If you’re anything like me, you probably spent a good amount of money that you had intended to save on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, if you’re anything like me, that means you probably don’t have a ton left to spend on gifts for people for the holidays.
If you’re in this bind, there’s no need to worry; DIY gifts lead to incredible alternatives. Not only are they cheaper, but with the extra effort and time put into it the recipient will be far more impressed and appreciative. So, get ready to get crafty and set aside some time to give these DIY presents your all.
Homemade Decorated Coasters
Instructions: Purchase cheap and plain colored coasters — white works best, but others would work as well. Print out your favorite pictures and cut them into the size of the coaster, or slightly smaller if you have square coasters to give off the polaroid inspired look. Mod Podge it onto the coaster, let dry and repeat three more times.
Inspired by countryliving.com
Instructions: Purchase a plain white or light colored mug. Using oil-based pens (you can use Sharpies, but the cups will have to be carefully washed by hand), decorate the mug how you’d like. You can use tape or stencils to help guide you, or start by designing on it with pencil to make sure you have it how you’d like it.
Inspired by livewellspendingless.com
Instructions: Purchase a small glass vase, or use one you already have. Put a strip of tape around the center to divide it in half, and use tape to create a solid design that you will put in the middle of the vase, such as a heart or a star. Paint around the tape using acrylic enamel paint or chalk paint for best results, leaving the top part exposed. Once that dries, take off the tape and put a candle inside your newly designed candle holder.
Inspired by housebeautiful.com
Instructions: Get a mason jar and open it up, with the lid upside down. Cover whatever you’d like, such as holiday or winter-themed knick knacks (mini Santa’s, snowmen, trees, etc.) in Mod Podge to preserve the coloring and glue them onto the lid. Paint small snowflakes in the inside of the jar to give the illusion of falling snow once it’s turned upside down. Fill the jar almost to the top with water, and add glitter. Screw the lid onto the jar tightly. For a finishing touch, tie ribbon around where the jar and the lid meet.
It’s seems as if I can’t go on any social media without seeing the new fad: bath bombs. With eco-friendly brands, such as Lush, being one of the largest sellers of this product, many people have given it a try. It seemed like an exciting and fascinating thing to use, so I wanted to give it a go as well. However, being a college student on a budget, I decided to turn it into a DIY project anyone could do. Using cheap ingredients, many of which are found in your pantry, it’s a straightforward activity that won’t break the bank.
I must admit, I was a little nervous that using red food dye in something that I would bathe in would turn my skin a semi-permanent shade of pink. Nonetheless, I gave my DIY bath bomb the benefit of the doubt, and I loved it. The project was easy to do overall, it worked very well and I had a lot of fun getting to try out the new trend for the first time. By following some simple instructions, you can try the exciting craze as well.
-Mix 1 cup of baking soda with ½ cup of citric acid (I bought mine on Amazon), ½ cup of cornstarch, and ½ cup of epsom salts.
-In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of water, 1 teaspoon of essential oils if you have them, 3 teaspoons of oil (can be coconut, olive, vegetable or any that you’d like), and a couple drops of food coloring if you want to make it more fun.
-Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, a spoonful at a time, mixing as you go. Make sure to mix quickly so that it doesn’t completely dry out.
-If you’d like to buy a bath bomb mold online to make them look more professional, you can. I just molded them into spheres myself, and that worked just fine.
Can’t think of a costume for Halloween? No problem. What you can’t achieve with your ensemble, you can achieve with special effects makeup. For those who still want to celebrate the holiday without having to don a full look, using these techniques will let you portray a perfectly festive Halloween appearance or — even better — it can add to whatever costume you already have.
While special effects makeup can be on the spendier side, these four simple looks utilize items that you likely already have, or that can be found for very cheap either online or in most drugstores.
So, gather your supplies and get your camera ready. You’re going to want to show off these looks to all of your friends — and potentially terrify them.
Look of the Living Dead
Making yourself look dead is an easy way to add flair to any costume. It’s also the basis of many different special effects looks. Zombies, appearing sick or simply being dead, rely on these basic techniques. On top of that, it’s an incredibly simple look to achieve.
To get this look, I used a foundation significantly lighter than my skintone, a white eyeshadow and a deep purple eyeshadow.
I applied the foundation evenly across my whole face, including on my lips. I then took the purple eyeshadow and applied a copious amount in any areas that should appear sunken in. This included my eye sockets, by my temples, below my cheekbones and on each side of my nose. Then, I made sure to blend each one so that it appeared more natural-looking than sharp lines. Finally, I took the white eyeshadow and used it to make the bonier parts look harsher than they are: down the bridge of my nose and across my cheekbones.
