Having Melbourne designer Beci Orpin decorate for Christmas is something even her own family gets a kick out of. “I’m definitely in charge of the decorations,” Orpin says.
There is no traditional look or feel for an Orpin Christmas though. “I’m so disorganised that usually two days before Christmas I’m running around organising things. Every year it’s quite colourful, and changes depending on my inspiration.”
Ms Orpin has just released a new book, Home, featuring 25 do-it-yourself crafts for separated into three sections; living space, sleeping space and eating space.
One creation in Home – the bon bons – are the only certainty to make the Orpin Christmas table this year.
“I just did it on TV (recently) and my mum texted me and said ‘Let’s have a bon bon making workshops,’ so that’s what we’ll be doing this year.”
Orpin’s bon bon reflects the high quality of design in the book, which is also easy for the lay-person to emulate. Each is inspired by slightly different stories and desires – the bon bons were born from an empty toilet roll.
“My son likes to unravel toilet paper a lot so we end up with lots of toilet rings. I think my kids are a bit old now they are not into making castles out of paper and I was thinking about it and looking at an empty toilet roll and that’s where it came from.
“Then we did a lot of testing with paper to see which worked best tearing wise and it was crepe paper. Our Christmas decorations seem to disappear every year, we are not good at saving them, so we make more. We let the kids decorate the tree and it ends up looking hilarious.
“The kids will always add their own weird touch, last year they got stuffing from cushions and put them all over the tree for snow, they always put Lego men too.”
Beci’s bon bons
My family doesn’t go in for Christmas in the big traditional manner, but we still have a nice family celebration. It’s usually a casual affair, with lots of people down at my mum’s beach house, and (my husband) Raph and me cooking for everyone. It’s super fun.
Despite our lack of traditions, we do love a bonbon. Who can resist a paper hat and a cheesy joke? Not me. Here are some bonbons you can make yourself.
You will need
- 6 cardboard toilet roll centres or any other cardboard rolls
- 6 mm (¼ in) circle punch
- acrylic paint and paintbrush
- crepe paper
- clear cellophane (on the roll is good, if you can get it)
- coloured card and paper
- pencil or felt-tip marker
- scissors and string
- washi tape
Paint the cardboard rolls. I chose different colours for the outside and inside.
Make confetti for the outside using the circle punch or use the scissors to make different shapes.
Cut some small pieces of paper and write messages or jokes.
Cut lengths of crepe paper and cellophane. Make the cellophane slightly shorter than the crepe paper, so that it when the bonbon is pulled, it is just the crepe paper (the cellophane won’t tear). Wrap crepe paper around the cardboard roll, making sure the roll is approximately in the middle. Secure with washi tape.
Twist one end of the crepe paper closed, then add your fillings and twist the other end. If you are adding bangers, insert one before twisting the first end.
Lay a piece of cellophane out and sprinkle on some confetti.
Place the crepe paper roll on the cellophane and confetti and wrap the cellophane around it, securing with washi tape. Try to make sure the confetti is evenly distributed around the roll (you can do this after it has been secured by tapping it gently)
Twist the ends of the cellophane with the crepe paper and secure with string tied in a bow.
Activity from Home: 25 Amazing Projects for your Home ($39.95) from Hardie Grant.