Whether they are large or small Christmas Crackers mean treats! In this post I show you how to make your own Crackers in three sizes. Don’t do the Christmas Cracker tradition? No problem you can also use this method to wrap small presents in a totally cool way. The great thing is that you don’t need a lot of supplies. Of note, this is a great way to use up the last of that lovely Christmas patterned paper!
Patterned Paper or Card Stock
Ribbon or Bakers Twine
Stampin Seal or Multipurpose Glue
Paper Trimmer or a ruler and bone folder
Cracker & Treat Box Dies (optional)
Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine (optional)
Directions for Mini Crackers
To make a lot of these quickly I recommend using the die. I made a little over 30 of these in about one hour. They will hold two small pieces of chocolate, like Cadbury Roses or Quality Streets.
Trim your paper to 13cm x 15.2cm. Place the Cracker & Treat Box Die down onto the paper and run through your Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine. Remove die, fold on the score lines and burnish. Place glue on one side and fold over to the opposite side make a cylinder. When the glue has dried flex the ends so that they fold in and secure with twine or ribbon (See the yellow cracker in the photo on the right)
Alternatively, if you want your mini crackers to look more like real Christmas crackers (and to have them hold a bit more) you will need to cut a strip of the same patterned paper or card stock to about 2cm (3/4″) and score down the middle. The scoring is a little tricky but worth doing.
Using this little piece of paper as a hinge, glue one side to your treat box so that the score line is right at the edge. Glue the other side right up to the score line as well (center photo below). When the glue is dry fold along that score line. Your cracker will now be a section wider and look more like the traditional six sided Christmas Cracker (Patterned cracker above). I cut off the bit that extended through the cut out triangle. See photos below.
Directions for the Medium & Traditional/Large Sized Crackers
The medium and large traditional sized crackers are made exactly the same the only difference in the two are the sizes of the paper and where you place the score lines. Below is a downloadable cheat sheet for you detailing both sizes and their respective score lines. I hope you find this chart easy to read. The below instructions are written using the sizes for the larger Cracker (this is the size most often requested).
If you did not know, you can purchase what is called Cracker Snaps, the strips to put inside the crackers that make the sound (and the reason for the name). If you are in the UK they are available at HobbyCraft and for the UK and Europe there is Amazon (of course) who also has the paper hats and kits that have the snaps, hats & jokes. But honestly if you need bad jokes check out my Instagram @loriothen, I post Dad Jokes almost every Saturday.
For the large cracker begin with a piece of patterned paper or card stock cut to 19cm (7-1/2″) x 28cm (11-1/2″). Place the short side of your paper to the top of your Paper Trimmer or Score Tool. Or if you are working with a ruler be sure the short side is at the top.
Moving across the paper score at 3cm (1-1/8″), 6cm (2-1/4″), 9cm (3-3/8″), 12cm (4-1/2″), 15cm (5-5/8″), 18cm (6-3/4″). Your paper should now be divided into 6 equal parts with a centimeter (3/4″) left over on the right side. This will be the glue tab.
Next turn your paper so the long side is against the top of your Paper Trimmer or Score tool or if you are using a ruler the long side is now on top. Score at 4.5cm (1-7/8″), 6cm (2-1/2″) and 7.5cm (3-1/8″). Now turn you paper so the other long side is at the top and the score lines you just made are on your right.
Repeat the score lines at 4.5cm (1-7/8″), 6cm (2-1/2″) and 7.5cm (3-1/8″) on this end of the paper. If you look at the printable diagram above will make more sense.
Fold and burnish all score lines. The long lines will be folded to the “back” so that the paper begins to form a cylinder. The short side lines will be accordion folded. To do this fold the first score line to the “inside”. On the next score line fold to the “outside” and on the third score line fold to the “inside” again. See photo below on the left. This is the ‘right’ side or what will be the outside of the cracker.
Un-fold the accordion folds on the ends. Now still working on the ends, only fold the center crease, see center photo below.
Leaving the ends folded, you will now accordion fold the the long sides. See photograph on the right below. This is just temporary so that we can complete the next step.
Using a heavy pair of scissors cut an angle off each end leaving about a half centimeter (1/4″) in the center. See photograph on the left below.
Repeat on the other end. Unfold all of the accordion folds and refold the long lines to the inside again so they form a cylinder. Leave the ends loose for the moment. There will be little bits of triangle hanging out on that little one centimeter (3/4″) tab I talked about earlier. Clip those off. Photo on the right.
Place glue on or stampin seal on the tab being sure it is folded to the inside and fold over the opposite end to stick down. It is more important to line up the outside edges as they will show more when the cracker is finished.
When the glue has dried you can collapse the ‘hinges’ of the cracker and tie them closed with ribbon or twine.
A helpful tip is to collapse the end fully so it looks like a solid cylinder and then put your finger inside and fold down all of those little triangle pieces. When you pull the cylinder open you will have more flex in the ‘hinge’. You now have a large version of the mini cracker in the photo at the beginning.
I learned the method of making these Crackers several years ago from Sam Calcott UK-Mixed Up Craft. I hope you give her YouTube Channel a visit she has some amazing paper crafting ideas. Thank you for reading today and remember if you give this a try please post a picture so I can see it! You can post in the comments below or if you post on social media please tag me in @loriothen Happy Crafting!
I always list products used in the examples here but I caution you, if you are interested in any of the papers shown above I urge you to check them out immediately, all are from the Christmas/Fall Mini Catalog and are discontinued as of the 5th of this month and are only available as long as inventory lasts. All of the other items listed are from the Annual Catalog and are NOT discontinued.Product List