Need some diy dorm room wall decor ideas to bring your near-future home to life? It’s an exciting period of transition, moving away and being on your own for the first time and then the opportunity to decorate this micro-bastion. Sweet!
But hold on…you might have a roommate, which means sharing space, and the fact that most dorm room walls are made out of cinderblock, which means that nails and tacks are out of the question.
But don’t let that be a stumbling block (no pun intended)! There’s no doubt that you can have a smashing good time displaying artwork, handmade mementos, or other creative objects you’ve made or are wanting to (and not get into trouble with the RA either!)
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When I was attending college, I kid you not, one resident student actually attached multiple candy wrappers all across her walls – talk about an upcycle genius! (Or maybe she had a real sweet tooth; I don’t judge!) but the point is you don’t need anything fancy. Let’s take a look at some dorm wall decorating ideas that are fun, inexpensive, and will not cause damage to walls.
A Word About Hanging Your DIY Dorm Room Decorations
First things first – the “boring” stuff I need to get out of the way: Regardless of what you’re planning to hang or display,Be sure to use an adhesive product that is 'low tack' and proven not to leave residue on walls.Click To Tweet
Not all sticky products are equal – I attempted to hang one of my favorite paintings with some of that tacky putty stuff and was met with failure. Then I discovered Command hooks, which saved the day. Don’t move into your new dorm officially without some of these!
Command Wire Toggle Hook Value Pack, Medium, Clear, 6-Hooks, Great for dorm decorCommand Wall Hooks, Large, Brushed Nickel, Great for dorm decorColored Painters Tape for Arts and Crafts, 6 Pack, Drafting Tape, Craft Tape
If you need some pointers on hanging artwork, refer to my previous post “How To Hang a Canvas Painting Without Nails” the advice will spare you some unnecessary headaches.
Another product you may want to look into is painter’s tape, which has enough stickiness for individual objects but doesn’t leave behind residue or pull off residual paint from the wall, making it an ideal resource for hanging your dorm room wall decorations.
Contact Paper Art
If you are looking for an inexpensive material that can do awesome things and is “low tack” enough to keep you on the good side of the RA, you’ve met your match in contact paper! You’ve no doubt seen it in stores – it’s also known as “shelf paper” by some of us old-fashioned types, and comes in pretty patterns and colors. I’ve used it for it’s original purpose, to line and protect drawers and shelves, but it’s also great for making art too!
You can buy contact paper in a pretty pattern of your choosing or create your own art (on a computer graphic program, perhaps) and transfer it to the one side, in addition you’ll need some good scissors and a pencil so any lines you draw won’t show.
“Gift Wrap” Easy Canvas Wall Art For Your Dorm Room
First off….canvases! Yep, don’t worry if you’ve never had an art lesson; with some materials like gift wrap, shelf paper, or Washi tape, you’ve got the makings of easy dorm room wall decorations right in front of you.
Get some shelf paper or colorful gift wrap and a plain white canvas (go small – like 11 x 14) and make like you are actually wrapping a gift – secure the ends on the back with some tape. If you are using adhesive based shelf paper this is self explanatory. You can make several like this and have varying sizes/patterns just for fun.
Make a Photo Display Piece for the Wall
A lot of the time being away from home for the first time can seem a little scary and having something familiar and near and dear like photograph mementos, is a classic favorite adornment to remind yourself of friends and family back home.
But instead of going the standard route of a multi-picture frame display, put some panache into it with a full photo display montage made out of wire, strong cord, etc. You can use aluminum craft wire (pick a slightly heavier gauge like 12, 14, or 16) and attach your photos in a continuous line with the use of mini clothespins.
You can also make a shorter strand instead of the “banner flag” approach if you want and make a grid pattern instead in which you can have your photos arranged in a tighter group.
Make a Party Light Wall Display!
Party lights, starting with a strand already or or a strand you embellish yourself with ornaments, is another great decor idea. You can run the strand alongside the perimeter of your bed or desk.
If you’re really handy with tools, you could create a framework out of copper wire (like in the shape of a heart or star) to weave the light strand around to add extra emphasis. It might take a little work, but it would look awesome – I’ve seen it done!
Decorate the Wall With Washi Tape
This is one fun technique you’ll love if you enjoy decals. Washi tape is like painter’s tape in that it goes on and comes off easily without the gummy residue, which will bode well for adhering to handbook guidelines – but it’s a lot prettier and comes in lots of beautiful colors and patterns much like colorful crafting duct tape.
You could just about rig yourself up a minimalist wall mural with this stuff when the mood strikes! Simple geometric patterns, hearts, stars, heck maybe even spell out your name or initials?
Canvas Wall Art With Tape
Or consider the use of washi tape to make a one of a kind piece of artwork using a canvas; tearing it into various pieces to make a one of a kind collage, or creating a precise pattern; it’s all up to you.
OR…another great fool-proof technique for the artistically challenged is to take some plain masking tape and apply it at different angles, triangular, square, etc., and then apply spray paint over the whole thing. When you peel back the tape after drying, it will reveal some awesome patterns.
<<<Need a little inspiration? Check out all my washi tape ideas in one place right here!
Paint Chip Wall Art
You know those color shade paint chips that home improvement stores always have scads of? Yes, those – people are upcycling these buggers like it’s going out of style! And they’re FREE too….as many college students don’t have much dough, this is perfect. Look what this student did below…all the chip colors strategically were cut out and aligned to varying gradients to make up this one of a kind piece right here:
You may want to spend a little time working out your pattern first on the bed or floor…then use some minimally sticky painter’s tape to attach them.
Create a Unique Corkboard
Yep, the classic cork bulletin board never goes out of style for hanging to-do memos, posting important dates, and have a holding place for knick-knacks. Embellish a corkboard with tape around the perimeter to make it look really cool.
You could section off parts of the corkboard too to have designated areas for your different items; one space for notes, another for photos, jewelry, keys, etc. Better than those standard boring small rectangle boards.
This is another idea I chose because it’s highly versatile and there are lots of lightweight materials that could be strung together like pompoms, faux flowers, and it opens the door for reuse items like cardboard and scrap fabric, felt , or like this one here, magazine clippings.
You could spell out a short inspirational phrase or your favorite team name easily with this method, and it will make a grand statement on your little corner.
I love pennants – they look festive, they’re timeless, and never go out of style! Plus they’re also lightweight and won’t dominate too much of the room. Choose your favorite colors and your choice of fabric, or you could use heavy paper or cardstock , and rope to string them across.
There you have it, ten dorm wall decoration ideas you can make on a dime, don’t need a lot of space and you can give full rise to self-expression.
Creative Commons Image Attribution: Images courtesy of: Cynthia B.