Watch your guests’ faces light up when they first notice these festive favors. Seasonal party crackers usher in fun with a snap! And handcrafting them truly multiplies their impact. You get to choose the colors and the contents: the toys, the riddles, the themes,… everything creating instant holiday favorites, anticipated and treasured celebration after celebration.
The details of my particular selections follow:
Olde English Crackers provides a wonderful set of directions including a list of basic supplies, which are available through their website. Beyond the basics, here are my specific choices for Winter Solstice:
- Black & White Design Focus Gift Wrap purchased locally from Michaels Stores. Allow yourself to consider the stunning dramatic effects of black. When juxtaposed against your thematic color choices, black not only helps those colors pop, it also adds an extra touch of elegance and sophistication to your decor.
- Evergreen and berry picks purchased locally from a farm stand (for exterior embellishment)
- Offray 3/8″ 100% polyester ribbon in sherry. I purchased mine locally at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
- Surprises: Worry Doll Pouches, Martha Stewart Woodland Felt Icon Die Cuts, Dress It Up Christmas Buttons “I Believe” item #2485, Dress It Up Christmas Buttons “Stockings” item #1185, Dress It Up Christmas Buttons “Iced Cookies” item #5553, (all purchased locally from Michaels Stores), and a random selection of one of the following: Tricky Worms, Magic Loops Mini Puzzle Toys, Hasbro Mini Lincoln Logs, Hasbro Mini Tinker Toys, Mini Barrels of Monkeys, Mini Playing Cards. Many of these are no longer available. I found mine on ebay.
- Riddle & Quote Cards: I made them myself using Microsoft Word and green printing paper. Feel free to make your own or use mine by clicking here: Yule Quotes & Riddles for Holiday Party Crackers.
Additional Tips & Tricks:
- I like to decorate my riddle cards. As I am not much of an illustrator, these drawings must be pretty simple unless I can recruit someone else to do them for me. With this in mind, I used clear, basic instructions for holiday cartoons from How To Draw Cartoons Online.
- As I’ve said before, it really helps to neatly lay out materials before beginning. This not only keeps you organized, but also serves as a reminder for the supplies may require restocking (i.e. glue sticks) as well as the preparations that must precede the actual construction of the crackers (i.e. cutting the wrapping paper and card stock to the specified sizes)
- The adhering of the paper is an easily overlooked but very important step. Allow yourself the time to be sure that the paper will line up in the end and that the roll itself is fairly centered.
- Though not necessary, your party crackers will present so much more neatly by dabbing a bit of Fray Check on the edges of the ribbons. I purchased mine locally at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
- Contents may be neatly tucked into 4 X 6″ organza pouches readily available at craft stores and online. I purchased mine locally from Michaels Stores. I first tried these gentle enclosures for my Harvest Party Crackers & loved them. They offer protection from flying and breakage during the initial snap and yet remain fairly transparent, so the contents are still immediately visible. Using these pouches has therefore become a regular part of my process.
- When decorating the almost-completed crackers, use small clippings rather than prearranged clusters. This allows individuation as well as delicacy to the design.
- This may go without saying, but glue guns cause burns so easily. Before firmly pressing, be sure to have a layer of something between you and the hot glue, be it additional greenery or even a popsicle stick.
- My biggest piece of advice is to take your time. Making holiday party crackers is both fun and rewarding, but oftentimes fussy. The joy of their construction can be lost if approached too hurriedly.
For additional suggestions on making wonderfully fun party crackers with a very personal touch, see also:
Take your time and have a blast!!
Happy Winter Solstice! Stay tuned for more on the upcoming celebration!! :)