When Crafty Meets Thrifty

By Shyanne Riberal-Norton

As the school year begins, students start moving into new living spaces, such as apartments or dorms, that often come with vacant walls and rooms devoid of any personality. Let’s admit it: Most of the time, it’s difficult to spend money on decorations when you have other expenses to take care of. However, there are an array of inexpensive ways to liven up your new place. Here are a few DIY projects to help decorate your pad without breaking your bank.

Cinnamon Candle

IMG_3858 (1).PNG

Some of the easiest decorations are candles! They are small, easy, useful, necessary and appropriate for all times, but customizable for different holidays and/or occasions.


  • Vanilla pillar candle

  • Pack of cinnamon sticks

  • Hot glue gun

  • Twine or ribbon

Pillar candles are easy to come by and cheap to purchase. The Dollar Store is a prime place to buy these candles. 

  1. Place a drop of glue on each cinnamon stick then attach them vertically to the candle. You can customize how you would like to place the cinnamon sticks.

  2. After sticks are glued on, simply take a piece of twine or ribbon and tie it around the candle for extra flair and support.

Wine Bottle Vase


People sometimes joke about using wine bottles as decor, but it’s a quick and easy project to customize a bare home. Wine bottle vases provide versatile ways to brighten up any room — from painting them to wrapping them.


  • Wine or glass bottle

  • Hot glue gun

  • Twine/ribbon

  • Material leaves or flowers

  1. Slowly wrap one piece of twine around the bottle, starting at the bottom. Apply glue as needed.

  2. Then, after the bottle is wrapped, glue flowers and other decorations.

Cinnamon Pinecones


Arguably one of the most recognized scents of the autumn season is cinnamon. The warm, comforting aroma is usually infused with many holiday decorations. Making your own cinnamon pine cones is an easy way to scent your home.


  • Pinecones

  • Cinnamon essential oil

  • Water

  • Spray bottle

  • Storage bag

  1. Start by dropping 15-20 drops of the essential oil into a small spray bottle, then dilute the oil with about 2 tablespoons of water. However, this concoction can be tweaked for your personal preference. 

  2. Place pinecones in a storage bag and spray some of the mixture on the pine cones. 

  3. Seal the bag and shake. Repeat once or twice. CAUTION: Don’t overspray or pinecones will become too wet.