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Last week I mentioned how my apartment’s blank walls had to go.

Dorm rooms are typically already equipped with a set of furniture, and while it’s nice to not have to furnish an entire room or apartment out of your own pocket, it definitely makes creating your own personal style difficult. Your empty dorm walls become, quite literally, your blank canvas. Some residence halls will even let you paint – with the agreement that you promise to repaint at the end of the year.

But if you find you can’t paint and your walls are so fragile that a nail might send pieces of drywall crashing to the ground, don’t go running for the Scarface poster just yet. There are plenty of simple but creative ways to decorate, even on a college student’s budget.

Hang Picture Frames

As designer Brian Patrick Flynn said, “Who needs art?” Paint a couple of picture frames (you can find them in inexpensive hoards at yard sales or thrift stores) your favorite color scheme, hang them up and see what a difference it makes!

Collect and Create Art

Another thing I’ve learned while in college is that there is no reason why your walls shouldn’t be covered – there is art everywhere on a college campus. Students are trying to get their names out there, so it’s easy to find people selling their work. Be sure to check for school-sponsored print sales or events where students will be showcasing their work. You could also try your hand at crafts – time to make those Pinterest dreams a reality!

Take A Picture!

I love taking pictures. These days, getting photos enlarged doesn’t take a long time and is a cheap way to make custom decor. You can even get those cool canvas prints made without spending hundreds of dollars. Pair that with your favorite sketch from a friend and a couple of photo frames, and your walls can go from bland to bold in no time!

What’s your favorite trick for sprucing up a boring wall? Check out these DIY wall decor projects to add a personal touch to your space:

Brian Patrick Flynn: Turn an Architectural Item Into Art
Make Your Own Custom Canvas Photo Art
How To Mat And Frame Artwork
Chalkboard Paint Crafts

16 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    The empty frames is a great and inexpensive idea.

  2. Shay S. says:

    Lovin' the empty frames. I've done that in my house too!

  3. marydevine7 says:

    In the olden days there was usually one room on the floor of each dorm that was unoccupied. Alot of the time the kids would store their suitcases there or extra mattresses, etc. If the room feels to crowded for you you could ask the Resident Assistant if you could store some things in an empty room. We also used blankets as rugs because those old dorms were slab concrete with asphalt tiles on the floor. The were always cold. Blankets are cheap and come in a variety of colors and textures. We also shopped second hand stores and found a lot of great stuff.

  4. pypepperblue says:

    i love the blown up pic. totally going to try that!

  5. [...] Read the full article here: Dorm Daze: Creative Custom Wall Decor [...]

  6. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be exciting to read articles from other authors and use something from their web sites.

  7. Dorm Daze: Creative Custom Wall Decor | HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens

  8. Dorm Daze: Creative Custom Wall Decor | HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens

  9. mmhair says:

    Dorm Daze: Creative Custom Wall Decor | HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens

Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a editor for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on Chopped. Like...


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