You may know a young woman heading to college this fall, planning to live away from home for the first time. She confronts a lengthy shopping list and many impending changes in her life. In my experience, it takes awhile for a dorm to feel like home — but photo decorations can create a personalized, familiar environment to ease the transition. A clothesline-style photo display is a unique, low-cost present to accomplish just that.
Here’s how I created a do-it-yourself dorm room gift:
First, I cut a length of twine slightly greater than my wingspan; this measurement can vary depending on how many photos and other accessories you would like to include. I tied a small loop at each end of the twine and hung it up with command hooks
Next, I chose photos and scrapbook paper on which to mount them. I decided on beach-themed photos for this particular project and printed them in varied sizes to give the decoration a more engaging composition. I found a pack of beach-themed scrapbook paper, as well. Using this to mount the photos added color and a more polished look. After gluing the photos onto the paper, I clipped these to the twine using mini spring clothespins.
To add more personality and texture, I placed natural accessories between the photos. I found shells that had small holes in them. Using a thinner twine, I tied these to the base twine. I also clipped some lavender and roses from the garden and tied them to the twine upside down, allowing them to dry—this adds color, scent and a three-dimensional aspect.
Finally, I embellished the paper with model clay and design molds. Play with the concept of this craft, even as you fit the gift to your recipient. What colors does she like? What are her interests? Tailor the nature of the photos and paper to her personality. You can even paint the clothespins or other items you include. Tie ribbons on the twine; use stickers, drawings, or old jewelry to embellish. Most important: Create something fun, and have fun creating it.
Ashley Robinson studies English at Stonehill College. Her work in writing, dancing, and designing reflects her passion for academics and creativity.