Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

16 Dorm Decorating Ideas for the Winter Holidays

As Fall semester nears its end, why not add a little holiday spirit to your dorm room.  The decorations will make it a perfect study space, and remind you of how close Winter Break is!  Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Cover your door in your favorite wrapping paper!  Just be sure to check and make sure this is allowed in your dorm first.
2. Make a wreath!  You can do this out of literally anything; case in point, here’s one fashioned from a bunch of crayons and colored pencils! 
3. This is a fun, creative way to add some extra light to your dorm room!  Fill an empty bottle (make sure it’s rinsed out and dry first!) with a strand of lights, letting them get all packed in there before turning it on.  Beautiful!
4. Make paper snowflakes!  There are so many sources online that teach you how to make these (check out Martha Stewart’s simple DIY steps here for a good starting point), or you can just wing it and see how they turn out – you never know!  Connect them with string to make a garland or hang them like this on the back of your door or over a window.
5. Hang stockings!  You can make your own or get a couple cheap ones at your local dollar store for you and your roomie(s).  Sneak little motivational notes and snacks into your roommate’s throughout finals week!
6. Make a fun garland for your room!  You can do this with knotted pieces of fabric and then weave a strand of lights through it to make it extra pretty!  If you use white materials to make one, you can adorn the edges of your shelves or dresser to look like they’re edged in snow…
7. Felt or wool are especially snow-like materials.  Here’s another style of garland you can DIY or purchase on Etsy.
8. If your family celebrates Christmas, get a jump on gift wrapping, or do Secret Santa with your hallmates.  You can even simply wrap up some empty boxes for decorations, or for use as a really original garland…
9. A garland of gifts!  Certainly eye-popping, if you want to go crazy with decorating.  Just make sure you’re not wrapping anything too heavy – use small, light boxes for something like this. 
10. Lights, lights, and more lights!  Criss-cross your ceiling with them, hang snowflakes from them, trim your bed, desk, and shelves with them!  You’ll most likely keep them up for the rest of the year.  They add a soothing, warm glow to the room, and they elicit endless compliments from visitors!  Overall, nothing is classier or lovelier than a dorm room decked out in lights.
11. If you have shorter strands or those “icicle” style lights, you can let them hang in rows over a window.  Gorgeous at night!
12. If you love crafts, this one is for you!  You can make cute little skiiers (or snowmen or penguins – whatever you want!) out of pine cones picked up from around campus.  Small wooden spheres, a little white paint and some simple string-and-felt outfits were the main components of these guys.  Use whatever materials are available to you and get creative!  They’re adorable decorations and can also be great gifts for people!
13. You can buy paper-pulp Christmas trees or make your own out of cardboard.  It’s a time-consuming but relatively easy process: simply cut out tons of oval-shaped flaps and glue them to a blank foam cone (cheap and easy to pick up at a local craft store).  Cover in glitter, paint, or other decorations and viola!  Your own unique, dorm-sized tree.
14. If you don’t have anything to hang ornaments on, you can still use them as decorations!  Put a few classic ball ornaments in a vase or potpourri dish for a fun, festive splash of color in your room!
15. This is a classic holiday tradition: orange clove pomanders!  Before modern air fresheners, people would hang this in their homes for a delicious smell.  All you do is poke holes in an orange with a toothpick, stick in whole cloves, and hang it with a ribbon!  You can also make a couple and set them out in a bowl.  You’ll absolutely love the aroma this combo creates.
16.  If you don’t have time for DIY potpourri or pomanders, but want to add a festive smell to your dorm room, invest in a holiday-scented candle.  We like Crabtree & Evelyn’s Windsor Forest scent.  If you can’t light candles in your dorm room, use a reed diffuser, home fragrance oil, or potpourri.

A Chicago native, Elizabeth is going into her senior year at the College of William & Mary, where she is majoring in Psychology and Literary & Cultural Studies. Last year she circumnavigated the globe and visited 12 developing nations with a study abroad program called Semester at Sea, honing her travel writing skills and chasing her dream of someday working abroad. Currently she is the Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine Winged Nation and the Philanthropy Chair of her beloved music sorority, Nu Kappa Epsilon. When she's not writing her butt off for class or for pleasure, she can usually be found practicing harp, watching Community, or hanging out with her Phi Sigma Pi brothers.