As I was getting ready for my first year at UCSD as a transfer student, I was excited for having adventures, meeting different people, and learning new things. I can honestly say, though, that the prospect of decorating my room brought me the most excitement. My roommate-to-be and I spent all summer looking for inexpensive ways to make our double feel like home. We took inspiration from Pinterest and Tumblr, and then made some projects on our own with common materials and a bit of creativity. I’d love to share my results, so here are some amazing and innovative ways to decorate your dorm room from Her Campus. These decor choices are pretty and fun, not to mention easy and inexpensive to make!
1. Frame Collages: Frame collages are a really effective way to avoid blank walls, and to display many of your favorite things. You can find inexpensive frames at yard sales, Ikea, and bargain stores. You can paint these frames fun colors and voile, you have an eye-catching wall piece. To create my frames, I got prints, painted some letters for my roommate’s and my initials, and even created a chalkboard!
2. Letters: After browsing Pinterest all summer for dorm decor, I realized how cute and trendy it is to have monograms hanging on the wall above your bed. Although you can buy finished and unfinished versions of these on Etsy and various other websites, my roommate and I were determined to do it ourselves! To create your own letter pieces, buy your first, middle, and/or last name initials in cardboard letters at the craft store. Next, paint them your favorite color. I chose white, but you can do any color really! Then, choose flowers, gems, or patterns with which to decorate your letters. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought several different kinds of fake flowers, cut off the stems, and glued them to the letters. Next, find a way to display them either on walls or sitting atop surfaces. I wanted some cute ways to hang the letters, so my roommate and I bought a roll of burlap at the craft store and cut a strip of it to hang the letters, and then we added a bow. You can just hang both the burlap and letters with command strips, and you are good to go!
3. Mason Jars: Did you know you can buy a 12 pack of mason jars for $10 at places like Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart, or Joanne’s? These jars are so versatile. You can use them as glassware, toothbrush holders, or pen and pencil holders for your desk. If you want to use them on your desk, you can make them more decorative by painting the outside with craft paint. And if you want the distressed and vintage look like we did, just take a nail file to the all the bumps and edges of the jar. Then, you have some cute and vintage looking pen and pencil holders!
4. Chalkboard paint: Chalkboard paint is really inexpensive at the craft store, and can be used in so many different places. My roommate and I had a mini fridge with a faux wood surface that was straight out of the seventies, so I just coated it with a couple layers of chalkboard paint, and now we have the opportunity to write things like “The Fridge of Awesome” on your fridge! Also, I used the chalkboard paint with one of our garage sale frames to create a chalkboard for our frame wall. To create a chalkboard like mine, paint a piece of foam core with the chalk board paint, glue it to the back of a picture frame, and accessorize the frame as you wish! I chose a burlap bow. You can then write your favorite inspirational quote or a cute drawing- the chalkboard frame is pretty and functional!
5. Hanging Photo Display: I don’t know about you guys, but I love photos! I wanted to display some photos of my friends, family, and pets in my room at school, so I hung yarn from the craft store with some command strips and used clothespins to display my photos. Also, my roommate and I had the photos printed in Instagram-esque styles, because who doesn’t love Instagram? This was an inexpensive way to display some of our favorite photos of home, and to give us comfort when we moved away. To create photo strips like these, hang a type of string from the wall using push pins, command strips, or even tape. Next, attach photos to the string with clothespin for a vintage display! You can always change the photos out as you have new memories and adventures here at UCSD.
I hope these ideas inspire you to create an amazing dorm room this spring quarter, collegiettes, and happy decorating!
(Chalkboard photo courtest of daydreamingupintheclouds.)