How to make Crackers

Crackers are a great “extra” for murder mystery dinner parties.  They aren’t just for Christmas, rather they’re a unique party favour – especially when you make them yourself as you can add in more expensive or themed party favours tailored to your guests.

They aren’t difficult to make either.

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

  •  A cardboard tube for each guest. Used toilet roll tubes will do, but you may want to use something larger or smaller depending on what you plan on putting inside.
  • A roll of wrapping paper, or crepe paper, or other fancy paper.       You need enough to cover all the tubes. Experience will tell you how much this is, but rule of thumb is to buy more rather than less; after all, you can always use it to wrap up presents later in the year if you have any left over. Use a thicker quality rather than thin. This makes the crackers less likely to break during manufacture!
  • Cracker fillers. This can be anything you like from homemade truffles, small magnifying glasses, even the character booklet itself, to paper party hats and more traditional fillers. REMEMBER – it has to fit inside the tube!
  • Fancy ribbon. This is for tying at either end of tube.
  • Sticky tape. You can use either single sided or double sided, the double sided variety makes for a better finish.
  • Cracker snaps. These are optional, and can be obtained at any good craft store.   With a quick internet search you should be able to find a few on-line suppliers in your area who will post you a pack of 12.

 

HOW TO DO IT:

 

  • Cut card board tube to the size you require. Toilet roll tubes usually look too long in a cracker.       If you remove one third of a toilet roll tube the cracker looks the more traditional shape.
  • Take a measuring tape and wrap this around the toilet roll tube.       This is to get an idea of the circumference of the tube. When you have the measurement add another ½ inch / 1.5 cm for overlap.       Write this number down. Call this the breadth measurement.
  • Using the same tape measure the length of the tube and then measure the circumference. Write these two numbers down. To calculate how long your cracker will be multiply the length by 3 and add to this number twice the diameter measurement. This is the length measurement.
  • Cut out your first piece of wrapping paper using the length and breath measurements.
  • With a ruler measure to the mid point of your length. Mark it. Now take the measurement of the cardboard tube again and halve it.       Measure this distance from the point you have marked and make another mark, then go back to your first mark and repeat the process in the other direction. You should now have three marks in the middle of one of the longest sides. (A) Repeat this process on the opposite side of the paper (B) and then draw a line  across the paper linking the two outside lines on the opposite side. (C) See diagram below. Diagram is not to scale but should give you a rough idea of what to do!

a

b c

 

 

 

 

A.                                                                                B.                                                                          C.

  • Now, halve the diameter measurement of the tube. And measure this distance from the two outer lines and draw another two lines. See diagram below. (D)

2nd diagram

 

 

 

 

  • Fold the paper (patterned side in on itself) along the new outer lines, and carefully cut small darts along the line. See Diagram below. (E) REMEMBER this diagram is NOT to scale. The triangles are there to show the direction of the darts only!       You should make your darts a lot smaller! Taking care to still ensure there is a gap between darts (as otherwise you will just cut your paper in two!)

3rd diagram

 

 

 

 

 

  • Repeat the process on the other side. Then open the paper back up. You should now have a long piece of paper with diagonal cut outs running parallel where your two lines used to be. See diagram F. Darts should run right across, not as shown. (Blame the computer! I can’t ever get it to do what I want!)

4th diagram

 

 

 

  • Now for the easy part! Roll your sheet of paper around your cardboard tube so that the tube is in the middle section, and then use your tape to fasten the paper together, making sure you also fasten each end.
  • If using cracker snaps, thread this through the centre of the tube now.
  • Use your fancy ribbon and tie a bow around the darted area gathering the paper wrapping carefully. (Don’t over tighten and rip through your carefully cut darts as you’ll have to start all over again!)
  • Insert your cracker fillers into the tube and then tie the next ribbon around the opposite end, gathering at the darted section.
  • If using cracker snaps tape the ends carefully to the paper wrapper at either end. (This stops them falling out!)
  • FINISHED! One anyway – now you have the rest to do!

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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  

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