Party Crackers Craft How To

By Kirsti Scott

how to make christmas crackers

Though party crackers might not be part of your holiday traditions, they’re a fun addition to your table any time of year. Upcycle your wrapping paper scraps, save leftover cardboard tubes, and add in some beach finds for a new coastal party tradition.

Learn more about the tradition of Christmas Crackers ›


supplies to make christmas crackers

Filling ideas

  • Silly jokes. You can download printable jokes (PDF) and then print and cut them into individual slips. Or, cut some little slips of paper and write your own.
  • Paper crowns
  • Shells, sea glass, beach rocks, fossils, etc.
  • Candy, trinkets, toys, or other tiny gifts
  • Czech glass charms ;-)


Cut wrapping paper

wrapping paper to make christmas cracker
  1. Lay out three cardboard tubes end to end and measure the width. Add 2 inches for good measure. You can always trim the ends later.
  2. Measure the circumference of your tubes by rolling them along the paper. Add an inch or so for overlap.
  3. Cut pieces of wrapping paper using the measurements you’ve made.

Attach the cracker inside tube

tape cracker strip inside tube for party cracker

  1. Center a cracker strip inside one tube and use a small piece of tape at both ends of the tube to secure it inside.
  2. Slide the other two tubes on either end of this middle tube, keeping the cracker strip ends inside the end tubes.

Cover the tube with paper

making christmas cracker
  1. Center the tubes along the edge of the wrapping paper and tape the center edge to the middle tube only. (The outside tubes are used only to help keep the paper’s shape at the ends.)
  2. Roll the tubes along the paper and tape the edge of the wrapping paper to the middle tube only.

Tie one end of the cracker

tie opening of christmas cracker

  1. Slide out one of the end tubes about one inch and then twist the paper in the gap between the two tubes. Keep the end tube inside the paper while you’re twisting so the paper doesn’t get crushed.
  2. Tie a ribbon in the gap to hold it closed. Don’t make it super tight, but with a small enough hole that your cracker fillings don’t fall out.

Fill It up

stuff handmade christmas cracker how to

  1. Fill the cracker through the opening at the other end, adding a crown, a joke, candy, and tiny gifts.
  2. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to tie the second end of the cracker. Remove the end tubes.

Party Time!

pulling a christmas cracker

To open the crackers, two people grab the ends tightly and pull on opposite ends of the cracker until it snaps. With a group, you can get in a circle and have everyone put their cracker in their left hand and cross it over their right hand. Each person grabs the end of the cracker belonging to the person on their left with their right hand, and lets the person on their right grab the other end of their cracker with their right hand. Simultaneously pull your crackers apart, put on your crowns, and share your bad jokes with the group.

coastal party crackers

Have fun ideas for other items to include in party crackers?

Share your favorites in the comments below!

Enjoy your daily dose of vitamin sea!

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine November/December 2022 issue.

Make art with your beach finds

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Learn how to make art, jewelry, and fun home decorations with seashells, sea glass, beach rocks, and more. Articles ›

Coastal and Beach Décor Ideas:

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Check out how some beachcombers incorporate their love of seashells, sea glass, beach rocks, and more into their home décor. Articles ›

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