It might be summer vacation, but the next school year is just around the corner. If you are anything like me, you are dreading the white walls of the dorm room you will be living in. Have no fear… Samantha is here! As a senior at WCU, I have seen my far share of dorm rooms, and I know what needs to be done in order to make your home away from home actually feel like home.
Now I know the rules at every university are primarily the same… no nails in the wall, no holes, nothing fun! Well, I have not only abide by those rules, but I have found another solution. Yes, that’s right co-eds, I have found a solution. Drum roll please… 3M Command Hooks! If you can’t use nails, then use these. They totally work!
But enough about that… let’s get to the decorations!
Inexpensive Wall Collage
During my freshmen year in college, a friend of mine came up with the idea to create a wall collage in her dorm room. I thought it was one of the coolest and most creative things to do on a large white wall. Two years later, when I moved off campus into my own house, I too, created a similar wall collage.
The best thing about this idea is that it is fun, expressive, and adds that little something extra to your boring dorm or apartment wall.
My first wall mural was black and white because that was the theme I had in my room, but my second collage was based off of a beach/seaside theme. The wall collage included one large canvas board, two medium boards, four 3×5 photo frames, and a 4×6 photo frame. Because I changed my themes, I got to restart and redesign the whole collage – colors and all! (Which makes this idea versatile and fun)
What You Will Need:
- 4 Pack of White Canvas (Wal-Mart)
- Fabric Paint or Spray Paint
- Paint Pens or Sharpies
- Hot Glue Gun w/Glue sticks
- Gems (be sure they have a flat back)
- Picture Frames
Step 1 – Paint canvas boards and frames with selected fabric paint/spray paint. Let dry for at least an hour and a half.
Step 2 – Plug in the hot glue gun. While that is heating up, cut 7” to 10” strips of ribbon. These will be used to hang the frames and canvas boards.
Step 3 – Apply lines of glue on the back of each frame and attach ribbon. Be sure to create an upside-down “U” with the ribbon. Make sure you add enough glue to either side to insure that the ribbon will stay attached.
Step 4 – Once the ribbon has been attached to each board, now begin to decorate!
Remember to get creative. Use famous quotes, inside jokes, funny sayings, your initials, or sentences in another language. Add jewels or stickers to spruce up the detail. Once you have decorated the boards, pick up some inexpensive and small nails from Wal-Mart or Lowes and line them up all over the wall. If your dorm has restrictions on holes in the wall, then pick up the 3M Command hooks and use them in place of nails.
I have yet to make a decoupage table of mine own in college, but I did decoupage several different things in my art classes in high school. It is an extremely fun, creative, and messy craft to do alone or with a bunch of friends.
You can use just about anything – photographs, magazine clippings, hand-written notes, greeting cards, whatever you want. You can also decoupage any piece of furniture you choose to. If you want to make a major statement, decoupage a headboard. Base your hole room around your headboard, or if that is too much of a hassle, stick with the side table or a chair. This project should reflect your personality… remember that!
What you’ll need:
- Table (or whatever you decide to decoupage)
- Fine sandpaper
- Paint Brushes
- Paper items for decoration (magazine clippings, photographs, album covers, etc)
- ModPodge (can be found at any craft store – i.e. Michael’s)
- Sponge paint brush
Step 1 – Clean up the table (or whatever furniture you chose). Wipe down the surfaces, and make any needed repairs.
Step 2 – Sand the wood so the paint will stick well. Use a fine grade of sandpaper, and with a light hand, sand everywhere you want to paint.
Step 3 – Lay down some newspapers, open the paint can, stir it up, and then dip the brush in. Smooth gentle strokes in the same direction will produce an even finish.
Step 4 – Let the paint dry overnight
Step 5 – Cut out your paper designs. Once your pieces are selected, lay them out on the table to plan the overall look.
Step 6 – Pour the decoupage medium (ModPodge) into a small container and use a sponge paint brush to paint the back of the paper. Lay the paper down in position on the table, and lightly brush the front of it with more decoupage. Repeat this with all the paper designs you selected.
Step 7 – Paint an even amount of decoupage over the whole table and let dry.
Once that is dry you have a custom piece of furniture to showcase to all of your friends and family. If you use creative pieces, you will have a major conversation piece!
Ribbon Tied Hanging Letters
What better way to tell people who’s room they’re in then to spell it out for them. If you haven’t noticed yet, I love being crafty, and these letters are super crafty. This is another project that can give your dorm room that little extra pop. You can get as creative as you want, or keep it simple.
At my university, these ribbon-tied letters are a huge hit! Any room you walk in you’ll see fun letters, especially in the sorority houses.
Paint on stripes, patterns, sayings or whatever you can think of. You can even write your name continuously all over them. Here’s how to create this fun and decorative project.
What you’ll need:
- Letter (which you can pick up at any craft store, i.e. Michaels, Hobby Lobby)
- Craft Paints
- Paint brushes
- Glue gun
Step 1 – Decide on your designs
Step 2 – Start painting your letters. Use geometric shapes, swirls, words, etc.
Step 3 – Cut enough ribbon to tie in a bow and still have enough to attach to letters. 15″ to 20″ should be more than enough.
Step 4 – Attach the ribbon to the back of the letters with the hot glue gun.
Step 5 – Once the glue and paint has dried, hang your new letters on the wall.
Here is my thought, if you are tired of the movie posters or the ones of your favorite actor or actress (ah hem… Johnny Depp) then here is a fun and easy way to make your walls pop. Empty picture frames. It’s really simple, affordable, and makes one big statement. After all, anyone can put a picture in a picture frame… but how many people are going to leave them empty as décor?
What you’ll need:
- A good amount of picture frames (remember to get creative on this part – try frames with designed cut-outs, ridges, or extra wide frames)
- 2 cans of spray paint (whatever color you choose)
Step 1 – Take all of the backing off of the picture frames
Step 2 – Set up newspaper outside, in an area that gets a good amount of air.
Step 3 – Begin spray painting all of the frames. Be sure to cover the frames completely. We don’t want any uncovered areas. The frames might need a few coats, so spray, let dry and return for another coat. 2-3 coats will be enough.
Step 4 – Once frames have dried, lay them out on the ground in the arrangement you want. This will prevent you from make a lot of holes in your walls.
Step 5 – Once you have the frames laid out the way you want, begin making the holes in the wall.
This is an expression of your creativity. The funkier the arrangement, the longer people will look at it and think “what a cool idea!”
Fun & Funky Storage Containers
Are you tired of looking at all those giant plastic bins that have all your crap in them? Well have I got news for you. There is actually a way to make all those yucky clear bins look pretty. Yippie! You read right. All you need to do is pick up a few materials and you will be on your way to fun and funky storage bins.
What you’ll need:
- A few yards of Fabric
- Clear-drying Fabric Glue
- Measuring Tape
Step 1 – Measure out the inside front of those clear storage containers. You want both the height and width dimensions.
Step 2 – Cut out the fabric in the above dimensions… but give yourself an extra inch.
Step 3 – Apply the clear-drying adhesive to the inside front of the storage bin, and then carefully rub the fabric on it.
Step 4 – Continue to smooth the fabric over the inside of the bin. Once it is all smoothed out, move on to the next one.
In a matter of time you will have newly colorful bins that you cannot see the inside of. Use them as tables, or leave them out in open spaces. They are truly a lot of fun!
So go get your decorating on! Think outside of the box when it comes to spruching up your dorm room, and always remember to make your room feel homey.