How to Incorporate Rose Quartz and Serenity into Your Dorm Decor

CL dorm decor 1

Moving into unknown places where you have no idea what to expect can be hard. Classes and extracurriculars can be even more difficult and stressful, but coming back to your dorm should help relieve these feelings. When you lay down in your bed it should feel like home, because it is your home.

To make your dorm feel more like home, consider adding rose quartz and serenity into your room. Rose quartz is the crystal of love—not only the kind of love you feel when you’re with your significant other—but every kind of love you can experience. You might say rose quartz and serenity go hand-in-hand, but serenity is the sense of relaxation.

Pantone says rose quartz and serenity are the colors of the year. The pale blue and powder pink balance each other out for a timeless look. This look provides the perfect combination of comfort and energy, which is great for a new room.

Here are some ways to get the look:

Noise Concealing Rug

Add a light blue plush noise concealing rug. A sheepskin throw rug is a spa’s secret to keeping sounds from echoing. Not only are these rugs noise concealing, but also the plush material feels great against your toes after a long day.

Accent Furniture

A dorm room isn’t big enough to add a couch or anything of that size, but you have some space to add a chair. Oprah suggests adding a powder pink chair about the size of a butterfly chair to go with your light blue rug.

CL pic 4

Bed and Pillows

On your twin bed, add a pink duvet bed cover with some light blue accent pillows.  This adds serenity with the light blue and rose quartz with the pink.

Contrast

The best thing to do with rose quartz in a room is to add a lot of contrast. This way it stands out. This is also why the pale blue goes so well with the powder pink—it adds just enough contrast without being too harsh.

Wall Decor

It’s hard to decorate your dorm, especially since you can’t paint or nail anything to the walls. Instead, buy a 5×7 canvas and paint supplies. Stylecaster recommends some whimsical prints with the powder pink as the pattern and the light blue as the background. When you hang it up, be sure to use adhesive strips rather than hanging it with nails.

Here at College LifestylesTM , we hope these helpful tips make you feel more at home in your dorm. These balancing colors will light up your room and your mood!

For more great articles check out the links below:

How to Use Rose Quartz and Serenity in Makeup

DIY Nautical Decor

Dorm Décor Dos & Don’ts

First image courtesy of Amanda York.

Second image courtesy of Just2shutter/freedigitalphotos.net.

DIY Paint Night

paint

Paint night events are one of the hottest and growing trends right now. Luckily, College LifestylesTM has all the inside details you need to hold a classy party of your own! Whether it is a recruitment event or a sisterhood bonding event, this unique idea will be sure to give sisters long lasting cheer and memories.

Paint preparations

The first thing that needs to be done, of course, is reserving a date, room and time. It is beneficial if you have a sink or bathroom nearby to easily wash the brushes afterwards. Reach out to sisters and see who would be willing to take charge of the painting aspect of the night so she has ample time to get ready.

When it comes to supplies, you want more than you need to assure that there will be enough paint and brushes for everyone. Also make sure everyone will have the correct sizes of brushes she needs to create her masterpiece. Lastly, pick a canvas size and make sure you buy enough for everyone, or have each sister bring one of her own.

paint2

“I think paint nights are great because they bring everyone together to do something fun.”—Emily Sauchelli, freshman, Hofstra University

Pick your art 

When it comes to picking a design, it is best to do something chic, but simple enough that everyone will be able to execute it. It will become stressful if sisters have trouble following along because they are too busy painting a bunch of intricate lines. We recommend picking a design that uses only a few colors so you don’t have to buy so much paint.

“It is a great event to invite everyone to. Even if people are not artistic, they all get to practice together and make beautiful creations.” —Rita Cinquemani, sophomore, Hofstra University

paint 3

Practice makes perfect

Make sure the sister who will be teaching the class practices beforehand so she has a reference to use. If she has done it before, she will be more comfortable teaching others while painting her own artwork.

“My favorite part was seeing how every sister put her own artistic spin on the painting!”—Julia Gomel Dunn, sophomore, Hofstra University 

Bits and bites

To add a little something extra to the event, you can serve small appetizers and drinks. A drink that is always a sorority hit is Sprite and pineapple juice for a sweet, fizzy treat.

With these simple steps, we are sure you and your sisters will have a fabulous paint night event!

 Check out CL’s other sisterhood DIY ideas below:

DIY Waffle Robe with Letters

DIY Sorority Cooler

DIY Sorority Bows

paint 4

Top image courtesy of Sara Whitman.

Second image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/SimonHowden.

Third image courtesy of Epsilon Kappa chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma.

Bottom image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/kdshutterman.

 

DIY T-Shirt Rug

Tshirt1

Have you ever heard of a DIY project that only required one material? You probably have not. Most DIY crafts end up costing more than you hoped for after purchasing all the materials needed to make it. College LifestylesTM is happy to introduce an absolutely free craft with only one material necessary!

“I love doing crafts but sometimes I stop before I even start because I will look up how many items are needed; and I am too lazy to go to the store or don’t want to spend all that money for something I’m making myself.” –Giana LaBanca, junior, Loyola University

Now you must be wondering what this material is. It is nothing more or less than a simple pair of scissors. Of course you are going to need t-shirts as well, but this goes without saying, and it is a given you already own them.

tshirt2

“For a broke college student, I am thinking of making all my Christmas gifts this year. Who doesn’t like a handmade rug as a present?” -Martine Campana, junior, Iona College

 Directions:

Make the fabric of your t-shirts into long strands. Do so by cutting the shirts into strips about an inch wide, and as long as you want it. If you have a print on your shirt, you’re going to cut the print off first then make strips out of the remaining blank fabric.

Hint: if you continuously cut the shirt by using the whole body, you can gather up a long enough strand of fabric to make yarn, which should be your goal.

Gather all of your strands together and tie a knot at the top and begin to braid as you would your own hair.

Gradually coiling the braid into a circle as you continue to work, keep the knot in the center.

The rest of your rug making will consist of passing your current strand to the braid to attaching it, until your rug is complete. Enjoy!

“My little sister made a t-shirt rug before, and I honestly thought she bought it at Home Goods or something. It was so professional looking.” –Gianna Cuomo, senior, Iona College

tshirt3

 

Happy rug making. Feel free to share your fabulous craft with the College LifestylesTM team by tagging your photo to @Collegelifestyl on Twitter and Instagram!

 Take a look at more classy articles:

 Quick & Easy NYE Decor

New York Fashion Week Street Style

 How to Plan Your Fitness Routine Around Chilly Weather

tshirt4 Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

 

How to Have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in Your Dorm

cb1

Thanksgiving is the part of the semester that college students tend to crave the most. It’s the first time they get to go home since beginning classes, get to see all of their family in one place and eat the tastiest home cooked meal of the year.

But what happens if you can’t go home for Thanksgiving? Flight fees, long distances between college and home and families that live in separate households are just a few of the reasons some co-eds might be looking for an alternative way to celebrate this holiday with the new, life-long friends they’ve made on campus.

There is no other classic television sitcom that understands the warmth behind a rag-tag bunch of friends than that of “The Peanuts”. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a staple in most households at this time of the year and gives us the perfect example of a no-fuss and lighthearted Thanksgiving dinner that is super easy for you and your friends to recreate. With just a few key elements, you can have your dorm room looking like Charlie Brown’s backyard in no time.

