Photo Credit: Bonnie Kittle via Unsplash
It’s no secret that a student’s budget starts to get a little tighter around the holidays. Whether it’s because you’re buying gifts or trying to decorate your living space so it feels more festive, it can be hard to get into the spirit of things when you’re worried about money.
Which is where DIY crafts come in. They can be so helpful to a student on a budget. Not only does it give you a fun activity to fill a few hours of your day during exam season, but in the end you’ll have something to show for it.
Mason Jar Snow Globes
I am personally a big advocate for saving and repurposing jars. You can use them for drinking cups or containers, or in this case, snow globes. Make sure you have a jar with a lid that screws on tight for this one or you might end up with a bigger mess than what you started with.
The first thing you’ll want to do is gather your supplies. You’re going to need: water, clear glue and glitter. If you have a glue gun it’ll make things easier but you can get by without one. The last thing you need is an ornament to put inside your snowglobe. This can be literally anything as long as it’s something that won’t be ruined by being in water for a long time. You can find ornaments and toys at a dollar store that will work great for this.
The first step is to glue the ornament to the inside of the jar’s lid. This is where hot glue comes in handy, but if you don’t have it, you can substitute it with clear glue. Now set it aside to dry and get the jar. Add approximately two tablespoons worth of clear glue. Pour one cup of warm water into the jar and stir until it’s totally combined. Now add two tablespoons of glitter, you get to decide the colour (that’s the great thing about making your own ornaments, if you want to cover them in hot pink glitter then you absolutely can). Check that the lid is dry and the ornament is attached and screw it on. And there you have it, a snow globe that you can make with the old pasta sauce jar sitting in your cupboard.
The quickest way to change the mood in any room is to add some lights. If your living space doesn’t feel as festive as you want it to, the answer can be as simple as stringing up some lights. You can go out and buy your own light-up decorations (once again, a dollar store is your best friend) or you can look into some arts and crafts and make your own! Here’s one of my favourites.
The first things you’re going to need are some battery operated tea lights from a dollar store. Then you need some jars, paint and construction paper. The first thing you’re going to do is cut some shapes out of the construction paper. Whatever shapes you want, they can be as festive (or not-so-festive) as you’d like. Then you’re going to stick it to the outside of your jar. You can use tape to do this, but just make sure you’re putting it on the back of the shape and not on the edges. Then you paint the entire jar whatever colour you most associate with the holidays, but try to make sure it’s one that’s not too dark. When the paint is dry, peel off the construction paper. Drop a tea light in the jar and then you have a DIY holiday lamp.
Okay, maybe I love mason jars a bit too much, but they’re just a great shape and perfect for arts and crafts. These treat jars make a great gift for someone on a budget. It’s super easy, just get a mason jar (or a Tupperware container, but a jar looks nicer) and fill it with tasty snacks and treats. If you know the person you’re going to give the jar to, then fill it with things you know they like. You could bake some treats if that’s something you’re into, or you could go out and buy some. If you don’t want to give people food then you could fill a jar with notes telling them why you appreciate them, the possibilities are endless. Fill it up and then pop the lid back on. Tie a ribbon around the jar and add a gift tag. The best part is that you can still deliver them to friends or loved ones even if you can’t get together with them like normal.
When your budget is tight, crafts are a great way to make your own decorations and gifts. Try one of these crafts out on a day where you need a break from studying!