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DIY Easy Dorm Room Décor Ideas: Decorations to Make

Updated on August 25, 2016
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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What type of decorations can you make for a dorm room?

Just a Few Ideas
Photo Frames and Displays
Pillows and Bedding
Desk Supplies
Bulletin or Note Board
Paint Chip Projects
Wall Art
Closet Organization
Shelving / Storage
Rugs / Mats
Lighting

Many college students, particularly undergraduate female students, are looking for inexpensive ways to decorate their dorm rooms. They want simple projects that will bring a little cheer to their plain cinder block walls and beat up furniture. The good news is that there are numerous tutorials out there from photo frames to closet organization with something for everyone. Most of these projects are easy to modify to fit personal tastes and preferences as well as size restrictions (i.e. closet dimensions).

A canvas photo college is a fun, cheap way to display photos of friends and family.
A canvas photo college is a fun, cheap way to display photos of friends and family. | Source

Photo Frames and Displays

One of the easiest ways to make any space feel like home is to put up a few pictures of family and friends. Personally my college dorm room wall always looked like this. All you need is some wall sticky tack to create this type of wall display. However, there is nothing wrong with using photo frames and other techniques, such as collages and twine hanging displays, as well.

The Kiera Grace line available through Amazon is affordable, attractive, and highly durable.

Kids can opt to have some of their favorite shirts from high school made into a t-shirt quilt to take to college.
Kids can opt to have some of their favorite shirts from high school made into a t-shirt quilt to take to college. | Source

Pillows and Bedding

The t-shirt quilt is one of the most popular dorm bedding options. Many people also like to put together homemade pillows to fill out their beds. Most dorm rooms do not come with ample seating. Having a few extra pillows around is a simple way to create comfortable makeshift seating for large groups of people.

Having an organized, personalized desk is an important component of any dorm room.
Having an organized, personalized desk is an important component of any dorm room. | Source

Desk Supplies

Virtually all college students require some type of basic desk supplies, regardless of their majors. Consider your needs as a student and create items that you will enjoy using on a daily basis while you are completing your coursework. Some people find that simply adding personalization to plain purchased items (i.e. spray paint, washi tape) makes them more fun to use.

Fabric Bulletin Board DIY

Bulletin or Note Board

A bulletin or note board can be a perfect spot to keep track of assignments, social engagements, and other campus happenings. Many people also choose to use boards to organize their thoughts or display items that inspire them. There are many plain boards available for purchase. Some people like to create their own boards or personalize purchased boards.

DIY: DRY-ERASE Calendar Board

Paint Chip Projects

If you spend any time on Pinterest, you probably know that the world of paint chip sample projects has exploded during the past couple years. There are a number of projects that fit into the ideas already mentioned here. For example, you can decorate plain picture frames with paint chips or turn a set of paint chips into a piece of wall art. Crafty college students will have no problem finding many uses for the handful of samples that they grabbed during their most recent hardware store trips.

Students who are allowed to put nail holes in the wall can hang decorative tiles and other wall art.
Students who are allowed to put nail holes in the wall can hang decorative tiles and other wall art. | Source

Wall Art

There is a lot of inexpensive wall art out there that is perfect for the dorms, but many people opt to make some of their own, too. You may have already found a few ideas from the photo and paint chip sections of this article. Consider making wall art out of paper, photos, fabric, and canvas with paint, thread, and stamps. Are you having trouble finding décor pieces with your school's colors and/or logo? Create your own!

There are so many creative ways to organize small closet spaces.
There are so many creative ways to organize small closet spaces. | Source

Closet Organization

Closet and dresser space in dorm rooms can vary quite a bit. Even the rooms that do come with sufficient space often lack organization items, such as baskets and racks. Adding just a couple pieces can make a big difference. Consider what storage items are most important to you, such as shoe storage or a purse organizer, and start with them. You can always add more storage later.

Shelving / Storage

In addition to closet organization ideas, there are a number of storage ideas and tutorials that are perfect for other aspects of dorm living such as cosmetic items storage and desk organization. Again, it is important to consider what will be most helpful for you and start there.

DIY Shag Rug | RebeccaKelsey.com

Rugs / Mats

Many dorm rooms do not have any kind of carpeting, which can mean cold feet in the mornings without a rug or mat. Consider rugs or mats for stepping out of bed and for right in front of the door. Does your dorm room have a sink or a full bathroom? You will want a mat for the shower and may want one for the sink area as well.

I hung these purple Christmas lights in my dorm rooms throughout college.
I hung these purple Christmas lights in my dorm rooms throughout college. | Source

Lighting

It is rare to find a dorm room that comes with anything but harsh, rudimentary lighting. One or two fluorescent lights are not adequate for long study sessions. Many students enjoy having a desk lamp as well as a bed or reading lamp. Consider other fun lighting options to soften the room and give it some cheer as well. Christmas lights are an inexpensive choice for many college students.

© 2013 Rose Clearfield

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    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      MopHolder, very true!

    • MopHolder profile image

      MopHolder 

      3 years ago

      Simply by organizing it well, you will never be bothered with any out of control mess from your piling up.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I had some of those cinder block rooms, too. Small decorations like Christmas lights can make a big difference. Thanks, Vicki! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      My roommate and I had a cinder block room. Very small. I wish I had thought of putting up Christmas lights. that would be fun and festive! Neat hub!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Om! That's great.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      5 years ago

      A very helpful hub for dorm dwellers! I am way past my dorm-living years, but I can still use some nifty closet-organization tips. Thanks!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great! Thanks so much.

    • profile image

      celeste 

      5 years ago

      The T shirt quilt and the tile photos definitely caught my eye. Awesome ideas thank you.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, ChitrangadaSharan! I hope that this article is helpful for your son. Even though I finished undergrad a few years ago, I still use a dry erase board for keeping lists at home.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice and practical ideas! I will pass this on to my son, who is doing MBA and staying in a one room apartment. I particularly liked the idea of reusable, dry-erase board.

      Very useful hub, thanks for sharing.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Yes, for sure, truthfornow! Thanks.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 

      5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Good for small apartments where you can't paint as well. I like the idea of a T-shirt quilt.

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