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Are you running late?

Never fear! The best of us get a little bit behind schedule from time to time (or all the time). If you are one of many who are spending your Christmas eve day chasing store closing deadlines this quick little DIY should help you out a lot. The best part? You (likely) won’t have to spend a cent. If you have visited a trendy store at any time over the past year and have a paper shopping bag hanging around then this DIY will save your gift-lacking behind. This crafty little bon bon uses nothing more than a fancy paper bag, some scissors and glue (and masking or sticky tape if you like) to turn recycling fodder into an upcycled gift.

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The Goods You Need

So to recap you will need:

  • Paper shopping bag with a pretty print that you think deserves a second life.
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Masking or stick tape
  • Twine (if your bag doesn’t have pretty handles like mine does).

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What to do.

This really is a simple DIY. What you have to do first is download and print (A4 sized), or trace the bon bon template which is here. This is the template for your bon bon. Yes, printing a template is a bit of a waste of paper but if you file it somewhere you can reuse it year after year to DIY your own bon bons each Christmas. You can also print on the back of some scrap office paper to up your recycling game

  • Untie the handles on your bag.
  • Pull the cardboard bottom out of the bag and place it aside (it will be the roll in your bon bon).
  • Break the bag down (by hand or with scissors) to maximise the amount of pretty paper bag you have to work with.

cracker_5The next bit.

Cut around the bon bon template and lay it down on the paper you will be making your bon bon out of (place this paper print side down so you don’t end up with pencil markings on the print). Using a pencil trace around the bon bon template to create as many crackers as possible from the piece of paper you are working on. Cut around each of the bon bon template tracings being sure to cut as per the instructions on the template. This means folding in half (as per the image above) and cutting out all the triangles (when you unfold you will have diamond shaped cut outs). Be sure to cut open the tab slots so you can inset the tabs, you should be able to do this with scissors but a retractable Stanley knife is even easier.

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cracker_6Creating the core for your bon bon.

Using the cardboard bit you have ripped out of the bottom bit of your shopping bag create a tube. It get the right size for the tube measure it up against the template (as shown above) and cut accordingly. Roll the card into a cylindrical shape and fix it with glue or making tape. Spread some glue over the cylinder and glue the bon bon paper to it

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Putting it together.

Slot your tabs together and use some glue or masking tape to affix them if needed. Close one side of the bon bon using the shopping bag handles or some twine. As the shopping bag used in the example had thick handles I cut them down to make the ‘ribbon’ smaller and more suited to the bon bon. This also meant that I could make multiple bon bon’s from the same bag as there was enough ribbon to do three. Leave one end open to add your goodies.

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What to put in the bon bon.

These bon bons were stuffed with some natural bliss balls, made from dates, cacao, almond meal, and desiccated coconut put in the blender and rolled into balls. These balls were then rolled in extra coconut for a more festive look and stored in the fridge to firm. They were wrapped in (recycled) biodegradable cellophane before inserting into the tube of the bon bon.  You could make some edible goodies like this for your bon bon gifts or you could go for something a little more tangible. Some suggestions would be:

  • Stationery.
  • Knickers, Socks or Jocks (depending on the side of the item you might need to enlarge the cracker template to suit).
  • Jewellery
  • Hair and beauty accessories
  • Reusable produce bags
  • Tech accessories (a set of earbuds would fit perfectly in this)

What ideas do you have for bon bon filling? Have you used shopping bags as a different upcycle? Share any reflections, comments or suggestions below.