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Holiday Crafts | Make New Year's Eve Crackers

Holiday Crafts | Make New Year’s Eve Crackers
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New Year’s Eve is a holiday I am never prepared for, so I like the idea of making New Year’s Eve Crackers–they are quick and easy to make at the last minute with items I most likely have on hand.

New Years Eve Crackers

New Year’s Eve Crackers

Crackers are decorated tubes filled with toys, trinkets, candy, confetti, and many times, tissue paper crowns.  They can be put on dinner plates or a table setting at a meal, or handed out at a party.  The recipient can either pull on both ends of the cracker, or one person can pull one side and another person pull the other.  Either way, when opened, confetti and other items come spilling out.  There are several ways to design them but I prefer this simpler method.

New Years Eve Crackers

New Year’s Eve Crackers

Materials needed to make New Year’s Eve crackers:

  • Recycled cardboard tubes (i.e. paper towel tubes or leftover tubes from wrapping paper)
  • Tissue paper
  • String
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Decorative papers (scrapbook papers, old book pages, newspaper, sheet music, wrapping paper, comics, wallpaper, etc.)
  • Embellishments to tie at the cracker ends– this can include curling ribbon, twist ties (i.e. I snipped some gold ones from the end of a holiday decoration), string, wire, or twine.
  • Things to put inside the crackers.  For adults you can include candies, lottery tickets, fortunes, and confetti.  For children you can include trinkets or toys, confetti and candies.

Instructions to make New Year’s Eve crackers:

  • Cut the cardboard tubes into 6″ length 
  • Cut the tissue paper into 10-12″ length.  Some people prefer crackers to have shorter ends, some prefer longer ends.  
  • Place the  cardboard tube in the center of the tissue paper and wrap the tissue around the tube.  I use a piece of tape to secure one end of the tissue paper to the tube then roll the tube till it is covered with tissue paper.  I then secure the tissue paper in place with another piece of tape.  I trim any excess tissue paper as needed.
  • Use a piece of string to tie one end of the cracker.  
  • Now that one end of the cracker is secured, fill the cracker with the items you set aside for filling them.  
  • Tie the other end of the cracker with string.  
Undecorated crackers

Undecorated crackers

  • Decorate the crackers by wrapping them in colorful, patterned, and/or recycled papers.  You can cut thin strips of paper for the edges, longer and wider strips for the centers.
  • Decorate the ends of the crackers by adding festive wire or twist ties, curling ribbons, wired garlands, or twine.

I made these crackers using pages from a vintage school book:

New Years Eve Crackers

New Years Eve Crackers

For the next set of crackers I used pictures from a book of copyright free images.  (In a pinch you can always find images needed for craft projects online by searching “copyright free images”.  Here is a link to a shop that offers pages of copyright free images you can use at a small cost: ).

New Years Eve Crackers

New Year’s Eve Crackers

And last, I decorated this pair of crackers using a recycled paper gift bag with thin strips of scrapbook paper on the ends.

New years Eve Crackers

New Year’s Eve Crackers

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
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