Dorms and many College Station apartments have strict rules about how you can decorate. When you can’t paint, put holes in the walls or you’re stuck with dorm furniture, it can be difficult to make your new room feel like home.

However, using some easy tricks, it’s not impossible to turn a bare room into your own personal oasis.

Use what you already have

Home Hacks

Using Command hooks is one way to display your things and organize your room at the same time.

It’s not necessary to go out and buy a ton of new stuff for your new room. Save your money and time by using things you already own as decoration. Hats, purses and blankets make good decorations.

Throw a nice blanket over a boring chair, and it is suddenly much more comfortable and doesn’t look so much like a classroom desk chair anymore.

Using Command hooks, you can create a wallspace that showcases your style. This allows you to have easy access to your favorite accessories that you may otherwise forget while getting dressed. Also, by using Command hooks you won’t break any rules your apartment or dorm may have about hanging wall decorations.

A quick tip: clean the wall before you stick on a Command hook. They stick better and longer to clean walls.

You can also repurpose objects you already own by spray painting them a new color. If you paint a couple of objects the same color, it will create a unified look without needing to go out and buy expensive sets.

Get creative

Dorm Decor
For something personal and unique, make your own artwork to hang in your room.

If you’re on social media, you probably see a lot of people doing crafts. To decorate your dorm, you can imitate your favorite crafts to create something unique no one else will have in their room.

Something easy to do that requires almost no skills is pour painting. All you need is a canvas, some tarp or newspaper (an old copy of The Battalion will work), some cups, thumbtacks, acrylic paint and silicone oil. You can find everything at a craft store.

Lay out the tarp or old newspapers outside. Push the thumbtacks into the corners of your canvas on the back and sit it up so that the canvas isn’t touching the ground.

Separate each color of acrylic paint you want to use into a disposable cup. Mix a drop of silicone oil into each cup.

Pour or paint a base color onto the canvas. Then pour the other colors into one cup, pouring at an angle to layer the paints. Now the best part: pour the paint onto the canvas and watch the painting take shape. You can pick up the canvas and move it around to make the paint drip into the edges.

This project is easy to experiment with, as well. Adding more oil will create more “cells” or bubbles in the paint. You can also sprinkle glitter on while it’s drying to add a little something extra.

Create an unconventional headboard

Dorm Decor
Garlands and other DIY decorations might be a cheaper alternative to a heavy headboard.

The bed is the most important part of the bedroom. That’s why it’s the namesake of the room. In dorms and apartments that come furnished, the bed doesn’t typically come with a headboard. This can be a little inconvenient if you don’t like pillows falling off your bed, but it also isn’t the most visually pleasing look.

Instead of buying an expensive headboard you may never use after your move out, try an alternative headboard. Bookshelves, posters and wall tapestries make good “headboards.”

Another alternative is to make your own wall decoration in lieu of a headboard. To make a nature-inspired wall hanging all you need is a string of flowers or leaves from Hobby Lobby, twine, a can of spray-on wood stain, fishing line, hot glue and a large stick you can find outside.

Once you’ve located a large fallen stick, use a knife to carefully remove bark or knots. When it looks how you want, spray it with wood stain to preserve it. Use a couple coats of wood stain and let it fully dry between coats.

Remove the flowers or leaves from the fake vine and tie them to the lengths of fishing line. Hot glue the knots to make sure they stay. Make enough lines to cover your stick. Tie the fishing line to the stick and hot glue to make sure it stays.

To hang it, tie a piece of twine to either end and hang it on a Command hook above your bed.

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