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Dishes ‘n’ DIYs: 3 Easy, Cheap Dorm Room Crafts

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Now that Fall semester has begun, it’s time to start thinking about how to make that boring, cramped dorm feel like home. I find decorating inspiration at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Pottery Barn Teen, but things can get pricey, and “ain’t nobody got money for that.” So, for the benefit of all us broke college students, here are three easy Dorm DIYs that each cost $10 or less!

1. Tribal elephant cut-outs

This DIY is a fun way to add a bohemian touch to an otherwise boring wall.

What you’ll need

  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Twine or yarn
  • Elephant drawing template
  • Glue

How to make it

  1. Outline the elephant template on colored paper of your choice. Here’s a helpful tip: Trace the elephant on the backside, so no lines show.
  2. Carefully cut out the elephant.
  3. Repeat the first two steps on different colored papers.
  4. Measure out a piece of twine about a meter long, space out the elephants along the twine, and carefully glue the backs of the paper elephants to the twine.
  5. Hang the elephant décor by a hook to add life to the room!

2. Cat flower pot

For all of you feline fanatics, this DIY is the perfect way to keep your room playful and fun.

What you’ll need:

  • Empty 2-liter plastic bottle
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint
  • Flowers

How to make it

  1. Cut the plastic bottle about 1/3 of the way up the bottle.
  2. Skillfully trace and cut two triangles to create the cat’s ears.
  3. Paint the entire outside of the bottle white, which took about three coats for me.
  4. After the white paint dries, paint on the ears, nose, mouth, eyes, whiskers and paws.
  5. Put in your favorite flowers, and enjoy your cat planter!

3. Faux glue lanterns

This DIY gives a modern twist to your old, ordinary dorm, and it’s much easier than it looks!

What you’ll need

  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Corn starch
  • Balloons
  • Yarn
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Water

How to make it

  1. Blow up balloons to different sizes, and hang them in an open area by yarn.
  2. Cover the balloons in a thin layer of petroleum jelly.
  3. Mix half of the bottle of Elmer’s glue, 1/8 a cup of water and 1/2 a cup of cornstarch in the bowl. Make sure there is a thick consistency when stirred.
  4. Dip the yarn in the glue mixture and carefully surround the balloon, starting vertically and then moving to horizontally.*WARNING* This part IS messy.
  5. After 24 hours of drying, pop the balloons, and hang the orbs to give the room a cool dimension.

Everyone deserves to have cute room décor, so why not make it yourself for a fraction of the retailers’ cost? Happy crafting!

Stephanie is a freshman studying Biology with minors in Spanish and Chemistry. This is her first year working with Her Campus UFL, but she has blogging experience while interning for TheSmartGirlsGroup.com. She is also State President of Florida HOSA: Future Health Professionals. On her spare time, Steph loves to read, watch OITNB, travel, play with her dogs, and eat Karma Cream with her friends. You can often find her on Netflix at Library West, procrastinating studying, or eating some Krishna lunch while laying on the field. Most of all, this girl is frugal, creative, and determined, so you can only imagine the wild DIYs she has coming your way!
Cara oversees Her Campus Media's community department and serves as strategic lead for the expansion, development and management of all HCM communities, including the Her Campus Chapter Network, InfluenceHer Collective, College Fashionista, Spoon University, Campus Trendsetters, alumni and high school. She works closely with company leadership to develop new community-related sales offerings and the Integrated Marketing team to support all community-focused client marketing programs from end to end. Cara has experience working with high-profile talent, such as Jessica Alba, Andrew Yang, Amber Tamblyn, Aja Naomi King, Troian Bellisario, Jessica Marie Garcia, Nico Tortorella, Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Minkoff, Cecile Richards and Samantha Power, as well as brands like Coca-Cola, L'Oréal Paris, The New York Times, HBO, Uber, H&M and more. Having been a part of the HC family since 2011, Cara served as Campus Correspondent of the HC chapter at the University of Florida where she studied journalism, women’s studies and leadership. A New Yorker turned Floridian, Cara has a Friends quote for any situation. You can usually find her with her friends and family at the beach, a concert or live sports event or binge-watching Grey's Anatomy or Sons of Anarchy. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thecararose.