The Art of Darkness

Creepy Crackers

August 20th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Finished CrackerChristmas crackers are part of traditional holiday celebrations in the UK, Australia, and several other countries.* They consist of a cardboard tube filled with candy and novelties (usually including a paper crown and a fortune cookie-type strip of paper with jokes), a strip of thin cardboard containing the same chemical that makes popguns go bang, and a wrapping of tissue paper. When the ends of the tissue are pulled, the cardboard thingie makes a cracking noise and you harvest the treats inside.

There’s no reason why these things have to be limited to Christmas. I can think of another holiday that’s big on treats. Can’t you?

You will need:

  • Cardboard tubes; empty toilet tissue rolls are the perfect size
  • Cracker snaps (see below)
  • Small novelties and candy
  • Tissue paper (see below)
  • Narrow ribbon
  • Halloween-themed stickers (optional)

Cracker snaps can be purchased at some craft stores and online. I actually found a children’s activity kit on Amazon which included the cracker snaps, paper crowns, and jokes for cheaper than I could buy just the cracker snaps.

You can find all kinds of wonderful Halloween-themed wrapping paper meant for scrapbooking; I actually created this post as a way to use up some Halloween scrapbook paper I’d been given and…I can’t find the stinkin’ paper anywhere. So I just used plain tissue paper and you can too.

Click the thumbnails for larger images.

Cracker Strips

Make sure that the cardboard tubes you use are short enough to let the cracker snaps extend out both sides. Toilet tissue rolls work great; if you have long tubes (like those for paper towels), cut them in half.

Cracker Goodies

Gather whatever small novelties and candies you want to fit in the tube.

Add Strip

Place the cracker snap in the tube with ends extending out both sides, and pack the treats on top.

Wrap Tissue

Cut a piece of tissue paper wide enough to enclose the ends of the cracker snap and long enough to roll around the tube a few times. Roll everything up, and pinch in around the outside of the tube.

Finished Cracker

Tie the ends with ribbon, making sure to securely enclose the ends of the cracker snap inside. If desired, decorate the outside of the cracker with stickers or other lightweight items.


And…done! The ends of my cracker are a bit wrinkly; for more precise edges with only a bit more work, check out Chica and Jo’s tutorial for making Christmas crackers.

These are easy to make and a pile of them would be a big hit at a Halloween party.

*But not in the US. When I was in fifth grade my dad returned from a business trip with a bunch of crackers for me to hand out to my classmates. My teacher made me wait until after lunch because he didn’t want everyone spoiling their appetites by eating them; he was deeply perplexed when I told him they weren’t those kind of crackers.

Posted in Bittens, Doom It Yourself | 6 Comments »

6 Responses

  1. WitchArachne Says:

    I had no idea Christmas crackers weren’t a US thing. I’m actually really surprised by that for some reason.

    I am totally gumby and have a hard time actually holding the snap in place when I pop them. This is the way my bonbons end: not with a bang, but a whimper.
    When I make them, I use wrapping paper instead of tissue paper so it has a bit more strength to it, and I glue or stickytape the snap in place at either end, on the paper just inside where you tie the bows. That way it’s less likely to get wrenched out of my grip and disappoint everyone with a lame lack of bang.
    Also it’s tradition to use only the very worst, most eye-rollingly terrible Dad jokes possible. I suspect it might be one of the laws of Christmas.

  2. Mim Says:

    Crackers are fab! We got ones with wind-up toys in last year so we and our guests could have Santa versus Rudolph races after dinner. And everyone had to wear their paper crown.

    WitchArachne’s right, the jokes have to be terrible. Cracker jokes are to humour as Hallmark cards are to poetry.

    Also, the snaps are usually glued to the ends of the cracker to ensure they go off.

  3. KJ Says:

    Our family grew up with Christmas crackers. We had to wear our crowns all through dinner, even as teenagers. Good memories. :)

    I have made my own several times for Christmas. I even tailored the “gifts” to each person. There must be some great Halloween jokes to use. What are the chances of a cringe-worthy Halloween joke post?

    As to the snaps – I grab each of the snap ends instead of the paper and, since I’ve done that, always a pop.

    Thanks for the reminder about these. I just might have to make some Halloween ones this year.

  4. Oldhalloween Says:

    Love making Halloween Crackers! Orange and black crepe paper streamers are perfect for the paper tubes.
    Great for Halloween wedding favors too.

  5. Pixel Pixie Says:

    Sounds like a great idea for Halloween favors. Then I remember I have zero time to make ANYTHING.

  6. Goth Gardener Says:

    Another one to try! Keep ‘um comin’ Cobwebs! :D

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