How to Make a Traditional English Christmas Cracker aka Popper

A really nice viewer named Margaret told me all about traditional Christmas Crackers. It’s not what you think….In England, it’s been a tradition there since the mid 1840’s. A traditional cracker has several components. It should have a crown, an activity or joke, a small prize and the cracker, which makes a loud popping noise. There’s a company that makes the crackers, called http://www.oldeenglishcrackers.com, where you can buy all of the supplies to make them, as well as buying ones that are premade.
I was going to buy the premade cracker component from them, but didn’t know if all of my viewers would have access to that company, so made my own version, using the poppers you use on New Years Eve. I bought a set of them from Walmart for under $2, as well as decorated straws from Walmart to make the cracker.

Take the popper and pull the string free of the foilm but don’t tug on it.. Then, remove the cardboard on the bottom of the popper, and the paper from the side, and take out the paper that would shoot out when it explodes. Leave the next layer of cardboard inside and cut the plastic off down to this layer of cardboard. If the cardboard comes out, put a little hot glue on the edge of it to keep it in place. This makes sure the inside of your cracker prizes are protected. Take one of your straws and cut it in half. I cut a slit about 1/2″ long on one side of the straw and pushed the string from the popper into the straw.. Then shove the string into the crack and glue it in place. Put enough glue that it’s well adhered so when it’s pulled, the string won’t come out. You need the straw so that you have something to pull and the string isn’t long enough once it’s inside the popper.
To make a crown, cut a piece of gift wrap 24″ long and about 6: tall and glue the ends together (by putting tear tape on the outside edge of the gift wrap)so it’s a circle. Carefully fold your paper in half so the edges are even, then fold it again. If the bottom and top are not straight, trim them to be straight. Once you’ve folded it in half so your width is about 3″ wide, cut an inverted “V” and once it’s unfolded, it’s a crown.
Next, you’ll want treats, I put a buckeye in mine, as well as a bookmark and a joke I found on the internet, and some activities. I’m attaching a link to the activiites and jokes

Corny jokes: http://www.quickfunnyjokes.com/cheesy.html

Printable word search: http://www.puzzles.ca/wordsearch.html

Strip should say: Twist and pull apart. Firmly grab this string and pull for a bang.

Take the inside of a wrapping paper roll or a paper towel roll cardboard insert and cut them to 4″ lengths. You’ll want to hot glue the plastic part of the popper inside the cardboard and make sure it’s well glued so it doesn’t come apart when pulled. Fill the cardboard roll with your prize, joke, and activities, as well as candy and any additional prizes. Cut two more pieces of the cardboard roll about 1 1/2″ long each. You’ll take a piece of gift wrap that is roughly 14″ long and 6-8″ tall to wrap the popper. Put a piece of tear tape on the side of the center cardboard roll and remove the liner so it’s sticky. Lay the smalller pieces of cardboard on either side of the 4″ cardboard, leaving about a 1 1/2″ gap between the two pieces of cardboard and the longer center piece. On the side with the straw, make sure the straw is inside the side piece of cardboard. Don’t glue the wrapping paper to the side cardboard rolls. Hold all three pieces of cardboard and roll the gift wrap tightly around them. Once the gift wrap surrounds them, you;ll want to put a piece of tear tape that runs the whole length of the three cardboard pieces to glue the gift wrap together. Take ribbon that is called curling ribbon, and put an 8″ strip between the center and one side of the cardboard circles and tie it tightly. Put it as close to the center roll as possible..You can now remove the small cardboard piece on that side if you want. Do the same to the other side, making sure it’s tied tightly. Attach the strip that tells you how to pull it open and curl your ribbon ends and you are done.
I hope you give this a try, even if you do it for New Years. Traditionally, two people pull on either end of the crackers in England, but one person can pull it to explode it if they want.

 

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