With fall college classes resuming in about a month (every college kid just groaned because they still have a WHOLE MONTH left before getting to go back, I guarantee it), you should probably start prepping for move-in day!
And, if you're like me, your bank account looks a little more sad (OK, there were definitely tears) than you would like. In other words, you don't exactly have an exuberant amount of money you can spend on decorating.
Save what little money you have left for those late-night outings with your college friends and try some of these DIY dorm decor ideas (or apartment/house, if you're lucky!) to help your place feel a little more like your own.
1. Instagram Photo Garland
A wall of photos is pretty much the number one go-to for DIY dorm decor--and for good reason!
All you need to do is print your favorite Instagram photos of your friends and fam from an app like PostalPix or a site like Social Print Studio and get some cute washi tape, string (I like to use twine!) and clothespins! Not to mention it only takes like five minutes to put together, but you still come out with a totally cute picture display that you can help but brag that you "made" yourself.
If you want to get more creative, you can either change the size of the clothespins (because everything is cuter when it's mini) or decorate them with paint or extra washi tape.
2. Colorful Corkboard
DIY bulletin boards are my favorite for dorm decor because not only are they a cheap way to decorate, but they're also functional (my OCD side definitely did a little happy dance at the thought of another way to get to organize).
You can get inexpensive corkboard in practically any shape you want (or be a DIY queen and cut your own), and then all you have to do is cover it in fabric or paint it whatever color your little heart desires and hang it on the wall with adhesive strips.
3. Personalized Welcome Mat
There is just something about making your own welcome mat that makes you feel like you are officially #adulting.
4. Mini Plant Pots
If you're like me and can barely take care of yourself, much less another living thing, succulents are a literal gift.
These bad boys are super easy to take care of (like I went three weeks without watering mine, and it was just fine), and when you put them in little painted pots, they become the most adorable and affordable dorm room decor idea ever.
5. Picture Frame Dry Erase Board
Yes, I know. I really like nerdy organizational things, OK? But seriously, this is another two-birds-one-stone scenario.
Buy a cheap dollar store frame, find some cute fabric or decorative paper to put behind the glass, and voila! You now have a dry erase board for lists upon lists (or even a calendar) that also adds aesthetic to your dorm room. You're welcome.
6. Nail String Art
Nail string art is super easy, even for the craft-challenged like me. You can bring a bit of home with you and make one in the shape of your state, or you can just choose a favorite shape or word!
Change it up by painting the wooden boards different colors, or you can try different colored string on an unpainted background.
7. Personalized Desk Accessories
A great DIY dorm decor idea that also helps keep your desk organized (because God knows the rest of your college life won't be) at the same time is to make your own personalized desk accessories!
Just revamp some old cans, boxes, mason jars, coffee cups or vases with a little paint, washi tape (it's kind of versatile, can you tell?) or other little embellishments.
8. DIY Typography Pillows
These DIY typography pillows make me feel like I should practically be on HGTV... even though I'm pretty sure my 4-year-old niece could make them.
All you need are some throw pillows, stencils, and either fabric paint or markers. Basically, they're the epitome of DIY dorm decor.
9. Removable Wallpaper
OK, this seems to be a well-hidden secret: the best way to dress up boring dorm room furniture on a budget? Removable wallpaper.
Seriously, from a bookshelf to the top of your desk to the sides of your (way too small) clothing storage unit, removable wallpaper is a ridiculously easy and inexpensive way to add style to your dorm.
10. DIY Fabric Wall Hanging
Would you believe me if I said making a personalized wall hanging for your dorm room were as easy as getting a large scrap of fabric (or an old sheet) and painting it? Well, it basically is.
11. DIY Fabric Pouf
Dorm rooms are notorious for being tiny and having little to offer when it comes to furniture. Put in a couple of beds, desks, armoires and a mini fridge (obviously the most important), and there is barely any room left to breathe.
Insert this perfect little DIY fabric pouf: it's small, so it doesn't take up much space, but it still provides extra seating for visitors. It can even be a little footrest if you're feeling extra chichi.