‘Tis But a Scratch
This look is an easily altered one, because it can be one of two things. Without blood, it will appear to look like rotting flesh, which is an ideal special effect for zombie looks. If you add blood, then it looks like a large, fresh wound. Either one will add up to a horrifying result.
To get this look, I used toilet paper, Elmer’s glue, foundation, black eyeshadow, deep purple eyeshadow, a maroon eyeshadow and fake blood. This can be substituted for red food dye and corn syrup.
I started by cutting the toilet paper into round shapes about the size I would need for the wound. I then applied a thin layer of glue to my face and pasted four layers of toilet paper on top of each other. While it was still slightly wet, I used tweezers to pull it open from the center. Once it dried, I applied foundation to make it look more natural. Then, I took the black eyeshadow and applied a thin line of it around the outer inside of the wound, to give it depth. Then, I mixed it with the purple color and filled the rest of the wound in with that shade. I took the maroon eyeshadow and shaded the outside of the wound to make it look inflamed. Then, I added fake blood and let it drip down outside of the wound.
DIY Nose Piercing With a Pencil
This one always leaves people in shock. It’s a little bit harder to do, but the results are worth it.
For this one I used a pencil, fake blood, glue, toilet paper, red lipstick and vaseline.
Break the pencil in half. On the half with the eraser, take the blunt end and wrap it in toilet paper so that it won’t be so sharp and can be stuck in your nostril without causing harm. With the other end, help it stick to the bridge of your nose by applying glue, and also let the pencil rest against your forehead and stick it there with glue as well. Use the vaseline where it appears that the pencil is bursting through your nose, to make it look like torn flesh. Then, take the red lipstick and, using a light amount, apply to anywhere that should appear bloody or enflamed. Finally, fake blood is a must in this look. Apply it along the pencil, in the nostril and all around your nose.
Special effects doesn’t always mean scary. Sometimes, you want to opt for something fun, or at least less gory. Doing a deer look is an incredibly simple way to get the cuteness of a Snapchat filter that you get to wear all night. For this look, I used brown eyeliner, black liquid eyeliner, white eyeliner, light brown eyeshadow and foundation.
I started by using the brown liner to create the nose of the deer. Then, draw a line all the way down to your top lip. Fill in the top lip with the brown liner. Also use that liner to add a slight amount under your eye, but not on the waterline. Take the black liquid liner and draw an extended wing that also goes inwards towards the bridge of your nose. Use the foundation to cover your bottom lip, making it appear nude. Take the brown eyeshadow and do a slight contour of your nose. Finally, take the white eyeliner and paint small, filled-in circles on your cheekbones and forehead.
To complete this look, I made simple deer ears by cutting out small triangles from a brown paper bag and pasting them to a headband.
While the amount of sleep you get in a night is incredibly important for your health and the quality of your day, the way you choose to get up in the morning is also a large determining factor. It may be easiest to roll over, check your phone and scroll through a newsfeed for 30 minutes, but doing so will cause you to start your day in a sluggish and dull way.
How you choose to start your day will set the precedent for the rest of it. Do yourself a favor; choose to be productive. Turn off that alarm on the first ring, sit up straight, stretch to give your body some energy and get yourself out of bed.
Right after waking up is the perfect time to determine what your goals will be for the day. Forcing yourself to think about this early in the morning will allow you to plan ahead and keep that thought in the back of your head when making decisions throughout the day. Additionally, it will motivate you to get a head start by beginning whatever needs to be done that morning.
If you’re an early bird, use this time to get your workout for the day done. It may be rough, but you’ll find yourself feeling accomplished and energized for the rest of the day, allowing you to be more productive overall.
If you’re not an early bird, that’s okay, too. Find a morning routine that works for you and stick to it. Perhaps it involves going over your notes and drinking a cup of coffee, or maybe it means using the time to clean your room. Whatever it may be, make sure it will be beneficial to your day.
Finding small ways to make your mornings useful to you, your health and your workload will ultimately change the outcome of your entire day. So take advantage of those early hours, and, of course, start your day with a healthy breakfast, giving you the endurance to get your morning started right.
I’ve always struggled with finding ways to properly manage my time. Being a full time student, working two jobs and finding breaks to take care of myself and my mental health can be incredibly exhausting; it’s definitely not an easy thing to do.
Pairing this with the fact that I’m also someone who will never leave a job unfinished can often lead to grueling, long nights of stress crying, a lot of complaining and inevitably more procrastinating that only fuels the vicious cycle.
With the start of the new school year, I wanted to try as best as I could to avoid making this habit become a serious problem. So, instead of letting it fester as time goes by, I’m trying new techniques that have been significantly easing the workload.