1. Decorations

You can have little leaves and mismatched chairs and anything with popcorn to decorate!” –Casey Rae Meier, senior, Point Loma Nazarene University.

In an iconic scene in this episode, Snoopy pulls out an old ping-pong table to set up for dinner. To do this in your own dorm, grab a large sheet of green construction paper from your local crafts store and cut to the size of your table that you’ll be using. Next, take a white colored pencil or chalk and draw half circles on either end, with a line down the middle to make your table look like the perfect place to play ping-pong. You can even leave out some fun markers for your guests to draw and write notes on the table during your meal.

It’s so easy to make any kind of decoration out of construction paper. Have your guests cut out cute leaves from red, orange and brown paper that you can now tape around the room. And with the right folds, you can even make pilgrim hats or feathered headbands to add to the festivities.

cb2

2. Food

“I think it would be the best thing to have peppermint patties for dessert along with all the other things that were served in the show.” –Asia Baltzley, senior, Point Loma Nazarene University.

Buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans. These are the four food groups from which Charlie Brown and Snoopy make a huge feast for all their friends. Although these snacks may not constitute a whole meal, in the spirit of Charlie Brown’s eager culinary skills, you can easily spice up his menu.

Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and dip the pretzel rods in for a fun treat. Just lay them out on a baking sheet covered in wax paper and stick them in the fridge for a few hours to harden. For your toast, create a bar with all sorts of toppings like butter, jam, peanut butter, Nutella, honey, cinnamon and fresh fruit. Your guests will be able to choose their favorites and make their main course as sweet as can be.

Finally, for those lovely-looking milkshakes, simply put half a frozen banana, half a cup of frozen cherries or strawberries and half a cup of almond milk into a blender and mix. Top off with some whipped cream and a cherry.

cb3

3. Fun

“I wish our school had a football field. It would be such a great idea to go kick the ball around just like Charlie Brown did!” –Kayla Gay, senior, Point Loma Nazarene University.

What’s Thanksgiving without football? After you and your friends are done telling each other what you’re thankful for and wolfing down your feast, head outdoors for a little game of passing the ball around. The more the merrier, so send some texts to all your friends to get them in the Thanksgiving spirit.

With just a few easy steps, you can be a gracious host and have an on-campus, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to rival the one you watch on television every year.

Check out these other great party planning articles:

Intern Kitchen: Halloween Party Snacks

DIY Homecoming Party

Five Outdoor Party Hacks

cb4

First image courtesy of Elizabeth Pode.

Second image courtesy of Antpkr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Third image courtesy of Winnond/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Last image courtesy of Digidreamgraphics/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

DIY Ping Pong Ball Lights For Your Dorm

pingpong

When it comes to decorating your room, lighting is a fun and easy way to add personality and flair. Café lights are trendy and beautiful, but they can be costly, and twinkle lights can get boring quickly. For a fun and vibrant project, try creating DIY ping pong ball lights with this College Lifestyles™ fabulous guide.

Materials:

A string or two of lights, either white or multicolored depending on preference

Enough ping pong balls to cover each individual bulb

An Xacto knife or drill bit (3/16)

A hot glue gun

Directions:

To begin, make sure to check your string of lights for any shortages or broken bulbs. An alternative to traditional twinkle lights is LED lights. Sayyes.com suggests that LED lights are better because they do not get hot after a long time. So, if you plan to keep these on, make sure to unplug them every once in awhile. Set them aside for the meantime.

Lights

Lifehacker.com finds that buying your ping pong balls in bulk online versus in small packages in stores saves you lots of money in the long run. Grab your ping pong balls and exacto knife. Very carefully cut a small “x” just large enough for the light to fit through. Be sure to cover your hands so you don’t cut yourself! Use gloves when cutting the x’s as the ping pong balls can be slippery.

If you find that a few are slightly too large for the bulb, simply use your hot glue gun to glue down the ball to the end of the light. After you’ve practiced a few times, it will be easy to judge the perfect size for each “x.”

BULBS

Instructables.com suggests that if you happen to have more advanced tools on hand, a drill bit is another option for creating the holes in your ping pong balls. A C-clamp can be used to hold down the ball to make a stable platform. This method is also great if you don’t have a glue gun on hand, because the ping pong ball will fit snuggly over the light.

Once you’ve done this, repeat the steps until each bulb is covered. You now have stylish DIY cafe lights ready to liven up any room.

For more great projects, check out the links below:

DIY T-Shirt Quilt

Three Pinterest Crafts We Tried This Week

Three DIY Crafts You Can Make With Books

Cafe

First image courtesy of Elizabeth Angarola.

Second image courtesy of paladin13/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Third and fourth images courtesy of nipitphand/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

DIY Thanksgiving Placecards

DIYplacecard1

 

Want to make Thanksgiving a little more special while incorporating your crafting skills? College LifestylesTM has the perfect DIY project with materials you probably already have in your home. Not only will your sophisticated placecards be free, but they will also become the conversation starter for the holiday.

“It’s always nice to dress up the dinner table a little extra special on Thanksgiving. My mom always uses nice table napkins or placecards.” – Nicole Tartarone, junior, Sacred Heart University

Materials:

Paint

“Thank You” Cards

Ribbon

Paint Brush

Scissors

DIYplacecard4

Directions:

We all have spare “thank you” stationary cards tucked away in the junk draws. Now is the time to get them out and bring them to another use! Paint over the card entirely until the writing on the card is completely covered and unseen.

Once this layer of paint is dried, you’re ready to paint you’re family members names on your cards. Believe it or not, I wrote my names down with black nail polish and it resulted in a cool, faded and rustic font.

Use your scissors to cut two holes on the top of your placecard. Now, pull your ribbon through the holes and finish off with a classy bow!

“I never wanted to buy placecards because I felt it’s just too much money to spend when you’re already spending so much for Thanksgiving, but knowing that I can make them for basically free makes me want to put in the effort.” –Gianna Cuomo, senior, Iona College

DIYplacecard3

 

These simplistic placecards take only minutes to complete. Since you’re using stationary cards, consider writing a cute little note to your family member inside their placecard, making this holiday memento worth cherishing and bringing home.

“I love decorating for the holidays! I want to make these placecards for Thanksgiving this year and see if my family believes I actually made them.”- Martine Campana, junior, Iona College

Hopefully, you end up with a really lovely result you and your family will be happy with this holiday!

 Here’s more Thanksgiving articles from College LifestylesTM :

 DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

 Five Casual Thanksgiving Looks

 DIY Thanksgiving Host Gifts

DIYplacecard2

Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

 

 

DIY Fall Centerpiece

 

DIYcenterpiececover

 

Is your table looking a little bare? No worries. College Lifestyles TM has a fabulous and easy project for you to tackle. This centerpiece project can be done in less than ten minutes. You probably already own all of the objects needed, making this project free- can’t beat that. Another great aspect of this project is that it salvages the pretty jar of your finished candles!

“I like to change up the decorations in my home every now and then or when the season changes to get a nice seasonal vibe going.” –Gianna Cuomo, senior, Iona College

DIYcenterpiece3

 Materials:

Paint (any color you like)

Finished Candle (or a candle you no longer want to use)

Fake Flower

“I like this craft because it is very easy. You do not have to be incredibly artsy to do it, and I always end up throwing away my candles after they finish, but wish I could keep them because they have such a pretty shape.” –Giana LaBanca, junior, Loyola University Maryland

Directions:

Take your candle and make sure to take off any price stickers on it before painting. Consider gathering a few candles of different sizes so you can make your centerpiece even more stylish.

