Fall Drinks you can Make in your Dorm Room

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Foggy autumn morning

Fall is for warm flannel blankets, fashionable checkerboard patterns, snuggling up by a cozy fire, and enjoying a frothy, spiced drink. If you’re not careful, you can end up spending a fortune at the grocery store or coffee shop on artisan or specialty drinks. Instead, craft your own fall drinks by trying one of these three amazing fall drink recipes — which you can easily make in your own dorm room!

apple hanging next to cider jar

Homemade Apple Cider

You don’t need an apple press or a ton of time to make apple cider. Really, all you need to do is have access to a large pot and a stove to make this recipe happen. Experiment with different varieties of apples and a number of spices until you find the recipe that works for you. We guarantee it’s much better than store-bought versions!

 Ingredients:

  • 10-12 apples, sliced or in large chunks
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • ½ cup sugar

 Directions:

  • Pour apples into a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water
  • Add the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar until mixed completely
  • Bring to a boil and keep it there for an hour
  • Cover the pot and let simmer for two hours
  • Strain the apple cider until all of the chunks are out and stir to ensure it’s mixed properly. Serve warm or cool.

Pumpkin Spice Latte in glass

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

At $4 a cup, we’ll pass on Starbucks! This homemade version is easy and fast, and you can serve it up at a party or tailgate! The only equipment you’ll need is a coffee maker, a blender (or hand mixer), and a microwave. It’s so simple and delicious, and this recipe makes 3 mugs so you can share with your roomies!

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6-8 oz. coffee
  • Whipped cream (as desired)

 Directions:

  • Warm milk in microwave at ten-second intervals until warm
  • Place warmed milk, sugar, pumpkin spice, and vanilla in a blender and blend, or hand mix until mixture is foamy
  • Divide milk mixture among 3 cups
  • Add coffee and stir gently for a few seconds
  • Add whip cream and any extra pumpkin spice as garnish

Tailgating punch with fall inspired flavors

Tailgaters Punch

When you need a tasty, crowd-pleasing drink fast, you could stick with one of those pre-prepared sugar-laden fruit punch drinks, or even DIY the typically bland, overdone homemade kind. But none of those really says fall — definitely not like this seasonal version. Warm and full of apple and honey, it’s just what you need for cooler mornings and afternoons without missing out on that more festive feel. Plus, it pairs perfectly with tailgating foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups hot black tea
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 4 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 3 cups orange juice, pulp-free
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  • Blend and stir all ingredients in large pot
  • Bring mixture to boil
  • Lower temperature and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours
  • Remove cinnamon sticks and serve warm or cold

These three recipes will help you sip on fall flavors all season long, without breaking your budget. Let us know which ones you make and what your favorite turns out to be!

Our Favorite Halloween 2017 Makeup Looks

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Clown with red nose

Your costume is only one part of your Halloween look. Where you should really spend your time is with your makeup. Using what’s already in your makeup bag, you can transform your costume using these awesome tutorials! Which one do you plan on trying this Halloween season?

     1. Basic Pennywise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sNJhVyYaA

Everyone’s favorite horror clown is going to be the Halloween costume of the year. Getting the makeup right is essential. This vlogger shows how to get the job done and scare all your friends in the process.

     2. Disney Villians

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJfi2AN_rmY

Being evil never looked so good. With looks from Ursula to the Queen of Hearts, you can get in the spirit by recreating your favorite bad girl looks from childhood movies.

     3. Dark Disney Princess

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1gLHmC7Bw

If you’re going to go Princess-y, you might as well go dark too. These reimagined princess looks will have you gasping at the site.

     4. Makeup on the Go

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a24nYM3tT8

Minutes to go and no costume? These easy makeup looks are so simple that just about anyone with a makeup brush and a small palette can do in ten minutes or less.

     5. Gothic Twist

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SjGZzyN81M

Witches, pirates, fairies, and other Halloween staples don’t have to be so innocent looking. With a little gothic makeup, you can paint a more sinister picture while still looking fantastic. You might even take some of this makeup advice to your regular look.

