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Budget Decorating Tips for College Students

Updated on February 26, 2010

Two Words:

  • Vintage

  • Custom

These two words will make the most of any Ramen Noodle or Boone's Farm budget.


Hit up your local Salvation Army/Good Will/Resale Shops and look for items that are structurally sound, but may aesthetically need a little TLC. Garage sales are also a great place to make use of the "someone else's trash" cliche. You may find real treasure at garage sales in high income areas. You never know when someone may be upgrading last year's model.

And if you are working on a REALLY limited budget, look around for items that you already have. A little fabric/paint/stain/love might be able to convert your your old desk & chair into your new bistro set.


You should always start with a color scheme in mind, maybe pick 2-3 colors that work well together and fit your personality. If you are having trouble finding a color scheme, try going to the Paint Department at your local Home Improvement Store. They usually have brochures of different color schemes to help you visualize.

Once you know what colors you are looking for and what items you want to customize, go to your local fabric store and browse the clearance section. Big chain stores like Joann's and Michael's often have coupons with great discounts in their weekly circulars, and will almost always match a competitor's discount/coupon.

And if you aren't great with a needle and thread, they also offer many other many other "quick fix" products, such as Stitch Witchery, a fusible web that comes in several widths to permanently bond 2 layers of fabric (also great for the DIY hem job).

Click on the links below for DIY step-by-step instructions on how to customize your college experience!

Custom Headboard
Custom Headboard
Custom Bulletin Board
Custom Bulletin Board
Custom Mirror
Custom Mirror
Custom Decoration
Custom Decoration
Custom Tile Coffee/End/Bistro Table
Custom Tile Coffee/End/Bistro Table


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      Twin XL 8 years ago

      Ramen Noodle is certainly my budget- but they still have some pretty cute ideas here! Can't wait to decorate!