Dorm Room Decorating 101
A newly-decorated dorm wall–for cheap!
Alright girls, it’s now officially Back To School Season. Does the thought of dorm décor make you sweat worse than the Summer heat? Do the prices in the PB Teen catalog make you woozy? Fear not, because Sarah is here to make it all better. I went to boarding school, so I’ve got double the dorm years under my belt—that means I’ve got double the tips, tricks and shortcuts to transform your dorm from cinderblock cell to palatial pad (without spending your Summer savings). So put away the lava lamps and movie posters, and let Sarah be your guide.
We all know that those PB Teen and Teen Vogue “dorm makeovers” are a sham. Why? Well, for starters no college student can afford a $200 duvet cover or a $50 pillow. We’re lucky if we can afford to eat lunch. And second—I don’t know what college these kids are going to, but at my lovely institution there is no way in hell we could ever paint the walls, swap out the furniture or even put nails in the wall (have you ever tried to hammer nails into cinder block? Not. Fun.)
So my roommates and I made due with that gummy blue tack stuff, that god-awful industrial dorm furniture, and a little inspiration. Our first dorm project starts now, in the middle of the Summer. Later on, when you move in and get settled, you’ll need a roll of ribbon, a package of wooden clothespins, and some adhesive hooks. All of these things are super-cheap, and can be found at Target or any big box store.
Right now, you just need to start collecting. You might already have a shoebox somewhere filled with postcards, notes, photos, pretty business cards, etc. If not, it’s time to start gathering! Your friend sends you a postcard of a flamingo while on vacation in Florida? Put it in a box. Spot a dish of colorful business cards at a restaurant? Stash one in your wallet. Ticket stub from a Summer festival? Into the box. Start collecting little bits and pieces for the next few months, and by Fall you’ll have a box-full.
Now all you need is an ugly blank dorm wall. Attach two adhesive hooks to the wall about 2 or 3 feet apart from each other. Cut a length of ribbon that’s a couple inches longer than the space between your hooks, and tie each end to a hook. Make sure the ribbon is pulled tight, to avoid sagging in the middle. Then just pin a clothespin to both the ribbon and a piece from your box. Keep adding clothespins until you’ve run out of ribbon. Simple!
Now you have an instant way to display all the things you’ve collected, without having to tape each individual piece to the wall—and you can change your display as the year progresses, since swapping things in and out is so simple. Throw up pictures of your new friends. Display those lovely grades from first semester. And easily get rid of evidence of the ex without having to deal with all that blue tack; just pull that once-cute photo down and replace it with something (or somene) cuter. And the bonus? The total cost for this project is probably less than $10.