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3 ways for students to decorate with recyclables

Posted by Catherine Cloutier  March 7, 2014 06:26 PM

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Here's how to turn things you have lying around the dorm room or apartment into stylish decor.

1. Wine Bottles
After a night with the girls, used wine bottles can serve as flower vases. The bottles can be painted, spray painted, encircled in yarn or left plain-and-simple. An assortment of flowers can be collected and placed within each vase. Flower vase prices range from $2.50 from Crate&Barrel to over $20 million collectables. This project will only cost a student a good time with friends and the use of their imagination to incorporate room décor that shows off their interior design style.
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Sample Project
Step 1: After finishing the bottle of wine, completely rinse out the bottle with water/
Step 2: Purchase artificial flowers from Walmart for $2.00 and arrange them in the empty bottle.
Step 3: Place the vase on the TV stand and enjoy the view.

2. Beer Bottles
Following game night, beer bottles do not have to end up in the trash can or recycling bin. They can also serve as vases or stacked up to provide a splash of color against a plain wall. Using glue, stickers or any other type of material, the bottles can either match furniture and appliances or stand out as art in a room.
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Sample Project:
Step 1: Enjoy the case of beer and rinse out the bottles with water.
Step 2: Purchase the Activity Bucket from CVS for $6.50.
Step 3: Tie one chenille stem around the neck of each bottle.
Step 4: For one bottle, use glitter to draw designs on the body.
Step 5: For another bottle, glue 4 foam pieces to the body.
Step 6: Allow pieces to dry for one hour.
Step 7: Glue colored craft sticks to the lips of the bottles.
Step 8: Align the three bottles against the back of a plain wall.

3. Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes typically accumulate when students move into their dorm rooms. Instead of dumping them into recycling bins, small and medium-sized boxes can be used for storage, jewelry or keepsake boxes. Pencil box holders, for instance, can cost between $4.99 on eBay to over $40 in stores.
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Sample Project:
Step 1: Obtain a small or medium-sized cardboard box.
Step 2: Obtain 28 sticks that are different colors or dye wooden sticks in preferred colors.
Step 3: Glue down and align 7 sticks on each side of the box.
Step 4: Allow the sticks to dry onto the box for one hour.
Step 5: Place pens and pencils into your new pencil holder.

This story was published as part of a collaboration between Boston College's Magazine Writing class and Your Campus.

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