College Advice Blog

Apr 20, 2012

7 Inexpensive Decorating Ideas for Dorm Rooms

Most college students exist on a strict budget. While splurges for pizza must be made, putting money into decorating a dorm room can be one of the first things to fall on the wayside. But, we all need a place to come home to, and most students would be surprised how much of a difference a few finishing touches will make in the way they feel about their dorm room. Here are a few ways to spruce up your space on a college budget.

Make Your Own Wallpaper

If you want to add more color to the walls, try making your own wallpaper out of found items. You can go to a craft store and pick up some wrapping paper in the color of your choice. Then get a box of cool-looking flat tacks and some tape or sticky tack. Simply cut the paper to fit the wall, and stick it on in strips. To hold it, make a cool design with the tacks, or just place the tacks along the edge of each strip.

 Write on the Wall

Making a space for a chalkboard or dry erase board is a great way to add another element to your walls, and it’s useful for leaving notes. Look at a surplus warehouse to find a huge dry erase board or chalkboard and hang it so it covers the entire wall, if you want to do something unexpected.

Pillows and Throws

Pillows and throws are an easy way to pull a room together and add some flare. Check out department or outlet stores for marked down pillows. You can get a bunch of mismatched pillows and a throw in a basic color that will match them all.

Die Your Own Curtains

You can buy cheap curtains, or even used bed sheets, and create your own curtains. To do a cool two-tone curtain, find a white or cream shade and then buy two different colors of fabric dye. Let each side of the sheet soak in a different color and hang to dry.


Plants help keep the air fresh and clean in your dorm room, and they can brighten your mood, too. You can find cheap plants at grocery stores and gardening stores. Look for cool pots at thrift stores.

Old Bricks

Grab some old bricks that are headed for the trash and re-use them as bookends or to stack with wooden boards to make your own shelves.


Magnets are really useful for dorm mini-fridges and add some color to a room. You can find cool magnets at thrift stores or dollar stores. You can also make your own by gluing objects on top of plain magnets with a glue gun.


About The Author 
Jemima Lopez is a freelance blogger and writer who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and online degrees. She welcomes your comments at her email: lopezjemima562 at gmail dot com.

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