     6. Shining Skulls

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVgQV6v_QKY

One of the more classic makeup looks is to get down to the bone. Using shadowing techniques and vibrant colors, this neon skull is a great conversation look. Pair with an all black outfit or glow-in-the-dark costume.

     7. Dollar Bill Lace Skull

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shzxWIoQ7d0

It’s not hard to find skull makeup tutorials to fit your style. But we especially dig this one for the low cost makeup and the attention to details. It’s perfectly pretty and fits just about any outfit.

8. Basic Zombie

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7xQEG1JMKI

Zombie princess. Zombie president. Zombie football player. Zombie… you name it! Zombie-fy your costume with makeup looks that is as easy as it gets.

     9. Emoji Pro

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21otnaBvQ44

You don’t need makeup to look like the “whatever” emoji, but for the smiley faces, you could use some help from a big bottle of yellow and a tiny bit of creativity. This is a great costume idea, but make sure the person wearing the poop emoji knows what he or she is getting into.

10. Retro Girl

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dau67xQ7oA

Vintage is in and so are 1920’s-1960’s characters. Get your pin-up, flapper, and hippy vibe using makeup tutorials that match the era of your costume.

     11. Superheroes

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYiF_0VFVD4

Some of our favorite movie characters are the best ones to recreate in costume. This tutorial breaks down the Gotham ladies — Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. You can even find pop art and cartoon versions of these looks if you want to get even more artsy with your makeup!

That wraps up our list of favorite Halloween makeup looks. Hopefully, you are inspired to take your costume to the next level. Let us know which look you decide to go with!

Campus Style on a College Budget

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High-end fashion shopping spree

Staying up on fashion trends is one of our top hobbies. But paying for clothes off the runway, at boutiques, or through our favorite designers has us entirely at a loss. How can you be as fabulous as can be when you can’t afford to wear what’s in? We break down 10 ways we’re keeping our style within your budget — spending little (sometimes not even a penny) on the latest trends.

  1. Throw a Closet Party

We grow out of our clothes faster than we like to think. That’s why throwing a closet party with your most fashionable (and closest-in-size) friends is a fast way to find new clothing staples. The rules are simple: bring clothes to exchange and only take the number you brought yourself. Whatever is left over can be donated to a local charity.

     2. Rent Directly

There are a ton of businesses who make bank allowing you to rent high-end designer pieces. The prices can range from $20 to $100, but you’ll get a thousand-dollar (or more) look without anyone knowing it isn’t yours. For those very special occasions, this is one of our go-to options.

hangers found in closets or thrift stores

     3. Go Thrifting

Thrift stores are everywhere — and with good reason. Many of them specialize in designer pieces, specific sizes, and high-quality goods at unbeatable prices. Make an afternoon out of it, and visit a couple to score some great deals! Find one that fits your style, and most importantly your budget.

     4. Re-sell and Profit

Did you know you can sell your old clothes and then use the profits to buy new pieces? Sites like eBay and Polyvore are crazy-addictive, and they make a great side hustle for frugal college fashionistas with a good eye for what’s on trend.

     5. Borrow from a Fashionable Friend

Find your new BFF: Best Fashionable Friend. Your wardrobe will love the updating, even if temporarily, and you can bond over pieces you see in magazines or on your favorite celebrities. It’s a win-win!

clothes organized in a dresser drawer

    6. Build a Capsule with What You Have

Minimalists will tell you that capsule wardrobes are a must. Build a wardrobe with staple pieces that are simple and high quality. Once you check off the pieces you need, then you can use Pinterest and minimalist sites to make hundreds of outfit possibilities!

     7. Check Resale Groups

Facebook and Craigslist are awesome places to find a deal on new clothing. Just be safe about what you buy. Always use cash. Pick up in a public spot, even bring a friend. And do your research on if the piece is real or fake before you purchase.

     8. Become a Clothing Couponer

While extreme couponing for clothes isn’t as easy as it is for groceries, you can get good discounts on clothing when you know where to look. Ebates, for one, gives you cash back for online purchases. Loyalty programs can alert you to exclusive discounts. And don’t forget your college ID! Stores like J. Crew offer a percentage off when you show it at the checkout.