Start painting! For my centerpiece, I used the old paint from when I repainted my room. This paint was nice and thick so I only needed to do two coats when painting.

Light the candle so the little wax left will get hot. Blow out the fire and place the stem of the fake flower in the wax so that when the wax dries the flower will be firmly placed.

DIYcenterpiece2

You can paint a pattern on the candle once your base paint is dry, but feel free to keep it simple and sophisticated if you wish! Another cool idea can be decorating your candle jar with Flash Tattoos.

“I think when I go to make this project I want to incorporate the Flash Tattoos I didn’t use from Halloween!” –Nicole Tartarone, junior, Sacred Heart University

Have fun with your centerpiece project, and make it your own! This is a project where personal style can be added. Not to mention, this can even make for a great housewarming gift.

On a crafty crave? Here are some more awesome DIY projects:

 Five Fun DIY Crafts with Halloween Candy Wrappers

 DIY Melted Crayon Art

 DIY Shadow Box

DIYcenterpiece1

Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

 

 

 

Five Fun DIY Crafts with Halloween Candy Wrappers

candywrappers3

I know it’s hard to restrain from thinking about doing anything with candy aside from eating it, but bear with me here. College LifestylesTM has innovative ideas to share with you about how to turn your Halloween candy wrappers into cool crafts.

Candy Halloween Costume

Be candy for Halloween! It’s not an overly used costume and can make for some great, colorful and fun photos. The craft is easy; all you need is candy wrappers, a hot glue gun and a cheap corset top you can find at your local Joyce Leslie, Rainbow or even Marshalls. Glue all your wrappers over the corset until it is completely covered with candy wrappers. Pair your newly crafted top with a fun tutu and perhaps some matching stockings and bam! You are a funky little candy.

“I think a candy Halloween costume is actually a really cool idea. I’ve never done it before, but I’m willing to try.” –Brittany McHugh, senior, Berkeley College

candywrapper4 Revamped Folder

Take your boring white plastic folders and take your vibrant candy wrappers, glue them together and what do you have? An adorable new folder full of life, color and sweetness. Maybe now doing homework won’t start off boring.

candywrapper1

Gift Wrap

So you’re too lazy to run to the drug store and buy wrapping paper for the last-minute birthday gift you bought for your friend, but you see the candy your mom has prepared for the trick o’ treaters for next week… Oops! Sorry mom. Looks like you’re stuck buying more candy. If you have a Birchbox subscription and save the boxes, this craft can get that much easier for you. Place your gift in the box, or any other box you have around for that matter, and glue them on top of the box. You can also simply tape all the wrappers together and then wrap the gift how you normally would using your new candy wrapper-wrapping.

Graphic Art

You could probably make a really cool abstract collage with Halloween candy wrappers.” – Sara Nicole Whitman, sophomore, Hofstra University

Pop art and graphic art can be a huge statement in someone’s home. Bland and dull spaces are craving color, especially dorms which always need extra attention. You can get a poster board, however big or small you would like depending on the size you want your artwork to be and glue the wrappers on the board accordingly. Plan out if you are looking for a color theme or trying to convey a certain shape before you glue! Once your product is complete, frame it to give an elegant and sophisticated vibe.

Woven Bags

“I love the different woven bags and such made out of candy wrappers.” –Elizabeth Angarola, junior, University of San Francisco

Consider making a cute purse out of your candy wrappers. For this craft, make sure you have collected many wrappers. You can make a coin purse or clutch as well. It doesn’t have to be a bag.

 On a crafty binge? Check out more DIY projects here:

Top Five Halloween DIYs 2015

 DIY Yoga Mat

 DIY Dish Drying Rack

candywrapper2

Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

“Scream Queens” Inspired Halloween Décor

screamqueenscover

What’s scarier than Emma Roberts not appearing on season five of “American Horror Story?” Emma Roberts appearing in the first season of “Scream Queens.” College LifestylesTM has some great ideas for Halloween décor inspired by the hit new series.

“I was so disappointed when I found out Emma Roberts wasn’t continuing on “American Horror Story: Hotel,” but once I found out she would be starring on “Scream Queens,” I knew I would love the show.” –Giana LaBanca, junior, Loyola University

Elegant candlesticks, huge flower centerpieces in the foyer, and stark white furniture with crystal chandeliers make up the beautiful and eerie sorority house we can not help but feast our eyes on. How do we make our own humble abode look so perfectly terrifying?

“I love “Scream Queens.” It’s been my new favorite show. I can’t stop laughing and squirming”. –Brittany McHugh, senior, Berkeley College

Everyone thinks Halloween equals black, but “Scream Queens” proves to us Halloween really equals white. So pristine, immaculate and pure, the blood from a mysterious murder would look marvelous on some white roses. So, buy yourself some sophisticated white roses from your local florist, place them in a crystal vase and sprinkle just a drip of fake blood on a single rose for a hint of fright.

Screamqueens

Crystals are divine and scattered all throughout the scenes of the background of “Scream Queens” on the chandeliers. Go to your local craft store and buy some cheap fake diamonds and fill them into an oversized bowl, even place a fake spider or two for a classy Halloween spin.

Diamonds are glamours. Just like the sorority house featured in “Scream Queens”, so take advantage of these inexpensive craft pieces. Feathers are also cheap at craft stores and combine well with fake diamonds. Placing the feathers on the top of your centerpiece can make for a very dramatic and romantic decoration for your home.

screamqueens2

Candlesticks can work for year-round. They are comfy, stylish and elegant, but a gorgeous and intricate black one is perfect for Halloween. Light a bunch of them for a spooky vibe, straight from the show’s own vibe.

“When I think of Halloween, I think of candlesticks and witches.” – Gianna Cuomo, senior, Iona College

 On a Halloween kick? Check out some of these festive articles:

DIY Halloween Party Games 2015

DIY Halloween Decor

What to Wear: Office Halloween Party

Screamqueens4

Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

 

 

 

 

Top Five Halloween DIYs 2015

 

 

HalloweenDIYCover

Halloween is only a few weeks away, and even though  most of us have already decorated, it’s never too late to get your apartment into the holiday weekend. College LifestylesTM has some fun and vibrant ways to put your room in the holiday spirit.

Pumpkins

One of the easiest things you can use to decorate your apartment is to buy pumpkins. Make a day out of it. Grab a group of friends and head to your local pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins. Once you’re back on campus, you can carve and decorate the pumpkins. Since most universities and colleges don’t allow candles, pick up battery-operated tea lights at the local dollar store. Your Jack-o-lanterns can then be placed in your window or outside of your door.

PumpkinCarvingFinal

Creepy Halloween Living Room

This idea is easy and really affordable for any college student. To add a creepy effect to your living room, Country Living suggests draping white sheets over furniture. You can find white bed sheets at your local thrift store for just a few bucks. Run them through the wash once and then put them over your furniture.

Candy Holder

HGTV suggests making decorative candy and candle holders. Head to a dollar store and pick up candle holders in several sizes. While you’re there, pick up candles, real or battery-operated and candy, preferably no chocolate candy. Candy corn, Reese’s pieces or Skittles are a few options for this craft. Place the candy in the candle holders and then the candles on top of candy. You now have a stylish center piece for your countertop or table.

