Possibly my favourite thing about Christmas is all of my family’s crazy traditions; we play specific games, eat the same thing every year, have stockings, split the jobs for the big day, and all contribute in our own way. I love it.

Amongst many other things that crowd the dining table, we always have Christmas crackers. We normally end up pulling them somewhere in the middle of the meal and then read the jokes out and everyone puts on the paper hats. Four hours later, there is inevitably someone still wearing their hat who has totally forgotten. It makes for some quite amusing photos.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Christmas crackers, it’s essentially a rolled up piece of card cinched in two places with a cracker snap inside thank makes a bang when you pull it. Inside you’ll find a few silly gifts. It’s normally pulled by two people and the person who ends up with the bigger side, keeps the contents.

From time to time, my auntie fills them with things she thinks we’d like – something a bit more special than the traditional cracker gift – and it’s always such a lovely surprise. Last year, I thought it would be fun to figure out how to make them myself for Clive’s family, and they went down so well that I wanted to share the full DIY here for anyone else interested.

To make your handmade Christmas crackers, you’ll need:

1. On each piece of A4 card, draw the guidelines out. These will go parallel to the short edge of the card. My first line was 7cm from the bottom of the page. My second line was another 2cm further and the third line was 2 cm from the second line. Repeat these measurements on the other side of the card. You should have 6 lines on the card

2. Using a cutter and ruler on the cutting board, lightly score down the middle of the three lines. The line you score should be 9cm from the bottom (short edge) of the card. Be careful not to cut all the way through the card. This will just help you fold the car. Repeat on the other side.

3. Fold the card along the lines that you just scored.

4. Holding the folded-over card, start cutting tringles out all along the fold. You want to cut so the point of your triangle reaches the other pencil line. Each triangle should have a base about 1cm wide. Leave a few millimetres (about 3mm) between each triangle. They don’t all need to be identical but aim for them to be approximately the same size all the way along.

5. Place a line of thin double sided sellotape down the long-edge of the card and peel off the protective layer.

6. Roll your cracker up and press down along the sellotape to seal.

7. Place your cracker snap inside and stick down on both ends with a little bit of tape.

8. Use a piece of string to close your cracker on one end. The hole won’t close completely but that’s what we’re looking for. Be careful not to pull the string too tightly as this will break the cardboard.

9. Fill your cracker with goodies. Traditionally, you get a little gift or toy, a paper hat and a rubbish Christmas joke but you could put anything you like in there – a personalised little message, a rolled up photo, sweets, a little Christmas decoration, etc.

10. Tie up the other end and decorate with ribbon, name tags and little sprigs from the garden.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

I feel like crackers are normally (intentionally) quite tacky and I love that you can make these exactly as you want them to be, and fill them with all sorts of lovely things. They make a beautiful addition to the dining table, or you could even give them with a gift as a sort of ultra fancy Christmas card.

I also like the idea of sitting them in the tree like this:

I love love love how these turned out and am going to be adding handmade Christmas crackers to our Christmas traditions. I feel like you could have so much fun swapping up the materials and making them differently every year!

Anyway, I hope you’re all getting in the Christmas spirit and have some time to wind down a little bit before the madness begins. Do let me know if you make these or if you have any fun Christmas traditions of your own! I’d love to know :)

Have a wonderful evening. Big bisous. xS

Photos by Nicole Hertel