     9. Hit Up Salvation Army and Goodwill

The time it takes to double check for stains and tears is worth it when you can find pieces like gently worn Lululemon for 75 percent off or Kate Spade dress for under $20! Go on discount tag days for even bigger savings.

    10. Make Your Own

Who says you must wear only designers? Recreate your favorite looks by following patterns and buying a used sewing machine. A class, experienced friend, or YouTube tutorial can show you the basics. In no time, you’ll be designing your own wardrobe!

While in college, staying on top of the latest fashion trends is one of the most important things. Spending within your budget can pose some unique challenges. Let this list serve as a starting point for more creative ways to look fashionable and save money!

10 Halloween Costumes You Can Make In Your Dorm Room

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Making your own costume is a must when you’re on budget. But when you’re a college student living in a tiny dorm room with limited crafting resources, making your own Halloween costume can be tricky. We picked out our top ten creative ideas for college-approved costumes to help you pick out your winning look.

     1.Crazy Cat Lady

Bedhead, mixed matched clothes, stuffed cats pinned to your clothes or carried in a purse. That’s all you need to pull off this nightmare costume!

     2. Candy Crush

There are so many food-related DIY ideas out there. Our favorites are a gumball machine (red skirt or pants and taped fuzzy, colored balls to a white t-shirt), pineapple (yellow dress with green, leafy headdress), and can of soda (dress or single colored outfit with your flavor printed across your chest and a tin colored paper plate hat as the cap). So easy and sweet!

     3. Stickfigure

White shirt and pants and black electrical tape lining the body make an instant stick figure. Add string, battery powered lights and you’re the glow-in-the-dark version! Another twist is to be the women’s or men’s bathroom man or woman using cardboard cutouts.

     4. LEGO Piece

A large Amazon box and glued on containers painted in one color makes the perfect lego you can wear around all night. The trick is finding a box big enough!

     5. Fortune Teller

If you’re into the boho look, you can basically take anything in your wardrobe (crazy colored skirt or pants, bright colored top, knit sweater, and oversized headband) and go with it. Bring a crystal ball (glowing bouncy ball works) to tell fortunes all night.

     6. Game Piece

If you have a suit, you can be the Monopoly man with his monocle and fake money. You can DIY a Guess Who piece with a cardboard frame and some inspiration from the real characters. Add Operations cute body parts to nude colored clothing (and don’t forget the red undies). Or, consider buying the Twister mat and DIY-ing a simple dress for the night.

     7. Work of Art

If you’re great with makeup and a fan of fine art, combine your skills and recreate your favorite painting. Some popular choices include the Girl with the Pearl Earring, a Lichtenstein character, or even a Greek statue.

     8. Emoji Characters

A yellow outfit and some cut out facial expressions makes a quick and easy emoji. You can also be the more expressive emojis out there like the boy running or the girl crossing her arms.

     9. Brand Labels

Starbucks lovers can become a cup of whatever they order with a white or brown outfit and the Starbucks logo wrapped around their waist (giant green straw optional). Flannel loving guys with a beard (or a fake one if you have the patience to draw or glue one on) make great Brawny paper towel men. If you’ve got a yellow raincoat and an umbrella, you can become the Morton Salt girl in seconds! Get creative with your pantry items.

     10. Protesting Halloween

Maybe you’re not in the spirit or Halloween isn’t your thing. That’s okay too. Instead of playing along, make the message loud and clear by dressing in another holiday’s outfit instead. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater or a Santa costume. Bring out the Easter bunny baskets and ears. Go all Uncle Sam. It’ll have everyone talking!

You’ll Love these Graduation Cap DIYs & Designs

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Diy-college-graduation-capsTrying on your cap and gown for graduation can be totally exciting — but, honestly, it can be a little bit boring, too. Being another cap in the crowd is totally acceptable, but if you want to go bold, help your family spot you from the bleachers, and share your love for your school or major, we’ve got a ton of ideas for you. This list of DIY graduation caps and designs can help you plan how you will wow the commencement ceremony.

