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    Updated on Aug 2, 2019. Posted on Aug 13, 2018

    18 Surprisingly Useful Dorm Decorating Hacks

    Because you'll be moving in before you know it!

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

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    1. ~Borrow~ white holiday lights from your parents and transform them into glowing globe lights with a cheap pack of ping pong balls.

    thesurznickcommonroom.com

    It's super simple: Just make a small "x" with an X-Acto knife, then push it onto the bulb. From the Surznick Common Room.

    Get a pack of 144 (!) plastic balls for $8.80; and if you can't manage to snatch some white string lights from the holiday storage, order a 100-light strand for $8.99, both on Amazon.

    2. Transform your basic set of plastic drawers by taping your favorite scrapbook paper to the inside.

    colormedomestic.blogspot.com

    It's an easy double-stick tape project; you could also use a roll of your favorite (heavier) wrapping paper. From Color Me Domestic.

    Check out Amazon's scrapbook paper options for $5+.

    3. Illuminate the space over your bed or a drab corner with an "overhead light" made from a cord kit, lantern, and a couple small removable hooks.

    girlmeetsapartment.blogspot.com

    It'll give your room a ~soft warm glow~ when you switch off the harsh fluorescents. From Girl Meets Apartment.

    Get a cord kit (that plugs into a regular outlet) for $8.99, a pack of hooks for $6.58, and a pack of basic white lanterns for $12.99, all on Amazon.

    For more decorative lanterns, check out Urban Outfitters for $12+, World Market for $19.99+, or Paper Lantern Store for $4.04+.

    4. If you want to really get decorative and hang window curtains, you can hack a couple of removable adhesive hooks to make it happen.

    thehappierhomemaker.com

    The Happier Homemaker did this in her rental apartment, but it would definitely translate to a dorm.

    Get everything you need on Amazon: the hooks for $4.27 each (and check out the reviewer photos to see how other people have made curtains work), a 3/4-inch curtain rod and finial set for $24.99, and blackout curtains for $13.99 per panel (12 colors).

    5. Or use two sets of tall shelves + a long-enough curtain rod to hang privacy curtains in front of your bed.

    fyeahcooldormrooms.com

    You could even use one of the Command Hooks to hang one end of the curtains on the wall; it all depends on your dorm's floor plan. From Fuck Yeah, Cool Dorm Rooms.

    Get wire shelves that would work for this on Amazon for $74.24, or these exact shelves from DormCo for $72.89.

    6. Hang a tapestry without any damage to the fabric *or* your walls by attaching removable adhesive strips to the back of clothespins.

    dreasdiys.wordpress.com

    It's pretty self-explanatory! From Drea's DIYs.

    Get a pack of 36 strips sturdy enough to hold up the weight for $9.33, 100 regular clothespins for $7.42, or 100 mini-size colorful clothespins for $7.79 on Amazon.

    7. Repurpose the rest of the clothespins to pin up all your favorite printed (or Instax camera) photos on a string of fairy lights.

    blog.urbanoutfitters.com

    From the Urban Outfitters blog.

    Get a 15-foot length of the copper lights they used for $24 and an Instax Mini instant camera (on sale!) for $59 from Urban Outfitters (5 colors). Or get 33 feet of copper string lights for $14.99 and an Instax Mini for $59+ on Amazon (5 colors).

    8. Make your windows a little more private without sacrificing the light by pasting constarch and water over light fabric (like lace) or paper.

    annabelvita.com

    It removes and cleans easily, with a little bit of hot water. From Annabel Vita and Instructables.

    You can actually buy lace on Amazon — get some stretchy, washable lace for $4.99/yard.

    9. You can also use this technique to temporarily "wallpaper" a door or accent wall with your favorite fabric.

    howaboutorange.blogspot.com

    You'll be going the extra mile, but it'll be a look like no other! And at the end of the year, you can simply peel it off — no damage to your fabric *or* the walls. From How About Orange.

    10. Hack a little more bathroom storage space on the cheap: Stick removable adhesive to the backs of magazine files, and hang those to add extra storage to your under-sink area.

    Nifty / BuzzFeed

    Yes, it's not *quite* decorating, but hey, it's useful, right? From here.

    On Amazon, get a pack of six black file holders for $10.87, and a pack of removable adhesive strips that can support up to 12 pounds of weight for $7.31.

    11. If your closet has two doors, hang two cheap, lightweight, full-length mirrors to dress it up a little.

    kevinandamanda.com

    That way you and your roommate won't have to take turns using one full-length when you're getting ready. From Kevin and Amanda.

    Get lightweight mirrors at Target for $14.99 each.

    12. Or if you have sliding doors, take them off and use a simple tension rod to hang a set of curtains to soften the space.

    jillianharris.com

    From Jillian Harris.

    Get a set of two lace curtains for $19.99 and a tension rod for $15.73+ on Amazon.

    13. For extra-dreamy vibes, simply drape swaths of tulle across your ceiling.

    fyeahcooldormrooms.com

    To get it to stay up, I might use some string or ribbon to tie it to small Command Hooks. From Fuck Yeah, Cool Dorm Rooms.

    Get 40 yards of gray/silver tulle (the color used here) on Amazon for $12.90.

    14. Transform a blank wall with removable vinyl cutouts that you can always rearrange and even bring to your room *next* year.

    @wallsneedlove / instagram.com

    You could totally make something on your Cricut if you have one. But if you don't: Get stripes in a variety of colors and widths (and in chevron) from WallsNeedLove on Etsy for $30+.

    15. Or "hang" paper wallpaper (or posters) using the painters tape method: first a layer of painters tape, then a layer of double-stick.

    hyggeandwest.com

    Not that you want that particular pattern of course, but you could do an entire wall this way. From the blog at Hygge and West.

    Get painters tape for $6.58 and a 6 rolls of permanent double stick tape for $11.86 on Amazon.

    Hygge and West makes gorgeous wallpapers that are probably out of your budget (most 67-square-foot rolls for $114+, a few misprints for $35+), but you can find lots of wallpaper styles on Wayfair for $0.95/square foot+, plus removable styles for $0.89/square foot+.

    16. Upgrade the boring default headboard by simply cutting out cardboard in whatever shape you like and covering it in fabric.

    starsforstreetlights.com

    Stars for Streetlights uses tape and an X-Acto knife to make it happen.

    17. Make a reusable dry erase calendar from a simple poster frame and paint chips, because sometimes it's useful to realize you have a big paper due Monday when you're making your weekend plans.

    silverliningtheblog.com

    From Silver Lining.

    You know where to get paint chips, and you could even hit up the local thrift store to find a frame. But you can also get one on Amazon for $21.99 (18"x24") or Target for $9.99 (24"x36").

    18. Glue several three-ring binders together to make a secret stashing spot — it's not super decorative, but it's definitely useful...

    downlo.tumblr.com

    There's no tutorial for this (and it could look *much* more stylized with better binders), but I think you simply cut the covers off of binders, leaving a couple inches to glue them together (and leaving the full wings on either end, so it can stand easily). From Downlo on Tumblr.

    Get a set of white, clear-pocket binders on Amazon for $9.89.

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