You’ve moved out of your home and into a college dorm room. It’s lacking in personality, which is actually amazing because it means that you have the opportunity to turn it into your own space. Your dorm room is a great way to play around with and develop your own personal style without too much judgement and control from others. It is also the perfect time to get anything out of your system. You can use your dorm room to express your identity and to show off things you are proud of. The best part is that this doesn’t have to break the bank. As a student, we know you are probably budget-conscious. Here are a few unique ways to decorate your dorm room on a tight budget.
1 – Show Your Individuality with a Tapestry or Flag
Tapestries are a great way to add a unique element of artistic fare to your space. They come in a variety of different prints and materials including wool for a unique and textured look. If tapestries aren’t your thing, flags are a great addition. You can get all sorts of flags with UltimateFlags, to really express yourself. You can show off your love for your favourite sports team, where you come from, a community you are part of or something you believe in. Both a flag and tapestry can be used to create a real moment in your dorm room. If you are in a shared space you can always opt for a smaller size. Flags and tapestries come in a range of shapes and sizes, but the best part is that when you opt for a bigger size you can decorate your wall in one go.
2 – Secondhand Decor
Secondhand décor is a great and super budget-friendly way to fill your space. You can buy all sorts of things secondhand because thrifting is about more than shopping for clothes. You can buy simple décor, art and even budget furniture pieces. Used items are a lot cheaper than new ones and are often still in good condition. For those who care about the environmental side of things, thrifting is also a great way to lower your consumption.
3 – Use Plants
Plants have gained popularity in recent years and this is because they add a subtle hint of colour to every space. They are underrated but relatively inexpensive. They are perfect if you want to add just a hint of personalisation to your space. They help with things like air quality, bring the outdoors in (making your dorm room feel less sterile) and are great for mental health. There are plenty of low-maintenance plants out there for beginners. If you want a splash of colour, but you are terrible with even the hardiest of plants, consider a faux plant or two. For some added interest throw a couple of delicate fairy lights into the mix and you have all the décor you need.
4 – Buy From Online Marketplaces
If your local thrift shops leave little to be desired take your search to online marketplaces. Facebook Marketplace is a great example. This gives you access to people selling their used goods. Some colleges even have online marketplaces for their students where students can sell their old stuff to new students. You can find anything you might need for your space right on campus at the press of a button. If you have something you don’t want anymore, be sure to sell it online so that you can buy new things to decorate your space. This is a really sustainable and budget-friendly way of doing things.
5 – DIY
This is a personal favourite. If you have a maker streak why not DIY? There are tons of expensive pieces of art, furniture and décor that can be made for a fraction of the cost. Rather than buying things to fill your dorm room, spend your free time, or the summer before making them. Your projects can be as big or as small as you’d like. For example, colour and texture can bring any space to life. If you aren’t that great at making things, keep it simple with a no-sew pillowcase, or some curtains. Make some DIY wall art with free prints you find online, or something you painted yourself. A few dorm room DIYs are the best route to go for those of you who are a little more creative and want to create a unique, personal space.
6 – Upcycle
Following along with the trend of sustainability, upcycling something you already had to make it more functional is great when you’re on a budget. You can think of upcycling as DIY’s cousin. It is sustainable and often saves you more than DIYing something could. Transforming what you already have into something new is great for sustainability and incredibly kind to your wallet.
You can spruce up your old desk, or a chair with a Mod Podge collage and a fresh coat of paint. No need to buy tons of paint for a project like this. A small can or even a sample size should do the trick. You can also upcycle an object to change its purpose entirely. Have a few old containers or jam jars? No problem. Transform them into something completely new and use them for desk storage.
Bonus tip – Plan Your Shopping Around Sales
Not everyone enjoys or is good at making their own décor, upcycling, or thrifting, and that’s fine. If you have a little more money to play with, but still not much, you could benefit from shopping sales. Different things are on sale at different times of the year. This means that you won’t have the opportunity to buy everything new all at once. Buying things to decorate your space gradually isn’t bad though. Keep an eye out for sales by signing up to your favourite site’s mailing lists. This also gives you access to discount codes and early access to sales.
As you can see decorating your space on a budget isn’t as hard as people make it out to be. There are tons of different ways to personalise your space for little to almost no cash at all. We hope that you try a few of these out to give those plain dorm walls some uniqueness. Have fun!