Incorporate Some Floating Shelves

Standard dorm rooms lack personality, yet vibrant college students don’t. Since living quarters can influence our mood, it’s essential to create a dorm that inspires students in a variety of ways, whether that be to study, unwind, or feel at peace.

The challenge becomes how to decorate a dorm room on a budget without making permanent changes. The solution is to do-it-yourself. These DIY dorm decor ideas are innovative, inexpensive, and inspiring. Happy decorating!

Hang Your Favorite Photos With Thread

If you want to fill a large wall, create a wall hanging using your favorite photos of friends and family members. To make the photo art seem more cohesive, print out each photo either in black or white or all using the same filter. 

DIY Family Photo Wall Hanging from The Sweetest Occasion

Personalize a Cork Board Organizer

Instead of buying an expensive bulletin board, make your own. Buy a piece of cork and cut it to size. Next, decide how you want to add style to the piece. Wrapping string around the bottom adds more visual interest to the board and also gives you an extra place to stuff important papers without needing a push pin. 

DIY Cork Board Frame and Organizer from Craftaholics Anonymous 

Give Your Hanging Storage Some Personality

One of the first things to do when moving into a dorm is finding a place for everything. Staying organized is essential to making the most of such a small space. However, your storage solutions don’t need to be drab. Add some personality to wall hooks by making your own using polymer clay. 

Decorative Geo Wall Hooks from We Are Scout

Add Some Greenery to the Walls

Chances are that a dorm room is lacking on natural lighting. However, houseplants have many benefits besides being pretty. Add some life to the space by creating a wall planter, and opt for succulents because they are easy to grow in a dorm environment. 

DIY Succulent Wall Planter from The House That Lars Built

Fake Some Flowers When Lighting Is Minimal

Succulents are easy to grow in low light environments, but if you’re lacking a green thumb entirely, consider making faux succulents instead. Build your own indestructible terrarium by crafting a variety of succulents out of felt.

Easy DIY Felt Succulents from The Spruce

Make Your Own Stylish Laundry Hamper

When living in a house or apartment, it’s easy to hide a laundry hamper in a closet or somewhere else out of sight. In a dorm room, chances are your laundry is going to be out in the open. Take the opportunity to turn your laundry hamper into a piece of decor that blends in nicely with the room. 

DIY Laundry Hamper from Sugar Bee Crafts

Transform a Basket Into a Nightstand

This playful end table DIY project incorporates a lightweight geometric wastebasket that doesn’t feel too bulky in a small space. Simply adhere a piece of wood to the top to create a functional end table. The entire project should cost around $30, which is significantly less expensive than buying a premade nightstand.

DIY Wire Basket Side Table from Oleander and Palm

Update an Existing Pillow With a New Pillowcase

If you want to add more texture and interest into your dorm, don’t skimp out on throw pillows. Mix different fabrics, colors, and patterns until you achieve your desired look. If you like the pillow shown here, learn how to make it using denim and a bleach pen. 

How to Make a Patterned Pillow Cover from The Spruce

Make Your Own Desk to Fit the Space

It’s tempting to bring along your childhood desk to save money regardless of how it fits in the space. Instead, opt to make your own desk that will be much more streamlined and stylish. 

DIY Desk Under $60 from Pretty Providence

Craft a Wall Hanging Using Wrapping Paper

This DIY dorm decor project is innovative and extremely budget-conscious. Search around for some leftover wrapping paper. Opt for a thicker paper that won’t tear easily. You can also use wallpaper that has an interesting pattern. Next, cut some firring strips to size to add to the top and bottom. 

Pull Down Wall Hanging DIY from Making Home Base

Make Sure Your Storage Looks Good, Too

In college, there’s bound to be tons of papers and supplies to keep organized. Instead of piling everything up on your desk, create an organization system using wooden storage boxes. Add some geometric designs using acrylic paint to turn these boxes into pieces of decor.

DIY Painted Storage Boxes from Sarah Hearts

Get the Look of Wallpaper Without the Permanence

If you attempt this next DIY dorm decor project, make sure you are willing to spend just as much time removing it as you will putting it up. To get the look, purchase a few different colors of washi tape and get started! If applied correctly, washi tape can be removed from walls without damaging them. 

Confetti Mural Using Washi Tape from Freckle and Flair

Make Wall Art Out of Old Gift Bags

Gift bags can be reused over and over again, but what about turning the gift bag into something entirely different? If you are particularly fond of the message or pattern of a gift bag, save a ton of money on dorm room decor by turning it into a piece of wall art. 

DIY Wall Art From a Gift Bag from The Craft Patch