CandyCornFinal

Glowing Ghosts

Martha Stewart suggests making glow ghosts. All you’ll need is a pack of balloons, glow sticks and a black sharpie. Crack glow sticks and place inside the balloons and tie the bottom of the balloon. Draw a spooky face on the balloon and attach ribbon or string to them so they “float.”  Another option for a glowing ghost is simply filling a plastic milk jug with water and putting the glow sticks inside. This is a great alternative if you don’t want to have pumpkins.

Gravestones

Most dorms and apartments on campus encourage students to decorate their doors and some even do decorating contests. An easy way to decorate your door is to make gravestones. You’ll need paper and markers to do this easy decoration. If you have gray paper, cut it into the shape of headstones and then write your name and your roommate’s name on it, before taping them on your door. If you want to be extra crafty, add some grass to your door or you can make a whole display with bats, cats, a tree and a moon.

It’s never too late to get into the Halloween spirit and CL encourages you to put these spooky and chic DIYs to good use.

For more Halloween DIYs and tips, take at look at:

Top Five Stores to Shop for Halloween Décor 2015

DIY Halloween Party Games 2015

Top Five Halloween Costumes for You and Your Siblings: 2015

TombstonesFinal

Image courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Polyvore sets courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Five Tips for Keeping Plants in Your Dorm

plants_coverphoto

The easiest way to spruce up a drab dorm room is with a plant. The problem is that not everyone is great at taking care of plants. College LifestylesTM wants to help you learn how to take care of plants in your dorm room. Here are five fabulous tips for keeping plants in dorm rooms.

Amount of Plants

Limit the amount of plants that you have. You’re limited on space and taking care of too many plants can get complicated, especially when there are breaks.

“Just watch how many plants you have because when school breaks come up, you have to transport them all home or find people to water them.” – Allison Siglin, junior, West Chester University

plants_photo2

Containers

Choosing the right container for your plant will depend on the type of plant you own. Gardening Know How suggests finding a container with many drainage holes. If you have a moisture-loving plant, they suggest using a glass terrarium.

Soil and Watering

Gardening Know How recommends using a good quality houseplant soil mixture. They also recommend following the water instructions for the type of plant that you have.

plants_photo3

Low-Maintenance Plants

The best plants to have in a dorm room are low-maintenance plants. This makes it much easier on hard-working students who do not have time for plants requiring a lot of work.

“My roommate last year used to keep a cactus in our room and she would water it daily and it lasted pretty much most of the year! It was surprisingly a low-maintenance plant and she would keep it on her desk by the window.” – Stephanie LaBatt, sophomore, Ithaca College

“Make sure that your plants can survive in your room! Plants that are low-maintenance are best because they don’t need too much water or attention. If they do need extra water or sunlight, put them on the windowsill and set reminders to water them daily.” – Elizabeth Angarola, junior, University of San Francisco

Plant Suggestions

There are many fantastic low-maintenance plants that you can have in your dorm room. HGTV Gardens suggests Cuban Oregano, Snake Plant, Elephant Ear Kalanchoe and African Violet. Gardening Know How suggests an herb pot which can also be used when you’re cooking.

CL hopes you find these tips useful when considering getting a plant and when you are a beginner when it comes to taking care of your plants.

For more great articles, check out:

Pretty Plants for Your Dorm or Apartment

DIY Herb Box

How to Grow Your Own Herbs

plants_photo4

Image courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Image courtesy of hyena reality/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Image courtesy of holohololand/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

Top Five Stores to Shop for Halloween Decor 2015

Halloween1

 

The cold weather calls for warm and cozy furnishings to be added into the home. Deep reds, burnt oranges and soft browns represent the hues of fall, the hues perfect to add a touch of autumn class into any living space.

So where does one purchase these stable Halloween and fall-appropriate decorations? College Lifestyles TM has the list of the best places to get these goodies.

Dollar Tree

Every dollar is well spent at the Dollar Tree. Halloween and fall décor is only seasonal so you may not want to spend a load of cash-you can’t go wrong with spending just a dollar!

“Dollar Tree has been my favorite place the last few years! They have window clings, wall decorations and even little trinkets.” –Audrey Gardner, senior, Robert Morris University

Pier 1 Imports

This store may be on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it is by far on the classy spectrum as well. The second you walk into Pier 1 you can smell the immediate intake of fresh pumpkin blended with toasty almond. Of course, just like in the ads, you will find that the decorations will speak to you in more ways than one.

halloween2

Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Craft 

Not only can you find the perfect material at this store to make your Halloween costume, but you will also find stylish decorations. Walking through this famous craft store will make your creative side splurge on the perfect home treats!

“I personally love Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby. You can find so many cute decorations and also material to make your own decor if you like. The prices are reasonable too, just as long as you don’t go overboard (which is a little hard not to do!)” –Doni York, graduate student, Indiana State University 

halloween3Hallmark

Nope, not just the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States, but also an amazing provider of Halloween decorations. This store is a good spot to get chic decorations to last for years!

 I love Hallmark’s holiday decor. It’s expensive, though, but for Halloween-anything. If you were to purchase something from Hallmark, I’d stick to something of quality that you know you will want to reuse from year to year. I wouldn’t get fad items or novelty pieces. I’d stick to something classic looking.” –Jacqie Brooks, alumna, West Virginia University

 Target

 Target has everything…we all know that. Clothes, books, food, cards, beauty products, technology— ­­­­­­­­­­­­you name it, Target’s got it, and yes, that means they have cute Halloween and fall inspired decorations!

Keep this list in mind when you’re shopping for your seasonal home designs. All these stores are easily accessible and affordable. You will leave with a new friend to add to your collection of home décor!

 Check out other fall essentials here:

 Find Your Fit: Fall Boots

 Guy Talk: Fall 2015 Fashion/Beauty Trends

 How to Order Healthier Versions of Five Fall Starbucks Drinks

halloween4 Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

 

DIY Fabric Cork Board

Corkboardcover

Looking for a cute and stylish way to display your photos in your dorm or apartment? Instead of poking holes in the walls, which most schools don’t allow, why not make a vibrant bulletin board?  

College LifestylesTM is here to help you make this ideal display that is sure to add a nice pop of color to your room.

Materials

Unframed cork board

Fabric

Staple gun

Removable adhesive dots

Scissors

Decorative thumbtacks

Scissors

Large frame (optional)

Directions

Lay your cork board on the table and measure to the size you want. If you plan on making the board into a different shape, now is the time to outline the shape onto the board. Then use the box cutter to cut the shape out.

SuppliesDone

Once you have your board cut to your desired size and shape, measure the fabric. Martha Stewart says to cut the fabric about 2 inches longer than the board and place over the shape. Fold the excess fabric over the sides and staple to the underside of the cork, at about 1 ½ inch from the edge. Continue to staple the fabric to the board until you think it is secure enough.

After your fabric is in place you can now add ribbon to the board. Using the glue dots to hold it in place, make a crisscross pattern on the board or make a border on the board. You can also use a hot glue gun to secure the ribbon in place.

