diy project: holiday surprise crackers

I love learning about holiday customs from other countries, and this is one that I could easily see myself including in seasons to come. Kate Petty of Mini-Eco sent over this easy, modern version of Christmas crackers, a popular holiday tradition in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom, where Kate hails from.

She has created templates for small and large crackers, so all you have to do is print them onto a pretty paper or cardstock, cut, assemble and fill them with candies, notes or other little treats. I looked around and saw many versions of these available for sale, but none were as attractive as Kate’s geometric paper versions, and you can make these for almost no cost. Thanks so much for sharing your traditions and your project with us, Kate! — Kate

*If you like this project, you may want to check out Kate’s paper gem tutorial as well —it also has a free downloadable template and super easy instructions. Thanks Kate!

Read the full how-to after the jump!

I can’t imagine tucking into a Christmas dinner without pulling a cracker first. I love the naff hats, the cringe-worthy jokes (and just the tradition of it all). Making your own is really easy to do, for adults and kids alike. If you don’t fancy making big crackers for the table, you can make little ones to hang in the tree. You can also personalize the gifts that you put inside them and make them as naff or highbrow as you fancy. What’s not to love!? — Kate Petty


  • templates for large and small crackers
  • printer
  • pretty paper or cardstock
  • ruler
  • utility knife and cutting mat
  • glue stick or double-sided tape
  • treats for inside
  • tissue paper
  • twine



1. Download the pdf and print onto thin cardstock. There is a large template and a small template. Full-size crackers are 25cm (about 10 inches) long, and miniature crackers are 16cm (about 6 inches long).

2. Cut around the outside with a pair of scissors.

3. Score along all the dotted lines. Compass points are great for scoring cards.

4. Using a craft knife, cut out all the diamond shapes.

5. Fold along all the vertical lines.

6. Fold along the horizontal lines as shown. If you like, you can insert a cracker bang and tape it into place at each end using sticky tape.

7. Bring the ends together and join using a glue stick or double-sided tape.

8. Tie one end with a length of cotton/ribbon/string.

9. Wrap a gift/sweets/confetti in some tissue paper.

10. Pop inside the cracker and tie the other end with cotton/ribbon/string.


  1. Thank you, Kate! I plan on printing out the template and having my kids help with the creation -which I know they will enjoy! I have bought these for New Years Eve dinners in the past, but this year they will be special! Could also make for a fun hostess gift! Thanks for sharing & all the best in the new year!

  2. Is there a special way to open them? Do they crack when you open?

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      you hold both ends, pull away from you and they POP! open :)


  3. Kelsey says:

    These are fantastic! I will try and make these to put on top of my gifts this year! Thanks for the great tutorial :)

  4. sarakenobi says:

    if you want them to crack with a bang, you add cracker snaps :) then they really do bang :)

  5. Emily says:

    I love christmas crackers!

  6. emily says:

    These are beautiful– I know in other countries you can buy a thin strip of paper that has the “snapper” (for lack of a better term) that is what pops when you pull it apart. Anyone have a source for those in the states? thanks!

  7. Holger says:

    I was searching for such instructions.
    Thank you very much!
    I love the polygonal form = ))

  8. Maribel says:

    This is awesome, great and easy instructions. Thanks!

  9. Britt says:

    This is so exciting! My mum (!) hails from England and so our table at Christmas (and Thanksgiving- who says the fun is for only one holiday?) always has crackers. Everyone, including guests, crosses their arms and pulls a cracker with the person sitting next to them, then wears their crown through the duration of the meal. It would be great to make my own crackers just to introduce some new jokes to the table! Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. irem says:

    this is a great project =) I’m gonna prepare colorful crackers for all my friends as a Christmas gift =)

  11. Barclay says:

    I’ve had crackers at just about all of my Christmas dinners. Fun tradition in my family, especially when there was hats inside and we are all wearing them at our “fancy” dinner. Normally the prizes inside stink, so I can’t wait to make my own!

  12. MABSOOTA says:

    Sorry to be that person, but I noticed Kate’s last name is spelled two different ways here… is it Petty or Perry?

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      oops, it’s petty, just fixed ;)


  13. This is such a pretty idea!

  14. Nicky says:

    Great template. Being from England, no Christmas is complete without crackers. They usually contain a snapper ( for added snap effect!) inside you would find a treat, a joke or riddle and a paper hat! Have a cracker of a Christmas everyone!

  15. This is great! How wonderful to pick what goes inside, rather than settle for whatever somebody else throws in there!

  16. roimata says:

    You don’t have christmas crackers in the US??? Crazy! We always buy ours and then poke other things in them too… usually an instant kiwi – a lottery scratch card, some lollies and a personalised small gift. I love these ones though, may have to make them this year!

  17. Jessica says:

    Fun project…and beautiful tutorial.

  18. That’s great – thanks for the post – may I share this on my Facebook fan page please – obviously it would link back to your wonderful blog. Happy Holidays to you! Patricia

  19. Maribell Riley says:

    Wow!! I cant find crackers to go with my table theme (in England can you believe!!) I just downloaded the perfect pretty paper from the web and made your crackers exactly the way I want them!! I used the snaps and hats etc from the ones I bought and wasnt happy with. Not the cheapest way to do it, but hey I get exactly what I want. Next year, I will start from scratch and buy the snaps from Amazon. I cant thank you enough, you are a genius!!

  20. Lanka says:

    These will be great for my friend’s Easter party. With little chic eggs inside..thank you!

  21. I am very thankful for this tutorial, since crackers aren-t available in our local stores, and my daughter saw them on TV and really likes them and keeps asking when are we going to have one. I-ll let you know when we make it


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