Christmas CRACKERS (Poppers) for Festive Occasions – Make your Own and Delight your Guests!

Holiday CRACKERS (Poppers) for Festive Occasions – Make your Own and Delight your Guests !

Christmas Crackers “poppers” were first made in the mid 1800’s in England as a way to encase candies, trinkets and paper hats for celebratory table settings at Christmas time.  They also contained a strip of special paper that makes a snap or pop when quickly pulled apart.    Now they are sold commercially for any occasion and are usually filled with cheap plastic toys, paper hats and a fortune cookie insert .    They were always a disappointment to me – a great exterior with colorful paper and decorations but what poured out of them was not  interesting or worth saving.

christmas poppers santa balloon 4

This inspired me to create my own.   The first rounds of experimenting were fun and simple.  These early creations years ago were tissue-lined colorful cardboard cones filled with candy.

Then I moved on to collecting interesting  crepe, tissue, papers, ribbon and trims.  Yard sales are a great place to find bags of ribbon and trim remnants – perfect for small projects like these. 

All you need to get started:

4-6″ cardboard rolls ( save from bathroom tissue rolls or buy in crafts stores)

Tissue and Crepe paper

Ribbon and Trim

Glue gun

Double sided tape

Self adhesive rhinestones

Stickers for top decorations

For the filling you can customize based on your guests – imported chocolates, gourmet candies and caramels, silver dollars, lottery tickets, dollar bills, etc.  For the top decoration, if you want to customize the crackers for each guest, you can download images and print them on to full page adhesive back paper ( Avery 8465 full page shipping labels) and cut them to size.  If the original downloaded image is too large, before you print them out, choose 4 images per page on your print selections and they will be resized smaller.


First you encase your cardboard tube with tissue paper at least 3″ longer on each end than the tube and tape on with double sided tape.  Then cut a coordinating crepe or fancy paper about 1.5 inches narrower than the tube and center it on the roll and tape at the same seam as the tissue paper so the top of the roll looks seamless.  Then decorate with stickers, trim and ribbons – using the crafts glue, glue gun, adhesive dots and tape to secure.   Then tie one end closed with ribbon, fill with the candies and tie the other end closed.   

Take your time and think about what decorations to use for your guests – what are their passions, interests or hobbies. Here is the one for a descendent of Davy Crockett: 

For an Art Nouveau collector: 

For rose collectors or for Thanksgiving: 

For your lady guests: 

Best of all these colorful and luxurious crackers will add to your table setting and be a conversation piece.

Happy Holidays!

poppers on table closepoppers on table


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