Have a Cracking Time
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’ (www.gocrackers.co.uk), 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.
What you need
- A4-size wrapping paper
- Glue or Sellotape
- A kitchen roll barrel
- Thin ribbon
- A cracker snap
- Small luggage tag
- Gift or toy
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!