I always make our own Christmas crackers, and the last couple of years I have made Easter crackers as well. They are really simple to put together, and are a really fun addition to a celebratory meal.
What Are Crackers?
When I published this post on Christmas crackers a couple of years ago I realized that they are a very British thing. Whereas you would be hard pressed to find an English home which doesn't have crackers at Christmas, a lot of Americans have never even heard of them. So I thought I better explain what they are.
A Christmas cracker is comprised of a cardboard tube wrapped in festive paper. In the centre of the tube is a snap, a paper hat, a motto/joke and a small gift. At dinner time, a person will grab hold of each end of the cracker and pull it, which causes a small bang from the snap. The person with the larger half of the cracker will traditionally get to keep the gift.
Although they were introduced in the 1840s as a Christmas tradition, you can also find them on sale at Easter. People sometimes create them for celebrations like weddings too.
Easter Crackers TutorialTo make your crackers you will need:
Cardboard inserts from a toilet roll (1 per person, plus an additional 2 tubes)
Cracker snaps (1 per cracker)
Tape or glue
A small gift for each cracker
Step one. Cut a sheet of wrapping paper into a rectangle which measures approximately 30cm by 20cm. The thicker and better quality the wrapping paper, the easier you will find it to make the cracker.
Step two. Next, secure your snap into the cardboard tube. The 'proper' way to do it is to hot glue or super glue it. My way is to use sticky tape because it is faster, less messy and you can't actually see the snap once the cracker has been constructed anyway.
Step three. Lay your cardboard tube in the centre of the paper and pop another tube on either side. The additional tubes will just give you something to roll your paper around, so that you get a neater finish. How you keep the paper secured around central tube is entirely up to you. You could pop on a bit of tape once you have curled the wrapping paper around the tubes, or use a glue stick along the edge.
Step four. This is the fiddly step. Slide one of the end tubes out slightly (a good couple of centimetres). Make a bit of a crease in the paper between the cardboard tubes, being careful not to tear the wrapping paper. Tie a ribbon or piece of twine around to close the gap - the hole needs to be small enough that the contents of the cracker won't fall out. You can now remove the cardboard tube from this end of the cracker.
Step five. Add in the contents of your cracker. I put in mini chocolate eggs, some Easter jokes and a Lego minifigure. After you have filled the cracker, follow step four again but for the other end of the cracker.
If you need a bit of inspiration for filling crackers for kids, read my post on "what to put in plastic eggs", as many of the suggestions are also suitable for this. For the adults, you can put in things like nail polishes, lottery tickets, keyrings, vouchers, etc.
Step six. Decorate the outside of your cracker.
Step seven. Repeat the process until you have enough Easter crackers for all of your guests.
In case you missed last Thursday's post, here is my Easter jokes printable. You can use them for lunch box notes, but they are really handy for putting in Easter crackers too. :-)
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