Christmas crackers, also affectionately known as bon bons, are an old favourite on tables around the world this this time of year. Unfortunately, many store-bought varieties often contain junky gifts that no one particularly wants. Making your own crackers is easy and adds a personal touch to Christmas lunch.
There are no rules when it comes to cracker fillings so we suggest you get as creative as possible. Think about who will be opening the crackers and how you can make them smile.
•Personalised quotes or predictions for the coming year (don't hesitate to manipulate the situation when it comes to making, say, hubby's cracker e.g.: "Marital bliss may be uncovered in a little blue box...")
•Jokes to suit the company e.g.: doctor jokes if you come from a medical family or jokes about Uncle Nathan's toupee
•Stickers, small erasers and rubber balls for kids
•iTunes vouchers, gift cards or magazine subscriptions
•A donation to a favourite charity
•Christmas wrapping or printed paper cut into 30cm x 5cm pieces
•14cm cardboard tubes (these can be recycled from the house or bought in craft stores)
•Ribbon (to tie either end)
•Cracker snaps* cut into 20cm lengths
•Cracker fillings (small gifts, paper hats, handwritten notes — the choice is yours!)
Assembling your Christmas crackers
•Thread cracker snap through the cardboard tube making sure a bit pokes out at either end. You may want to tape the cracker snap to the side of the tube to stop it moving around.
•Lay printed paper face down on the table and lay the cardboard tube in the centre of the paper (an even amount of wrapping should overlap on each side).
•Roll paper evenly onto the cardboard tube so the ends overlap slightly and tape together.
•Carefully bunch one end of the paper where it meets the cardboard tube and tie it tightly with ribbon.
•Insert your gifts and other trinkets through the open end of the cracker. Be careful not to bend or break your cracker snap.
•Repeat step four to fasten the other end of your cracker.
*Cracker snaps can be bought from craft stores or ordered online. They can also be salvaged from store-bought crackers.
See more Christmas cooking stories