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Do-it-yourself holiday crafts inspire seasonal merriment

Being away from home during the holiday season can create mixed feelings of homesickness and nostalgia. Tiny dorm rooms can seem like frozen cells in the middle of Siberia, despite the excitement of upcoming festivities. So why not brighten up your dorm room with these fun holiday crafts? The following ideas are simple ways to add charm and winter cheer to your room and kickstart some new holiday traditions.

No. 1: The Christmas Tree

Although an eight-foot evergreen tree is not realistic in a campus dorm room, you don’t need to ditch the idea entirely. A downsized version still creates a festive and personal touch.


One wooden stick of desired length

Pipe cleaners try a sparkling white color for a snowy effect


One small drill or screwdriver to bore holes

One small candle holder

How-to: Drill tiny holes into the wooden stick and insert pipe cleaners as “branches,” placing shorter lengths at the top and longer lengths at the bottom. Slide beads onto the pipe cleaners as ornaments. Mount the tree in a small candle holder and fill with beads, coffee beans or anything else appropriate.

Via Better Homes and Gardens

No. 2: The Ornaments

Want to bring the outdoors inside, but don’t want to deal with the mess? These tiny nature ornaments do just the trick. You can take creative license with these globes and fill them with other arrangements, too.


Clear glass ornaments

Natural sprigs, leaves, holly, etc.

Craft glue


How-to: Remove the cap from a clear ornament. Use craft glue to adhere sprigs inside the cap and let dry. Carefully screw the cap back onto the ornament. Tie a length of ribbon around the cap top to hang from your dorm window, lofted bed or doorknob.

Via Better Homes and Gardens

No. 3: The Wreath

This wreath adds a great touch to the front of your dorm door. You can use ornaments according to your own taste and easily switch out shapes.


One wire hanger

Assorted metal ornaments approximately 80

Hot glue gun


How-to: Bend the wire hanger into a large circle, leaving the hook at the top. Secure the metal caps of the ornaments by applying hot glue to the closures. Untwist the end of the hanger and string ornaments one at a time. Use various sizes to fill in gaps and distribute colors. Tie a ribbon around the hanger hook and then hang on your dorm door.

Via Eddie Ross

No. 4: The Lights

Most college students already have the standard Christmas light strings in their dorm rooms. Containing them in vases adds a soft glow, and they can be used year-round. Best of all, you can cluster assorted vase sizes together to add more light.


Assorted frosted glass vases or other vase varieties

Christmas light strands one per vase


Double-sided tape

How-to: Affix a length of ribbon around the bottom of each vase with double-sided tape. Loosely arrange one light strand in each vase, allowing the plug to poke out of the back end. To add variety, try lining tissue paper on the inside of each vase to add a different-colored glow.

Via Martha Stewart

No. 5: The Snowflakes

The oldest decoration in the book is the paper snowflake. However, these pipe cleaner snowflakes add durability and simplicity to the traditional decoration.


Wire cutter or scissors

White pipe cleaners

Needlenose pliers


Craft glue

How-to: Use wire cutter or scissors to cut three 6-inch, six 2.5-inch, six 2-inch and six 1.5-inch pieces of pipe cleaner. Twist the 6-inch pieces together at the midpoints to create a spoke. Tighten twists with pliers. Twist 2.5-inch pieces at the center of each spoke and tighten with pliers. Toward each of the last spoke’s tip, twist a 2-inch piece and tighten with pliers. Toward the end of the 2-inch piece spokes, twist a 1.5-inch piece and tighten. Use craft glue to adhere a piece of ribbon onto a snowflake end to hang.

Via Martha Stewart

Check out the Manitou Messenger website, for links to these projects!

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