Fall DIY on a College Dime


Keira Stogin

Courtesy of Chronicle archives.

By Abigail Raasch, Arts Writer


The weather is cooling down, cafés have announced their fall beverages and the calendar has reached the end of October. It is time for holiday decorations. Whether you want to make your dorm room festive or host your own “Friends-giving,” here are a few fun DIY decoration ideas for a crafter on a budget.


These little boxes can be decorated by using your own creativity. To complete this craft on a budget, be sure to look around your place for leftover craft supplies just to see if you have any materials appropriate to put towards embellishment.

I highly recommend stopping by Michael’s and looking at the clearance section in the back of the store. Plain white boxes, as well as other styles of box, sell for only about a dollar or so each. While shopping, try to look for themed washi tape, which makes for easy and affordable decorating.

For the stuffing, you can find black crimped paper grass to put in the bottom of your box. Put just enough in to see it through the little window in the side of the box. Then stuff it with as much candy as will fit inside, or as much as you wish to part with.


    Blank gift boxes

    Washi tape

    Construction paper

    Twine or Ribbon

    Black paper shreds



    $6-$10 for boxes

    $4-$15 for candy

Thankful Pumpkin

Since Halloween is already upon us, we’ll soon have to start thinking about Thanksgiving. This craft is perfect no matter where you go for the holiday and can make for a perfect centerpiece.

At Michael’s, you can’t miss the bins of fake pumpkins. There are several different sizes and colors, all of which can be used for this project. I prefer using a white pumpkin to allow for more color options when decorating. All you need to do is write something along the lines of “thankfulness” on its surface and decorate it a bit. You can add fake leaves to the pumpkin or any extra flair if desired. Once done, leave it on the dinner table with some Sharpies and let anyone you are sharing Thanksgiving with write what they are thankful for on the pumpkin.

[/media-credit] Thankful Pumpkin


    Plastic Pumpkin




Friends-giving Photo Booth

With our Thanksgiving break being so short here at the U, I know many students who don’t go home for this holiday. The perk about this is that it’s an opportunity to host a Friends-giving. To make this craft affordable, be sure to get some friends to help split the cost.

First, choose an empty wall ranging from about 3 to 4 feet wide. Find some 6-inch wide fall-colored ribbon on sale at Walmart or Michael’s to frame the boundaries of your booth. Then drape dollar store streamers or clearance ribbon down the wall to create a nice background for a photo booth.

This next part is where you can be either lazy or creative. You choose. If you go for the lazy route, Michael’s sells pre-made Thanksgiving banners for about three dollars. You can use these to finish your booth background. If you want to make your own, however, you can find clearance scrapbook paper, cut out triangles, use a hole punch on either side and lace twine through to connect the pieces. If you have stencils or perfect penmanship, write on the banner to say whatever you would like. If not, I recommend getting a pack of large-letter alphabet stickers.

To finish off the photo-booth, you can choose to spend more on a fancy frame, or you can make a cheaper one from scratch. Get a piece of cardboard to act as a base. Then, buy some autumn-colored flowers, leaves and other cute floral pieces. Cut out the center of the cardboard, leaving about a 3-inch frame. Be ready to spend a lot of time hot gluing each little piece down. Now you have a festive background to stand in front of and a frame to stick your head through for adorable photographs.

[/media-credit] Friends-giving Photobooth


    Hot glue gun and sticks


    Hole punch

    Paper streamers or ribbon

    Six inch wide ribbon

    Scrapbook Paper

    Stickers or Stencils


    2 x 3 piece of cardboard

    Fake floral bunches



[email protected]