I love Christmas crackers but it makes more sense to have them on the 4th of July, don't you think? Anyway, we need some racket in our lives every six months, so time for another cracker.
I buy boxes of crackers at the after-holiday-sales so I have plenty on hand. I'm also finding "party crackers" on sale year round at party stores. You can always google "Christmas Crackers" to be able to order them anytime. Parts are available to make your own but I find it's just as easy to deconstruct existing ones.
red crepe paper
various patriotic toys and confetti
sticker paper (or plain copy paper)
tape or glue
thin red ribbon
Double the crepe paper and cut out a rectangle the same size as your pattern. A single ply seemed too thin for this purpose. Assemble goodies -including the patriotic hat shown below- to place in the middle cardboard tube.
The paper patriotic border came from a scrapbook store. I cut a section, punched a small hole in each end and threaded elastic cording through the holes to make a hat. After all, what is a cracker without a hat? It can be rolled easily to fit into the cracker.
Download July 4th postcard images from here. Choose one and resize it to fit your cracker. I made the height 2 inches for mine. Print it on sticker paper. Plain copy paper will do as well. I cut mine out with scalloped scissors.
Place the three tubes over the strip; the two end ones almost to the short ends. The third tube should be placed in the middle leaving an inch or so between them. Open the tubes slightly and with a small piece of tape, tape one edge to the wrapper to hold in place.
Fill the middle tube with hat, goodies and confetti and gently, but firmly roll up. Glue or tape the completed wrapper together.
Gently twist the end tubes and tie with ribbon. Remove the sticker backing (or apply glue to the back of the copy paper image) and apply to the middle.
Put one at the place settings of of your party guests. Have them grab each end of the cracker and pull. The rule is that you have to wear the hat through the entire meal. Happy Fourth and party on!