The fall season is here and there is so much brewing in the air. Don’t you love the smell of pumpkin spice, the crisp air, the leaves on the ground and boot season? There are so many reasons to love autumn time. I want to inspire you to get into the season by giving you some activities and craft ideas for you and your friends. You can do a lot of these ideas with your dorm mates and make it one big party with your dorm floor, or just a couple of you can go and do these fun activities!
1. Pumpkin Shopping
Obviously, the pumpkin is one of the most well-known fruits from the harvest season (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!). Decorating your room or dorm with these beautiful creations just gets you into the fall mood. You can get baby pumpkins if you don’t have a lot of space, like for your desk area, or put a pumpkin spice candle on your coffee table.
2. Paint and Decorate Pumpkins
Use glue, glitter or paint to decorate mini or regular-size pumpkins. Place them around your apartment or dorm and you will feel so fall-inspired! I love the gold and white decorations on mini pumpkins from cuteandcompany.com.
3. Have a Fall Dessert Party
If you are in a dorm, you may not be able to bake your pies, but you can have pumpkin lattes, chai teas, pumpkin pies, cookies and cupcakes. This is a great way to create fellowship, connect with others and enjoy beautiful fall holiday treats! Have everyone bring a different snack or favorite dessert to share. Enjoy!
4. Make Homemade Pumpkin Butter
Here’s a gluten-free and vegan recipe from the Minimalist Baker. It makes approximately 4½ cups.
• 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
• 2/3 cup (128 g) coconut sugar or muscovado sugar (or organic brown sugar)
• ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup (Grade A is best)
• ½ cup (120 ml) pure unsweetened apple juice
• ½ lemon, juiced (1 tablespoon or 15 ml)
• 2½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Pinch sea salt
Add all ingredients to a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and stir to combine.
Once it begins bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer. You’re looking for a frequent bubble, so if there isn’t much going on at the surface, increase heat to medium-low heat. If bubbling too vigorously, reduce heat to low.
Cook, uncovered, for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is 20-minute pumpkin butter, but if you have more time, leaving it on the stove for another 5–10 minutes will only deepen the flavors and thicken the texture. However, 20 minutes was about perfect!
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more coconut sugar or maple syrup for sweetness, lemon juice for acidity, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for warmth, or salt to balance the flavors.
Once cooled completely, transfer to a large glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, sometimes more (depending on the freshness of your ingredients).
Pumpkin butter is a delicious addition to fall goodies like waffles, pancakes, butternut squash banana bread, pumpkin bread or oatmeal! Enjoy straight from the fridge, or let it warm to room temperature before adding to items like waffles or pancakes.
5. Make Your Own Scarves
Get some thread in cute colors and patterns or even cloth that you can make into an infinity scarf. Do this with a group of girls to share your craftiness and creativity—it’s much more fun with your besties! Click here for instructions on how to knit your own infinity scarf in approximately 30 minutes!
[Images: PinetothePacific.Blogspot.com; zsazsabellagio.blogspot.com]
6. Make Caramel Apple Cider
This recipe is from the Kitchen Meets Girl blog.
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups apple cider
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Whipped cream, caramel syrup and cinnamon, for garnish
Combine brown sugar and heavy cream over medium-high heat in a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Stir until sugar is dissolved in the cream and the mixture bubbles, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, salt and apple cider, and stir to combine. Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
7. Walk and Take Photos With Leaves
Embrace the falling leaves and take cute Pinterest pics for Instagram or just for fun with friends. Put on some cute boots, a coat and a scarf, and enjoy the outdoors.
[Image: Bliss and Bounty – Pinterest]
8. Make Your Own Pumpkin Soy Candle
Here is what you need from A Cultivated Nest.
- 2 cups soy wax flakes
- 1 orange crayon (you can get cheap crayons at your local dollar store)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 candle wick with weighted bottom
- Wooden spoon
- Chopstick/wood stick or pencil
- Glass jar (like a Mason jar or leftover jelly/jam jar)
9. Go to a Fall Festival or Farmers’ Market
Check your local town for the farmers’ markets and hometown fairs. You can enjoy some corn on the cob, snacks, seasonal dishes and fun! Don’t miss out on the community activities and events.
10. Make Your Own Potpourri
From the blog at Hello Glow, here are some of the supplies you’ll need to make your own fall fragrance for your dorm.
- Dried apple slices
- Dried orange slices
- Whole nuts (with shells)
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Juniper berries
- Dried rose hips
- Laurel (bay) leaves
- Pine cones
- Essential oils: cedar wood, clove, cinnamon, orange and pine are all great together
Click here to get full instructions on how to make your own potpourri.
PI Girls, what is your favorite part of the autumn season?