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Tips on Decorating Your Animal Crossing Island

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Everyone knows Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the game of 2020, and ever since I got it, I’ve been obsessed with creating the perfect island. That being said, I’m sure I’m not the only one. You might see these fantastic islands on the internet from fellow players and might become disheartened thinking you’ll never be able to create something that amazing. But with some work and proper motivation you can create the island of your dreams. Even though I haven’t gotten there yet, I continue to work towards my goal, and surely you and I both will achieve our goal in no time. 

1. Choosing a theme

Deciding what you want your island to look like is the most important step because it makes creating a plan for your island much easier. And one of the most fun things in Animal Crossing is the way you can customize things to your liking, literally making the possibilities endless. You can pick a theme like kidcore and make everything super colorful, or citycore and create streets and even a train station. You can also mix up themes like cottagecore and fairycoreーwhich is what I did, combining the natural feel with a touch of magic and pastel colors. With some thinking, I’m sure you’ll figure out which theme is perfect for you, because there is something for everybody.

2. Look for inspo online

Whenever I want a clearer vision of my ideas I hit the best place for inspo: Pinterest (Instagram works too). There’s millions of creative players out there who have worked on their islands for countless hours and posted the fruits of their labor online, and looking at their islands always makes me want to get to work. 

3. Using Custom Designs

Once you unlock the Able Sister’s Shop you are able to access the Custom Designs Portal. There you can find custom designsーmade by other playersーthat you can place on items that can be customized or on the floor; more advanced designs can be placed on clothes. These designs can make your island look more original, since there are so many of every type you can imagine. You can also make your own designs. Some of my favorite custom designs are these adorable dog paw prints and this gorgeous camp clothes collection. Here you can find paths for any kind of island you can imagine.

4. Put lots of items around the island

Every time you go see Isabelle to see what your island rating is, she tells you to put more items around the island. And you know what? She’s actually right. Your island will totally look more cute and lived in if you put more items around. Maybe even have a planned out mess. You can place some stools, stack candles or cups on top of boxes. You can even lay socks on the floor so it seems like your villager just left them there! My fave items in the game have to be the mushroom-themed objects, since they look absolutely adorable. Play around with all the things you acquire in the game. 

5. Don’t be afraid to use the Terraforming Tool 

I know it’s difficult to get a hang of first, but believe me, there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to transform your whole island by digging or closing up a river and destroying or creating cliffs. Once you are comfortable with the terraforming and the water tools you’ll be able to make your island live up to your vision.

6. Build a nice entrance

The entrance of your islandーwhich is right in front of the airportーis the first thing your visitors will see and it will give them a preview of the rest of your island. When I created my entrance I just wanted my visitors to be wowed so I created cliffs with beautiful waterfalls and a nice sitting area. But you can create anything from a water filled entrance to a tree and flower filled entrance. It’s honestly all about preference.

7. Don’t forget the beaches!

Beaches often get forgotten, believe me, I’ve been there. I put all my resident’s houses on the beach and move them as I’m finishing up different sections of the island; and when the time comes to get the beaches done I just… can’t find the will to do it. But believe me, decorating your beaches is worth it. Try getting custom design sand drawings and place them around. Or get the mermaid items to make your beaches look more magical.

This might sound cliche but when it comes to Animal Crossing: New Horizons the sky is honestly the limit. The game has so many customizable features that you can make anything you imagine. Don’t be afraid, and build your island now! Once you see all your hard work come together it will all be worth it. 

Angélica is a Comparative Literature in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She's a wannabe writer that can be found cuddled up in her bed reading a book. Her biggest obsession is Harry Potter and anything to do with it. She has a lot of dreams for her future and hopes to work in a publishing house someday.
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