Your frame is now complete. If you want, you can place the board in a frame for extra support and border. JoAnn Fabrics suggests putting glue dots on chalkboard clothespins and clips, and  then attaching them to the boards. This helps prevent your items from getting pin holes in them.

boardsgood

Other options for making this board come from Better Homes and Gardens and HGTV.

Better Homes and Gardens uses a tea towel instead of fabric. This idea is clever, especially if you’re hanging the board in a kitchen. If you opt for this method the steps will be the same. Just make sure the towel fully covers the board.

HGTV suggests making a few fabric boards and then painting others to add more of a pop to your room.  By painting the other board, you can then write on them with chalk. This is a great way to keep in touch with your roommate or to make reminders of things.

Whichever way you choose to go with this project, it’s sure to not only make your dorm more colorful, but it’s an even better way to stay on top of things and keep yourself fabulous as midterms roll around.

For more tips at dorm décor, take a peek at:

DIY Chalkboard Frame

Three DIYs with Empty Cereal Boxes

Five Thrift Store Buys for Your Next DIY

boardgood

Top Image courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Polyvore sets courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

 

Three DIYs with Empty Cereal Boxes

cereal

Cereal always comes in handy when you’re in college. It is affordable, easy to put together and delicious to eat. Cereal comes in so many different forms that there is bound to be a special kind for pretty much anyone. But there is one more special thing about cereal that we’re sure very few people take notice of: the boxes.

Sure cereal boxes may just look like a normal cardboard box at first, but at second glance you’ll see a host of innovative DIY projects that you can try.

cereal1

1. Cereal Box Organizer

Martha Stewart makes use of her empty cereal boxes with this fun magazine organizer. Although this project shows the organizer holding magazines, you can pretty much put anything you’d like into these organizers. All you need is a pair of scissors and an empty cereal box and you’re set! You can even choose to wrap the boxes in a fabulous, decorative paper of your choice.

This DIY project comes in handy when you find your working space cluttered with important papers you just don’t want to throw away.

cereal22. Bookmarks

For all of the book-lovers out there, you can turn your cereal boxes into a bookmark. Instead of folding your pages over every time you decide to take a break from reading, take a couple minutes to replicate this simple DIY project. Buzzfeed includes this in a list of 31 other ideas of DIYs you can make out of cereal boxes.

This DIY calls for a paper cutter (for more precise edges) and a hole puncher so you can pull a piece of string through. And there you have it, a quick and easy way to make sure you never lose your spot just when your book’s getting good.

3. Drawer Organizer

Another organization tip from Home Aesthetics, for all of you budding young-adults, is to use your empty cereal boxes to better organize your drawers. You can cut the cardboard boxes into various shapes, making sure they all fit in the space provided by your drawers, and put anything you want into the compartments.

Once again, scissors, tape and decorative paper are all you really need for this simple DIY project. Turn your drawers into space for organization.

The DIY project ideas for empty cereal boxes are endless, from flashlights to pencil holders, you can transform your cereal boxes into anything with a little bit of creativity. Make sure you keep these ideas in mind before you throw out your cereal boxes next time.

cereal3

Top image courtesy of Alexus March.

All Polyvore sets courtesy of Alexus March.

DIY T-Shirt Quilt

DIYtshirtquilt

T-Shirt quilts are a fabulous accessory to snuggle up with as the cold weather approaches. Composed with all your old t-shirts from high school, college, sports teams and clubs, it will be a blanket full of memories.

Many people make t-shirt quilts when graduating high school or when starting college. The process of making a t-shirt quilt is a positive thing to do with those you made the memories with!

“We made them senior year of high school…it’s cutting out what you want from the t-shirt and making them all the same size. Then you sew them together with other fabric” –Ethan Aronson, junior, Quinnipiac University

Materials

Old t-shirts

Iron

Scissors

Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)

Fabric

Non-woven fusible fabric

DITquilt

Directions

Gather all the shirts you want to use and throw them in the laundry. Just do not use any fabric softeners!

“I would advise that you wash each shirt before using them so you have a clean blanket.” –Sara Nicole Whitman, sophomore, Hofstra University

Cut squares from the center of each shirt. Make the squares the same size, although you can switch up the sizes too if that’s the style you’re aiming for.

“You should always have a template before cutting. It’s helpful to have a piece of cardboard that matches the size you want each fabric square to be so that they all match.” – Doni York, graduate student, Indiana State University

Use your iron to iron the newly cut t-shirt on to non-woven fusible fabric, which can be bought online or in fabric stores. This is used so the shirt will not sag or stretch.

Get ready to sew! If you have a sewing machine, use that. If not, just do the project by hand- whichever makes you happy! You will be sewing the squares you cut with the fabric you bought together.

RESIZED DIYQUILT

Note: this step will be much easier if you pre-place where you want each square to be, rather than just grabbing a random piece and sewing it on.

You should be compiling your finished product at this point. The project may take a little time but you will have this comfy companion forever!

 Check out some more DIY projects:

DIY Chalkboard Frame

 Three DIYs with Empty K-Cups

DIY Big/Little Flower Crowns

DIYquilt

Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

DIY Chalkboard Frame

ChalkboardFrame

Dry erase and bulletin boards are both great ways to keep in touch with your friends and roommates during the school year. These boards are also great for helping keep your schedule and to-do list in order. But, if you’re looking for something a little more chic and creative, College LifestylesTM  has just the thing: a chalkboard.

Chalkboards aren’t just made for the classroom, especially when you make one just as stylish as the dry erase boards or bulletin boards you find at Target or Walmart.

Materials

Picture frame

Paint

Chalkboard paint or chalkboard spray paint

Chalk

Picture hanger and wire

Paint brushes

Nails

Hammer

Gloves (optional)

Wood stain (optional)

Accessories (optional)

Primer (Optional)

Welcome

Directions

This project can be done one of two ways. You can choose to decorate the frame itself or make the backer board the chalkboard. We will be focusing on the backer board frame this time around.

To start, take the frame apart and lay the pieces out on newspaper. If you are painting the frame for a more vibrant look, you can do that first and allow it to dry while you work on the backer board.

The DIY Network suggests priming the backer board before painting it. If you decide to do this, allow the primer to dry before you put the chalkboard paint on top.

Once the primer is dry, you can then apply the chalkboard paint to the surface. Remember to paint outside or in a well-ventilated space.

While the board dries, use this time to add accents to the frame. Use super glue or hot glue to keep the items in place. Also use the time to get the wall surface ready for hanging. If the frame doesn’t have a hanging wire, you will need to purchase a wire or hanger.

BackToSchool

After the items are all dried, reassemble the frame removing the glass from the frame. If you need to make the inserts larger, you can use a piece of cardboard or plywood.

Before you begin writing on the surface HGTV suggests rubbing chalk on the surface, and then erasing the board with a wet paper towel. This helps to prevent the future text and pictures from burning into the board in the future.

You can also use the chalkboard frame to display your favorite sayings or lyrics. Simply write the desired wording on the frame and add the glass piece in front of the chalkboard.

Realsimple.com suggests making the frame the chalkboard surface instead of the backboard. To do this, follow the steps above, but paint the frame instead of the board. Your accent piece will not only be the frame, but the photo inside.

Which direction you choose to take this project, it’s sure to add a stylish pop to your dorm or apartment this school year.

For more projects and idea to help you stay organized and trendy, check out:

DIY Binder Organizer

DIY Double Use: Wall Art and Clipboard Reminders

Dorm Essentials: Vision Board

Harvest

Top image courtesy of PicMonkey.