 

FUNNY

The Ode to Student Loan Debt

Perfect for the student terrified for their first student loan bill, this Spongebob Squarepants throwback will have them cracking up at your realness.

 

The “Hire Me”

Image via Hative.com

Ariel wasn’t exactly talking about being employed by a firm or agency, but this twist is worth singing about.

 

The “Spot Me”

Image via Walkabye.com

We can guarantee you that at least one of your family members will complain that they couldn’t find you in the sea of black gowns. This brilliant cap takes care of that problem.

 

BLING

The Glitter Bomb

Image via Hative.com

We’re in the camp that believes glitter makes everything better. So not only is this cap hilarious, but it’s also gold and shiny — a winning combination.

 

The Bedazzler

Image via Hative.com

Rhinestones are so 1990’s, but that won’t stop us from rocking this gorgeous look that can be personalized, toned down, or really turned up!

 

The Garden Crown

Image via Ytimg.com

Sure, you could put the flowers on your hat or wear a flower crown for pictures, but why not combine the both? This is the perfect idea for those whose schools do not allow them to decorate their cap or worry about getting their deposit back.

 

MAJOR SPECIFIC

The Therapist/Psychologist Major

It’s so simple, we wish we would have thought of this!

 

The Journalist/Writing/English Major

Image via Popsugar.com

Everyone’s obsessed with Hamilton, but this cap using the lyrics is perfect for the writers in the crowd.

 

The B.S. Majors

Image via Iambored.pro

Scientists, even students, get bad raps for being boring, but you can prove them wrong with this punny cap design.

 

INSPIRATIONAL

The Journey

Image via Shutterfly.com

College was just part one of our journey. The whole world is waiting for us now. Let’s celebrate how far we have to go.

 

The Dream Catcher

Image via Billwaldropdaylilies.com

This DIY is ingenious! Using dream catchers, mandalas, and peace symbols as decorations not only creates a gorgeous look, but it says a lot about where you want to be and where you are headed.

 

The Doctor Suess

If you haven’t already re-read “The Places You’ll Go,” now is the time. This cap is both beautiful, inspiring, and motivational.

DIY Tool Roundup

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DIY Tool Roundup

No college student is really 100% prepared for life living in a dorm, but you can make sure you are ready for everything by having the essentials at hand. Whether it’s a hole if your favorite shirt, a nasty paper cut, or a broken furniture item – not being able to make a quick fix can ruin your day. Instead of panicking, we recommend getting in the know with all the must-have tools you should have on hand. Here are just a few situations you’ll be grateful you thought ahead.

5 DIY Fixes You’ll Make in College

1.   The “It Has to Fit” Fix

Moving into your dorm can be a huge guessing game. Without knowing what your provided furniture is or your precise room dimensions, deciding what large items can stay and which should go is like playing moving roulette. From the moment you unlock your dorm room door, you’ll be grateful for the School Sized Tool Kit. Portable, easy to store, and less intimidating for those who know nothing about tool kits, you’ll get just what you need to measure, plan, and upkeep your space. This includes a tape measure, hammer, pliers, and screwdrivers.

2.   The Interview Outfit Fix

It’s a big day for you: time for your first interview. It may be for a job on campus, an internship with a prospective company, or for the dream career you’ve been working so hard for. Wherever you’re heading, you’ll want to dress to impress. But rips, snags, and missing buttons can totally wreck a look and keep you running late. That’s why all college students should live by the rule of keeping a sewing kit, such OCM’s affordable version, on hand at all times. Carry this around in your book bag (or briefcase) or store it in your closet — you’ll inevitably need that piece of matching thread, a pair of good fabric scissors, or a few pins to hold your look together.

3.   The DIY Crafting Fix

We are HUGE fans of crafting, especially to get your dorm room’s signature look. But without being close to your mom and dad’s supplies, you may be making tons of trips to the hardware store just to get a minor project done. The Quick Fix Pak gives you everything you need (and so much more) to create that hanging light fixture, sew up an antique table cloth, or to redesign a vintage lamp. Every craft goddess needs a multi-kit like this one in her life.

