece of the decorative paper. Secure the paper to the tube with sticky tape. Place one of the extra tubes on each side to keep the cracker in shape. Roll the paper tightly around and secure with double-sided sticky tape.

5 Carefully tie a 50 cm piece of ribbon or cord around the cracker on either side of the centre tube, drawing in the paper evenly. Make a neat bow or fancy knot. Remove the two extra end tubes.

6 Repeat to make the other crackers then decorate as you wish with tassels, seals, sticker stars, ribbon or coloured pens.

7 To line the box, place two sheets of tissue paper on top of one another and trace the bottom of the box in the centre. Measure out the height of the box and add 5 cm to that measurement to all 4 sides of the tracing of box bottom. Cut a square out of each corner so the tissue paper will fit the corners neatly. Cut the top edge of the paper in a zigzag pattern. Place the tissue in the box and fold the zigzag edge down over the rim.

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