Polyvore sets courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Three DIYs with Empty K-Cups

emptykcups

It’s time to face the music: summer will be over soon. With fall quickly approaching, it’s time that we prepare for cooler temperatures. One way to successfully cope with chillier seasons such as fall, when all you want to do is cozy up in your bed, is get yourself a nice, hot beverage.

After the invention of the Keurig, making tea and coffee became whole lot easier.

But what do you do with your empty K-cups once you’re done enjoying that delicious, peppermint tea it so graciously helped create for you? Well don’t throw away your K-cups just yet; here are three lovely DIY projects you can try.

“I think Keurigs are super convenient and easy. I mostly use it for coffee and cappuccinos, and because I don’t have to go get my pods or anything, it’s just very quick and easy.” –Alejandra Ariza-Gonzales, senior, University of Maryland College Park

lights

1. Lights

String lights are a highly popular decoration among college students; you can buy them almost anywhere. According to Buzzfeed, if you manage to collect enough K-cups, cutting holes into the bottoms of them and stringing those lights into each cup is a great way to recreate a trendy look all on your own.

garden

2. Plants

For all of those with a particularly green thumb, these K-cups come in handy with creating your very own indoor garden. Most college students aren’t given much room for an entire garden of fruits and vegetables, however a majority of us are at least given a window to work with. K-cups, because they don’t take up much space, do a great job of serving as a home to smaller plants without taking up much room in the process.

3. Organizers

With the many assignments college students are required to write up and print out for their professors it can be pretty easy to let things like staples, paperclips and paper clamps, clutter your work-space. The problem with this is it becomes pretty difficult to be productive with small messes in your way.

According to a crafts article by Viralnova.com, K-cups work well as organizers and sorters of items like paperclips, rubber bands and pushpins. They’re a great way of making sure you know where everything is just in case you need something.

There you have it, K-cups are not only a great thing to have when you’re craving a nice warm drink, but they can also help with various other projects you probably never even thought of before. From decorators to organizers, there’s pretty much no limit to what these small pods can do.

small

Top image courtesy of Alexus March.

 All Polyvore sets courtesy of Alexus March.

Five Thrift Store Buys for Your Next DIY

Untitled

The thrift store is an amazing spot to find hidden treasures. Even items that seem shabby can have the potential to be turned into something amazing. Consider the thrift store your new craft store.

Men’s Jeans

Do not be fooled. Men’s jeans make the perfect high-wasted shorts. The project is easy! Cut the jeans into short length and distress them with tweezers. Then you can add studs on them or dip them in bleach for an ombre effect.

DIY shortsFurniture

Furniture is expensive in regular stores but at a thrift shop you can get a decent piece for 10 dollars. Picking a vibrant color of paint to touch it up or simply hand-painting some roses on the furniture could make it even more special.

“I bought a table at [a thrift shop] that was wooden with a glass top. I ended up painting it and covering the glass with a fabric I found at Jo-Ann’s and turned it into something that looked more like me and was perfect for my apartment. All for 11 dollars!” -Doni York, graduate student, Indiana State University

IMG_3688 Plates and Glasses

Many thrift shops have a section of drinking glasses and plates. Many of these items have an antique vibe and come in unusual colors. Using them as jewelry dishes or storage for cotton balls or things of that nature can be a smart alternative.

Flannel Shirts

Turn these into a cool Halloween costume (country girl, motorcycle chick, risky business) or just wear them as is!

“I love buying big flannels at the thrift store! They’re already broken in and comfortable – not to mention, much cheaper than getting them from another store! “ -Nora Hurchick, junior, Duquesne University

Clothes generally are awesome to buy at thrift stores. You can tweak them if you like by adding lace or adjusting the piece to your liking more, but many items are perfect as is!

“I always find good buys at the thrift store. But, my favorite buy is a jean jacket my best friend and I picked up a few summers ago. It has the baggy sleeves and the 80s/90s stone wash to it. I got to wear it during a presentation on the 90′s for my mass communications class and it’s also great for those cooler evening in the fall and spring with leggings and yoga pants.” -Audrey Gardner, senior, Robert Morris University

Candles

With the pretty drinking glass mentioned earlier, you can easily turn the glass into a lovely candle. Make your own candle! Just pour the wax inside and for scent squirt a few drops of any oils you like such as lavender oil.

Anything you get from a thrift shop will be a special item of yours. Making the item into something even more wonderful is just a cherry on top!

 For more cool DIY projects check out:

 DIY Binder Organization

 DIY Sorority Cooler

 DIY Maxi Skirt

IMG_3683

 Images courtesy of Toni Dawn Grimaldi.

 

 

DIY Dish Drying Rack

bannerdiy

Hands down the absolute worst part about being a young-adult is the fact that you have to wash dishes.  There’s nothing fun about washing dishes, especially when you don’t own a dishwasher. If you end up having to wash your own dishes, chances are you’ll be drying them on your own too. And because hand-drying freshly washed dishes can become a hassle, many of us rely on air-drying them.

With the dish racks sold in stores, air-drying your dishes just became a little harder. Many dish racks break easily, have a poor water-drainage system or aren’t big enough to hold larger pots. With these easy DIY instructions on creating your very own dish rack, you may just look forward to your next dish-washing session. According to Remodelista, a sourcebook for interior design, dishwashers are a home accessory that never quite look exactly how you want them to.

This DIY project will come in handy to students who share their kitchens with other students and just don’t have enough space for all of their belongings.

“The dishwasher that came with my apartment is too small and I wish it was bigger. Even at IKEA, they sell you the standard-sized dishrack and it can’t hold my and everyone else’s dishes.” –Justine Dawes, senior, University of Maryland College Park.

washingdiy

Materials:

Old shutters

Hooks

Nails

(Power) Drill

Spray paint

Newspaper

Directions:

Start by spray-painting the shutters with your color of choice to give it a cleaner look. Allow the paint to dry by resting the shutters on the newspapers.

Add the hooks along one side of the shutters, leaving enough space between each one of the hooks.

Use your power drill to begin attaching your shutters to the area you want your DIY dish rack to go. Make sure it’s securely in place.

Now you can add your plates, cups and bowls into the slots between each shutter. You can hang your mugs and pots onto the hooks.

polyvorediy

This DIY craft is not only efficient for drying dishes, but it’s chic too. Using shutters instead of your ordinary dish rack gives your kitchen décor a vintage-look. This is just one DIY dish rack technique you can go with, there are many others.

Another DIY dish rack, suggested by the Huffington Post, is the pencil dish rack. Using a cutting board, a drill and about 56 pencils, the Huffington Post’s craft of the day gives off a quirky look to this dish rack.

There are plenty of other ways you can achieve the creation of a trendy dish rack. Whichever one you choose definitely depends on your own personal style, so don’t hesitate to try this with your own personal twist.

For more easy DIY projects:

DIY Clothespin Photo Wall

Three DIY Crafts You Can Make With Books

DIY Sports Crafts

dishwasherdiy

Top image courtesy of Alexus March.

Second image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Third polyvore set courtesy of Alexus March.

Last image courtesy of Franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Three Pinterest Crafts We Tried This Week

PinterestCover

Over the last several years, Pinterest has become one of the most popular websites for crafters and DIY-ers alike. The website is home to rising modern clothing, recipes and décor. It quickly becomes addicting.

