Sunday, January 5, 2014

"My Wish For You" - New Year Crackers

I haven't ever sent my boys anything for New bad...I just couldn't come up with any ideas and they had just received a plethora of packages for all the holidays from Halloween to Christmas so I've always just let it slide on by.  While sitting with my 'soon to be Sunbeam' Nursery kids during Singing Time in Junior Primary the music leader let the kids pull Christmas Crackers and sing the song that was hidden inside.  Super cute idea!  So, I guess I owe this bit of inspiration to Lesli... Thanks, Lesli!  This project does NOT need to be sent out in time for the new year.  It is YOUR wish for THEM in the new year and could easily be sent any time during the early part of the year.

First of all...what exactly is a Cracker?

While Crackers can be found in the United States they are predominately found in European countries during the Christmas season and at other celebrations throughout the year and have been around since the Victorian era.    They have a small strip of paper at the end hidden within the tissue that has a tiny bit of aggregate on it which makes a popping sound when you pull it.  Yeah.  Mine don't have that although I have been told that you can find these strips online.  What CAN'T you find online?  

Crackers typically hold very little; usually a paper crown, a riddle or joke and a small gift or novelty item.  Mine include "My wish for you..." notes from family members, confetti, candy and some money (not much, just enough for lunch out).  At parties, Crackers are typically used to decorate an individual place setting and are opened prior to the meal being served.  Party goers would pull the Crackers to open them and then don their party crowns prior to eating creating a fun atmosphere as well as a gift for the party guest.

empty toilet paper rolls
tissue paper
small gift
Yield = 4 Crackers

I learn better by seeing and doing so here are detailed photo instructions:

Start off by making the 'Happy New Year' Cracker 'band' that will go around the middle and hide your perforations as the glitter glue will take a little bit of time to dry.  

I used Stickles Glitter Glue that I found at my local scrapbooking store.  Use whatever kind you would like but I liked how the tip was almost the same size as the 'dots' on my lettering so it was pretty quick to finish up.  It will be much easier to cut your bands apart prior  to applying the glitter glue.  You'll just have to trust me on that one...

The glitter glue comes in a variety of colors so match it with your color theme.  (Please tell me that I'm not the only one that thinks of 'color themes'...)  I used gold and silver for my theme.  Confetti seemed to be a bit harder to find than I had thought it would be so you might want to start there first and develop your color theme around what you can find.

Now, on to the Crackers:

Cut your toilet paper roll in half.

Cut a single sheet of tissue paper into fourths.
Need more detail?
Here you go:

Lay a full sheet of tissue paper on a flat surface.

 Note:  Each full sheet of tissue paper will provide enough paper for 4 individual crackers.

Fold the tissue paper UP from the bottom and crease along the fold line along the bottom edge.

Cut in half using the center line as a guide.

Note:  This will give you two long, 
narrow pieces of tissue paper.

Now cut the two pieces in half
along the bottom fold line.

Note:  You should now have four equal sized pieces of tissue paper.

Stack the tissue paper on top of each other,
 fold lengthwise and crease.
Open up your stack and press flat.

Using the center crease as a guide,
 make perforations using an UNTHREADED 
sewing machine.

Note:  The goal here is to make tiny holes
 that will help the tissue tear easily
 when the Cracker is pulled.
Take one piece of your cut tissue and using the perforations as a guide, line up the center 'cut' of the two half's of your Cracker and roll.

Tie one end closed using a piece of curly ribbon.

Now you get to fill your cracker
 with all sorts of fun little things...

Keeping in my color theme of gold and silver
I used Rolo's, Hershey Kisses and Hershey Nuggets, confetti, money and the folded up slips of paper are the New Year wishes (see below).

I took a notebook to a recent family party
and while there had everyone write their
"Wish for Matthew" in the New Year.

I later typed them into the computer so I could change the font to something small and tight.  I used Arial Narrow.  Even the longest of entries was small enough to fit into my Cracker.  After printing them out I simply cut them apart and folded them up.

Fill your crackers...

...then tie the open end closed
with a piece of curly ribbon.

Call me a worry wart ... I was worried that the cracker wouldn't pull apart in the middle like I wanted it to so my husband suggested that I encourage things along a bit by cutting a few slits in the paper. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the tissue paper using the perforations as a guide.

Decorate the ends of your Cracker with additional curly ribbon.  Here's how I did it...

Cut three pieces of two foot long curly ribbon.
Using the sharp edge of your scissors and holding the ribbon on the blade of the scissors with your thumb, quickly pull the ribbon...Voila!

Follow this process for each of the 
three pieces of ribbon. 

Stack all three pieces of curled ribbon on top of each other like in the photo on the left...

Place this stack on top of the end of your Cracker as shown and tie a knot with the 'tails' to hold it in place.

Glue or tape the 'band' around the center of your Cracker covering the perforations and slits.

Punching a whole in the end; attach a name tag if you are making enough for their mission companion and tie it on to the Cracker with the 'tails'... curl the 'tails.'

I made my tag by re-sizing a free printable that I downloaded from eighteen25 years ago.  It's one of my favorite printables and we have it hanging in our entryway (see the photo at the beginning of this post) at the beginning of every year.  Download the printable and just cut and paste it into a document.  Grab the corners to make it any size you desire.  By holding down the 'shift' key you can keep the proper proportions.

Click here to view the free Happy New Year printable from eighteen25.

We tested the crackers out a couple of times and they worked perfectly!

I put a couple of other little goodies in this package:
It's New Years which brings to mind goals and resolutions.
I found this free printable from Darling Doodles that was perfect!
It even fit my color scheme!

This is a full 8.5 x 11 printable and I wanted it to fit in their scriptures so again,
download, then paste into a document and re-size to whatever size you desire.
I turned my paper to 'landscape' and fit two on a page...

Click here to view the free What a Year it Will Be printable from

The other day I watched a new video from the Mormon Channel called
New Years:  Look Not Behind Thee
I was really touched by the thoughts that were discussed
and created this free printable which I also included in my package.
Great advice for the New Year; for my missionary and for all of us...

Click here to download the above 5 x 7 printable.

Print onto white cardstock.  Write in the last name of each missionary before attaching to Cracker.

Everything fits nicely into the small Flat Rate box.  You can fit three crackers into a box (for those missionaries that are in companionships of three).  Don't forget to include a goal sheet
for each of them. Wrap everything in coordinating (...of course!) tissue paper.
Place Cracker 'definition' card on top of the package which will instruct the missionary
what to do with their Cracker i.e. "...and pops when pulled sharply at both ends."

Ta'da!  Finished!

Even though this is a tremendously LONG post, making the Crackers only took about
30 minutes and was a lot of fun to make.  Your missionary will absolutely LOVE them...

Happy New Year!!


  1. Oh my gosh, what a TERRIFIC idea! My daughter's on a mission right now -- obviously it's too late to send her for this New Year, but next year she'll still be in the field so I am definitely doing it then!! Thanks!!

  2. I hope she will LOVE it! Thanks for taking the time to comment...Best to your missionary!