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DIY Meets Halloween in the Penn State Dorms

We all know that holidays are the cornerstone of the DIY universe and no one does DIY better than broke college kids. For those of you who are trying to spice up your dorm room or apartment on a tight budget or want to get a little crafty because it’s the season for it, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best DIY crafts you can do right inside your living space that will keep you from breaking the bank.

1. Decorating Pumpkins vs. Carving Pumpkins


As awesome as carving pumpkins is, it’s sort of unpractical for college kids for a couple of different reasons — the most prominent being that no dorm building on campus is going to allow candles being lit in the building. If you want to risk it, that’s your choice. But decorating pumpkins is a neat alternative. You are pretty much only limited by what craft supplies you can get your hands on:

  • Paint (chalk paint, puffy paint, spray paint, you name it)
  • Buttons and sequins
  • Ribbon and bows
  • Glitter
  • Safety pins, push pins, and thumbtacks
  • Lace (maybe use those stockings you ripped last weekend?)
  • String or yarn
  • Melted crayon (if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • Paper Mache made from magazines or newspaper

The list could go on forever. Any combination of these crafty pumpkins is going to be a lot easier than cleaning up goop for 45 minutes and probably a lot more rewarding.


2. Flying Bats


This is probably as easy as it’s going to get and it’ll look adorable across your dorm door. Some scissors, some black construction paper, some sticky tack (God forbid you use tape on the dorm walls) and you’re set!


3. Window Jack-O-Lantern


You could do this one of two ways. First, you could use a couple of cardboard boxes that will most likely take up the entire window and a heavy-duty razor. Or, you could use all that printer paper your parents sent with you to college. Doing that might be a little more on the difficult side but it’ll definitely save you time trying to find cardboard boxes (even though they’re not sparse like during move out) and money if you don’t have a razor blade already on deck. Also, printer paper is going to be a lot more see-through than cardboard but people outside will probably still get what you’re trying to do.

4. Mason Jar Lanterns


Normally, you’d make these with the intention of putting a candle in the jar and having that light it up. But since we’ve already discussed that there is to be absolutely no fire in the dorms, you can substitute the candles for string lights. First, cut a piece of thick black card stock paper so it fits around your mason jar. Cut a pattern (a scary face, maybe a sugar skull) into the card stock. Then, use different colored tissue paper to cover up the holes. You could add a few little jewels and whatnot to the outside of the card stock if you feel like going the extra mile. Stuff the string lights into your mason jar or weave them in and out if you have more than one jar, and call it a day. If you’re feeling super lazy and don’t feel like going to get paper, you could also color a class jar with those industrial-sized Sharpies.

Additionally, if you wanted to make this little craft wireless, you could cut open a few glow sticks and coat the inside of the cars with it and stick shapes made of the black card stock on the outside of the jar.

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