One of the exciting things about Peace Corps is the endless opportunity to be creative! We have the freedom to create projects, choose who we work with, and get crafty with our rooms. My room has always been an important space in my life… I am the kind of girl who finds ascetically pleasing spaces calming and after moving to a new place I knew I needed to start with this project. My host family is still in the process of building their house. When I arrived on day 1 it was barren and cold, but FULL of potential!
Trying to fill a huge empty room is a little difficult when you live 4 hours away from the nearest place to buy furniture, so Allie and I planned a trip to Chiclayo with her host family to buy everything we needed. I found great deals in the market on a pine bed frame, full size mattress, desk, chair, and all the accessories. Luckily there was a professor from Santa Cruz who happened to be in Chiclayo and was returning with his combi the same day as us, so we piled all of the furniture on the roof and hauled it back to Santa Cruz. (Not going to lie, I was asleep most of the trip because I was so paranoid that all my furniture was going to fall off as we were climbing switchbacks.)
The first step was painting! I chose to do one wall an olive green color and then the rest a cream. For the saying on the wall I just printed out each letter, traced it, and then painted in the lines.
I am a photography nut, so I needed a lot of space to hang photos. My wonderful Chi O little made me a fabric photo collage and my big gave me cute clothes pins to hang pictures on strings. The hanging strings of pictures could easily be duplicated with supplies you can find here in Peru!
This photo collage was so easy to make. I found three sticks in the backyard that were about the same length. Then I braided three pieces of yarn together (to make it stronger) and just tied it to each of the sticks. I did that three times and then just used duct tape to attach cards, pictures, and my plane ticket to Peru! It doesn’t weigh too much, so I just hung it with a small nail. Super easy and all you need is yarn, sticks, and glue or duct tape.
A comfortable room also needs lots of light, so with the help of my host brother we made an awesome cheap lamp! We blew up a balloon and then wrapped it in glue soaked yarn, let it dry for a few hours, and then popped the ballon. The lamp parts we bought at the local ferreteria (mini hardware store) and then my host brother put it all together.
My favorite project was the crate storage space! Wooden crates are about .20 a piece in the market because vendors bring their products from other cities and it is a hassle to return with all the crates. I bought 11 and just washed and sanded them before stacking them in the little cove in my room. It is the perfect storage space for all of the little things that I have nowhere else to put! I also got a world map scarf as a going away present and decided to add some color by draping it on top.
If you have any questions, or need more Peace Corps budget decorating ideas let me know!