Christmas crackers have been a very integral part of my families Christmas celebrations ever since I can remember. They were invented in 1847 according to wikipedia and I bet my ancestors on my mother's side of the family have been using them ever since. My mom used to buy them at the department store but when I began a family of my own I also began making my own crackers. They became such a hit with the children and guests that we were making them for almost all our celebrations ( easter, thanksgiving, birthday's...). It just wasn't a party unless there were crackers at the table.
To make your own all you need are cardboard tubes cut up into suitable lengths, poppers, tissue paper, other paper or stickers for decoration and wool, string or ribbon. For the contents you will need small gifts, candies, fortunes , jokes or quotes. We tend to skip the tissue paper crowns but you could also make your own, fold them up and add them.
For the party we hosted last weekend I made birch bark crackers and filled them with little nature inspired prizes, st nicholas day treats and since it was an "office party" , quotations from the tv show "the office".
The birch bark paper, that is one of my new favorite things came from a piece of real birch bark and a trip to the office supply shop to use the color photocopy machine. I copied both sides of the bark. I stamped the pieces with a fern and then used this to cover the tissue paper covered cardboard tubes.
Place the popper in the tube and tie off one end before you add you prizes, treats and jokes. Then you need to tie off the other end. I bet once you start making your own you will never purchase the store bought ones again.
Here is a picture from the family archives so you can see this has been in my family for many decades. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.