7 tips for decorating your dorm room

Moving into a dorm/halls as a fresher is pretty daunting. Everything smells weird, the carpet is probably a dubious shade of brown, and your room mate may or may not be a psychopath, it’s too early to tell. So generally the first instinct is to either spend as little time as possible in your room, or run to the nearest Ikea and spend way too much money on stuff you don’t need that doesn’t even look that good. Unfortunately this produces heaps of waste every year, and is a real shame when decorations are really easy, cheap and quite enjoyable to make yourself. If you’re only ever going to do one DIY project in your life, make it a decoration.

Watch this space every day this week for specific dorm DIYs, but in the meantime here are some general, easy, cheap tips on how to change your dorm from looking like a scene out of ‘shawshank redemption’ into something that actually feels a little more like home:

bunting

1. Bunting. Such fun! Use old newspapers, magazines, wrapping paper, discarded paintings, whatever. Literally all you need is paper and string.

pegs
2. you’re probably on a strict blutac ban, so unless you don’t mind paying 100 pounds for the wardens to repaint your room, you can buy these mini pegs from rymans for a pound, put two tiny push pins into your walls, hang thread from either pin, then peg up photos, postcards, concert tickets or whatever you collect throughout the year.

driftwood

3. Under the no blutac ban and having only one nail in my wall, I made my own driftwood hanging wall decoration. Living by the sea, I was able to pick up a random piece of nice looking drift wood (though you could easily use any old branch), attach some string to it, and hang my favourite photos from it. Alternately you could hang shells, beads, multi coloured string, whatever tickles your fancy. You could also just add some S hooks and make it into a coat hanger.

oxfam

4. Take a visit to ye olde local charity shop, Craigslist, Gumtree, Oxfam, or Freecycle for cheap or even free recycled decorations. Goodness knows what you’ll discover. Some universities even do free swap shops or re-use giveaways which are always worth going to!

Cacti final

5. Flowers or plants are a nice way to brighten things up a little. Cacti and Succulents are a little more sturdy than other plants and harder to kill- here’s a quick tutorial on how to grow them.

string-shade-12

6. If the single lightbulb without a lamp shade hanging from your ceiling is annoying you, try and one of these, these, or these simple and cheap lamp cover DIY gems. Fairy lights are also always a winner, and can be reused all year round for Christmas as well. Be careful of fire safety though, you don’t want risk putting anything flammable too close to a hot bulb.

Desk-organisers

7. Make your own office desk accessories. You can use mason jars, cups, tins, or even painted loo roll as pencil holders, here are some ideas

More detailed DIYs to come later this week, but in the meantime for more ideas check out this guy.

– Anna

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