Annual holiday Pinterest party offers creativity, affordability

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    Krista Adams, an assistant professor for teacher learning and teacher education, pours dehydrated marshmallows into a Christmas bulb. The Pinterest craft combines elements of a hot cup of cocoa into an ornament.
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    Georgia Gleason, a special events assistant coordinator for UNL admissions, canvasses her homemade snowflake. The snowflakes are made entirely of tongue depressors and glue.
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    Julie Keys, an administrative tech for the Nebraska East Union, pushes coffee filters into styrofoam to create a wreath.
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    Pinterest Party-goers converse with friends while stringing together holiday words and making wreaths.
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    Alyssa Dirks, a freshman meteorology major, focuses on each detail of her terra-cotta pot craft. Dirks said she loves crafts and brought an overflowing craft bin with her to college.
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    A Pinterest crafter stretches after finishing her holiday projects for the night and enjoys time with friends.
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    Student Involvement's third annual Holiday Pinterest Party allowed creativity to flow throughout the room as attendees focused on their crafts. About 30 people attended.

Alyssa Dirks stared intently at her polished terra-cotta pot. Each flake of fake snow had to be perfectly painted around the perimeter.

Dirks and around 25 others built their own winter wonderland.

Student Involvement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosted its third annual Holiday Pinterest Party on Nov. 12. The party, open to anyone, allowed for crafting certain holiday decorations to take home.

Dirks, a freshman meteorology major at UNL, was exited to hear about the fun opportunity. She said she brought an overflowing box of crafts to college. Her specialty is making paper flower bouquets.

“I’ve always loved to craft,” Dirks said. “Having that love for crafts made it sound very interesting to me.”

Kate Maginnis, a senior elementary education major, was in charge of this year’s party.

Maginnis first came as a participant to a previous Pinterest Party. After a crafty and fun experience, Maginnis decided she wanted to get involved with planning it.

Reshell Ray, assistant director of student involvement, got into the holiday spirit as she walked around the room using large candy canes like ski poles.

The Pinterest parties started after a hospitality student had to create an event for a class. After a large turnout, the Student Involvement office decided to keep the parties going.

Ray said the first year of the party, there was about 100 people, but this year’s 30 people was a perfect amount.

Ray said preparing for the party takes a lot of work for her and her staff, such as baking, looking for crafts on Pinterest, making prototypes and preparing the materials. She said it took about a month and a half to organize everything.           Attendees have to register and pay $20 in advance or $25 at the door, which covers the material costs for about five different crafts.

The money is worth it, Ray said, as the crafts are reusable. She said people also do crafts at home, but can get tired and never finish.

“Here, you’re motivated to get the project done,” Ray said. “It’s a creative outlet and a social medium for students to meet.”

Maginnis looked around the Great Plains room in the Nebraska East Union where the party was. As the movie “Elf” played in the background, paintbrushes were dipped and cookies were crunched. Maginnis recalled her favorite part about the parties.

“Everyone has their own creative side to things,” Maginnis said. “It’s cool to see what things people do with their crafts.”

Karen Kassebaum, director of recruiting for the college of education and human sciences, attended the party for the first time.

Her friend Krista Adams, an assistant professor in teacher learning and teacher education, insisted Kassebaum go. But Kassebaum was reluctant at first.

“I thought, ‘I’m not crafty,’” Kassebaum said. “I was hating it at first, but it grew on me.”

Adams said the party is convenient.

“They have everything (glue guns, craft supplies) right here, so it makes it easier,” Adams said. “It’s expensive to craft.”

She said the entirety of the party creates a nice holiday-feel with the music, movies, snacks and crafts.

“That’s why I love it,” Adams said. “It’s the whole ambiance. They pull it all together.”

Dirks, like others, moved on to other crafts throughout the night, spending ample time on each one. She took most of her crafts home to finish, to spend more time on them.

“I like my crafts to look good,” she said.

Ray said she hopes to keep the Pinterest parties going, but not over saturate it by having them too often.

“It’s people’s creativity that comes out,” Ray said. “It makes for a really fun evening for people to come out.”

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