20 Creative Dorm Room Decorating Ideas on a Budget

Transform your dorm room from drab to fab with these decorating ideas on a budget.

Yep – we know college isn’t cheap and you don’t have extra cash to liven up your  dorm room. That’s why we searched high and low for the greatest dorm room decorating ideas without breaking the bank.

You’ll need: supplies, recycled items, the right amount of creativity and the patience of a monk. Just kidding.


dorm room decorating ideas


1. Curtain calling

The DIY curtains are actually tablecloths. Best of all, they’re less than $10 per panel. How’s that for cheap? If you’re going for a clean or shabby chic look, these curtains are just perfect.


2. Chic hamper

This hamper was made out of a floral pillowcase and embroidery hoop. You can hang this in your closet to save floor space (a must for college dorm rooms!). Who says hampers can’t look pretty?


3. Headboard fun

No headboard? No problem. You can make your own headboard by using wood panels and fabric. You can also use newspapers, pallets or curtains. You just need to pick which one suits your style.


4. Braided rug

Turn your old T-shirts into a work of art. All you need are scissors, needle, thread and old T-shirts. Voilà! Your dorm room floor just got a colorful makeover.


5.The fairest mirror

Decorate your dorm room mirrors with these flowers made out of egg cartons. Who knew, right? For white flowers or any other color of your fancy, just use spray paint. Very pretty.


6. Candle jars

Set a relaxing mood for your dorm room with these candle jars. You’ll be needing old mason and small baby food jars. Make a pattern, paint the inside of the jars and put some tea lights in. Absolutely charming.


7.  Chalkboard door

Leave messages and embellish with colored chalk. Having a chalkboard door in your dorm room  isn’t only functional, it’s decorative too! This is one of the coolest dorm room decorating ideas ever.


8. Earring organizer

Your earring collection as a decorative dorm room piece? Why not? Hang a chain on two cup hooks and showcase your collection. You can hang your necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry too.


9. Fabric printing

Need something to spice up the wall? Try this hand printing idea using fabric paint and a potato. You can hang it on your dorm room wall as it is or you can frame your masterpiece, it’s entirely up to you.


10.   Marker caddy

Declutter your desk with this easy-to-make marker caddy. You’ll need an old shoebox, toilet paper tubes and a nice paper to give the box an interesting design. You can make this in 10 minutes, tops!


11.   Wall art

This cheap DIY wall art looks anything but! It’s made of thick Styrofoam insulation, some panels and fabric. You can stencil designs to the fabric for a more personalized touch. You can also use scrapbook papers and they’ll be just as pretty.


12.   Wall cover

Give your dorm room wall the makeover it deserves – temporarily. Learn how to make your desired fabric adhere to the walls by using liquid corn starch through this tutorial.


13.   String art

If you’ve got time to spare, why not make this DIY string art for your dorm room wall? It’s cheap, beautiful and makes a good conversation piece.


14.   Faux steel grill

Would you believe that this steel grill décor was made from toilet paper rolls? Yes. Make your own patterns and color them however you like – the possibilities are endless!


15.   <3 hearts

Make your bare dorm walls come alive with these pretty hearts. These paper cutouts are cheap, beautiful and easy to remove. How about paper butterflies when you get tired of hearts?


16.   DIY ottoman

You can make this eco-friendly ottoman from plastic soda bottles, foam, fabric and hot glue. By decorating your dorm room, you’re also helping the environment. Pretty cool!


17.   Go green

Add some green into your dorm room by making these adorable planters from clothespins. They’re inexpensive and fun to make; you’ll just need a tuna can, some wooden clothespins and your plant.


18.   Pretty chair

Give your chair a facelift without sewing! Choose a fabric with a beautiful pattern and arm yourself with a knife and a stapler and you’ll prettify that chair in no time.


19.   Washi away

Washi tapes are Japanese decorative masking tapes, which makes them ideal for decorating dorm rooms. They’re not only pretty, they come in all colors and patterns too. Best of all, they’re easy to peel off. You gotta love washi!


20.   Hanger it!

Use your hangers creatively — organize or showcase your scarves, glasses, belts or jewelry. Functional, decorative and space-saving, these hangers are definitely not just for hanging clothes.


Decorating your dorm room has limitations. Some schools won’t allow hanging objects (of any kind), decorative lights or additional furniture. Although these dorm room decorating ideas abide by those, some ideas mentioned may still not be allowed. It’s still best to check with your school. Remember: safety above everything else. Have fun!

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