4.   Back Up Plan Fix

Even though you may be living in a high-tech community with some of the best minds in the country, things do and will go wrong. Power will fail, lights will flicker, and you may find yourself sweating it up in a beautiful building without air conditioning. You won’t want to be left struggling to head to the store when these things happen. The Just the Basics Pak provides you with more than tools. It gives you backup plans when you need them — like a clip-on fan for your bed, a portable lamp for your desk, and an ultra-safe surge protector for your electronic needs.

5.   The No Emergency Room Necessary Fix

Not all fixes are about hammers and sewing needles. In fact, those necessary fixes may be caused by using just those things! Not having a first aid kit available can be both messy, scary and embarrassing (if you have to head to your Resident Adviser for a bandage). Do not leave home without a great first aid kit, and that includes keeping one in your car, dorm, and any locker area you may have.

6 Best DIY Gifts for Distant BFFs

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Having a friend on the other side of the country, or even the world, is never easy to deal with. But you can stick together and celebrate your relationship with fun and fabulous DIY gifts. Perfect for any budget, here are six gifts that even the anti-crafter will enjoy creating and sending!

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1.   Open When Letters

Sometimes your BFF will need a little support and you may be too busy or too far to be there in person. Instead, send them off with handwritten letters that feature inside jokes, messages of love, or even just sweet reminders. Label them as “Open when ____” so that they serve a specific purpose (e.g. “Open when you feel lonely”).

2.   Distance Picture Frames

Picture frames are always a favorite among friends not physically near one another. But adding a special touch that acknowledges your distance can take it to the next level. Find a fun colored frame that you can write on (look for wood and sharpies) and then trace the states where each of you is residing. Draw hearts in the city with an arrow from your city to hers. Throw in a fabulously fun photo for an extra sweet touch.

3.   BFF Mug

Customizable mugs are the best DIY gifts if you are not particularly crafty. With a ceramic coffee cup, you can trace on designs or write a great message using just a sharpie and then baking in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Great message ideas include fun poems like “Side by side or miles apart, best friends are always close to my heart” or jokes like “We’ll be BFFs forever because you already know too much.”

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4.   Personalized Necklace

The BFF necklace is so middle school! But that shouldn’t stop you from getting creative with your favorite friend and their jewelry. Pop over to a beading or jewelry shop to pick up matching charms or those that interlock. Some great ideas are two pizza slices or puzzle pieces. You can even get sentimental by making bracelets with anchors to remind your pal that you will always be there no matter what waves they may face.

5.   Photo Letters

If frames are not your style, give your BFF a letter featuring your faces instead. You can make this popular and beloved college craft by decoupaging printed photos onto cardboard or foam letters. The collages will be a huge reminder of the person who cares, but its craftyness can still be something they can easily hang in any dorm room.

6.   Survival Kits

For the person who is traveling away from family and friends, gift the gift that keeps on giving — the survival kit! Stock a shoebox, first aid kit, or picnic basket with the essentials. Think Chapstick, aspirin, treats, and other small favorites! Add in supportive notes or even gift cards for when a real emergency arises. This makes a fantastic going away gift for any nervous friend.

kristen-wiig-maya-rudolph-bridesmaids-best-friends-gif

Is your BFF far away? What gifts will you be sending to show your love? Let us know!

DIY Dorm Décor: Personalized Beach Signs

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As you’ve heard me mention before, the most exciting part of moving in (whether it’s your freshman year or your junior year) is decorating! Decorating your dorm room gives you the chance to personalize your side of a shared room. Bring dull white walls to life and make your home-away-from-home extra cozy and unique to you.

This year, I thought about buying some beach signs made out of driftwood that are sold all over my hometown. I quickly realized how expensive they were! Instead of spending too much money,  I decided it would be cheaper, fun, and more personal to make a DIY project out of it!