If you’re like many of us, you probably have tried several of the outfits, recipes and DIY projects you’ve pinned. With summer coming to a close, we here at College LifestylesTM want to show you some of the projects our team completed this week.

Clothespin Photo Wall

Hanging photos in your dorm or apartment can be tricky. CL has the perfect hack for you. All you need is clothespins and ribbon and paint. Decorate the clothespins however you like and then attach to the ribbon. Use command hooks to hang; they prevent damage to your walls. You now have a super chic and fun way to display your photos. If you aren’t a fan of the ribbon method, Martha Stewart suggests putting magnets on them, which you can then use on a dry-erase board or your refrigerator. DIY Network uses a wooden shape and attaches the clothespins to the platform. Then you can hang it on your wall or door.

PhotoWallMason Jar Crafts

Mason jars can add a nice pop to any room and are very versatile. From a pencil holder, vase or even a candle holder, we fell in love with the stylish trend.

“I found some great ideas for painting mason jars a while back on Pinterest and now it’s almost a hobby of mine. It’s the perfect task to do when you need to let go of stress because it’s repetitive and relaxing. I worked with an elementary class over the summer and had them do this as a craft and even they loved it! They actually asked me to bring in more. It’s something creative and fun for everybody.” – Doni York, graduate student, Indiana State University

MasonJarCanvas Art

Creations with canvases are a growing theme for many college students. Much like your options with the mason jars, canvases can be decorated with just about anything. Good Housekeeping has an article that lists several options you can do with the canvas. Break out whatever art supplies you have at home and set to work creating your new décor. Our favorite canvas art projects are melted crayons and monograms.

We hope these three crafts put you in a crafting spirit. They make great dorm and apartment décor for your new home away from home.

To learn how to make our Pinterest crafts, check out these articles.

DYI Monogram Canvas

DIY Clothespin Photo Wall

DIY: Things to Do With Mason Jars

Monogram

 Top and last Polyvore set courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Second image courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Third Image courtesy of Doni York.

 

 

Reintroducing: Audrey Gardner, Senior at Robert Morris University and Returning Dorm and Apartment Life Intern

FinalAudrey

Avid sports enthusiast and college journalist Audrey Gardner is a returning dorm and apartment life intern here at College LifestylesTM. A senior at Robert Morris University this fall, Audrey has her plate piled high with amazing opportunities and tons of fun to get her through the semester.

CL had the opportunity to meet with Audrey to find out what makes her such a fabulous co-ed.

College Lifestyles™ position:  Apartment and dorm life writer.

Hometown: Munhall, Pennsylvania.

School: Robert Morris University.

Major(s)/Minor(s)/Concentration(s):  Communications with a concentration in advertising. I plan on adding a minor in sport management this year too.

Organizational involvement: I’m a member of RMU Sentry Media, [my] school’s converged media center. I’ve done stuff with radio and TV, but my main beat is with one of the club hockey teams. I am also involved with the Society of Collegiate Journalists and She’s the First.

I am excited for this semester because: It’s the start of my senior year! I’m doing a lot this year starting with a new job; I’m returning to CL for my second semester [and] I’ll be writing for the school paper, on top of 18 credits.

My absolute favorite thing about fall is: Fall is by far my favorite season. I love the colors and weather, but mainly I love the fact that it’s a season for my favorite fashion items- hoodies, boots and flannels! They all make bonfires perfect.

My dream study abroad trip would be to: Anywhere in Europe. My favorite book series has many of the characters in Europe, so I’d love to finally be able to see the things that I’ve read about a thousand times.

Audrey1

My number one recipe for this semester is: Wedding soup. With the weather cooling down, it’s a great way to warm up on a cool night.

My number one DIY project for this semester is: I’m looking for some fun ways to decorate our apartment dorm.

My favorite movies are: “The Little Mermaid” will [always] be my number one movie, but I also like anything Nicholas Sparks and mostly anything about sports.

My celebrity dream date is: Jordan Staal. He’s a professional hockey player for the Carolina Hurricanes, but his career started in Pittsburgh. He’s been my biggest crush since I was little, so I’d love to go on a date with him.

I get my inspiration from: My parents. They are also so helpful and thoughtful with things. They really push me to do my best and support whatever I choose to do.

Audrey2

My friends would describe me as: I’m very loud and crazy once you get to know me. I often don’t have a filter. But as crazy as I get, I’m very caring and will do anything for anyone.

My favorite College Lifestyles™ article was: I’m a huge bookworm, so there are several about books that I loved this summer. My favorite however, was Marisa Russell’s Three DIY Crafts You Can Make With Books.

My definition of a classy co-ed is: Someone who can beat obstacles and never backs down from the challenges that are presented to her. She knows she’s capable of doing anything.

I am excited to be a College Lifestyles™ team member because: The people. Everyone here at CL has been amazing. I really struggled with things my first semester because I was so far out of my comfort zone. But everyone helped me adjust and I ended up learning so much with the help and support of the CL family. I’m excited to see what the semester has in store as I continue to become a better writer ad gain more experience.

College Lifestyles is so excited to have such a hard-working intern back for another semester to give great advice and tips to our classy readers. Welcome back Audrey!

Audrey3

Images courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Five Inexpensive Ways to Revamp Your Apartment Décor for Fall

FallcoverFinal

Decorating a college dorm room can be difficult. With limited space and funds, it can make it tough for a co-ed to find decorations that make your room stylish, without it turning into tacky.

College LifestylesTM has a few tips to help you decorate your living space for the fall semester.

DIY Crafts

To save a few dollars head to a nearby craft store and pick up supplies to make yourself some fun fall décor. One of the easiest things to do is grab a mason jar and flowers in a fall color scheme and put them together. It adds a nice autumn pop to your desk or table.

“I’m personally a big DIY person, so I’ll make a simple fall canvas or sign for my dorm door! You can catch some good sales at Michael’s to make these for yourself!” –Marisa Russell, junior, Hofstra University

Fall Harvest Arrangement

Take advantage of all the fresh harvested items that are available in the fall. Purchase fresh produce from the store, farmers’ market or pumpkin patch and arrange them on a counter or in a bowl.

Pumpkins2

Rugs and Carpets 

Styleathome suggests adding a carpet or rug to your living space. They state the presence of a rug can change the mood in any room, and the members at CL agree. Most stores have amazing deals on seasonal rugs and carpet. If you aren’t sure where to look, Russell suggests checking out Ross’ and TJMaxx. Other places that are worth a stop are dollar stores, Marshalls, Big Lots and the dollar section at Target.

Window Clings

From my own experience, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to decorate for seasons is to use window clings. You can find these at your local craft store for a larger selection. Target often has a small selection that can be found in their dollar section too.

WindowClings

Make Use of What You Have

If you aren’t one who wants to spend money or has the free time to go out to go shopping for decor, don’t stress about it. Make use of what you have laying around your dorm room. You can be just as creative with this project as you are with others.

“My roommate and I also wanted to decorate our door but we had nothing but colored post it notes and didn’t want to go out and spend money. So we cut them all into little shapes and made a fire and ice door design! It took a little effort but it stayed up all year!” -Elizabeth Angarola, junior, University of San Francisco

We hope these tips help you as you prepare for the fall semester.  Your dorm décor doesn’t have to break the bank just because you want to keep up with the latest trends. We’re sure your room will be fabulous no matter how you choose to decorate.

