Dorm Decor on a Budget

It’s hard enough having your dorm room be your bedroom, kitchen, living room, and study space all in one — decorating it is another challenge entirely. Making my dorm feel like a home is important to me, so I’ve spent a lot of time embellishing it to make it more comfortable. Here are a few simple and inexpensive DIY projects to spice up your dorm room, apartment, or wherever you call home! I had all of these supplies in my dorm already, but you can find them at any craft store, Target, or on Amazon!

Corkboard Mural

Because you are not allowed to use push pins on the walls of most dorms and apartments, corkboards are a lifesaver. They are usually inexpensive and easy to put up. Just hang your corkboard up on a wall with command strips hooks, then get decorating! You can use patterned paper, polaroids, pins, lights, photos, ticket stubs, and anything else you find interesting.

“Home Sweet Home” Map

Hey homesickness, you can’t stop me! As someone from out of state, I am always finding ways to positively reminisce about home, and this DIY is perfect for that. For the base, you can use wood or styrofoam, but I just used two pieces of cardboard from an old box. After cutting the cardboard pieces to be the same size (any size works), I glued them together and then glued a piece of white paper over the top. Then, I used blue and green map pins to outline the shape of Washington (my home state) and pink pins to make a heart around my hometown. Finally, I used one long string of embroidery thread and wrapped it back and forth between the outer pins and the inner pink pins. I also added doodles and the words “Home Sweet Home” to fill some of the white space.

“Picture This” Whiteboard

This personalized whiteboard DIY only requires a few items. Take any picture frame (Target sells inexpensive ones, and thrift stores usually have cheap and unique frames) and insert colorful paper, a photo, or just flip the stock photo to the blank white side behind the glass. Then use dry erase markers to make a to-do list, add doodles, or write an inspirational quote on the glass.

“Jar of Hearts” Pencil Holder

This is a cute way to organize your pens, makeup brushes, utensils, and other miscellaneous items. Just stack mason jars on top of each other and fill them up. I have them balanced between a bin and the edge of my bookcase, but you can also hot glue them together so they stay in position. You can add your own flair by painting the jars, or adding washi tape or stickers.

“You Got This” Inspiration Wall

This has been one of my favorite ways to inspire and uplift myself in my dorm room. I just used WeHeartIt (but you can also use Pinterest, Google, Instagram, or any other platform) to find cute, empowering quotes and words of encouragement. I cropped the pictures I found into squares, and then arranged them around on the outside of my door and the inside of my door around my mirror. This is another DIY that can be made specific to your personal style.

“Just Hangin’ Out” Photo Display

Sure, you can just tape photos on the wall, but there are so many more fun and creative ways to hang up those memories. I am notorious for printing photos then letting them collect dust, so with this DIY, I wanted to use some landscape and inspirational photos to fill up an empty space on my wall. To start, I found a stick outside that’s about a foot long (you could also use a wooden rod from a craft store). Then I printed nine photos on 4×6 photo paper and taped them to a fishing line (but any string works) to hang them up. For extra decoration, I cut triangles out of scrapbook paper to add to the bottom of the strings. I then tied the fishing line to the stick and created a handle at the top using embroidery thread. Finally, I hung up the display on a command hook. These collages are a fun way to add some color and life into your room!

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