Knitting is a nice, cheap way to relieve stress. (Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay)

Cool Craft Ideas for College Students on a Budget

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.

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Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.

If you’ve ever been or you currently are a college student, then you know that it can be a struggle to fit all the things you would like to fit into your budget. It doesn’t matter if you work a part-time job when you are not in class, it can be hard to balance living expenses such as food, clothing and rent with both tuition and books. That is why the idea of the broke college student is so popular — because of students on a budget during the later years of their academic career.

People, especially students, need an outlet of some sort to blow off steam and relax for their mental health. Some people use sports and exercise, others use more creative outlets like arts and crafts. Using your free time to complete a project or craft that is not school-related can do wonders for your mental health while flexing your creative spirit.

But it goes without saying that if you are on a budget, it can be hard to flex that creative spirit for large projects because craft projects can and do require money for supplies, equipment and more. Thus, here is a list of cool craft ideas for college students on a budget.

Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting

Not only are sewing, knitting and crocheting the type of craft project that can soothe the mind and allow it to forget all the stressful things going around inside; it’s the type of project that can be both practical and financially beneficial. You need to be focused on the project in front of you when it comes to each style of needlework or you could miss a stitch, ruin a pattern and more. This repetition and focus are of a different sort than most studying, which allows the mind to take a break from coursework and instead exercise itself in a more creative way.

Also, needlework is an oft-overlooked art form, but people still pay for good quality work. If you have skill with a needle and can create clothing, accessories and even offer tailoring services, you can charge money for each work that you create, increasing your budget using your free time. Wool, thread and needles are on the lower end of the price scale and you can even pick up supplies at a flea market (some people will even purchase older items and unravel them for the yarn, wool or thread if the condition is good to new).

Interested in learning how to sew to increase your skill set and possibly make money? Then pick up this guide to a perfect sew.


Beadwork can be used to create hanging wall art, coasters, jewelry (earrings, bracelets, necklaces) or even items such as handbags if the wire is strong enough. Beadwork can create amazing pieces of art when the craft is done well, and people are willing to buy these items when the quality is good.

Wire for beadwork, depending on the the type of project you are completing, can be more expensive than you were bargaining for, but the beads themselves can be purchased cheaper at a craft store or dollar store. If you are planning to sell your finished goods, you will want to invest a little more into your endeavor to see a higher return.

Traditional and Non-Traditional Mosaic Collages

Mosaic collages are beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to create. These pieces of art can be created using materials found in craft stores, nature or even around your room. Anything that can be mounted onto a backing can be used in a mosaic collage. Think beach glass, smooth pebbles, childhood mementos and even pieces of broken furniture can all be repurposed into a funky and unique piece of art.

DIY for Your Dorm Room (or Apartment)

If you want to redo or brighten up your dorm room (or apartment) and you also want to exercise your creative spirit while on a budget, why not combine the two and do both? Use that crafty side of yourself to DIY renovate your room. Think restored and repurposed furniture (such as an old washtub into a flowerpot), handmade lampshades using non-toxic paint that create rainbows on the wall, and hand painted dishes, coasters, etc. Find some great tutorials for these projects and more on the web.


Just because you are a student, it doesn’t have to mean that you sacrifice your creative spirit, especially if the reason you are doing so is because you are on a tighter budget. It simply means you have to get creative when it comes to your crafts and the projects you undertake. Depending on your major, you might even be able to use some of your projects as extra credit. For example, if you are completing a business degree while selling your crafts for extra money, write up your business proposal and submit it to your professor.

Get crafty when it comes to completing crafts, have fun with the process and try new things to possibly discover another creative outlet that suits your spirit, even while on a budget.

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