DIY Dorm room decorating ideas for college

Dorm life includes a lot of studying, partying and just plain hanging out. You need to do a lot in a small space. In order to pull off a cool dorm room you could use a few diy decorating ideas.

A few examples on how to liven up your dorm room space. (Credit: Surviving College)

A few examples on how to liven up your dorm room space. (Credit: Surviving College)

Dorms tend to be pretty small so creativity is the key to success. Let’s look at how to decorate your room for this next semester.

DIY decorating for dorm rooms

In her July 15, 2014, post for, “10 DIY Dorm Room Projects, “Elizabeth Hoyt described affordable ideas to jazz up your dorm room.

Washi tape lampshade. (Credit: Domestically Speaking)

Washi tape lampshade. (Credit: Domestically Speaking)

Hoyt’s project ideas included:

  • washi tape lampshade: use different designs of washi tape to dress up your lampshade into a one-of-a-kind work of art
  • framed message board: take a photo frame and dress it up with spray paint; use fabric-covered foam core as a back board and place the glass on top; use dry-erase markers to write messages on the glass as they will wipe off easily
  • cookie sheet magnet board: start by using a fast drying gloss paint that is made for metal; you can use all kinds of colorful magnets to attach your messages and notes; consider making your own magnets too

According to Hoyt, “Don’t write your reminders on a boring notepad only to blend into your desk later – hang them on a cool homemade magnet board you’ll be sure to notice! You can also hang photos and mementos from home, too!”

How to decorate your dorm room for less

More affordable decorating ideas came from Janine Ko in her June 30, 2014, post for, “16 Easy DIY Dorm Room Décor Ideas.”

Keep your memories of home, friends and family up where you can see them every day with the clothesline picture holder. Just run lengths of string across the wall and then use clothespins to attach your photos.

Feel free to use your own creativity to add a dash of color and bling to this idea. Consider using ribbon or even holiday lights instead of string. And surely you can find something dressier than clothes pins. Or you can decorate the clothespins with paint, glitter and other sparklies.

“You’re not limited to photos! Hang up notes, cards, movie ticket stubs, and other paper memories to create an eclectic yet super easy display for your room,” Ko said.

Want a unique way to display your earring collection? Try out Ko’s cheese grater earring holder. Just take a cheese grater and spray paint it. You hang your earrings from the tiny grater holes. If it’s a flat grater you can hang it on the wall. A square grater will stand on its own. You might even want to add little feet at each corner to dress it up.

Display your photos

Another great idea for showing your photos is with the “DIY Instagram Wall for Your Dorm Room.” This idea was explained in a July 12, 2014, post by Faith Auslund for

Your very own DIY Instagram wall. (Credit: Faith Ausland)

Your very own DIY Instagram wall. (Credit: Faith Ausland)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • printed Instagram pictures
  • painter tape
  • sticky tac
  • a level (Ausland uses the iHandy Level app)

First you need to decide on how you’re going to arrange your pictures. You could do a collage, spell out words or make a geometric shape, for example. How large do you want your display to be? The size will determine how many pictures you’ll need. Then you need to produce your pictures.

“Instead of trying to make your own prints, we recommend getting your pictures printed at a low price through a website such as Printstagram, PostalPix or the Print Studio app,” Auslund advised.

Next you’ll arrange the pictures on a flat surface like a table or a bed. Now that you know exactly how you want your display to look it’s time to put it on the wall.

You’ll use your level to mark the base for your display with the painter’s tape. Outline your display on the wall using the painter’s tape to keep the layout uniform and the spacing consistent.

When attaching your photos to the wall use ticky tac as it will hold your photos to the wall without taking off the paint.

An alternative way to display your photos is to place each one in its own frame and then arrange the framed photos into a display.

What are your most creative dorm room decorating ideas? Tell us in the comments.

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