DIY Dorm Decor on a Dime: Budget-Friendly Ways To Furnish Your College Pad


Welcome to college – a magical, mystical time fueled by caffeine, cheap beer, and the occasional night’s sleep in a teensy, tiny dorm room.

But fear not!

Photos can personalize your place, and save your dorm room from being just another dull, claustrophobic crash pad. Nothing’s more H-I-P than D-I-Y, so give one (or all) of these inexpensive do-it-yourself décor projects a try. They’ll make your dorm room more mind-blowing than Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes and the Pope having a twerk off.*


Image: Maxwell Tielman (Design Sponge)

1. Use washi tape as frames for a photo wall display. Line the outsides of your photographs with washi tape of your choice for cheap, chic frames. Washi tape comes in cool colors and patterns. Better yet, it won’t strip the paint off of dorm room walls.

Think outside the box and go wild with funky, interesting, geometric frames. As shown above, you can even try double framing your photos with multiple colored tapes and different shapes.

Pro tip: line the visible edges of your bookshelf with matching washi tape and spice up that lackluster, industrial dorm furniture in no time! Washi tape is available at most craft stores or online for around $4 a roll.



Image: Caroline Johnannson

2. Decorate your dorm mini-fridge in true foodie fashion. Print out photos of past Instagram-worthy meals in the 4×4 size using Kicksend. Get out that leftover washi tape. Time to create a clothespin photo display for your dorm’s mini-fridge!

First, stick your washi tape to the clothespin. Use a stationary or an X-ACTO knife to get clean lines. Then, glue a magnet to the backside of your clothespin using heavy-duty glue or a hot glue gun. From there, decorate your fridge with drool-worthy food photos. Make extra clothespins for photos yet untaken and document your freshman year culinary adventures.

With time, your fridge will display everything from your mom’s classic mac ‘n cheese to your ceremonial 100th Cup of Noodles to your first self-cooked gourmet meal!



Example: Indiana University’s bucket list

3. Turn that idea into a bucket list collage. Get together with your new roomie and come up with a first-year bucket list. Need ideas? How about: dominate a local eating challenge, hike the tallest nearby mountain or crowd surf at a concert? Try asking upperclassmen for ideas or researching bucket list ideas specific to your university online.

Write each “to do” on a Post-It note, and then stick those Post-Its on a piece of printer paper in a haphazard (erm, artsy) way. Frame this bucket list “collage” in a basic 8.5 x 11 inch frame, available at most stores for far under $10. As you accomplish items from your bucket list, open the back of the frame up, and swap out the Post-It “to do” with a photo of you doing whatever it was.

Not only is a bucket list collage an awesome piece of art for your wall, as you accomplish your fun goals, it keeps changing. The always-changing, dynamic collage becomes a total conversation starter.

Try any of these DIY dorm projects? Let us know how they went, and send in a picture of your new washi tape photo wall, fancy mini-fridge or bucket list collage!

*Yes, we here at Kicksend do our best to keep up with the times.

Aryn Sanderson is a journalism senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign was based off of her Instagram feed. In her free time, she speed-reads, obsesses to near-perfection, and battles an Oxford comma addiction.

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