Morgan Stanford, senior in psychology, said she enjoys spending her time crafting decorations made out of scrap materials for her house. The feedback, she said, has been nothing but positive.
“I love that people enjoy coming to our house,” Stanford said. “It’s not necessarily like they’re walking into a college dorm or an apartment, and they feel welcomed by the decorations. It’s comfortable, and it’s not stuffy.”
Lady McIntosh, senior in human development and family studies, said she dove into the trend around her freshman year.
“Coming to college, I started wanting to find cheaper things and not buy brand new stuff,” McIntosh said. “So I just started trying to find deals on things that I thought looked good.”
As busy college students, both Stanford and McIntosh said they usually have time to work on only a few projects a year.
“I don’t plan it,” McIntosh said. “When I see something that I like… I’m like, ‘Oh that’d be cool.’ Then I’ll go make it.”
Stanford said her favorite project is an old door she covered with mirrors, which sits on top of her dresser. It was super cheap, Stanford said, and the idea just came to her.
Another one of Stanford’s projects is an old window turned into a chalkboard that is hanging in her kitchen. By using chalkboard paint to fill in different panes, Stanford was able to turn what others would have thrown away into a masterpiece.
Stanford said she doesn’t know where she gets her inspiration, but a lot of it is just looking for treasures where people wouldn’t always go in the first place.
“It’s really fun to take pieces of old houses or things that you necessarily wouldn’t see in a store and just try them out to see if they work,” Stanford said. “If not, then that’s great because you haven’t spent a ton of money.”
When a project does work out, Stanford said, it’s great as well because she is left with something that is truly one of a kind.
McIntosh said she enjoys browsing antique stores and garage sales for materials for future projects. Antique stores can be expensive, she said, unless you dig through to find the bargains.
“I think it depends on what you’re wanting to do,” McIntosh said. “I’m on a college budget, so if I have to spend more than $20, then I probably won’t do it.”
Connie Brewer, co-owner of Angel’s Antiques in Opelika, said she has noticed students from Southern Union and Auburn University coming into the store on a daily basis.
“I think it’s great that they have such an interest in stuff like that,” Brewer said. “That’s what our goal is this year, is to aim at getting more students in.”
Brewer said she is also glad to see renewed interest in recycling older pieces and giving them new life.
“A lot of times, you can buy a new piece of furniture from Wal-mart or wherever, and it doesn’t last but maybe a year,” Brewer said. “But an antique piece will last you as long as you take care of it and pass it on to your kids.”
While McIntosh and Stanford said they enjoy working on projects, neither are interested in turning their pastime into a job.
“I wouldn’t do it as a career,” McIntosh said. “I would do it more as a hobby for my own home or a friend’s house.”
Stanford said that if anything, creating new things is a great way for her to spend free time.
“When I get really stressed out with school or anything like that, it’s kind of great to get your mind away from things,” Stanford said. “And it’s really fun to do with friends.”