Responsible Christmas spending with corks and caps

For an undergraduate student, the Christmas season can be daunting.

We are slammed with papers, presentations and final exams. Immediately after school ends, the Christmas season is upon us and we worry about finding gifts for friends and family while trying to stay on a budget.

With “seven out of 10 college students feeling stressed about their personal finances,” relieving the wallet through controlled Christmas spending is a useful behavior (Ashton, 2015).

Low cost/no cost Christmas gifts that are easy to create, yet beyond the skill-set of an elementary school student, are perfect options. Our wallets are stretched from student loans, textbooks and systems and, well, maybe I’ll call them “extracurriculars.” So, gifts that are cheap, quick and easy can alleviate a bit of the Christmas gift-giving stress many of us experience.

Since I have made these two gifts, I can attest that they were received well.

I am a Pinterest fan and like to spend time finding unique crafts and projects. I have access to a large amount of wine corks and beer caps via one of my jobs, so I tend to focus my Pinterest searches on crafts that include those components.

Drink coasters made of wine corks and beer caps are simple to make and cost no more than three to four dollars for eight coasters. Many might not have a similar opportunity to collect enough of the materials, so the most expensive part about this gift would be obtaining and saving corks and caps.

And that might enhance your enjoyment of the project.

Wine Cork Coasters

8 wine corks (per coaster).Ribbon that is about ¾-inch wide. (The ribbon can be purchased at a local dollar store or any craft store. Be sure to always check their weekly ads. There almost is always a coupon.)A hot glue gun. (If you don’t have one, ask to borrow one from a friend or a neighbor.)

1. Arrange the wine corks. Glue them together.

2. Glue the ribbon to the outside edge of the coaster.

3. Repeat three times.

Beer Cap Coasters

7 beer caps (per coaster)Roll of cork (12”-by-24” roll is about $4).Hot glue gun.

1. Arrange the beer caps in circle, beginning with one in the center.

2. Glue onto the cork and cut around the outer edge.

3. Repeat three times.

Controlling spending through responsible spending will lighten the financial stress many undergraduates feel during the Christmas season.

The design possibilities with wine corks and beer caps are limited only by your creativity, so don’t be afraid to let your imagination flow.

Elizabeth Soer is a student at Loras College.

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