How to Make Christmas Poppers Using Toilet Paper Rolls

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Create some holiday fun with Christmas poppers

Christmas poppers, better known as Christmas crackers, are a fun holiday tradition from England. These decorated cardboard tubes traditionally have a small prize, a slip of paper with a joke or riddle, and a paper crown hidden inside them. When grasped at each end by a different person and pulled, the crackers break apart with a loud "pop," and whoever gets the larger end wins the contents.

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While Christmas poppers are increasingly available in U.S. stores during the holiday season, you can also have fun making your own. As well as being an enjoyable craft for Christmas using toilet paper rolls, it allows you to customize the jokes and prizes to suit your family and friends.

Things You'll Need

  • Toilet paper rolls (2 per cracker)

  • Scissors

  • Construction paper

  • Marker

  • Small toys, trinkets or candies

  • Paper crowns (optional)

  • Cracker snaps (optional)

  • Confetti (optional)

  • Glue stick or hot glue

  • Christmas wrapping paper or tissue paper

  • String

  • Narrow curling ribbon

  • Christmas stickers and miniature ornaments (optional)

Tip

Cracker snaps, which are narrow strips of cardboard that make the signature cracking sound when pulled apart, are available through craft supply stores and major online retailers. If you are unable to find them, you can make Christmas poppers without them and still enjoy the prizes even without the noise.

Making the Christmas Poppers

Step 1: Assemble the prizes

For each toilet paper roll DIY Christmas popper, gather at least one small prize or candy and optionally a paper crown and pinch of confetti. Make sure these prizes will fit inside a toilet paper roll.

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Step 2: Write the jokes or riddles

Cut a sheet of construction paper into rectangles, which need to be large enough to write a joke or riddle on. Write a Christmas-themed joke, riddle or other custom message on each rectangle, and make sure you have one for each cracker. You could also print these from a computer.

Step 3: Cut the toilet paper rolls

Gather two toilet paper rolls for each Christmas popper, and cut one of the two toilet paper rolls in half width-wise. You should have one full roll and two half-sized rolls per popper.

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Step 4: Cut the paper

For each cracker, cut one piece of wrapping paper measuring 10 inches wide by 14 inches long. If you are using tissue paper, cut the pieces out of several layers of paper per cracker.

Step 5: Assemble the poppers

Place the paper in front of you with the decorative side down. Place the full toilet paper roll horizontally in the center of the paper, and one half-roll on either side of it. Roll the paper around the three rolls – carefully keeping them together as if they were one long roll – and secure the cut edge of the paper with glue.

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Step 6: Insert the cracker snaps

Insert one cracker snap (if you are using them) through the center of the three toilet paper rolls, and secure it at one end to the inside of the half-roll with glue. The opposite end of the snap should be loosely suspended inside the roll.

Step 7: Tie one end

Shift one of the half-rolls at one end of the cracker outward to create a small gap between the middle roll and half-roll. Carefully cinch the paper into the gap by tying a piece of string around the paper. This creates the signature Christmas cracker shape, which resembles a giant wrapped candy.

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Step 8: Add the prizes

Holding the tied end of the popper downwards, drop the prizes into the middle toilet paper roll.

Step 9: Tie the other end

In the same way that you tied the first end of the cracker with string, create a gap between the full- and half-rolls at the other end and cinch the paper together with string.

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Step 10: Decorate the crackers

Snip the loose ends of string and tie bows of curling ribbon around the cinched parts of the crackers. Optionally add Christmas stickers, miniature ornaments and any other embellishments you desire to the crackers.

Tip

If you plan to do crafts for Christmas using toilet paper rolls, start saving the rolls earlier in the year to make sure you have enough. You can also use paper towel rolls or the cardboard roll cores from wrapping paper, cut to size. Another alternative for toilet paper roll DIY Christmas crafts, in a pinch, is making your own rolls from thin cardstock with tape or glue.

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