I spent the day with my boyfriend making some personalized beach signs that showcase some of my favorite summer spots from around home: Plum Island Beach, Mad Martha’s Cafe, Halibut Point State Park, and Bearskin Neck (in Rockport, MA). And of course, I took photos along the way so I could share this great project with all of you!

Whether you’re brand new to DIY projects (as I was!) or a seasoned veteran, this is a cheap, doable project that you’ll have fun doing, and the end product will definitely not disappoint!

You’ll need:

  • A long plank of wood (width will vary depending on how big you want your signs)
  • A tape measure
  • A ban-saw/saw (whatever you have that will cut wood!)
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • A computer
  • Scotch tape
  • A pencil

Then you’re ready to get crafting!

Take your plank of wood and measure out even sections, marking along the way with a pencil according to how many signs you want to make.

Take your plank of wood and measure out even sections, marking along the way with a pencil according to how many signs you want to make.

Next, use your saw to cut out your even sections so you're left with rectangular planks of equal length.

Next, use your saw to cut out your even sections so you’re left with rectangular planks of equal length.

Next, take your cut out planks and cut an arrow into one end of each.

Take your cut out planks and cut an arrow into one end of each.

After filing down rough edges, you have your signs all cut out and ready to decorate!

After sanding away any rough edges, you have your signs all cut out and ready to decorate!

Time to take it outside! Lay out some newspaper or a dropcloth on a flat surface (deck, patio, driveway) and paint your signs on one side and its corresponding edges. (If you plan to hang your signs pointing in alternating directions, be sure to paint accordingly!)

Time to take it outside! Lay out some newspaper or a dropcloth on a flat surface (deck, patio, driveway) and paint your signs on one side and its corresponding edges. (If you plan to hang your signs pointing in alternating directions, be sure to paint accordingly!)

Give your signs at least one hour to dry completely.  Use this time to get on your computer and print out the text and any clip art you wish to paint on your signs. (Trust me, this is way easier than downloading stencils online for each individual letter.)  Cut out your stencils to ensure even spacing, place them on your painted sign, and tape them down.

Give your signs at least one hour to dry completely.
Use this time to get on your computer and print out the text and any clip art you wish to paint on your signs. (Trust me, this is way easier than buying or downloading stencils online for each individual letter.)
Cut out your text and clip art to ensure even spacing, place them on your painted sign, and tape them down.

Next, use a pencil to press down on your paper along the edges of your letters and clip art, leaving clear imprints of each on the plank underneath.  Remove the paper and ensure that the imprints clearly define the outer edges of the letters and clip art. Then you're ready to fill them in. Using a paint brush with the smallest, finest tip you can find, start painting with a rough outline along the edges (we're going for a rustic, perfectly imperfect look here!), then fill in.

Next, use a pencil to press down on your paper along the edges of your letters and clip art, leaving clear imprints of each on the plank underneath.
Remove the paper and ensure that the imprints clearly define the outer edges of the letters and clip art.
Then you’re ready to fill them in. Using a paint brush with the smallest, finest tip you can find, start painting with a rough outline along the edges (we’re going for a rustic, perfectly imperfect look here!), then fill in. Let dry, and if needed, apply a second coat.

Voila!!  Make sure your signs are completely dry before wrapping them individually in tissue paper (to prevent them from sticking to each other in the transportation process).  Hang with Command Strips (or your non-penetrative wall adhesive of choice!) and enjoy admiring your personalized dorm décor all year long!

Voila!!
Make sure your signs are completely dry before wrapping them individually in tissue paper (to prevent them from sticking to each other in the transportation process).
Hang with Command Strips (or your non-penetrative wall adhesive of choice!) and enjoy admiring your personalized dorm décor all year long!

Until next time, everyone! I hope you try this project out for yourself and enjoy your brand new, homemade, personalized dorm decorations!

Have you ever tried DIY crafts for your dorm? What are some of your favorite ways to decorate your dorm room?

DIY Postcard Display for Dorm Rooms

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Those of you that read my last post will know that I brought back many different things from my trip abroad. Because we would travel for fairly long periods at a time, it was really hard to bring back things that weren’t flat and didn’t take up much space in my bag.

