Summer is quickly coming to an end and incoming freshmen will soon be leaving for their first semester of college. There are many great things about college like making friends, seeing new places, and learning valuable lessons. However, there are some downsides such as sub-par cafeteria food, expensive textbooks, and dreary dorm rooms. When I saw my dorm room for the first time, I immediately thought: “How am I going to make this place not look like a prison cell?”
Many college students only have to experience the joys of dorm life for their first year of school, others live in a dorm all four years. Some dorms are nicer and newer than others, but most still need a decorative makeover to make the space more homey and fun. Luckily, we have put together a list of decor tips and DIY projects to help turn a drab dorm into a dream dorm – all while following a college student budget!
- Cover the Walls with Photos, Canvas, and Posters
No one likes to look at blank white walls in their dorm room. To give the space a more comfortable, soothing feel, adorn the walls with pictures of friends and family, movie posters, magazine covers, or even canvas prints! Not only does this personalize the room, but it can also help cure homesickness by having reminders of home on display.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with photo displays. Try spelling out your name or create a shape (such as a heart or peace sign) with photos, magazine clippings, and postcards. Another inexpensive DIY way to display photos is to pin a clothesline across the wall and hang photos on the line with wooden clothespins.
If you’d like a statement piece to fill the white space of your dorm walls, consider ordering a canvas print! You can print any photo you’d like whether it be a picture of you and your friends, your beloved family pet, or even a snapshot of your college campus.
- Brighten the Room with Fun Lighting
College dorms are infamous for their fluorescent lighting. If you’re not fond of the fluorescence, consider trying out an alternate way to light up your dorm! Search your home for any extra Christmas lights that may be laying around. If you find some, this is a great way to not only light up the dorm but also give it a decorative flair. Try draping them around the bed or desk so you have some light for late night study sessions. For a cool take on Christmas lights, here are some fun DIY crafts using ping pong balls or dixie cups.
Many colleges do not allow open flames in their dorms. If you’re lucky enough to have a dorm that allows candles, stock up on these cheap sources of light! There are also cute electric candles for those dorms that don’t allow the real deal.
- Get Organized with a Decorative Flair
Organizational items and projects don’t need to be boring! These organizational tools not only keep your stuff together but can also help add some pizzazz to your dorm. Try putting together an organization board that includes a to-do list, schedule, grocery list, or any other kind of memento that may be needed! If you want to make your own, try out this fun DIY project using plywood. Or you can get creative with clipboards for an easier DIY project. I personally was a fan of whiteboards in college because they were such an easy way to jot down reminders!
To keep your desk space in order, paint some mason jars to create a fun holder for your pens, pencils, and highlighters. If your electronics cords are overflowing into your work space, try making this fun charger station with a shoe box to keep all the loose wires stowed away. You’d be surprised how many cute organization tools you can make with common household items and some craft supplies!
- Be Creative With Your Furniture & Storage
Instead of breaking the bank on buying furniture and storage containers for your dorm, try creating some with items you may have lying around at home! A drink cart or caddy could easily become a makeshift nightstand. Plastic crates and foam can be made into cute chairs for whenever you have friends over to hang out or study in your dorm. If you’re looking for a creative way to store your chips and candies, turn your over-the-door shoe holder into a snack holder! When you’re leaving for class, you can easily just grab a snack before you head out the door.
We hope these decor tips and DIY projects help change your dorm into a fun space you enjoy living in! If you have some dorm decor ideas of your own, please share below!