5 Dorm Decorating Ideas for the Student on a Budget

College students often don’t have a significant amount of money to spend, which is why the term “broke college student” is so well known.  But, just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your dorm room feel a little bit more like home.  Here are some ideas to help you do that without breaking the bank!

1. Print pictures from Google images, Tumblr, etc. and create wall collages/designs.  Most universities give you a per-semester print quota that most people don’t use up completely.  Take advantage of this opportunity to make your dorm room more festive or homey.  Black and white pictures are classic and go with everything, so you don’t even need to print in color (usually your print quota doesn’t include color printing and if it does, each pages will be worth more for your quota).  Just print out your pictures and get creative

7-14 dorm wall blog pic

  (This is the wall collage I made for my room last year!)

 2. Go to the drug store to print personal pictures; it’s usually pretty cheap there!  You can go the collage route and tape them to your wall with clear tape (or sticky tack if you’re worried about the paint on the walls) or go to the dollar store for some cheap frames; you don’t need anything fancy for your dorm room… but remember, frames take up space and your room will likely not be that big.  You can even try getting one giant frame, making a collage to put in it, and use command strips to hang it on your wall!

7-14 photo prints3. If you have a roommate, take a trip to the nearest craft supply place, like Michaels, and make a Saturday or Sunday out of creating your own posters, banners, and other decorations; you’ll be likely to find a lot of cute, cheap decorations that you can make together!  It’s a great way to bond with your roommate and make your room a home away from home.  Find a common ground, whether it is a color scheme, a pattern, or a theme you both like, and run with it!

7-14 DIY flag

(My roommate and I both love Harry Potter so we went with a Gryffindor Scarlet and Gold theme for our room Freshmen year and the above picture is a banner that we made!)

4. Get dry erase boards or small chalkboards and hang them on your door and your walls.  It’s a fun way to get your friends involved with your decorations, so just leave markers or chalk out in your room somewhere so they can write you little messages or drawings!  It’s a nice way to keep changing up your décor a little bit.

7-14 dorm dry erase5. Buy a Plastic Storage Drawer/Cart to maximize your space.  You can even spray paint the cart to go with your color scheme and get stencils to spray paint a pattern or design to really make it pop!  You can buy one of these carts at Walmart, Target, or even order it online and find a great price.  Get really creative!

7-14 painted storage drawer


About Genna Gincel

Genna is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in English Writing with minors in Film Studies and Theater Arts. In her spare time she enjoys binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix, baking, having movie nights with her friends, and watching her favorite vloggers’ latest videos on YouTube. She hopes to turn her education into a successful career as a screenwriter and producer.