It’s hard to imagine the end of Christmas lunch without pulling a cracker, indeed from the corny


jokes to the paper hats they are undoubtedly part of our Christmas tradition and one we can thank the Victorians for.


Eager to make my own crackers I caught up with Cracker enthusiast Jane Godfrey who runs an

artisan cracker making business called ‘Go Crackers’ (, to see if she could put me on the road to cracker making success, she offered me some wonderful tips and here they are:

If you are using Curling ribbon as your ties, use a stiff piece of cardboard, about cereal box size,

wrap the ribbon around the width, then cut both sides- this eliminates the tricky curling while you try to cut the pieces, and ensures they are the same size.

Use “loom bands” to keep your hat, joke and gift together when putting them into crackers, it makes them all stay together and easier to slide into your barrel. The loom bands are just the right size, unlike other elastic bands which may have to be wound round a few times.

IMG_1106[1]To Make Your Own Cracker

What you need

  • A4-size wrapping paper
  • Glue or Sellotape
  • A kitchen roll barrel
  • Thin ribbon
  • A cracker snap
  • Decorations
  • Small luggage tag
  • Gift or toy


  1. Divide the A4-size paper into three by scoring it lightly. Cut up the kitchen-roll

barrel into three parts, ensuring that one piece is slightly larger than the others.

This will form the central part of the cracker

  1. Next tape the snap into place by sticking the ends to the paper. Place the three

parts of the barrel in the centre of each section of the paper next to the snap.

  1. Using a tight grip and rolling away from yourself, roll the paper onto the barrel,

tucking in the edges neatly. Then glue or tape the seam of the cracker.

  1. Using a piece of thin ribbon, tie around the paper at the ends of the central

section in the paper to create a neck at either end of the cracker

  1. Add gifts, handwritten messages or jokes to the cracker by dropping them

carefully into one end. Personalise your crackers by adding decorations such as

bows and ribbons and name tags.

I hope that you will enjoy making your own crackers and the wonderful thing about home-made

versions is that you can include whatever gifts you want and make them as personal as choose. Have fun and have a cracker of a Christmas!


About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog,