Tag Archives: DIY

Creative DIY Halloween Costumes

Filed under: College Life, DIY & Crafts, Fashion, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you’ve ever bought a packaged Halloween costume at a store, you know first-hand that it’s usually not worth spending of all that money. It’s like buying a bridal gown: it’s something you’ll only wear once (unless you decided to reuse your gown as a zombie bride costume) and pay a lot of money for (granted, not as much for a costume as a gown, but you get my point). Making your own costume is often much cheaper and it adds a fun creative element, which will instill a sense of pride in your costume that money can’t buy. Besides, college students need every way possibly to save money.

Consider these options and tweak as you see fit:

1. Cardboard Armor

Whether you want to look like a roman centurion, a transformer, or a knight of the round table, you can always make some sweet armor out of cardboard. Get some scissors and some glue, plan out your costume design either by following an online template or freehand, and then get to work! It’s a classic college costume design that saves money and recycles leftover cardboard! Be sure to throw your costume in a recycling bin afterwards too.

2. Thrift Stores

Goodwill, Savers, the Salvation Army… Any and all thrift stores are great options to find cheap clothing that you can alter to look like a costume. One year I dressed up as Charlie Sheen’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I found a leather jacket at a local thrift shop as well as some ratty jeans that I could tear up to look like a greaser. In total, it cost me $8 – a steal compared to a store bought greaser costume which can cost upwards of $40! All I needed after that was to style my hair and get some makeup for exaggerated effect; which brings me to my next point…

3. Makeup

Yes, you can even do your own makeup without having to buy actual monster makeup. Now if you’re female, chances are you have some sort of experience with this. However, I am male and therefore have no idea about the world of makeup. So I asked my one of my female friends to do it for me! She did such good work that I was questioned by a police officer as I was on my way to my friend’s apartment that night. The point is: it’s still DIY even if you ask for help and you don’t need to buy anything marketed as a ‘Halloween product’ to have a killer costume.

4. Turn to Pop Culture for Ideas

If you still don’t know what to dress up as, a good bet is to parody something in the media. Some examples include but are not limited to: Donald Trump’s hair, a Californian Astronaut going to Mars in search of water. Or Mad Scientist Bernie Sanders. Group costumes are always great too with a bunch of friends: Power Rangers, a flock of penguins, hair metal band, etc.

Share what you will be dressing up as this Halloween in a comment below! Whatever it is, hope you have fun!

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Summer Camping Hacks

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

If you’re like me, you went camping with your family when you were a kid. And you loved every second of it. Being from New Hampshire, I kind of had to learn to love the outdoors. There is so much the outdoors can offer, which is a good thing since it can bring you closer to nature and further away from your couch.

For those of you who aren’t like me and have little experience sleeping in a tent and cooking meals over a campfire, turn to this guide for some summer camping hacks to make your transition into the wild a little bit easier. And don’t worry; your couch will still be there for you to crash on after you’ve had your fill of nature.

Foam Floor Tiles

Just because you pitch a tent in a flat area of land does not mean it will be comfortable to sleep on. Tents provide no cushioning between you and the ground. A lot of people like to use air mattresses but those can be bulky, time consuming to inflate, and sometimes expensive. If you want to save money and space in your car, you can buy some foam floor tiles to provide a flat cushion to roll a sleeping bag out on.

The Jug-O-Light

Need a lantern, but don’t want to spend the money? Or maybe if you forget to pack the lantern… Fill up a gallon container with water and attach a headlamp to it with the light facing in. The entire jug should light up by reflecting the light.

Campfire Crescent Rolls

Got a craving for some crescent rolls, but you don’t have a stove because you’re in the middle of nowhere? Don’t worry – you can make crescent rolls on a stick over a fire much like you would with a marshmallow! You can even fill them with marshmallows and chocolate for a delicious and flaky spin on the classic ‘smores.

Portable Hanging Hooks

Get yourself that belt you’ve had since you were 14 but have since outgrown and left hanging in your closet, and put it to some use! Wrap a belt tightly around a tree, insert some hooks, and you’ve got yourself a place to hang wet clothes, pots and pans, or anything else you can think of.

DIY Fire Starters

Let me first start off by saying that fire is not something to play around with by any means. Forgetting how dangerous it can be is how forest fires are often started. But camping just wouldn’t be the same without a toasty, nightly campfire to gather around. Instead of using lighter fluid, consider using an egg carton filled with charcoal briquettes. Simply place the carton under the dry firewood and light both sides; you’ll have a good blaze within minutes. Also, Doritos can be used as a very effective kindling too.

Smoky Bug Repellent

First find some sage. You can either buy it in a grocery store or in a specialty plant store before your trip, or if you’re lucky you might be able to find some near your campsite. Bundle up the sage with some sticks and stick it in your campfire. As it burns, the smoke will deter insects without all those nasty chemicals.

Hopefully these summer camping hacks can make you a pro-camper in no time!

Share your camping hacks with us in a comment below!

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Creative DIY Mother’s Day Gifts

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography





Mother’s Day is May 10th, do you know what you’re getting your mom?

Rest assured, even if you’re on a tight budget – which, let’s face it, all college students are – there are still some creative do-it-yourself Mother’s Day gifts that you can make to show your mom, or the mother figure in your life, just how much you love and appreciate her.

1. Decorative Candle Holders

It may be easy to just go to the store and buy some candles, but why not personalize some basic candles to add that special touch? Head to a nearby dollar or craft supplies store to pick up a few materials, then head home to create this shimmery delight for your mom. She will be sure to love it!

2. Chocolate Covered Strawberries

What mom doesn’t love chocolate? Everyone loves a little sweet treat every now and then, and this one doesn’t cost a fortune. Pick up some strawberries, chocolate chips, and make sure you have vegetable oil on hand. You can even add sprinkles, as demonstrated in the video. These can either be a decadent dessert, or a tasty side to a home-cooked breakfast made by you!

3. Photo Collage

If you have family photo albums (not the kind that are online), snag a few of your favorites of you and your mom and make copies. You can get a cheap picture frame at the dollar store for this idea. In this tutorial, ribbon is used in place of the traditional glass front, but you can do whichever one you think your mom would love more.

4. Sharpie Mug

I have done this for my mom and she absolutely loved it. For this project, all you’ll need are oil-based Sharpies, which you can find in a bunch of different colors at a craft store for under $10, and a plain mug (or plate, flower pot, etc.) from the dollar store. You can write lyrics to her favorite song, an inside joke between you two, a personal message, or draw a cute design.

5. Scented Bath Salts

Your mom deserves to take a break every now and then just to relax and rejuvenate. Make her some sweet-scented bath salts so she can enjoy a nice hot bath! The ingredients used for this DIY are things you’ll probably already have in your kitchen. If you know her favorite smell, pick it up as an essential oil at a craft store. Not sure what she’ll like? You can’t go wrong with vanilla or lavender!

The most important thing is to make your mom feel special and that she is truly appreciated for all that she does. If you are planning to make something for your mom this year, share what it is in a comment below!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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5 Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Fashion, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography





It’s the season of colorful crunchy leaves underfoot, tart apple cider, cozy sweaters, and of course, the great Halloween debate: what can I dress up as that won’t break the bank Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to be creative (and original) when it comes to costumes, and all of them can be easily put together yourself.

1. Marionette Doll

All you need for this one is a steady hand with a makeup brush, and an old dress or suit and tie. Not good free handing makeup? Check out a YouTube tutorial. For more inspiration, see the newest scary movie Annabelle.

2. Sims

There are plenty of templates for that neon little diamond shape above a Sim’s head. The rest of the costume is just your normal clothes!

3. Bunch of Grapes

Pick a color, any color! Blow up a bunch of purple, green, or red balloons and then pin them to your clothes (which should be the same color as whatever color balloons you choose).

4. Lego

Find an old cardboard box and spray paint it the color Lego you want to be. When it’s dry, cut out the holes for your arms and head. Grab six plastic cups and paint them if necessary, give them a trim, and then glue them to the box.

5. Risky Business

Easiest costume ever, right? All you need for this classic is an oversized white dress shirt, white socks, and a pair of sunglasses! Classy and comfortable!

Still stuck on ideas? Check out your local thrift store as sometimes they have costumes put together in the window displays. Whatever your choice, it doesn’t have to be expensive!

Have you already decided what to be for Halloween? Share your idea with us in the comments!

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Chic & Cheap Room Decor

Filed under: College Life, DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography





Just moved into a new dorm, room, or apartment? Decorating your room can sometimes break your wallet, but it doesn’t have to! If you want to decorate on a budget, then these easy chic and cheap room décor pieces are for you!

1. Wall Art

You can definitely show your personality and creativity through wall art. By using items you find at home and re-decorating them, you can create new pieces of art to display on your wall. One idea is to take a shopping bag from your favorite store and frame it. It will highlight your fashionable personality and will spruce up your drab walls! See some tutorials:

2. Floral Mirror

You can easily add a touch of elegance to your mirror by adding some flowers. You can use any sized mirror for this do-it-yourself project. All you need is a mirror (any size/shape), fake flowers from any crafts store, and a glue gun. Take the flowers off of the stems and remove the piece that holds it together. Next, lay out the flowers on the perimeter of the mirror to ensure you like the design. Once you have finalized your floral placement, begin gluing down the flowers. Allow the glue to cool and set for about an hour prior to hanging up the mirror. You can use the same concept to create floral corkboards and white boards as well!

3. Stacked Mason Jars

Mason jars are a pretty inexpensive, yet stylish way to organize your desk area. To create this, all you need is 5 mason jars, a hot glue gun, and some items to fill the jars with. First, put the base together by hot gluing the sides of the jars together. Then glue the top two together. Afterwards, glue the top two onto the base. Finally, fill it with some colorful markers, paper holders, and pens to add a pop of color! Now your desk will be looking organized and chic!

These are just a few ideas to get your dorm, apartment, or room looking stylish without breaking the bank. Have you created your own decor? If so, what? Leave us a comment below!

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