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DIY Dorm Room Ideas

12 Ways To DIY Your Dorm Room

We are back in school and back with more DIY projects! Dorm rooms are small and the furniture is usually limited to a desk, a bed and a dresser. The lack of space can be overwhelming at times. However, with some clever DIY projects and thrifting skills, you can make your dorm room feel like home.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly dorm room decorating ideas and diy projects, this is the article for you! We will show you how to save money but still have an aesthetically pleasing home-away-from-home. Now we know some DIY projects can be expensive, but there are definitely cheaper alternatives. For example, you can use solo cups to make on-brand string lights for your dorm room.

Thrifted sheets

1. Turn Thrifted Sheets Into Tapestry’s and Wall Art

You can create beautiful dorm room decor with thrifted sheets and bedding. You just need to know the right way to sew them into tapestries and framed art. Of course framed art can be expensive, but not at a thrift store! You can repurpose frames for your own wall art or by creating something out of thrifted fabric. You can do lots from just upgrading a wall to cutting them into strips around 2 feet wide and weaving them together to create braids or texture.

Canopy bed

2. Create a Canopy Bed with Dorm Friendly Hooks

Make your dorm room home sweet home with this DIY canopy bed. This clever method uses our favorite dorm room tool…the 3M command hooks! These removable hooks as you’ll come to find will become your best friend when decorating a dorm room or a rental unit. The other great thing about these is that you can decorate with curtains of any color or size to add a touch of upgraded style. This hack won’t break any dorm regulations and you’ll be surprised at how many people you’ll inspire once set up!


Photo Mobile

3. Make a Photo Mobile

This DIY photo mobile is a great way to keep the friendly faces of loved ones from back home close by. A sweet and easy reminder that’s totally customizable to your aesthetic. Things you’ll need to create your own:

  • Photos (these can be in any size)
  • Mini paper clips
  • String or yarn to clip the photos to
  • A couple branches or wooden rods
  • Yarn in multiple colors
  • 3M command hook to hang the mobile from


Garment Rack

4. DIY Garment Rack

No closet? No problem. Get the influencer vibes without breaking the budget by creating a DIY garment rack tutorial to take care of all of your clothes! And add an extra shelf for storage and shoes!

This is one of those projects that is fairly simple to put together. The bottom shelf of the rack and wheels are completely optional and you can also decide to go for just a clean look by creating legs on either side with the same piping. You can find these types of pipes and other supplies at your local Ace Hardware or Lowes.


Hat Wall

5. Hang Your Hat Wall

This is on of our favorites, because it is a functional piece of art and not a difficult project to do on your own. Read on to find out how to create this DIY hat wall and decorate a blank wall in your dorm room.

Firstly, in order to get this project going, here are the materials you’ll need: 3M command hooks and all of your hats, that’s it!

The second step is to decide where you want to place them and how far apart you’ll place them. We recommend placing a hook in a central spot, add a hat to it, then decide where to place the next. This way, when you are designing the layout, you will make sure that it fits all of your favorite hats! Don’t forget, the brims will take up a good chunk of space and since there are many shapes and sizes of hats, make sure you account for that when designing your layout; it’s best if they can all fit nicely on the wall without overlapping too.

Quote Banner

6. Create a Quote Banner

These fun banners are easy to make with no sewing required! Use them to add a fun quote, a daily affirmation or even your initials. Your local craft store will usually have premade canvas banners but also your favorite thick fabric and some fabric glue will do the trick. You can utilize iron-designs, fabric paint and stentils or if you’re feeling fancy, you can create your own using a Cricut!

With this DIY flag banner, you can make a personalized banner for any occasion. This is a great gift idea!

Get the supplies:

  • Iron on letters or fabric adhesive
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Ruler or straight edge


String Light DIY

7. Solo Cup String Lights

This is one of the easiest DIY projects and very on brand for college. Here’s how to decorate your dorm with large or mini red solo cup string lights:

  1. Using an X-Acto knife or razor cut an X on the bottom of the cup. Make sure it’s big enough for the light to feed through but not fall out.
  2. Cut a cup for each light on the string. If the larger cups don’t fit together, you can use mini ones from the Dollar Tree or just leave one in between.
  3. Hang the lights using 3M hooks so as not to leave any damage on the walls.
  4. Plug them in and you’re ready to go!


DIY Terrazzo Coaster

8. Trendy Terrazzo Coasters

We love this adorable DIY coaster project from Lone Fox on Youtube. The Dollar store always has cheap decor that you can paint and upgrade with just a few extra dollars. Just like transforming these $1 coasters. However, this would also work well with thrifted coasters that may need a facelift…hint hint. Here are some supply examples that Lone Fox recommends for this project:


  • Spackle
  • Spray paint (farmhouse black)
  • Spray paint (limestone)
  • Caulk
  • Baking soda
  • Colored rocks
  • Mosaic grout
  • Resin
  • Mardi gras beads
  • Spray paint (gold)
  • Terrazzo wrapping papers
  • Stain (early american)
  • Spray paint (terracotta)


DIY washi tape door

9. Design a New Door with Washi Tape

Breath fresh life into those old dorm room doors while also showing off your personality. Washi tape has many uses, but we love the idea of using it to upgrade a dorm room. Don’t be intimidated by the design initially. The great thing about Washi tape is that you can change it out as often as you like. We’ve seen geometric designs, shapes of all sizes and every color of the rainbow.

What you’ll need:

  • Xacto knife
  • Washi tape color of your choice
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors


DIY crate side table

10. Use Crates for Shelving and Storage

This thing of beauty was made by Jennifer Rizzo and we love how the price was under $40! Crates can be picked up from your local thrift store, a garage sale or even your local craft shop. From there paint them any color of your choosing and decide if you’ll be using it as a side table, a wall shelf or a bookshelf. These crates are great to stack and also sit comfortably under a dorm room bed as well. If you’re worried about tight spaces and lack of storage, this DIY hack is for you!


Gym Door Organizer

11. DIY Door Organizer

A door organizer is a simple solution to keep your already tight space clean. For instance, whether you need to organize your jewelry, mail or even gym accessories, a pegboard is a cheap and easy solution for storing your items when they’re not in use. The benefits of using a door organizer, including saving room by storing items off the floor, keeping your surfaces clear from cluttered accessories and making it easy to find something at a moment’s notice when you’re running out the door.

dry erase board diy

12. Turn Any Frame Into a Dry Erase Board

Give any old picture or art frame new life by turning it into a dry erase board. The great thing about this DIY dorm room project is you can use a frame of any size, from a small 8×10 frame to a giant one you thrifted but didn’t love the artwork. Start by cleaning and repainting you frame, but only if needed! If you found one and you already love the color, then the last thing you need to do is add a blank backing piece. You can create this by painting the back of the glass or the back of the insert. Be sure to choose a color that corresponds with the dry erase markers you’ll be using. Meaning if you want to use blue, purple and black markers, make sure the back of the glass is painted with a light color and vice versa.


Dorm room decor isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The internet is full of free templates to download and art prints that you can utilize to spruce up any space. Find pieces and ideas that will fit your aesthetic without breaking the bank. We hope these ideas help inspire you to get creative with interesting, custom decorations to give that dorm room the personality it’s so desparately lacking. Happy decorating and have a great school year!

Spring into Savings
As the flowers bloom, so do our deals! Step into spring with style, savings, and fresh new finds at our thrift store.
Spring into Savings
As the flowers bloom, so do our deals! Step into spring with style, savings, and fresh new finds at our thrift store.