With that in mind, I brought back a handful of postcards from places because they are flat and you don’t have to worry about them breaking. I don’t know if I can technically call this post a DIY because I didn’t really do much myself, but, we can definitely file this under room decor ideas!

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I have all these beautiful post cards and I don’t know what to do with them….I took a trip to Target, the first time I’ve been since coming home, and as always it proved to be a magical place. While there I happened to find floating glass frames, and I really liked them so I figured I could buy a couple. They were also under $5 a piece and you can’t beat that price.

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Turns out, they were the perfect type of frame to put my postcards in to display. Though they are floating glass and my postcards are different shapes and sizes, they still fit! The only problem I had was the frames themselves were black. I don’t like black frames at all, I prefer white.

This is where the ‘DIY’ part comes in. Because I didn’t like the black, I went out and bought some white spray paint and went ahead and spray painted. I’ll admit my spray painting ability is not up to par, but they still turned out pretty good, and I can always retouch them if they get chipped.

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The spray paint was only a couple bucks from the local home improvement store, and really you can pick any color you like. That’s the beautiful thing about DIY, if you don’t like a particular element about a piece you can always change it to better suit your style. I like white frames so I chose white.

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All I did was spray the frames on both sides and let them dry overnight. Then popped them back on and I was in business. Overall I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out. I’m just glad I found a great way to showcase some more things from my travels in a simple, yet elegant way. I can’t wait to get these up on my walls.

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And for more on my travels check out my personal blog, Just Meesh.

Cheers.

DIY Map Bulletin Board

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Since I just returned home from spending the semester studying abroad, I’ve collected a mass of things I picked up and held onto along the way. And because I’m such a map person, I brought a good handful of maps home with me from different cities in Europe and I wanted to do something with them.. This DIY will show you how to turn your maps into a bulletin board, like I did. Not only is this project easy,  but you only need a few things to put it all together.

MATERIALS

  • Any map or maps
  • Cork board (s)
  • Modge podge
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors & tape

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STEP ONE

I picked up two cork boards because I brought back a couple maps, so I chose my two favorite maps and started by tracing the cork board on the back of the map. You can use anything really to trace it out, just so long as you can see the outline afterwards. I happened to use a pretty much dried out marker because it was near by.

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STEP TWO

Now you cut out the piece of the map using the outline you made as a guide. I say as a guide because you don’t want to cut right along the outline, instead cut about 1-2 inches outside the outline. This way you will have excess to fold over the edge at the end. And, because you don’t have to worry about making the cut perfect it’s a quick and easy step.

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STEP THREE

Put your cut map to the side and  take your paint brush and use that to apply a layer of modge podge to the cork board. You don’t need to put that much on, just one layer will do. By the way, you can get modge podge from the local craft store and the ‘matte’ kind will work just fine. It works as both a glue and a sealer so it comes in handy for a lot of other DIYs.

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STEP FOUR

Center the map on the board centering and place it however you like. Once you press is down onto the board try to smooth out the map as much as possible, that way there aren’t any big creases. Depending on the map, you might not be able to get it perfectly smooth. You’ll see in my pictures the second map didn’t cooperate as well as the first one did.

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STEP FIVE

Now that the map has been placed down onto the board, apply another layer of modge podge over it. Don’t worry that the modge podge doesn’t go on clear, it will dry clear. This layer will seal it and ensure that map isn’t going anywhere.

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STEP SIX

After completion, give it overnight to dry and it should be all set! Fold over the excess paper and tape it to the back. I kind of folded it present style to get the corners to look nice. And, if you want, you could modge podge it but, I got lazy and the tape works just as well since it’s the back and no one will see it.

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And that’s it. It’s really pretty easy. I decided to decorate my boards with all my tickets from my travels so it serves a great reminder of all the things I did abroad and the memories I made. And, they are perfect to hang up in my room at school. There are a lot of things you can do with maps and this isn’t actually my first map related DIY, I have also done map letters and if you’re interested you can check out that post by clicking here.

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Cheers.

~meesh