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DIY Christmas Crackers

"Homemade crackers add a unique festive touch to your Christmas table setting. You can choose the paper to fit your scheme—and you get to pick the gifts that go inside! You can buy little charms or place a small, different decoration in each cracker. It is traditional for the cracker to contain a paper hat and a joke, but you can always decide to break with tradition and write a personal message instead!" — "Handmade Christmas"

Materials:

  • Sheet of gift wrap or wallpaper (not too thick)
  • Cardboard tubing, approx. 1 ½ inches (4 cm) in diameter
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Double-sided tape, 3 ⁄8 in. (1 cm) wide
  • Cracker pulls
  • Gifts, hats, jokes, etc.
  • String
  • Ribbon or trimming

Directions:

  1. To make one cracker, cut an oblong of gift wrap measuring 6 1/4 x 11 in. (16 x 28 cm). Cut three sections of cardboard tube, one measuring 4 in. (10 cm) long and two measuring 2 1/2 in. (6.5 cm) long
  2. Lay the gift wrap, pattern side down, on the work surface. Place a strip of double-sided tape across the width of the edge furthest away from you. Line up the three pieces of tube across the middle of the oblong. The two smaller pieces line up with the edge of the oblong and the longer piece is centered between them. Leave a small gap in between the larger and smaller tubes.
  3. Place the cracker pull in the tubes so that it emerges equally on each end. Put the gift and anything else in the middle tube. Peel the backing from the double-sided tape and roll the paper around the tubes until the edges overlap. Press along the double-sided tape strip to secure in place.
  4. Wrap a small piece of string around the paper in the gap between the large and small piece of tube on one side. Overlap the string and pull slowly and firmly. Remove the string and the small end tube. Repeat for the opposite end of the cracker. Keep the small tubes to use for the next cracker.
  5. Tie a piece of ribbon or trimming to the cracker to finish. If using ribbon around the ends, don't tie it too tightly or the cracker may not pull apart successfully.

Personal touches:

To help identify each cracker when matching it to your seating plan, add a matching name label to the cracker. This is especially important if you have chosen individual gifts to suit each recipient.

Available on Amazon. Excerpted from "Handmade Christmas." Published by Cico Books.

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