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DIY Dorm Decor: Styling Your Dorm On A Budget

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, it’s time to begin looking for new dorm decor! Whether you are an incoming freshman or a rising senior, it’s the perfect time to create your dream room aesthetic. However, college is costly, so creating dorm materials at home might be the best option. DIY dorm decorations can take longer to craft, but they can look just as good as those bought from stores!

Photo of wall decor in dorm
Original photo by Ariane Vigna
Hanging Paper Butterflies

To create hanging paper butterflies, you need paper, scissors, needles, string, tape, and markers or crayons, if you want to add color to your butterflies. The first step for this decoration is getting a piece of paper and creating butterfly drawings. Butterflies are tricky to draw, but it should become easier if you look up butterfly designs online. I recommend using a Sharpie or thick marker when drawing because they create strong lines. After drawing the butterflies, cut them out. Then, tie your thread to the needle and put it through two holes on opposite butterfly edges. After this, tie the strings together, tape them to your ceiling, and you are all set.

Painting Coasters

Most college students get morning coffee or tea. Using coasters is a great idea because they protect tables from heat and are decorative. Instead of buying a coaster, you can get a small piece of wood and paint it yourself. Get a small piece of wood, which can be purchased from Amazon or Michaels, and leftover paintbrushes and paint. Now, you can get creative and paint whatever speaks to you!

Magazine wall art

College dorms have a lot of blank wall space, and not having wall art can make your space feel empty. Find small magazine clippings of models, animals, or whatever you want to display on your wall. Then, cut cardboard and paste the magazine cutouts onto it. Now you have wall art! One of the best parts about magazine wall art is that you can add magazines whenever you want, so you can always update your decor to fit what you want and make your dorm room feel extra homey.

Pom-Pom Garland

Begin your garland by finding pieces of string and braiding them. This makes your string thicker so the garland will not break easily. Then, tie your string to a needle and poke the needle through the pom-poms. Pom-pom garlands are easy to create, but you can get creative. Use pom-poms of varying sizes and colors to make a garland that perfectly complements your dorm.

Storage Bins

All college students have storage bins, but some are not decorative. If you cover your plain storage bin with fabric, you’ll have an aesthetic box! Find a sheet of cloth or fabric that covers your storage box and cut it. It can be difficult to get the dimensions right, so make sure you take your time to cut the right amount. Put the box on top of the fabric, then fold the fabric so it covers the outside of the box. Glue the fabric to the inside of the box by using spray adhesive or super glue, and you have your new, and decorative, storage bin.

With these ideas, hopefully you can create the college dorm of your dreams!

Emily is a part of Boston University's chapter on the PR and marketing team. She is a freshman studying math, and enjoys it because it is logical and requires problem solving skills. Outside of college, she enjoys exploring cafes in Boston, watching Glee or rom-coms, and listening to Radiohead, Olivia Rodrigo, and Alvvays. Although she loves BU, she also misses New Jersey and playing with her dogs, Marshmallow and Taco