Hack that Craft

By Cayli Mitchell

Autumn on Parade, Oregon, IL’s annual craft fair, happened this past weekend –  two days full of crafts, food and a huge parade. Every year I go, I see all the creative and amazing crafts, each booth with their own homemade specialties. What I don’t like to see however, is the price tag. Being a college student, I am broke. Over the years, I have figured out how to make a couple of the crafts I haven’t been able to afford, or just want to make cheap. Put away the loan application, no extra funds needed for these three craft fair hacks.

1. Tie Blanket- For me, this is probably one of the easiest and least time consuming items to make-plus who can’t use another blanket. The most expensive part is if you want a special kind of fleece (i.e NFL logo or a special show). Otherwise plain fleece is less expensive; you can get a yard for four dollars at most retail stores. Find the tutorial here.

2. Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin- This season at the fair I saw this craft for the first time. I thought the craft was rather simplistic in a “anyone could do it” kind of way. All you need is some mason jar lids, orange paint, wire to tie it together and a cinnamon stick for the stem. A 24 pack of mason jar lids are $15 on Amazon, this could easily make two pumpkins. Better yet attend an auction; mason jars can easily be found at an auction. If pumpkin crafts sound right up your alley, check out this helpful tutorial.

3. Holiday Wood Signs- DIY signs are the perfect addition to any holiday decor. All you need is a scrap piece of wood, cheap acrylic paint (or spray paint) and either store-bought or homemade stencils. Wood scraps can normally be bought at most home improvement stores for less than one dollar..Spell out whatever you want, “Beware,” “Believe” or even an NIU logo for those collegiate fans. Tutorial found here.

Be on the lookout for a craft you might want to do. You can visit the up and coming Pumpkin Festival in Sycamore Oct 25-29. Have an idea for an easy DIY project that any college student could do? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @NIUNorthernstar.