DIY Crackers for Christmas or New Year

DIY Crackers for New Year's Eve

Remember how fun it was pulling Christmas crackers at dinner? Well, we had loads of fun making these homemade crackers last year to pull during our New Year's Eve celebrations with the kids! They were easy to make with just recycled materials and a few odds and ends to pop inside. 

homemade DIY christmas crackers for new years eve with kids

If you want to try these all you need are some paper rolls, leftover tissue paper, glue, and bits of string or ribbon. You might also want some stickers or whatever you have on hand to decorate with.

First, we got some empty paper roll tubes and cut them to about 5 inches long (one paper towel roll cut in half).

Using a pair of scissors, we cut along the diagonal line where the tube has a seam. We cut about two thirds of the way along the roll, following the seam, leaving just the last third intact. 

Then we cut some leftover tissue paper from gifts to about double the length of the tube and wide enough to wrap the tube in. After that, we reformed the tube back into its original shape and rolled the tube up in the paper. We sealed the edge lightly with some glue. 

Using bits of string and ribbon, we tied the tissue at one end. Then we filled the tube with a few small surprises*! Once it was filled, we tied the other end, too. 

Finally, we decorated the paper with more stickers (or you could use whatever you like - glitter glue to make it sparkle?)

When the time comes to pull the cracker, one person pulling each end will tear the tissue paper and the roll will fall open, spilling treats!

*When I asked the kids what they thought we should put in our crackers, they raced around the house gathering up small things that we already owned: hair clips, tiny figures, candy, dress-up jewelry, etc. They each picked some 'surprises' for the other one's cracker. It was so sweet to see how absolutely delighted they were to find out what the other one had surprised them with, even though it was something that was already theirs! However, some other suggestions to put inside might be:

* a joke printed on a tiny scroll of paper
* a Lego or Playmobil person
* a sprinkling of glitter, if you don't mind a bit of mess
* a wrapped chocolate
* enough loom bands, loose, to make a bracelet and/or a loom band charm
* a mini pack of cards
* glow sticks (you'll need to make sure you cut your roll long enough for these)
* lip balm
* a couple of crayons and a few sheets of small note paper rolled into a scroll
* temporary tattoos
* stickers
* a finger puppet
* some kind of nature treasure: a feather, a tiny pine cone, a walnut, a pretty stone, etc.