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How to Decorate Your Dorm For Fall On a Budget

As fall begins, what most of us want to do is immediately start to decorate for the season, but it can be difficult to do when you’re a college student. Most dorms aren’t exactly spacious with much room to decorate, and on a college student budget, decor might not be the top priority on our shopping lists. You may be starting to give up on decorating your dorm for the fall season, especially when you can’t even light your favorite fall scented candle, but don’t worry, there are tons of ways for you to get your room perfectly looking and smelling for the 2021 fall festivities. Here is a list of 10 ideas that you and your roommate can use to cosy up your room around Halloween time.

1. Spice up the room with fall scents

One of the things I miss doing the most while at school is being able to light a bunch of candles around my house. Everyone loves fall scents! Something a lot of us might miss while living in a dorm is having those fun cinnamon or pumkin smells hitting us in the face when we walk inside, but they still can! Many dorm buildings don’t allow candles, but they don’t have a problem with wall plugs, wax melts, reed diffusers, or even just plain cinnamon sticks. There are a ton of different cheap ways to get your room smelling like fall. There will always be the pricy options too, but finding the right places for these products like target walmart or even the dollar store is perfect when buying these candle replacements. There are so many fall options and scents everywhere you go!

2. Tiny pumpkins

Real or fake, tiny pumpkins are always a great option for cheap and easy fall decor! They are super cute and you can put them just about anywhere. There are a lot of small fake ones that you can find at dollar stores or places like Walgreens or Target that come in all sorts of different styles and will last you for years and years to come, but if you like the more organic apprach, run to your nearest walmart or grocery store and buy a cheap bag of small pumkins. You can paint them, or just let them look natural. Either way, it’s super cute, easy and cheap.

3. Leaves

This one is a super fun, cheap and easy way to transform your entire room! Any craft store that you walk into will likely have a cheap bag of fake decorative leaves waiting for you to take home. Once you buy them, all you have to do is stick them all over your wall. This one is really fun and you can get creative with it! Once your done it looks amazing and fills up the whole room.

4. Window clings

Let people see your seasonal spirit even from the outside of your room! Ever seen an overpriced pack of window clings? Me neither. Go to the Target dollar bins right now and stick them all over your dorm windows!

5. Throw blanket/pillow

Dorm rooms are small, decorate the main part of it, your bed! There are so many adorable Halloween throw pillows and blankets being sold pretty much everywhere right now, and setting these up takes little to no effort at all, you literally just throw them on your bed and you’re done! Now you can take a break and roll into bed with them while you watch a scary movie.

6. Mugs

Something that could be a cute desktop accessory and also useful to keep your pumpkin spice latte or hot chocolate inside of! Mugs are almost never too expensive and you can never have too many of them. One of my absolute favorite places to find cheap seasonal mugs is TJ Maxx

7. Cards

Don’t know what to do with the halloween cards you’ve been receiving? Stand them up all over your desk and dresser! It adds a really cute decorative touch and you didn’t even have to pay for it or go out and get it yourself.

8. Wreaths

This could be something that is really fun to go look for in the store, or even to make yourself. Wreaths are always a super cute decoration option for any holiday or season, and you can put them almost anywhere, especially on your door for everyone in your hall to see.

9. DIY it

Pretty much everything on this list is something that you can put together or make yourself! So if you’re too busy studying to go out to the stores, go ahead and get crafty during your next study break and start working on fall decorations! Even cutting cute shapes and drawings that you design of of a plain sheet of paper will look really cute anywhere in your room.

10. Go thrifting

There are plenty of thrift stores located all over the place, and they are the best and cheapest location to buy almost anything! There are so many cute little seasonal knick knacks that you could find around and take home as fun Halloween decorations. 

Happy Fall! Hopefully these dorm decor tips could help your college room feel more like a home!

Nicole Rooney

Winthrop '24

Nicole Helton Rooney sophomore environmental studies major from surfside beach South Carolina.
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