Give three stars to these party crackers. They're easy to make. They add a festive touch to any holiday table. They guarantee a snapping good time. No wonder they've been a favourite since Victorian times. Whether you make them for your own celebrations or to give away, you'll find it's as much fun to stuff the crackers as it is to snap and open them.
If you know the guests, personalize the favours in each - enclose some tiny wind-up toys for the young at heart, a miniature bottle of unusual liqueur for the bon vivant or a precious vial of perfume for a special lady. And don't forget to include a paper party hat and a limerick or fortune in each one.
You Need (for each):
Piece of gold tissue paper, 30.5 cm/12 in square
Piece of patterned tissue paper, 15 cm/6 in square
Empty toilet-paper roll or paper-towel roll cut to 11 cm/4-3/8 in length
Paper hat (for instructions, see below)
Small favour(s) to fit inside roll
Short printed saying, joke or fortune
.60 m narrow gold cord or ribbon, cut into 2 equal lengths
1. Stuff roll with hat snapper, favour(s) and saying. On wrong side of gold paper, centre roll along I edge; roll up to wrap with paper. Tie I ribbon length around paper at each end of roll.
2. Fold under 2 opposite edges of patterned paper so paper is same width as roll. Wrap around roll; glue edge in place.
You Need (for each):
1 sheet of standard-size tissue paper
1 small sheet of contrasting tissue paper, 38 x 23 cm (15 x 9 in)
Gold notary seal (available at stationery stores) or Christmas sticker
1. Fold larger sheet of paper in half so wrong sides are together and long edges match; sharply crease. Open out and lay flat. Fold same sheet in half so wrong sides are together and short edges match. Leave folded, then fold comer at each end of second fold to centre along first fold; crease to form pointed crown. Fold single layer at each straight bottom edge up against outside to meet bottom edge of crown, then fold up same distance again to form brim. Glue short brim ends together where they meet at hat front and back.
2. Make cockade: Fold small sheet of paper in half so long edges match; leave folded, then fold in half so short edges match. Leave folded, then fold twice more as above. From I short edge, cut slits, at 6 mm (1/4 in) intervals, to within I cm (3/8 in) of opposite edge. Leave folded. Centre uncut edge along bottom edge of hat, 2 cm (3/4 in) above brim; fasten with seal. Fold hat to fit into roll.
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