DIY Decor: 5 Great Projects To Spice Up Your Dorm

An age old dilemma is how to decorate your dorm room inexpensively and non-permanently. You certainly don’t want to live with the industrial concrete block decor for the entire year, and posters only get you so far. At the end of the day, you want a space that reflects your style and doesn’t look like every other student dorm on campus, but that doesn’t break the bank.

So, I’ve rounded up the best ideas for DIY decor that will make your space shine with a bit of elbow grease, creativity, and very little money involved.

  • Project #1: Melted Crayon Art

  • Cost: $5
  • Materials: 1 pack of crayons, poster board, glue, hair dryer

This great project only takes a few minutes to make, and looks really unique. All you have to do is get a pack of crayons (and you don’t have to go name brand – a couple of packs from the dollar store will work just as well) and glue them onto a poster board. Then, just take a hair dryer to it and let gravity do its job.

You can always go with color schemes, or make several smaller ones to create a display. It takes only a few minutes to make, and is insanely cheap. Plus it adds a bright pop of color to any space, and makes you look really artsy as well.

Just be careful not to burn yourself, or to get melted wax everywhere. Take it from someone who accidentally ran some crayons through the dryer once, it’s not easy to clean up. This might be a good outdoor project when the weather gets warmer, or at least have a lot of newspaper spread on the floor.

  • Project #2: Photo Wall

  • Cost: $2
  • Materials: Twine, string, or yarn, clothespins, and photographs.

This is great for dressing up a blank wall (of which there are many in dorms) and for displaying pictures, artwork, and what have you that you might not be able to otherwise. All you need to do is get a roll of twine, or whatever kind of string suits your fancy, and some cheap clothespins at a dollar or thrift store. Tape the ends up to your walls (just be careful not to mess up the paint when you remove it) and you’ve got yourself a customized wall of photos.

This probably isn’t the best decoration for a shared space, as it’s very personalized, and your roommates probably don’t really care to have a wall full of your photos. You could either do this in your own bedroom (it would be cool on the wall above your bed) or you could agree to just put photos of you and your roommates, as a sort of shared project.

  • Project #3: Decorative Dry Erase Board

  • Cost: $5
  • Materials: Picture frame, scrapbook paper or fabric

This project is functional as well as decorative. All you need to do is get a large picture frame from a thrift store or dollar store, and place decorative paper or fabric behind the glass. Then, you just have to write memos, messages, due dates, or whatever on the glass with a dry erase marker, and it wipes right of later just like a dry erase board.

It’s great for keeping you organized, and it dresses up a wall as well, which is a win-win!

  • Project #4: Paint Chip Wall

  • Cost: free!
  • Materials: paint chips, tape

This is great for any space that you can’t paint, such as dorms and apartments. It also works if you can’t decide what color to paint a space! Now, you may not want to go quite as crazy as the picture above (or maybe you do) but a scaled down version of this would be great for any wall.

All you have to do is go to any home improvement store – Ace, Home Depot, Walmart – and get some paint chips. Technically they are free, and you shouldn’t have any problems taking them, but you might want to be discreet and not start grabbing everything in sight, or else someone might notice and be a bit unhappy with you.

Then just tape them to the wall in any arrangement you see fit, and you’ve got a fun and colorful space without breaking any building codes in your dorm!

  • Project #5: Wall Quotes

  • Cost: free!
  • Materials: magazine pages or other decorative paper, scissors, tape

Another great way to dress up a blank space, all you have to do is choose a quote, cut the letters out of old magazine pages or other paper as you see fit, and tape them up on the wall.

It’s a great way to personalize your space by adding your favorite quote, and you’ll always be inspired when you look at it.

So what are you all waiting for? Go get DIY’ing! Your dorm will be in shape before you know it!

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Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson is a freshman at Central Michigan University, currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. Elizabeth is a member of the CMU Honors Program, and is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life, the student run campus newspaper. When she’s not in school, she can usually be found reading, writing, or watching movies, and enjoys traveling and performing in plays.
Elizabeth Benson

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