To-do lists have become my new best friend. Every week I create a new one, and add to it as each day goes by. Looking at everything I need to get done in an orderly fashion helps my brain envision my plan of attack. Plus, it feels incredibly relieving to be able to cross things off and see the list shrink before your eyes.
I also make sure to prioritize. For someone like me, everything that I know must be done is of equal importance. However, I’m learning to weigh the pros and cons of each task and figure out what truly must be done first. In the end, if time doesn’t permit me to get to a specific task, I’m learning to understand that it’s okay. My mental health is far more important than any assignment.
Managing time is a learning process for me, and an incredibly beneficial one at that. The better I’ve been getting at it, the stronger I feel as a whole. The tactics that I’m teaching myself now are one’s that I will continue to utilize through the rest of my life. What better time to pick up this skill than now?’
For some college students, Halloween is practically synonymous with dressing up and partying with red Solo cups in hand. Meanwhile, Tuesdays are practically synonymous with homework, stress and extracurriculars. This year, the two happen to fall on the same day. Don’t let this discourage you; this Oct. 31 can still be one for the books, even if parties aren’t involved.
This Halloween, you can find yourself discovering new ways to make the holiday just as thrilling as it would be if it fell on a weekend. The best way to get equally fired up is with a classic addition to every All Hallows Eve season — haunted houses. If you have the time, grab a group of friends and head to the Oregon School for the Deaf’s Nightmare Factory. Though not for the faint-of-heart, the experience will be one you surely won’t forget.
If you want a similar event, but want to stay close to home, head to Independence for a more local haunted house. Located at 35 Northway St., almost anyone can find an hour out of their Tuesday to make their way over for a bone-chilling good time.
Still want to be scared but too busy to leave home? A horror movie date with friends is the perfect night in. Bake some Halloween-themed cookies, crowd around any classic scary flick and be prepared to have your heart beat out of your chest at every jump scare.
Not one to enjoy scares, but still want to celebrate? Get festive by partaking in the standard Halloween staple, and carve pumpkins. Anything from classic jack o’ lantern faces to intricate designs can be created — bonus points if you save the seeds and roast them for a sweet or salty treat.
While Halloween falling on a Tuesday may seem unfortunate, don’t let it disappoint you. There’s no reason you can’t make the most of it. So grab a bag of candy, throw on that costume anyway and start celebrating.
Being a first-year student at Western is an exciting, yet intimidating experience. For most, it involves living on campus in a dorm room that feels similar in size to a closet, immersing yourself in an entirely new group of strangers that are suddenly your neighbors, as well as learning the pros and cons to that 8 a.m. course you thought would be a good idea — trust me, it’s not the same thing as an 8 a.m. in high school.
Learning how to cope with these new circumstances is something that takes ample time and energy; being focused on that will result in the school year going by in the blink of an eye. With so much happening at once, it can be difficult to remember to stop every now and then and make the most of your beginnings at Western. Make sure that in your first year here as a Wolf, you manage to complete most, if not all, of our First-Year Bucket List.
Go to Midnight Movies at least once. It’s cheap, and usually an unforgettable experience if you’re going with the right people
Attend those Residence Hall Association events. A lot of work went into making those as fun as possible for students — plus you’ll usually get free things.
Borrow the keys to the kitchen and make your friends and yourself a homemade meal. Sometimes you just need to get away from Valsetz for a night.
Sleep in a dorm that isn’t yours for a night. It’s hard to explain why, but it’s always more fun and ends up feeling just like a slumber party.
Go to a sporting event you wouldn’t normally go to. Games are happening constantly: grab a group of friends and head to one.
Join a club or organization. By the end of the year, you’re going to want to have more friends than those you made in just your dorm or classes. It’s a good way to meet new people.
Have a movie night with your hall. It can be such a memorable experience to get together, eat popcorn and watch some B-List Netflix horror flick that will leave you laughing when you should be screaming.
Take a spontaneous road trip with friends. On a personal note: my first night hanging with my now best friends, they took me to the beach at 12 a.m. — I will never forget that night.
Pull an all-nighter. If not for homework, sometimes it’s worth it just to stay up for a classic Monmouth sunrise. They’re truly beautiful.
Take a free class at the Health and Wellness Center. Zumba, anybody?
Adventure around Monmouth on your own. You never know, you might fall in love with a coffee shop and become a regular.
Take pictures. Lots of them. You’re going to want to print those out later.
But also, don’t live on your phone. Sure, snap that photo, then put it away. Live in the moment.
Take a late night walk around campus with a friend or group. Another personal note, doing this with my now boyfriend of 11 months is how I fell for him.
Get to know some upperclassmen. They know so much about several aspects of Western and most would be glad to give advice.
Go to a party. If parties aren’t your thing, host a party alternative on your own where you spend the entire night doing things you love.
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