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It’s no secret that Christmas is my favorite holiday.
The minute Thanksgiving dinner was cleared from the table last week I went straight to decorating. I love how our home looks during Christmastime – it’s filled with such warmth, coziness and special traditions that make this time of year truly magical!
One of my all-time favorite #HolidayMoments is opening Christmas Crackers with my family and friends around the table right before digging into our holiday meal.
For the uninitiated, traditional Christmas Crackers are brightly colored paper tubes that are twisted at both ends. A person pulls on each end of the cracker and when the cracker breaks – it goes POP! – and all its contents fall out. Typically those contents are small holiday trinkets, ornaments, a party hat/necklace or candy.
In past celebrations I bought pre-made Christmas Crackers, but if you have a large number of guests at your table it can get pretty pricey.
So this year I decided to make my version of Christmas Crackers (minus the cracker snap strip) and they are surprisingly super easy to make. Since I made them myself I was able to customize the colors and contents for each of my family members and friends who will be attending our dinner.
Here’s how I did it:
DIY Christmas Crackers
Holiday colored tissue paper, foil sheets or themed wrapping paper
Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls (cut in half)
Holiday curling ribbon
Tape measure or ruler
Small holiday trinkets such as candy, bells, ornaments and party necklaces
- Measure out a rectangular piece of foil sheet or wrapping paper. The piece needs to be wide enough to cover the tube and leave at least 3 to 4 inches of paper to spare at each end of the tube.
Tip #1: Measure the tube with tape measuring or ruler and add 6 extra inches of paper to make sure it’s long enough on the ends.
Tip #2: If using tissue paper, make sure to cut an extra-large width to wrap around the toilet paper roll two or three times so that no brown from the roll shows through.
- Flip the piece of wrapping paper or foil sheet to the “wrong” side (this does not apply for solid colored tissue paper, only if it has a design printed on it) and take a piece of double-sided tape to create a clean, finished edge on one of the long sides of the paper rectangle.
- Next, spin the paper rectangle around to the other long side and place a strip of double stick tape at the bottom center of the rectangular piece of paper, foil or tissue paper that is closest to you. This will be your starting point to roll.
- Lay the toilet paper roll directly on top of the double-sided tape. Take a piece of double-sided tape and lay across the entire top of the toilet paper roll.
- Start to roll the tube away from you, wrapping the entire tube in the foil sheet, wrapping or tissue paper. As you get towards the end of the paper, spin the tube around and place a piece of double-sided tape to help secure paper to roll.
- Use a piece of double-sided tape to seal the edge of the paper onto the tube.
- This is what your cracker should look like, a long colorful tube.
- Measure out a 12 inch piece of curling ribbon (I used three ribbons in different holiday colors) and wrap the ribbon around one end of the tube cracker a few times, pulling tightly and then knotting the ribbon.
- Fill the roll with holiday goodies such as candy, trinkets, ornaments and/or party necklaces.
Tip #3: Other fun items you could stick in the crackers include scratch-off lottery tickets, shiny coins (for kids) or even paper strips with fortunes or jokes written on them.
- Once you load in your holiday trinkets and/or candy, repeat the curling ribbon step on the open end of the cracker.
- To curl the ribbon, you first need to find the natural curl of the ribbon. Even when the curling ribbon hasn’t been curled, it will still have a natural curl to it. You will want to follow that natural curl when you’re using your scissors to curl it.
- Hold your scissors open with the blades facing down. Grasp one end of the ribbon between your thumb and the scissor blade and use your forefinger on the smooth end of the scissors for support. Pull the ribbon as taught as possible up against the sharpened edge of the scissors.
- Now pull the ribbon across the scissors blade while continuing to press with your thumb. The pressure will cause the ribbon to curl.
Tip #4: It’s important that you do this part quickly, because if you do it too slow the ribbon won’t curl. In some cases it will actually get flatter.
Here’s what your finished Christmas Crackers should look like.
Though I didn’t do it, you could go a step further with your cracker and create a tag with a person’s name written on it to use as seating place cards at your holiday dinner celebration.
Now that my festive Christmas Crackers are ready to go, all that’s left for me to do is to get my table ready for the holiday!
I headed over to my local Costco Wholesale to get some key household items that will help me get my home ready before the holiday and cleaned-up after the festivities!
I’m a big fan of my membership warehouse – buying in bulk is both economical and a huge time-saver for my family. I don’t have to constantly run out to the store to fill my cupboards or replenish my household supplies.
For this trip I hit the laundry and cleaning aisles to pick up Tide® Pods and Cascade® Complete.
I use the Tide Pods to launder my red tablecloth and poinsettia napkins in the washing machine. I like using Tide Pods because of their convenience. They are triple action pacs that are filled with detergent, stain remover and brightener so I don’t have to mess with other liquid laundry products.
Since it’s a special occasion I pull out our fancy china. It’s a pristine white bone china accented with a single shimmering band of platinum. It’s beautiful to look at, but I’ve found that if I don’t use Cascade Complete ActionPacs when running them through the dishwasher I get little annoying water spots on them and on my wine glasses too that I wind up having to spend time to wipe off….
So they, along with the silverware go for a nice gentle bath in the dishwasher and Cascade’s Shine Shield™ formula rinses away any residue and leaves a brilliant shine with no spots!
Since I’m a serial planner I did a test run of what my holiday dinner tablescape, including the Christmas Crackers, will look like.
It looks pretty festive, doesn’t it?
And here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside some of my Christmas Crackers…
I think I’m just as anxious as my children are, waiting for the big day to get here so we can open our Christmas Crackers around the table and create more fun memories.
Now it’s your turn to share. Tis the season! What are some of your favorite #HolidayMoments?
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