Looking for creative ways to decorate your dorm on a budget? Here are 16 ways to decorate your dorm without breaking the bank.
1. Fairy lights
Nothing, and I mean nothing, perks up a dorm quite like fairy lights. They’re usually inexpensive, which is great news for your wallet. There are so many options: outline your room with them, have them fall down your wall vertically… you could even make your own pattern with some clear command hooks!
Rugs can transform your dorm at a relatively low price. The great thing about dorms is they’re small, which means an area rug for your dorm doesn’t have to be that big. There are so many different ways to use a rug to accent your room. Want a pop of color? You got it. Want to stay classic and chic with a white sheepskin rug? Done.
3. Removable wallpaper
Removable wallpaper is huge right now. Just stick the affordable wallpaper on your dorm room walls and easily remove it when it’s time to go back home. It’ll make your dorm look great, and your RA can’t get mad.
Okay, I may be biased because I love plants, but I mean… come on. They perk up any dorm room. Worried you won’t be able to take care of a plant because of your busy schedule? No problem, that’s what succulents are for! Not to mention they’re crazy trendy right now.
Ugh, those horrible blinds. You know the ones. They’re white, they get stuck every other time you try to put them up or down. They’re totally blah and not homey at all. When you pick your own curtains, you get to add a little bit of your own style to your room while making your dorm feel a little bit more like home.
Mirrors are great for two reasons. First- mirrors make your dorm look bigger, which is huge if you have an especially small dorm. Second, mirrors can really be a huge accent piece in your room depending on what kind you get. My friend has a mirror shaped like a triangle and it completely draws your eye.
7. Photo wall
This was the very first thing I did in my first dorm and I’m so glad I did. Photo walls are perfect if you’re feeling a little homesick like me. They’re also perfect for remembering those awesome parties or your favorite moments with your roomie. You can get extra creative with your photo wall by either accenting the photos with washi tape or fairy lights.
Tapestries are probably the biggest statement you can make in a dorm room. Some tapestries can run a little expensive, so if you want to get creative you can always find a sheet with a cool design that you like and use that sheet as a tapestry!
One of the more difficult ways to decorate your dorm but definitely one of the most rewarding is a canopy. You can grab some sheer curtains at Ikea for really cheap, and then all you have to do is find a way to hang them around your bed. The process is obviously different for every dorm room, but the result is stunning. You’ll be feeling like a college princess in no time.
Blankets are a fantastic way to decorate your dorm on a budget. Usually, I base my blanket choice on my rug and curtains. You can really make your room nice and vibrant with splashes of color on your bed.
11. Floor pillows
Floor pillows are fantastic not just because they can spice up your dorm, but they can also double as seats for your friends when they come over! Chairs are big and expensive. Floor pillows? Cheap and easy to store.
12. Neon sign
Some neon signs can be pretty pricey, but if you’re willing to downsize, Target sells some relatively inexpensive neon signs. I got a rainbow for my room (gay pride, woo) but they had a unicorn, different sayings, cactuses… anything you could imagine. Whatever your design theme is, they’ve got you covered.
I recently decided I was going to hit up Michaels to decorate my room and I would highly recommend you visit your local crafts store for inspiration! I got fake pine tree garland decorated with fake snow, pinecones, and holly, and it’s been hanging from my wall all season! You can pick a garland you like for all year round, or switch it up based on the holidays as I do to keep my room feeling fresh.
14. Paper decorations
Okay, paper decorations are so cheap but end up looking so good. This one definitely takes a little bit of creative vision and definitely a lot of dedication, but if you have both of those you’re in luck. Want to make a polka dot wall display? Start cutting out different colored and different sized circles. Want to make a phase of the moon display? It’s been done, and it looks amazing. The sky is the limit with this one.
15. Wall art with washi tape
If you’re feeling creative but not quite feeling dedicated enough to spend hours cutting out different shapes of construction paper, don’t worry. Washi tape is here for you! Washi tape comes in so many different colors and patterns, and it’s extremely easy to work with. You can make any shape and design you can imagine with washi tape. Just be prepared to cut a lot!
16. Electric tea lights
I would highly recommend to everyone, but especially if you already have fairy lights. They’re the perfect accent to twinkle lights and the soft light they give off has the same magical feeling as fairy lights. Just put some electric tea lights in some small tinted mason jars and your dorm will be feeling like a fairy tale in no time.
I’m always looking for inspiration for my room, so I’d love to see what you have all done with your dorms. I know you’re all creative, so let me know what creative ways to decorate your dorm on a budget that you’ve come up with!
Featured Photo Credit: Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash
Sophomore at Southern New Hampshire University and a native-born Philly girl.