Thanksgiving DIY: A cornucopia of quick and easy festive crafts to decorate your dorm

By Selah Fischer

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Every room looks better with a little holiday décor, and these quick and easy decoration ideas are super cute to dress up your dorm or apartment.

All the ideas require little effort and few materials that you can get from any local craft store.The best part is that everything is affordable and reusable and a lot of fun to make. Who needs store-bought decorations that can cost an arm and a leg when you can put your own touch on hand-made décor?

Click on the related galleries on the left for examples, let’s get started!

The Thankful Tree

Materials you will need:

1. 3-4 bags of candy corn

2. Mini chalkboard clips

3. Chalk

4. Any medium-size glass container or jar

5. One yard of ribbon

6. A bag of sticks, or you can grab some from your yard


Step 1: Take the glass jar or vase, whichever one you chose and poor two bags of candy corn inside.

Step 2: Take the bag of sticks and insert them into the jar filled halfway with candy corn. At this point you can trim the sticks with scissors to make them as long as you want. For my tree I chose to make all of the sticks different lengths.

Step 3: Pour the rest of the candy corn bag into the jar to finish filling it. For mine, I decided to use regular candy corn for the top and bottom of the jar and the pumpkin-shaped candy corn for the middle of the jar to switch it up. I think this looks a little more creative and cute.

Step 4: Tie the yard of ribbon around the jar in a bow. You can choose any color you want. I chose a bronze-colored ribbon to go with the Thanksgiving theme.

Step 5: Now for the fun part! Take the mini chalkboards clipped onto clothing pins and the chalk and write the things you are thankful for in your life on each of the chalboards. Then, clip them on to different branches of the thankful tree.

Step 6: Place this anywhere in your dorm or apartment for you and your guests to admire.


Initial wreath

Materials you will need:

1. Fake leaves

2. A hot glue gun and glue sticks

3. Scissors

4. A bow

5. Large initials for you and your roommates’ names

6. Two yards of skinny ribbon (not pictured)

7. A plain wreath from any craft store


Step 1: Tie the large bow in the middle of the wreath at the bottom.

Step 2: Take one yard of the skinnier ribbon and tie one of the initials in a bow to the side of the wreath. At first I tried gluing the initials to the wreath with the hot glue gun, but it didn’t stick so I chose to just use ribbon. It looks a lot cuter, anyway; trust me!

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 with the other initial on the other side of the wreath.

Step 4: Wherever there is open space and branches of the wreath showing, take the fake leaves and glue them to those areas. Overlapping the leaves and switching up the colors all over makes it look even better. Also, you don’t have to spread glue all over the whole leaf, just on the bottom of it. This will save you a lot of glue and time and I promise it will still stick just as well.


Bejeweled pumpkin

Materials you will need:

1. Any fake glass pumpkin you can find. At this time of year it’s hard to find real ones in stores since the season is almost over, so a glass one will work fine. Plus, it will last forever and you can reuse the decoration each year.

2. Black and orange paint (Black paint not pictured)

3. One bag of sequins, silver gems and large colorful gems in various shapes and sizes

4. Hot glue gun and glue sticks (Also not pictured)


Step 1: Paint the glass pumpkin with orange paint if it has any cracks or imperfections. This pumpkin was in the clearance section and a little beat up, so I just touched it up with some orange paint. Then, using the black paint I painted the stem black and added some polka dots spread all over the pumpkin. This made it easier to know where to place the silver gems so that they wouldn’t be all clumped together.

Step 2: Take the hot glue gun and place the small silver gems onto each black dot of the pumpkin. You can also switch it up and use the sequins as well, however, at the last minute I decided against this. It will still be super adorable if you choose to do so, though.

Step 3: After you have covered all of the black dots with the smaller gems, you can take the large colorful gems in different shapes and place them all over the pumpkin until you run out of space. Feel free to stick to one color gem or only use the small silver gems: whichever you prefer. I chose to use all shapes, sizes and colors.

Step 4: If you’ve ever used a hot glue gun before, then you know how messy it can be. Try to get all of the glue strings off of the pumpkin. It’s almost impossible to get them all, so just do the best you can. Voila! Your glittery gourd is complete!