I collected toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and wrapping paper rolls. I cut them to toilet paper roll size, covered them with plain white tissue paper, filled them with bubble gum and Hersey Kisses, and tied each end with curling ribbon. Then I decorated them with those peel and stick stars that teachers would put on your papers back then. Remember those? It brings back piano lesson memories (ugh). I also personalized them with peel and stick gold lettering.
A few years later, I heard of the Christmas cracker, which is a far more sophisticated version of what I had made. Invented in 1846, it makes a popping sound when opened. Despite that remarkable feature, the ones I saw (at Williams-Sonoma, and other such places), contained cheap little prizes, similar to what you would get in a Cracker Jack box. So when I started making them again, I decided to fill them with good candy. I made some for Christmas, and I just made some more for Valentines' Day. These are easy and inexpensive to make and can be used year-round for all occasions. They don't make a popping sound, but are still fun to open.
cardboard for templates
toilet paper rolls
scrapbook or wrapping paper
ribbon or twine for tying
candy, tiny toys, or romantic notes
Make templates out of cardboard. One should measure 4" x 6" and the other 8" x 10". The tissue paper is cut to 8 x 10 and the scrapbook paper cover is cut to 4 x 6.
Cut two sheets of tissue paper by the template. Apply glue to each layer on the long ends (the end that measures 10") of the paper. Apply only on the area where the roll will be attached.
Lay the roll on top of the end where you just applied the glue.
Roll the tissue around it tightly and make sure the other long end has plenty of glue on it as well.
These are a couple of pretty pieces of scrapbook paper I found at Michael's. I thought they would be perfect for Valentines' Day.
This one actually has stitching on it.
Using the smaller template, trace and cut out the paper you want to cover the tissue with.
Apply a generous amount of glue to each (3") end. The thicker the paper you use, the more glue you will need for it.
Making sure to keep it centered, apply the cover to the roll.
Gather the tissue on one end and tie with ribbon. Then fill with candy. I used Snickers Fun size. It will hold four of them. I have also used Tootsie Rolls, Smartees, and Werther's Butter Candy. Then tie the other end. Sorry I don't have a picture of tying the ribbon.
It is also fun to use a variety of tissue paper. I found this at the Container Store in Atlanta. I never go to Atlanta without a visit to the Container Store.
I found this handmade-looking tissue paper at World Market. I rarely drive down 280 without a visit to World Market.
These are my Valentine crackers. The vintage print paper is featured in my last post.
These are some of the crackers I made for Christmas. They are also very cute tied with twine.
You could also personalize these for some very unique place cards.