DIY projects provide creative, relaxing outlet as semester comes to a close

Grace Marchione April 15, 2015 0

The end of the spring semester is a unique time of year; it can be very stressful, but it’s also a perfect time for making memories and relaxing. With lots of studying and paper-writing ahead, you’ll need plenty of breaks to rest your mind. Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to have fun and relieve tension while still staying productive. You can do them by yourself or with a group of friends, and many of them are quick and inexpensive. Here is a small list of some easy projects to try over the next couple of weeks!

1. Make your own succulent garden.

These are all the rage right now and it makes a perfect activity for all nature enthusiasts. You can do this with vegetables or spring flowers. All you need is a small pot with a hole in the bottom, some pebbles or gravel and an appropriate soil mixture. You can make this yourself using regular soil, fertilizer and sand or you can buy it pre-mixed (look for a cactus/succulent soil mix at a hardware store or online). If you want, you can also add some decorative stones around the top. The process of assembling your plant’s new home should be very simple, but I recommend doing a quick Google search to make sure you are giving it the proper care.

2. Make glow-in-the-dark chalk.

This project might require a trip to the craft store, but it is extremely simple overall and will be well worth the effort. All you need is glow-in-the-dark paint, plaster and an ice cube tray. You begin by dissolving glow-in-the-dark paint in water. You can do several colors — just use a separate cup or container for each. Then, you’ll mix some plaster (you can use Plaster of Paris) to thicken the mixture. After pouring it into an ice cube tray and letting it harden for several hours, your chalk will be ready to use! Freezing it for a few minutes will help it pop out of the tray more easily. When you’re feeling frazzled from long hours of homework, bring a group of friends outside and have a last reliving your childhood. You’ll be able to enjoy your masterpiece even after the sun sets.

3. Summer-ify your wardrobe.

We all need a change now and then. Sometimes, we get sick of old clothes that have been lying around for years, or we just need a style upgrade. Luckily, there are lots of options for adding a summer-y touch to clothing at little to no cost or skill level. You can transform an old T-shirt into a stylish workout tank in a matter of seconds with a pair of scissors. With jeans, you can go beyond the traditional cut-offs by “dip-dyeing” them in bleach and then using a fabric Sharpie to decorate. If you know the basics of sewing, try adding colorful fabric to the back pockets!

4. Give yourself a spa treatment.

There are a number of awesome, natural ways to pamper yourself without the fancy products or services. Body scrubs are a great way to exfoliate and are extremely simple to make: just combine two parts sugar or sea salt with one part olive oil (or almond, coconut, etc.). Face masks are similar; lots of them only require one or two ingredients. A basic mixture of honey and cinnamon, for example, will help clear up acne. Applying egg whites will tighten your skin and shrink pores. All of these are great ways to relax by yourself or with friends during finals week and don’t require anything more than a trip to the grocery store.

5. Plan out décor for your next living arrangement.

Whether you’re living on campus, at home or in a new apartment next year, you’ll want to spruce up your space. The planning process alone can be a great way to unleash your creativity and unwind after a long semester. If you’re on a budget, brainstorm cheap ways to add personal flair to your room. Craft tape (like Washi Tape), which comes in a variety of colors and patterns, is great for walls, doors, bookshelves and many other surfaces. Another great way to decorate is through lighting. If you’re resourceful, you can make your own marquee sign out of cardboard and twinkle lights. It’s up to you to decide how adventurous you want to be, but there are thousands of decorating options available for all levels of skill and imagination.

If you are interested in trying any of these projects, but aren’t sure how to get started, all of the instructions you’ll need can be found through a quick search on Google or Pinterest. Pinterest also has even more artsy projects that you can do in the comfort of your own room or outside. Have fun!


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