Whether you’ve just moved into your new dorm room or you want to spice up your current one a bit, DIY is the way to go about it. It’s more affordable than shopping at IKEA – and it’s certainly more fun to craft something yourself, too!
Besides, DIY projects give you complete creative freedom: you can make one-of-a-kind things that will reflect your personality (and that no one else has).
Are you looking for some inspiration for your next DIY project? Worry not: here are five ideas for a craftsperson of any level!
Before You Begin
If the inspiration strikes while you’re reading about these projects, here are three things you should keep in mind before you get busy:
- Check your dorm’s decoration policy. It typically prohibits any wall drilling, screws, and nails. You don’t want to get in trouble or pay up for any damage to dorm property, do you?
- Free up some time for your DIY project. Yes, it can be challenging – what kind of student isn’t buried in homework all the time? But you can also always find a workaround: essay writing services exist for a reason (wink). You don’t want to have to leave a half-finished project lying around, right?
- Find cheap materials or get them for free. If you need a photo frame or basic string lights, don’t rush to a regular shop! Maybe, your family or friends can give away something like what you need. If not, go ahead and pay a visit to a thrift shop!
1. Make Your Own Dry Erase Board
In case you don’t want to forget you have that assignment due soon, a dry erase board is a great way to have a constant reminder in front of you. And yes, you can make one yourself!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A picture or art frame (its size is up to you – even an 8×10 one will work);
- Dry erase markers;
- Washi tape or paint to revamp the frame itself (optional);
- Backing piece: you can use a sheet of scrapbook paper or fabrics.
The process itself is pretty straightforward. Clean the frame, repaint it or decorate it with washi tape if you want. Then, find your backing piece – but make sure the marker will be visible with it in the background. Assemble the frame, and voila, you’re ready to start planning!
Pro tip: you can turn this dry erase board into a weekly or monthly planner. Just add pieces of paper to the backing piece to create the planner layout.
2. Turn Old T-Shirts into a Braided Rug
Do you have several t-shirts you don’t (and won’t) wear anymore? No need to throw them out and waste money on new things – you can turn them into a rug, no less! Here’s what you should have at hand if you decide to do it:
- A pair of scissors;
- 5 to 10 t-shirts (you can find them in thrift stores, too!);
- Needle and thread.
The process is simple (but it’ll take a while):
- Cut each t-shirt to get one long strand of fabrics two inches wide;
- Take three strands and sew their ends together;
- Start braiding from the center to make a circle;
- Sew the edges together for the rug to hold together as you braid.
3. Put Your Photos on a Display
Photos are what can make even the most boring room into your home. They bring this cozy feeling to it – even if the room’s interior has this soulless “office” vibe.
Photo frames are great and all, but there are many more ways you can put your memories on display. Here are just some of them:
- Attach your photos to string lights using decorative wooden clothespins or paper clips;
- Put up a string or yarn instead of string lights;
- Use washi tape or painters tape to stick your photos to the wall or window;
- Repurpose a fishing net and attach your photos (or anything else) to it.
4. Paint Your Decorative Pillowcases
Love pillowcases with cool prints? Of course, they are the perfect cozy decor. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on them – there’s a way to DIY it!
How? You’ll need textile paint or marker pens, as well as some time and patience – and you’ll need to get creative, too. Even if you’re not an artsy type, you can still have a decent result – but you might want to find an image you want to copy first and use it as a reference.
And you don’t have to stop at pillowcases! You can also:
- Revamp your old t-shirts, pants, or any other clothes;
- Turn boring plain bedsheets into one-of-a-kind set;
- Paint your curtains into something unique.
As for the how-to part, read the instructions for the paint or markers you have. And in terms of the drawing itself, you’re limited only by your imagination!
5. Use Crate Boxes for Storage
Are you running low on storage space in your room? Then it’s time to go looking for some crate boxes! With a bit of time and enough dedication, you can turn them into a side table, stacked shelves, or under-the-bed storage boxes.
Here’s what you’ll need for this DIY project:
- Crate boxes themselves – you can find them at a thrift store, garage sale, or just sitting there next to the trash bin;
- Paint and paintbrush or spray paint of your choice (you can also use stencils to make patterns);
- Workspace: depending on the paint, you might need to leave your painted boxes outside.
Want More Ideas?
If your answer is “yes,” here are seven more dorm-friendly DIY projects you might want to try your hand at:
- Glue a magnet to a can to stick it to your mini-fridge (if you have one);
- Use string lights to spell out a word;
- Spice up your plastic drawers by gluing scrapbook paper on the inside;
- Make an easily transportable jewelry display using a mosquito net and hooks (you can use the ones for Christmas tree ornaments);
- Turn used jars or cans into fancy pencil holders using washi tape, paint, nail polish, or fabrics;
- Glue together several binders, cut out the space inside, and put them on a shelf to have a secret stashing spot;
- Glue a rope around a waste bucket to get that cute look you see in stores like IKEA.
Here’s a final piece of advice. The best way to get creative with your DIY projects is taking stock of what you have, going to a thrift store, and finding ways to combine what’s there with your materials!