We show you how to make your own Christmas crackers - a fun, inspiring and cost-effective alternative this Christmas.

What you need

** A4-size paper (this can be any type of thin paper similar to wrapping paper)

** Glue gun, glue or Sellotape

** A kitchen roll/loo-roll barrel

** String or shoelace

** A snap

** Decorations

** A gift, or toy or sweet

1. Divide the A4-size paper into three by scoring it lightly. Cut up the kitchen-roll barrel into three parts, ensuring that one piece is slightly larger than the others. This will form the central part of the cracker

Christmas cracker instructions

2. Tape or glue the snap, only sticking the ends to the paper to make sure it’ll snap. Place the three parts of the barrel in the centre of each section of the paper

Christmas cracker instructions

3. Using a tight grip and rolling away from yourself, roll the paper onto the barrel, tucking in the edges neatly. Then glue or tape the seam of the crackerChristmas cracker instructions
4. Using a piece of string, tie around the paper at the ends of the central section in the paper to create a neck at either end of the crackerChristmas cracker instructions

5. Add gifts to the cracker by dropping them carefully into one end. Personalise your crackers by adding decorations such as bows and ribbonsChristmas cracker instructions

For more tips, visit www.crackers.co.uk