How to make your own Christmas crackers

It’s the Christmas cracker that everyone around your table will love. Prepare these ahead of time then, on Christmas morning, pop cheese inside (yes, we said cheese – genius!), seal and put on the table.

Or, if you want to add your own little gifts, you can make these whenever you have time.

Here’s how to make your own Christmas crackers…

How to make your own Christmas crackers

You’ll need

  • A roll of brown paper – not too thick
  • Enough kitchen roll tubes, cut in half (or pieces of card, sticky-taped into tubes) for the number of crackers you’re making
  • Copper or gold spray paint – in case you want to spray any of your decorations (see below)
  • Cracker snaps (from
  • Tissue paper hats (from
  • Slips of paper with a joke for each cracker (see below)
  • Raffia and/or ribbon
  • Tacky glue (from
  • Scissors
  • Mini wedges of cheese (see which cheeses to choose, below) or use your own gifts
  • Wax paper or baking paper and tissue for wrapping the cheese

Or you can buy Fill Your Own crackers from John Lewis (£8 for a pack of 6).

Which cheeses to choose
Drier cheeses such as pecorino al tartufo (flecked with truffle) or a three-year-old gouda such as Old Amsterdam work best as they can stay out of the fridge for a few hours without getting greasy.

For the decorations…
Gather tiny fir cones and rosehips from the garden or woods, plus cinnamon sticks, cassia bark, star anise and cloves from the kitchen cupboards. Spray-paint them if you want to – or leave them natural.

How to make the crackers

  1. Cut rectangles of brown paper big enough to wrap around each cardboard tube with an overlap for glueing, and with about 10cm spare at each end to form the cracker ends. Wrap and glue down the edge – one dab at each end and one in the middle – to make a long tube. Leave to dry.
  2. Tuck in a snap, paper hat and joke, then pinch together the paper at one end of each inner tube, as close as you can to the cardboard. Secure with raffia or ribbon, tied in a bow (at the same time, cut lengths for the other end, ready to seal and tie the crackers on Christmas morning).>
  3. Decorate the body of each cracker with your chosen decorations, securing with blobs of glue.
  4. Wrap small wedges of cheese in waxed paper or baking paper (one or two for each cracker). Chill in an airtight box until needed.
  5. On Christmas morning… Wrap the paper-covered wedges in tissue, twisting the ends to seal. Pop the wrapped cheese into the crackers, seal the end, tie with raffia or ribbon and put on the table.

10 jokes to pop into your crackers

  • Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
 A mince spy
  • What’s the most popular wine at Christmas? 
“Aww, I don’t like sprouts”
  • Why was the cheesemonger lopsided? 
Because they only had one stilton
  • Who beats his chest and swings from Christmas cake to Christmas cake?
  • How do you handle dangerous cheese?
  • How do you drain the Christmas vegetables?
 With an Advent colander
  • What did one snowman say to the other? 
“Hey, can you smell carrot?”
  • What happens when you eat Christmas decorations? 
You get tinselitis
  • Why did the vicar throw his lunch into the garden?
 He wanted peas on earth
  • How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?
 Deep pan, crisp and even

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