For more dorm decorating tips, take a peek at:

DIY Clothespin Photo Wall

Three DIY Crafts You Can Make With Books

DIY Double Use: Wall Art and Clipboard Reminders

FireAndIceDoor

First and third images courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Polyvore sets courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Last image courtesy of Elizabeth Angarola.

DIY Clothespin Photo Wall

ClothespinWallCover

In the next few weeks, many co-eds will be moving back to school to embark on another year of schooling. While most of your time is probably spent in the classroom or in the library, it is important to make your dorm room feel relaxing.

Students often decorate their rooms with posters and pictures to make their room more vibrant and give it a more personalized look. But hanging posters and pictures can be hard in dorms. Between brick walls and rules most schools set, the options for hanging materials can be small.

College LifestylesTM has just the trick to help you hang your photos without breaking the rules.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials

Wooden clothespins

Paints

Paintbrushes

Newspaper

Mod Podge (optional)

Scrapbook paper (optional)

Sandpaper (optional)

Glue (optional)

Ribbon

Command hooks and strips

Cardboard (optional)

PhotoWallSupplies

Directions

Start by taking the clothespins out of the package and lining them on a piece of newspaper.  Micheals.com suggests sanding the clothespin so it’s smooth when it comes time to decorate.

Once the pins are sanded, you can begin to decorate.

There are many ways to decorate them, it just depends on the time you have and what you want to do with them.

You can paint one or both sides and then allow them to dry before topping with glitter or some other kind of accent. Another option is to cut scrapbook paper into strips and glue it onto the clothespins. With either option we suggest putting mod podge over top to seal everything in place.

While your pins dry, you can start working with your hanging materials. To use command hooks, tie the ribbon or rope to the ends of the hooks. For best support, make sure to read the packaging of the hooks. Allow the hooks to sit the suggested time before you attach the pins and photos to the rope or ribbon.

PhotoWallHanging

Once you have the clothes pins dry and the hooks set in place, you are now ready to hang your photos. The rope or ribbon can go horizontal or vertical, or you can switch it up and do a different direction on each side of your room.

If you don’t want to do the ribbon thing, there are other ways to use the clothespins for photos too. Martha Stewart suggests putting magnets on the back of the pins once decorated and then putting them on a fridge. The DIY Network suggests clipping the clothespins to a cardboard shape and making a photo wreath, which can double as a message board.

Whatever route you choose to go with the project, it’s a surefire win when it comes to keeping your room stylish and familiar.

For more tips on your dorm ideas, check out:

Five Must-Have Dorm Items for 2015

DIY Shadow Box

Five Ways to Make Your Dorm Room More Colorful

FinalPhotoWall

First and last images courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

Polyvore sets courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

DIY Sports Crafts

SportsCover

Whether you’re an athlete or a die-hard sports fan, it can be a roller coaster of emotions during games and your career. Sports are a great way to build a relationship with other co-eds and an even better way to make some great memories.

Professional teams and many college teams have merchandise available for purchase; other teams require you to custom make gear and memorabilia. Whatever route you choose, picking up your team colors and logos can add up quickly. But College LifestylesTM is here to help you save money while you support your favorite team.

Personal Gear

If you are looking for a quick craft to do for yourself or someone special, grab a ball from the sport of choice along with a pencil and puffy paint. Outline their name and number with a pencil or marker and then trace with the puffy paint. Allow time to dry and you have a cute personalized gift for yourself or someone else. If you want to go the extra mile on this one, instead of doing a name and number, on it write words that describe the person and what you like or love about them.

“I think personalized gifts for athletes are a great idea to help commemorate the years they’ve dedicated to their sports. I know when I was an athlete, I used to get personalized gifts with my numbers or name on it, and when I pull them out years later, it helps bring back memories of the things I loved to do and the people who made them special.” - Kristen Kudla, senior, Robert Morris University

Puck

Picture Holder

For all those photos you take while at a sporting event, you might as well have a special picture frame or holder them. Find a block of wood and paint it to look like whatever playing surface you like. Once dried, decorate with stickers and other accents. Attach a binder clip to the top with glue and you’re set.

Blanket and Pillow

Breakout those old T-shirts and make them into real comfort items. Sew or even tie your old T’s together and make yourself a cozy blanket, perfect for those fall ball games and a night at the hockey rink. You can also turn an old shirt into a fluffy new pillow case.

Pillow

“Home” Plate

Fox News in Kansas City did a short segment on baseball crafts in the spirit of the Royals season. One of our favorite crafts they featured was a home plate decorated to represent home. This craft can be done in several ways and changed to suit the person you plan on giving it too.

“It’s a great way to remember where I got my start and where my love for the game came from. I spent some time away from home and when I got back home, it was a nice surprise.”  – Jarrod Prugar, alum, Robert Morris University 

Next time you go looking for something sporty for your room or a gift for someone fabulous in your life, put your creative side to work.  We’re sure you’ll love the end result.

Check out a perfect hat trick for more sporty tips and tricks:

Five Football-Inspired Workouts

Five DIY Projects Using High School T’s

How to Throw the Perfect Homecoming Tailgate Party

HomePlate

Images courtesy of Audrey Gardner.

DIY Shadow Box

ShadowBoxCover

Shadow boxes are a great way to add a vibrant pop to any room in your house. Whether they are holding items that have a special meaning to you or are just there as staple piece, these boxes are a quick and easy make for any co-ed.

Materials

Shadow Box

Scrapbook Paper

Photos (optional)

Accents

Glue and/or tape

To start, RealSimple.com suggests sticking with a theme. Your theme can be centered around a trip you’ve taken, a live event or something you love.  Martha Stewart even suggests making a jewelry box out of a shadow box. Your options are endless.

Box

Michael’s has a wide selection of boxes to choose from, as well as scrapbook paper.  Your accents for your project should match the theme, just like your paper. For example, if you’re making a box about your last beach vacation, use items like sand, starfish, sea shells, a mermaid purse or anything beachy.

Pick a piece of paper for you background color first if you are adding photos. Then, figure out if you want to mount them on a piece of paper and what color you want. We suggest working out your layout before you start to glue and tape items. This allows you to see what you have and how you want to position all your items, so if you don’t like it, you can switch it around until you have something you love. If you want, put little marks where your items are before you remove them.

paper

Once you have everything in place, HGTV suggests gluing your background piece to the back part of your frame. This will help keep it from becoming too heavy as you glue your other items on. Once you have the background in place, add your items in whatever order you’d like. If you are using a loose object, we suggest that you put that in last and with the box lying flat on your table. When you stand it up, gently shake the box to get the item in place.

Remember if you are layering your paper and photos, allow for extra drying time. Once you have your items glued, you can place the smaller frames back into the frame. You can place your glass between any of the frames you wish. This will create depth in the frame.

After you have the frames back in place, you now have your complete shadow box. You can hang it on your wall, give it as a gift or leave it standing on a mantle. No matter where you put this modern craft, you’re sure to smile when you look at your new memory box.

For more creative DIY projects checkout:

DIY Melted Crayon Art

Five DIY Projects with Maps

DIY Nautical Décor

FinishedBoxHershey

Images courtesy of Audrey Gardner.