I know I struggled with figuring out how I was going to afford to decorate my room after buying all the essentials I needed first. So, I compiled this short list of different cheap and some DIY decor ideas for any broke college student. Some tips I recommend for getting cheap dorm room decor is looking on Pinterest for DIY decor ideas, going to the dollar store, and hoping your mom or other family members send you decorations.
Having a tapestry is one of the easiest ways to change the look and feel of your dorm room. Since they take up a large section of the wall, it will feel less like a prison since the cinder blocks will be covered. Also, there are so many options, which allows you to express yourself with no problem. For example, there is a tapestry with the letter from, the television show, Jersey Shore that has the letter they wrote to Sam about Ron cheating on it. Furthermore, it will make it easier to match whatever colors your roommate's decorations are. Although, some colleges do have a size limit for the tapestry or just do not allow them.
2. Dry erase board
This is an easy and cheap DIY project that will not take much time. All you need is a picture frame and a white background for inside the frame. This allows you to choose how big or small you want the dry erase board to be and it also allows you to place them wherever you want. For instance, if you go with a 4x6 frame, then you can place it on your desk or even hang it with command strips on the wall.
3. Christmas/twinkle lights
This is probably one of the cheapest ways to make your dorm room feel more like home. My roommate and I have accumulated about 10 strings of different colored string lights, and they give the room a more home-like feel because they are warmer lights and they allow us to turn off the fluorescent lights the school provides. I know you are thinking, "10 strands of lights??? Isn't that expensive???" It may appear that way, but we either got them on sale at Target, brought them from our room back home, or my mom bought them at the dollar store (We mostly bought them at the dollar store).
String lights also can be bought for any holiday to spice up the room. For instance, my roommate and I have orange ones for fall, green and purple ones for Halloween, and colorful ones for Christmas. If you are looking for a spring look, you can make "rosebud lights." Rosebud lights are LED string lights with fabric wrapped around the lights to give them a flower-like appearance.
4. Bulletin board
Bulletin boards are an inexpensive way to hang all your pictures and mementos from throughout the year or from memories back home. For instance, on my bulletin board, I have pictures of family, friends, and my boyfriend, which are mementos from back home. I also have football tickets, my bid day card (from rushing a sorority), Polaroid pictures, and many other things that I have collected over my first year of college. You could even start the year with a blank bulletin board and fill it up throughout the year for a more authentic experience. Also, you can print your pictures from the website Free Prints, which allows you only to pay the shipping fee on the photos and save money instead of spending a fortune at Walgreens or other companies.
5. Tie-dye white bed sheets
This is a fun way to create your own look instead of sticking with what the stores and websites have to offer. You can use any colors you want and follow the decorations on the kit. I did this for my sheets back home, and it did not turn out the way I imagined, but it is because I did not use cotton sheets. However, I helped my friend tie-dye her sheets for her dorm, and they turned out much better because not only did we use more color, but we also used cotton sheets. So, this means you could even create your own colors for the sheets and have a unique and fun look for your side of the dorm room.