Autumn decor: Repurpose unwanted items

Ariel Silkett
Features Writer

Orange, yellow, black, brown, green and red: the significant colors of fall. Yet, fall has a much more expanded selection of colors. Magenta, fuchsia pink, burgundy, plum purple, silver, white, yellow-green, mahogany, sienna, taupe, and burnt sienna; try working some of these colors into your color scheme this fall. Here are some do-it-yourself fall decoration ideas that can help to recycle everyday items and bring the fall spirit to your dorm without breaking your bank.
If you have empty glass bottles, such as Snapple bottles, save them because they make easy decoration ideas for you room. Fill them with colorful candy, paint them different colors, place twigs from tree branches inside as décor, tie a gold ribbon around the neck of a bottle, fill them with pebbles or sand … there are so many options. If you like the scent of pine, try collecting branches from a pine tree and place them inside a bottle.

You can’t have fall without colorful leaf decor.
You can’t have fall without colorful leaf decor.

Newspapers are easily accessible and are a great material for DIY crafts. Use recycled newspaper to cut into the shapes of leaves and decorate your wall with them. Place them on the wall to look like leaves blowing on a windy day. Or cut out shapes of bats, pumpkins, spiders, or whatever else strikes your fancy. You can individually attach your cutouts to the ends of strings and have them hanging down. This will look even more interesting if you have clear colored string. A trending décor idea is to simply fasten a long piece of string so it runs across your wall and use clothespins to attach pictures or other decorations, such as leaves.
Again, using newspaper or magazine paper, roll them into skinny sticks, glue or tape the ends down, and glue them closely together around a bottle or box, or use them to frame a picture. Magazine paper brings more color to this idea. Collecting twigs and gluing them around a bottle or glass jar gives this idea a more natural, outdoors feel.
Pumpkins are a significant symbol of fall. If you are unable to go out and buy a real pumpkin or even a miniature one to sit on your desk, then this next DIY idea is great for you. If there is a book that you want to throw out and is not worth selling back, then don’t throw it out just yet. Make it into a pumpkin decoration. The size of the book is up to the creator.

Use unwanted books to make fun pumpkin fall decorations.
Use unwanted books to make fun pumpkin fall decorations.

Remove the book’s cover by using the sharp edges of scissors, but make certain to keep the binding of the pages intact. Then make a pattern out of a scrape piece of paper that you will trace onto the first page of your book. The pattern can be a half circle or oval or a D shape. Think of the round shapes pumpkins can be. Try to fill out the book with this pattern as much as possible. You will want to use as much of the book as possible.
The next step is tedious, but also the most important. Take an x-acto knife, pair of scissors, or whatever sharp item you are comfortable using. The thickness of the book you use will determine how long it will take you to cut out the shape of every page. Try cutting as many pages at the same time as possible. You may only be able to cut five to ten pages at the same time, but take your time since you want it to turn out nicely. If you have rough looking edges you can go back using scissors and trim some of the rounded edges. Once you have cut out every page, you will open the book and estimate where the middle is.
Then, take a strong glue or adhesive and glue the middle binding together. Press it together well. It may take a bit before it stays in place. Try putting something heavy on top of the book for some time to help the middle binding stay glued. When you have that done, open the pages like a fan effect. You should get a round shape with the hard binding in the middle. Take your glue again and glue pages together to help maintain this round fan effect. You can skip some pages, but the more you glue together the better it will stay.
For embellishments, you can poke a hole on top of the binding and glue a piece of wood collected from outside. You can also paint the edges of your pumpkin a certain color, but do not paint the pages because you want the printing to show. Add a ribbon on top of the twig or piece of wood or any other craft materials you may have. The ribbon will also help to cover the twig glued into the binding.
Bring fall into your room this year with these easy DIY projects. Since fall is a short season, use colors in your designs so your decorations can be used again in the other seasons.