College Life

How To Decorate Your Dorm Walls Without Causing Damage

When it comes to dorm decorating, there are a lot of rules that are enforced differently depending on the school. For the most part, leaving behind damaged walls is highly frowned upon by residential life—take it from someone who’s been there, a surprise fine is never a fun way to start your summer. Therefore, you might be wondering how to decorate dorm room walls without nails, tacks or things that leave a lasting mark. To avoid fines and other repercussions, create your space using these tips and tricks for easily removable dorm wall decor.

Create A Gallery Wall

Gallery walls and home decor seem to be almost synonymous these days, and for good reason. Making a gallery wall is a simple and chic way to make your walls stand out. Pick frames in varying sizes, shapes and finishes to display your favorite photos, posters and artwork. Use 3M hooks or strips to attach the frames to the wall for easy removal at the end of the semester.

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Hang a Tapestry

To transform a space by putting in the least effort possible, pick up a large tapestry. Use 3M hooks or thumbtacks, if your school allows them, to fix the tapestry to the wall or ceiling of your dorm. To make your space extra cozy, pick up some twinkle lights to string along the edge of the tapestry.

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Removable Decals

Whether you choose an inspirational quote, geometric shapes or useful stick-on whiteboard, removable wall decals are awesome for decorating your dorm walls without damage. Decals instantly upgrade your walls and will serve as a great distraction from the otherwise drab color scheme of your room.

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Create An Instagram Grid Wall

Create a wall that reflects your Instagram grid by printing your photos off in square form. A twist on the traditional photo wall, this Instagram-inspired wall feels more personal and looks super trendy too. Hang the photos using removable double sided tape and surround them with string lights to really make your wall pop.

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Removable Wallpaper

If you want to completely transform your room, you can take the decals a little further and cover the entire wall in removable wallpaper. In stripes, solids and faux brick, your room will look totally different from all of the rooms in your hall. Best part is, the wallpaper will peel off clean at the end of the year without fuss.

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Add String Lights

Because dorm room lighting is offensively fluorescent, string lights make for great decor. They look so cute draped across walls or even when made into words or shapes. Hang strands of lights around your room using small 3M hooks for easy removal.

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DIY Letter Banner

Express yourself by hanging a DIY paper letter banner on your wall. This tutorial will break it down for you, so you can create banner that speaks to your own personality. Make sure you leave the ends of the strand long, so that you can tie them around small 3M hooks to hang up on the wall.

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Washi Tape Frames

Washi Tape is the ultimate multi-purpose tool. It is cute, colorful and completely harmless to use. Following this tutorial, display your favorite photos in your very own DIY Washi Tape frames that’ll peel right off when it’s time to move out.

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Wire Photo Display

When it comes to photo display, there are a few tried-and-true ways of going about it. To differentiate your dorm wall decor from your friends’, DIY a photo display grid using metal shelving grids. Display ticket stubs, photos, prints and magazines on the grid which can be supported on your wall with larger 3M hooks, or you can simply lean the metal grid up against the wall.

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See Also

Tassel Garland or Pennant Banner

A different take on the letter banner, tassel garland and pennant banners are super cute ways to add pop of color to your wall. Stick with your room’s color scheme with these decorations, but don’t shy away from prints or different textures. As with the letter banner, tie the ends around clear 3M hooks to display it on your wall.

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Create Paint Swatch Art

When you can’t actually paint the walls, why not try every color? This DIY tutorial will help you to create colorful space without damaging your dorm room walls. Following the tutorial, swap out the painter’s tape for removable double-sided tape to adhere the swatches to your wall.

Make A Statement

Your dorm wall decor is no place for holding out on personal style. Make a DIY Cinema Box light for your wall following this tutorial and attach it to the wall using 3M hooks or double-sided strips. (Or buy one!)

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Poster Art

Your dorm room should be a space where you feel inspired, so surround yourself with all of your favorite things. Hang posters of your favorite artists, TV shows or magazines using removable poster strips. To go the extra mile, surround the posters with various other styles of art: letters, lights and prints all look great.

Use Your Walls As Storage

Living in a dorm room, you learn quickly just how small the space is. Your hats and accessories end up under the bed, while all of your other non-essentials pile up in a drawer. To fix this problem in a stylized way, hang your CDs, hats, sunglasses and various other odds and ends on the wall. Use wire 3M strips so that they are always accessible, but look great as dorm wall decor when not in use.

What is your favorite method of no-damage dorm wall decor? Let us know in the comments!


*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Featured image source:
Christina D'Ambrosio

Christina is a member of the class of 2018 at Fordham University. Her favorite things include french toast, concerts and "Sex And The City" re-runs.

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