How to Make Party Crackers for Any Occasion

Part toy, part party favor, crackers (aka poppers) are a great treat for both kids and adults. We made our crackers for Thanksgiving, but you can follow this tutorial to make crackers anytime of the year.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

Holiday crackers are half table decoration and half party favors. They make a loud snap when you pull them open, and inside are treats, trinkets and a funny joke or fortune. Originally a beloved Christmas tradition in the United Kingdom, these party favors have crossed the Atlantic and are now popular in the US. While traditionally associated with the Christmas season, crackers have evolved to suit a spectrum of holidays, making them a versatile addition to any celebratory event. Bursting with surprises and a touch of whimsy, holiday crackers have become a staple on dining tables. They always add an extra layer of excitement to gatherings with friends and family. Cracker snaps can be found online.

Tools and Materials:

  • decorative gift wrap
  • empty clean paper towel rolls
  • twine or ribbon
  • cracker snap strips
  • double sided tape or adhesive roller tape
  • scissors
  • craft knife
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • candy and trinkets for filler
  • printed phrases for filling

1. Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons

Choose any paper that will fit the color and theme of your gathering. In our case, assorted shibori patterned gift wrapping paper in blue and white fits our coastal theme. Use a natural fiber twine such as cotton or jute to tie the ends of the crackers. This adds a beachy style, but ribbon could be used to make the crackers dressier.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

2. Create Fun Fillers

Select small trinkets to fill your crackers. Small gifts such as stickers, whistles, mini playing cards and temporary tattoos make a nice addition as well as small, individually wrapped candy. Our nautical crackers were filled with seashells, saltwater taffy and a sailor’s knot bracelet. Print out lighthearted sayings, proverbs or fortunes to also go inside your crackers. We choose Thanksgiving sentiments for our crackers.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

3. Cut and Prep the Paper

Cut paper towel rolls to 6-inch lengths. Cut the wrapping paper into 12” x 9” sheets. Lay the paper face down and then lightly mark the 6-inch center point close to the bottom edge of the paper. Mark the middle point of the roll, too.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

4. Fill the Crackers

Fill the paper rolls with your favors, but be careful not to overstuff them. Slip one cracker snap into each roll; position it so that it is centered and an equal length is sticking out each side of the roll. Set the filled roll aside.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

5. Wrap It Up

Center about a 3” strip of adhesive or double-sided tape over the mark at the bottom of the wrapping paper. Add a continuous strip of adhesive at the top edge of the wrapping paper. Line up the center mark on the roll with the center mark at the base of the wrapping paper. Gently press the filled roll onto the strip of tape that covers the mark on the paper. Carefully roll it up in the paper, taking care not to dent it. Roll up until the top of the paper is reached and the adhesive seals the paper closed.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

6. Close and Tie

Lightly pinch the paper around the end of the roll and give it a gentle half-twist. Tie the pinched part with about a 15” length of twine, just tightly enough to hold the twist into place. Repeat at the other end of the roll to complete the cracker.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

7. Crackers for Thanksgiving

Crackers make an elegant and fun addition to any holiday table setting. These are easy to make, and you can make multiples quickly for any number of guests. Get creative with the decorative paper wrapping and fillings for a custom style to fit your theme. They are sure to be popular with your guests and become a tradition for years to come.

Treats inside!

Holiday 'Crackers' to Spice Up Your Party

Part toy, part party favor, 'crackers' (aka poppers) are a great treat for both kids and adults.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

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