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DIY Crackers for New Year's Eve

Remember how fun it was pulling Christmas crackers at dinner? Well, we had loads of fun making these homemade crackers last year to pull during our New Year's Eve celebrations with the kids! They are easy to make with just recycled materials and a few odds and ends to pop inside.

If you want to try these (and you definitely should!) all you need are some paper rolls. leftover tissue paper. glue, and bits of string or ribbon. You might also want some stickers or whatever you have on hand to decorate with.

First, we got some empty paper roll tubes and cut them to about 5 inches long (one paper towel roll cut in half).

Using a pair of scissors, we cut along the diagonal line where the tube has a seam. Cut about two thirds of the way along the roll, following the seam, leaving just the last third intact.

Cut some leftover tissue paper from gifts to about double the length of the tube and wide enough to wrap the tube in. Then reform the tube back into its original shape and roll the tube up in the paper. Seal the edge lightly with some glue.

Using some

string or ribbon, tie the tissue at one end. Then fill the tube with a few small surprises*! Once it's filled, tie the other end, too.

Finally, decorate the paper with more stickers or whatever you like.

When the time comes to pull the cracker, one person pulling each end will tear the tissue paper and the roll will fall open, spilling treats!

*When I asked the kids what they thought we should put in our crackers, they raced around the house gathering up small things that we already owned: hair clips, tiny figures, candy, dress-up jewelry, etc. They each picked some 'surprises' for the other one's cracker. It was so sweet to see how absolutely delighted they were to find out what the other one had surprised them with, even though it was something that was already theirs! However, some other suggestions to put inside might be:

* a joke printed on a tiny scroll of paper

* a sprinkling of glitter, if you don't mind a bit of mess

* a wrapped chocolate

* enough loom bands, loose, to make a bracelet and/or a loom band charm

* glow sticks (you'll need to make sure you cut your roll long enough for these)

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