How To: Craft English Christmas Crackers (American Version)


Last month hubby and I headed to London for a week. I love that city, and it was my first time being there around the holiday season. I was entranced by  English Christmas Crackers (not the food, the party favors!) and even took a class at Handmade London on how to make them. Sadly, you cannot readily find the snaps that make them true “crackers” in the US. So I’ve swapped a few things out to make an American version to use as a place setting. Just as pretty, and functional, too.

To make them, you’ll need:

  • paper tube roll, cut into 4 inch and two, 2-inch lengths. (3 segments total)
  • 2 6-inch pieces of curling ribbon or twine
  • gift wrap, 14 inches by 5 inches
  • tape roller
  • cardstock to make name tags
  • tissue paper (for making the crown and/or stuffing the tube
  • small trinkets/favors to put inside.
  • Decorative ribbon/ embellishments

Cut your roll in lengths, then adhere to the long side of the gift wrap with the tape roller. Leave 1.5-2 inches in between segments.


Roll the tubes into the paper, using extra adhesive so that it sticks. Careful not to let it wrinkle!

Tie one side. It will collapse and make a clean edge. Be careful not to rip the paper.

Use a bit of tissue to stuff up the aperture.

Now add your favors. I used keyfob flashlights, paper crowns, and party poppers. We’ll still get to have a bit of noise and confetti! You can use jokes and sweets, too.

Tie up the other end and tuck the excess paper from the ends back into the tube. You can now embellish with tissue flowers (like I did) or stickers, or feathers, or ribbon bows, or whatever. I used a punch to create my name tags. Now everyone will know where to sit!

I also made a little video for you, so you can see some authentic English Christmas Crackers I found at a wholesale club- as well as see me create the Americanized version in less than 5 minutes. How’s THAT for speed-crafting???

So there you have it- fun little place-setting favors. Wouldn’t these be fun for New Year’s dinner or breakfast, too? Or you could use them as birthday party favors!

Disclaimer- just make sure the kiddos using them are supervised and you adhere to the guidelines on the packaging. NOT FOR SMALL CHILDREN. But you knew that, right? Of course you did. 


About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. Caryn S says

    My MIL and my family have Christmas at my house every year. She is from Scotland and crackers are a must, but not always readily found. I have resolved to make my own if it ever reaches the point that I find them ridiculously priced or unavailable. However, in Britain a cracker is not a cracker if it doesn’t “crack” or have a paper hat and a lame joke in it! So, I bookmarked this site a while ago where you can find the components to make them authentic. For anyone who is interested:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Most tutorials are for those oddly square ones which, although they are pretty, just look odd to me. This at least looks like an actual cracker!

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