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College room DIY ideas

College dorm room DIYs can turn a tiny space from drab to fab. When first arriving at school, dorm rooms can look quite bare. After the sticker shock of purchasing textbooks and other back-to-school basics, the thought of spending money to decorate can seem out of the question!

DIY dorm room ideas are a great way to express your style on the cheap. Dorm décor on a budget can be a great creative way to customize your room, rather than buying decorations from a store.

Best ways to decorate a dorm room on a budget

Make a statement with your bedding

Because dorm rooms are on the small side, your duvet can act as a décor piece! When it comes to finding an inexpensive duvet that fits your style, it can be a challenge.

Save money and get the perfect duvet by making your own!

With this DIY dorm hack, all you need is to find a design you like and a solid colored duvet. If you’re feeling the lemon craze or want to blast off with rockets, find a bold graphic online and print it out on transfer paper. Cut out the design and follow the instructions of the transfer paper for application. A duvet is a great investment for college, because you can easily wash the cover or change out the look through the years.

Create bold wall art

Dorm room walls can look uninviting and boring. With a few rolls of washi tape, walls can look exciting and unique! No need to worry about the tape policy in your dorm since washi tape is a decorated painter’s tape.

Make picture frames for printed photos and create a collage. Boring dorm furniture? Use Washi tape to add a little flair and personality to your dorm furniture. Find Washi tape in the office section of most stores. Looking for a sale? Washi tape usually goes on sale with all the back-to-school supplies. Talk about great timing!

Another cheap wall décor idea would be to recycle old t-shirts into a macramé wall hanging. By cutting an old t-shirt into strips and tying them to a wooden dowel, you can make your own stylized piece. 

Start by cutting an old t-shirt into thin strips. From there, tie the strips to a wooden dowel. See the full instructions to make macramé using old t-shirts. There are many designs to follow for macramé, so pick your favorite. If you have a color scheme in mind, you can go to a thrift store and find t-shirts to match you colors. This is a great way to re-purpose old shirts you don’t want to take with you to college. Not to mention, adding some décor to your dorm room for cheap.  

Organize with mason jars

Instead of spending money on desk organizers from an office supply store, use mason jars.  These easy-to-find thrift store hunts come in a variety of sizes and colors. Decorate mason jars with yarn, wrapping paper around them or using accent paint. Mason jars are great to store pens, pencils, and desk tools. Change their configuration by hot gluing jars to make a mason jar pyramid

Bring it all together with an area rug

Let’s be honest. Dorm room carpet, or in some cases linoleum, is typically not in the best of shape. An area rug is a great way to protect the floor, add some style, and also add some comfort to your new dorm room. There are many approaches for a cheap area rug. You can sew together mats from a discount store, paint drop cloth, or use old t-shirts for a braided rug that adds a unique center piece for your room.

Making a braided rug requires cutting shirts into strips and then making a simple braid. After cutting shirts into equal sized strips, pin with a safety pin and braid them. As you near the end of the braid, you incorporate a new strip. Then just keep braiding! You end up with a long single braid. Starting with the braid’s end, spiral it around itself and stitch as you go with a large needle and thread. Coil it by wrapping the braid around in a large, flat circle.  

Leaving home for college is equal amounts excitement and stress. (Whether you are the parent or child!) Creating a comfortable, affordable space to call your own is important for your well-being. Let’s working together to find innovative ways to reduce the stress of finances so you can live well.

As you send your college student off to school, don’t forget that Numerica is here for you with easy member-to-member transfers on the mobile app, and a checking account that rewards you. Check out our other college tips and hacks.

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December 2, 2022