College students are notoriously cheap. But that’s because they have to be. Here are 5 cheap dorm decor ideas that will help you save your money for tuition.
College dorm life is like a rite of passage for college students. For public schools, 40% of students live in dorms, and it’s even higher for private schools at 64%.
You’ll want to decorate your dorm room and make it fit your style so you feel like you’re home. Use this as an opportunity to express your personal style and taste.
Your dorm room will be a place where you relax, hang out, and invite friends over. Make your space welcoming to your visitors by creating a comfortable and relaxing space.
Why Go Cheap?
There is one trap you should be careful not to fall into. Credit card companies love to give college students credit cards. You might be tempted to use that brand new credit card burning a hole in your wallet.
Don’t do it! If you spend a lot on dorm decor now, you’ll be needing to apply for loans for bad credit by the time you graduate. Instead, get creative and opt for cheap dorm decor.
We’ve got 5 great ideas to help you get started.
- Skip the Picture Frames
Depending on how many pictures you want to hang, picture frames can get expensive quick. Expect to pay $10 to $25 for small frames and larger ones costing upwards of $40-$50 per frame.
Then there is figuring out how to hang them if that’s even a possibility.
Instead, opt for some wire and clothespins. Choose a wire that is lightweight but still durable. Then string it from one end of the wall to another.
You can do multiple rows of the wire to fill a larger space on the wall. Then use the clothespins to attach the pictures to the wire.
This method is faster, cheaper, and more customizable. It also gives you the freedom to change the pictures out as often as you like with minimal effort.
- Faux Paint the Walls
You won’t be able to actually paint the walls of your dorm room. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add some color to them.
Instead, head to your local hardware store and grab some paint swatches. Then use sticky tack to stick them to your wall.
You have unlimited options for how you arrange them. Create a rainbow mosaic or go with a theme of one color in many different shades.
You don’t have to even cover the entire wall. Create a statement piece in the middle of the wall. Or start in an upper corner of the wall with the swatches close together and dense. Then slowly radiate out making them gradually farther apart from each other.
- Rug It Up
Dorm floors are almost always cold and or gross. Is that what you want your toes to touch first thing in the morning? We thought not.
Why not invest in a quality rug that covers the majority of the floor? You don’t have to go all out with an expensive oriental rug.
Stores like Ikea have a ton of options when it comes to colors and patterns. They are also affordably priced and made of durable material. You’ll want a fabric and weave that can withstand plenty of traffic.
If you don’t want to commit to one large rug you can layer a bunch of smaller less expensive rugs. This is a great strategy if you’re on a budget as you can buy the rugs over time.
If the idea of attaching a ton of paint swatches doesn’t sound appealing, how about a tapestry? Look for a lightweight colorfully patterned fabric.
Attach the fabric to your wall at the corners and across the top as needed for support. Then let the rest of the fabric hang against the wall.
The fabric will not only decorate your dorm but it will also add a cozy and homey feel to the room. If you want to get super creative you could hang strips of different but complementary patterns to give your wall a unique look.
To keep the cost down, be sure to check out your local fabric store for fabric they have on sale. Then time your purchase with any coupons you can find.
- Washi Tape
This tape works great for adding decoration and detail to things. It’s from Japan and comes in an INSANE variety of colors and patterns.
Match your tape to accent the colors and themes of your dorm room. Then start cutting strips and applying them to different areas around your room.
What’s great about this tape is that when you’re ready for change, just peel it off. There will be no sticky residue left behind.
Use different colors to create a woven or striped design on the back of your dorm door. Or cut out strips to create a word like “LOVE”, “PEACE”, or “GO TEAM”.
If you weren’t crazy about the wire and clothespins idea, then use washi tape to mount your pictures on the wall. You could simply go around the outside of each picture. Or you can create fun designs to add some creativity to the tape frames.
Pretty much all dorm fridges look the same. They are small ugly boxes that are either black, white, or stainless. Give your fridge some spice by decorating it with washi tape.
Accent or cover your dorm furniture, like your coffee table, desk, bed frame, or shelving. These pieces usually come with your dorm room, and they are typically plain wood or metal.
Give your dorm furniture an upgrade by doing some accenting or trim work with washi tape. Or fully commit and cover the entire top of your desk or coffee table with a tape design.
Cheap Dorm Decor
Cheap dorm decor doesn’t have to look and feel cheap. Just get creative about the pieces you choose and how you work them into the decor.
Go for things that will make your life easier and look great, like skipping the picture frames and hanging your pictures with clothespins or tape.
Also, go for things that will make your room look and feel cozier. Things like tapestries and rugs will help with this.
Can’t get enough dorm decorating ideas? We have 9 more ideas for you.
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