Tom Smith a Victorian London sweet maker first sold Christmas Crackers based on a French sweet called dragees, which were wrapped in coloured twisted paper. Later adding a little printed novelty or riddle. In 1891 a novelty read –
The sweet crimson rose with its beautiful hue
Is not half so deep as my passion for you.
‘Twill wither and fade, and no more will be seen
But whilst my heart lives you will still be its queen!
A little different to what you find these days. [There are some very topical ones on ‘The Telegraph‘ site.] Why not leave you favourite Cracker Joke, in my Comment Box ….
Later Tom Smith added a bang to his Cracker, which was made by friction when two strips of cardboard are pulled against a small explosive. Novelties were also added such as masks, puzzles, game, fans grotesque and artistic head dresses.
Crackers normally include inside a tissue paper crown, a motto, and a gift something usually useful like a plastic shoe horn, or a bottle opener. I remember one Christmas when I was young our paper crowns were in fact coloured tissue paper squares, which we all balanced on our heads, whilst eating our Christmas dinner. The old crackers were the best to pull, being one complete piece, a bit tough but there could be no cheating to see what was inside. Now they are made of cardboard and often fall apart before you even get to pull them, and sneaky children can peep inside to get the best gifts.
If you are feeling a little flush this Christmas why not treat yourself to Red Damask Glitter crackers from Shelfridges £70 for 6, or for those of you with a little spare cash, how about Harrods of London Traditional Crackers, £100 for 6 ….. ‘ In a festive palette of gold and red, these Harrods of London Traditional crackers are a merry choice for your Christmas table spread. Luxuriously handmade in England, they are complemented with matching ribbon bows and mini fir cones alongside a hat, gift and joke.’ …..
There are many Christmas Cracker Kits available for you to make your own, they include a snapper, hat and motto. You can then add your own special gift, making it more personal. I think the snowman one look good fun.
Searching for doll house crackers on Amazon I found these lovely little Saucer Crackers to put on the side of a cup and saucer. This would be perfect for afternoon tea with a mince pie.
It’s not hard to make your own Doll House Christmas Crackers, just a bit fiddly, follow my tutorial below …..
Make your own 1/12 scale Christmas Crackers
Christmas Crackers are quite easy to make, the only problem I found when making them was that as they are so small, they would collapse when shaping. So as little tip I will pass onto you is to use *Extra Slim Cigarette Filters, to help keep the shape.
For the outer wrapping of your Christmas Cracker you will need a strip of metallic paper chain, a metallic colour gives a festive feel.
Cut a piece of paper chain 4cm long
Roll the paper chain around a pencil or paint brush handle, to soften the paper and help with the curve.
Cut three cigarette filters into 1cm pieces.
Put glue on the paper chain and space the 3 filters evenly spaced along the edge. Place the end filters slightly away from the edge to allow space when gathering together.
Roll the filters in the paper chain paper. Making sure the edges are neat.
For decoration, cut two 1cm strips of paper chain.
Roll the paper chain decoration as above. Feel gently where the gap is on the cracker and glue on the decoration.
Using strong thread, wind around the cracker and gently pull tight.
And there you are one Christmas Cracker, ready to be decorated.On this one I have glued a piece of Christmas confetti, it came in all difference shapes, the small circle was just the right size.
* Cigarette Filters are used when rolling your own cigarettes, and are available from newsagents or supermarkets.