Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jumbo Christmas Cracker Tutorial and Template


Every 2 or 3 years we buy a box of Christmas crackers.  We usually treat ourselves to the better quality ones as they last us so long, but even then, the insides are so predictable and well, frankly, boring.  This year we searched around for a nice set of crackers.  Helpfully the contents are printed on the box (where's the surprise in that?) and every box had the same old predictable set of prizes - a pack of cards, a shoe horn, a set of pencils, a wire puzzle, blah blah blah...  This year is also the first year that our daughter is properly looking forward to and excited about Christmas, so we wanted to be able to give her a Christmas cracker appropriate to her age... what does a 3 year old want with a screwdriver set and an oversized party hat?!

My other half suggested that maybe we could make our own and put in small prizes for each other - with a budget of £2 per cracker.  Of course I jumped at the idea!

I looked online for a nice easy template, but none of the ones I found were big enough for what I wanted, so I made my own.

The Tutorial

I printed it onto A3 linen card that has been trimmed down to the width of A4 so that it will fit through my printer. Just lay a sheet of A4 paper over your A3 card, mark the edge with a pencil and trim.


Then print the template onto the back of your trimmed A3 card, making sure that you set your printer to accommodate the taller piece of paper.  The only setting on my printer that would allow this was "borderless double A4".  Make sure that you don't set it to centre the image, otherwise you will lose one end of your cracker.  Position it maybe 2 cm from the top of your page.

Here is the large cracker template pdf.  It should print out to about 20cm wide by 38cm high.

Jumbo Christmas Cracker PDF



Cut all the way around the print out.

Then start folding.  I've marked on mountain folds and valley folds. These of course are with the printed side of the card facing you.  If you are unfamiliar with these terms, basically a valley fold is towards you like a letter V and a mountain fold is away from you, like ^ - it's as simple as that!

You could use a boning tool or fold it against a metal ruler, but you should end up with something that looks a bit like this -


Then fold your card where your mountain fold is -


and cut out the shaded triangles.  Repeat for the other side.

Roll your cracker around a solid tube shape and then stick down the long ends that meet with extra strong double sided sticky tape. (NB.  the tube shape can be anything cylindrical and just smaller than the diameter of the cracker.  It is simply something to press down on and prevent your paper from crumpling, it's not staying in there.)  You want the edges to overlap so that the triangles of paper meet and continue all the way round.


Thread your cracker snap through, glueing or taping it to the inside of one 'handle'. 


Tie one end of the cracker, fill with a hat, prize and a joke, then tie the other end.

Decorate your cracker however you like!


I couldn't resist adding some of my favourite scrapbooking paper, some torn fabric ribbons and my current favourite - singed flowers!


I don't think they look particularly festive in white pink and green, but I'm a bit of a last minute crafter and I usually end up using whatever I've got to hand.

If you use my free template, do please acknowledge where you found it.  I'd love to see pictures of your creations and post them here to share with others.

Happy crafting!

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DIY Christmas Crackers
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