School is starting up again whether you like it or not, and it’s time to start prepping for the semester ahead. You’re probably not excited to buy your textbooks, say goodbye to your family, and wake up early for class soon. But looking on the bright side, you get to decorate a new dorm room. Maybe you’re looking forward to sharing a suite with your besties this year, or you could’ve finally scored a single room that you can decorate just the way you like. You can totally DIY a lot of decor this time around, because this list of cheap and easy dorm projects from TikTok prove you can set a vibe with just a few supplies.
It’s the most important thing after all — the vibe, that it. Your dorm room becomes your home away from home for a whole school year. It’s where you’ll study for exams, set healthy routines and practice your self-care, and where your friends will come over to watch movies or get ready together for a night out. Making your dorm room reflect your style is really important because it’ll make you feel most comfortable and boost your mood — or at least make those late night study sessions a little more cozy.
These cheap dorm decor pieces prove that you can really slay the dorm game on a budget. A lot of the materials you can source from the dollar store or thrift store, which is easy on your wallet and low-risk if you’re scared to mess up a brush stroke. If you need some inspiration for cheap dorm decor, check out these easy dorm decor ideas that are trending on TikTok right now.
Homemade Graphic Prints
Bold, colorful prints are super in for 2022 dorm season and you don’t have to spend a lot to achieve the same look. @taylorstewartttt showed on TikTok how she creates own version of the popular style at home. First, she logs on to Canva.com to design her graphics. She starts with a strong color background, layers a large shape like a flower or leaf in a contrasted hue, and adds bold text. Then, you just print the page and and insert it into a gold frame. No one will have the same design as you, and you’ll save a lot on art prints.
Framed Photo Collage
Obviously, you have more photos with your friends and favorite summer memories than you know what to do with, but you definitely want them hung up to look at all the time. You can totally hang them all without it looking cluttered, like in this DIY frame photo by @dormify. Grab a cheap or thrifted frame from the dollar store and tape down all your curated snapshots to fit your room’s aesthetic. Then simply hang it up on your dorm wall with command strips or poster putty. You can easily interchange the photos as the seasons change and you make new memories. Now, whenever your besties visit you, you can reminisce on the good times.
Butterfly Twine Garland
This super cute decor detail will take your dorm room from drab to magical — and it’s a lot easier than you think. @hannahscoot posted a TikTok simply printing out black and white butterfly images and filling the white space with color markers like a coloring book. Then she painted a coat of Mod Podge on top to seal the design and cut the butterflies out. She spaced them out on a length of twine and attached them to create a whimsical garland that looks pretty hanging alone or alongside green vines or moss.
Custom Wall Clock
Whether or not you really need a clock, it definitely looks sophisticated hanging above a desk or set on a sidetable. @emilyrayna’s custom wall clock idea is really cheap and makes for a great statement decor piece. Just grab this $4 wall clock from Walmart and use paint to make a stylish design.
Paint It Cow Print
@maddysinjoy’s TikTok is a good reminder that anything can be cute if you paint it cow print. In her video, she uses black paint on her white organizer cart to make cow spots and trims the handles with bright orange. Simple but effective. You can apply this philosophy to any one of your dorm decor that’s boring and in need of a glow-up.
Seashell And Seaglass Mobile
If you spent all summer collecting shells at the beach, here’s a pretty way to display them in your room. @battleofnadia shows how she made this mobile with beads, shells, and seaglass by stringing them together (kind of like making a bracelet) and tying the strands to a piece of drift wood to hang and sway in the breeze.
Floating Cloud Lanterns
These DIY hanging clouds set such a cozy and sweet vibe alongside twinkling fairy lights in your dorm room. @loonathewurld filmed a TikTok making them by just hot-gluing poly-fil (pillow stuffing) to paper lanterns. She even added paper stars and moons for an extra dreamy affect.
Let’s face it, the beds that come in college dorms are ugly. It’s probably why dorm headboards are so popular this year, but they can be pricey. @emilyrayna’s headboard hack is pretty genius because it only costs around $20. In her TikTok, she takes a bunch of frames she bought at the dollar store and glues them to a large foam board. After a few coats of spray paint, you can place it behind your bed, and voila. That twin bed is a lot more glam.
Colorful Gem Disco Ball
This colorful crystal disco ball project by @madeyem00dy is so easy to do and makes for groovy decor piece that shines when the lights are low. It’s really just a foam ball, multicolor craft gems, hot glue, and string.
Cool Foam Mirror
@viennaskye shows how to make a foam trimmed mirror that looks super stylish and adds a bit of personality to a basic item. You’ll just need a mirror, foam spray, and color paints to match your dorm decor. Just imagine how cute it’ll look in your mirror selfies.