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How to Decorate Your Dorm Room: Covering Blank Walls

In the process of getting accustomed to the busy college lifestyle, we often neglect to personalize the room we’ll be living in for the remainder of the year. We spend our most treasured hours –the hours of peaceful slumber- in our rooms, and it is always nice to show others your touch of creativity. I will be putting together a series of different dorm room ideas to help you create your perfect dorm room!

Covering up the bare walls is one of the easiest ways to brighten up your room. But skip the generic movie posters! Adding your own photographs will give your room a unique personal feel. It can also help you deal with those times when you miss home. “It helps me keep my friends and family close,” says Micaela ’15.

For a basic look, you can simply tape pictures along the wall near your bed. If you’re feeling craftsy, like I did, you can create a wall collage with a mix of photographs, posters, and inspiring pamphlets. Here are some ways to create unique and different wall collages that are sure to impress your friends!

Before you start, make sure to get tape that is safe to use on the walls. Something like Dorm Tape ($3.48) will keep your pictures sturdy without leaving sticky residue that you’ll get charged for.

Next, choose a shape and follow the instructions:

Arch: Choose this shape if you have a large space to work with, such as the large wall near my bed in the picture above. This idea can work with both horizontal and vertical pictures.
1. Make sure you have an even number of pictures! Don’t forget, the more pictures you have, the bigger you can make the arch.
2. Keep your pictures as close to the same size as possible. I found out that I had pictures of different sizes, and while that may still work, it is a lot less frustrating if the pictures are all the same sizes to ensure perfect symmetry!
3. Take half the pictures and put together one “leg” of the arch. When you like what you have, just mirror what you started with for the other leg. You can also plan it out on paper, but if you start out with one set idea in mind, you might get frustrated if it doesn’t come out exactly as you planned.
4. Begin placing the pictures at a desirable height and width from where you want the “center” arch to be. I started with two pictures on the base of the arch, and began adding more and more in an upward-curving direction leading to the center. There really isn’t a “right” way to do this; the best part of creativity is that it can go any way you want it to!
5. Once you have reached the halfway point, get the second half of the pictures and begin mirroring what you started with. (Or, if you had planned it out beforehand, simply follow through.) Don’t forget to use the same-direction picture (i.e. horizontal or vertical) as you used on both sides so it can match!
6. Decorate the bottom of the arch if you want to make your pictures really stand out.
7. Voilà, your master piece is complete!

Traditional Collage: This type is a throw-back to elementary art school classes, where you were asked to cut and paste newspaper and magazine clippings to create collages. This time, you have a much bigger canvas to work with and can create endless possibilities!  This collage is a lot simpler than the Arch because you don’t have to be symmetrical or orderly about it.
1. Begin by simply collecting magazine pages, posters, movie posters, drawings, paintings, artwork, and other memorabilia.
2. Once you feel you have enough to work with, you can start taping things to the wall. It doesn’t matter where you start! I chose to overlap my papers to create an abstract shape. However, you can go and lay things straight and follow that –creating sort of a wall-paper with different pictures, posters, etc.
3. As you collect more material, just tape it up to the wall and expand your collage!

Geometric Shape Collage: If you have extra pictures lying around and would like to cover up an empty space in your wall, this is the perfect solution! 
1. Gather the pictures you would like to use.
2. Come up with different ways to assemble them prior to taping them on. You will discover that the best thing about this is the different shapes you can come up with!
3. Once you have chosen your favorite combination, tape them up and enjoy!

Traditional collage (still in its early phase!) on the left and the geometric shape on the right –I have a slight Harry Potter obsession, if you didn’t notice!

If you have any ideas or would like to show us some of your wall art, don’t hesitate to comment or email us! Happy decorating!  

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