Buy or DIY: Trendy Dorm Decor

Set the tone for a successful school year with our stylish dorm decor picks and projects.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
July 25, 2019

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn,

Photo By: Jennie Andrews Photography

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Photo By: Jennie Andrews Photography

Photo By: Jennie Andrews Photography

Photo By: Molly Winters

BUY: Hand-Dyed Indigo Pillow Cover

Elevate your drab, dorm bunk bed with this bohemian, hand-dyed pillow cover. Each pillow cover is handcrafted in France with a lightweight linen fabric. The designer dyes each pillowcase with natural indigo to achieve a one-of-a-kind boho finish.

Buy It: Etsy, $46.36

DIY: Marble Pillow Cover

Spend the last few weeks of summer crafting cool custom pillows to enhance your dorm bedding. Our marbled fabric pillow cover project is easy to follow and allows you to achieve a pretty, personalized pillow cover for less than half the cost of typical custom pillow covers.

MAKE IT: Make a Marbled Fabric Pillow Cover

BUY: Floating Rope Shelves

What dorm-dwelling college student doesn’t need some space-savvy book storage? We’re obsessed with these stylish floating shelves for student living because they instantly free-up floor space and serve as bookshelves or nifty bunk-side nightstands. The shelves are handcrafted in New Jersey with high-quality pine wood and use natural jute rope to create a modern triangular design.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods, $35.00

DIY: Suspended Rope Shelf

Spend a few hours this weekend creating additional storage for your school supplies or bathroom essentials with our simple rope-suspended shelf project. The space-saving shelving unit calls for a run to your local home improvement store to pick up pine board, rope, carpentry hardware and a few crafting essentials. Use basic tools to create the structure and achieve a personalized look by painting your pine boards to match the rest of your dorm decor.

MAKE IT: Stash Your Stuff in Style With This Hanging Rope Shelf

BUY: Succulent Trio

Brighten your bedside table or window sill with this sleek succulent trio. The eye-catching set comes with three natural succulents in bright pink pots. The punchy pots enhance the succulents’ lush green color and bring a vibrant, natural touch to an otherwise dreary dorm room.

Buy It: The Sill, $45.00

DIY: Potted Succelents

Enliven your dorm room with a fresh succulent trio nestled in custom, color-blocked planters. Head to your local discount store and grab cheap terracotta pots and an array of acrylic paint. Achieve a color-blocked design by coating the planters entirely with glossy white paint, then tape-off the bottom quarter of the pot with painter’s tape. Next, use a detail brush to paint the bottom portion of each pot with three different neon hues. Once the paint dries, plant one fresh succulent in each pot.

MAKE IT: Growing Succulents Indoors

BUY: Colorful Hexagon Wall Organizer

Wall-mounted organization that doubles as modern art? Yes, please. Snag this set of color-block hexagon cork decals to decorate above your bunk or add above your dorm desk and use push pins to keep track of assignments. Each set comes with eight removable wall decals with an even mix of blue and green designs.

Buy It: Wayfair, $27.99

DIY: Modern Hexagon Bulletin Board

No barren or boring walls in this dorm room! Infuse color, function and whimsy into your dorm design with our geometric memo board project. You’ll need plain hexagon cork pieces, removable adhesive strips and bright acrylic paint in hues that match your dorm decor and bedding.

MAKE IT: Make a Geometric Memo Board

BUY: Gilded Jewelry Tree

Keep your jewelry in reach and untangled with this pretty gilded jewelry tree. We’re obsessed with its beautiful branched design because it takes up minimal space on your desk or vanity and offers plenty of spots to hang necklaces, bracelets and earrings alike.

Buy It: Anthropologie, $38.00

DIY: Washi Tape Jewelry Tree

No space to spare for jewelry storage? Our washi tape jewelry tree provides a stylish solution for storing your bits and baubles on a college budget. Choose colorful washi tape and thumbtacks that coordinate with your dorm decor. Use a long strip of tape to create the trunk, then apply short washi strips from the center to form branches. Dangle your dainty necklaces and bracelets from thumbtacks at the end of your branches.

MAKE IT: 10 Ways to Transform Your Space With Washi Tape

BUY: Cross-Stitch World Map

This cross-stitch world map is a must-have for anyone inflicted with chronic wanderlust. It's crafted from cross-stitch canvas and mounted in a wooden frame. Each map comes with four vibrant threads, a nifty cross-stitch style guide and a pair of embroidery needles. Use the supplied threads to customize yours and track your travels and adventures.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods, $35.00

DIY: Magnetic Wall Map

Skip the shopping and achieve the same look with our simple magnetic wall map project. Start with an oversized world map print, then head to your hardware store and grab a steel sheet, spray adhesive and a disposable drop cloth. Follow our step-by-step instructions to create your custom wall map, and polish off your masterpiece with a glassless frame and metallic push-pin magnets.

MAKE IT: How to Make a Magnetic Wall Map

BUY: Modern Wooden Wall Clock

Shop this minimalist-style wall clock to give yourself one less reason for being late to class. Clocks are essential, and this one is the best because it features a handsome walnut finish and sleek brass hands.

Buy It: Target, $24.99

DIY: Modern Wood Wall Clock

Your roommate won’t believe you crafted this modern wood and leather wall clock yourself, but they’ll be glad you did. Shock them with your clock-making capabilities and use a wood serving tray, a thin leather belt, a clock mechanism and basic craft tools to recreate this smart design.

MAKE IT: 5 Easy DIY Clocks You Can Make in No Time

BUY: Lemon Laundry Tote

Do yourself a favor and snag this floral and lemon laundry tote for school. You’ll appreciate the sturdy canvas design, the energizing motif and the durable rope handles that make toting large loads to and from the basement a breeze. A drawstring closure keeps your clothes out of sight and minimizes the risk of your unmentionables going rogue on laundry day.

Buy It: Urban Outfitters, $29 (Originally $39)

DIY: Pillowcase Laundry Hamper

Add color and pattern to the corner of your dorm room with our budget-friendly no-sew pillowcase laundry hamper. Attach a trendy, king-sized printed pillowcase to a wooden embroidery hoop, then use dip-dyed jute rope to secure the hamper to any door or towel rack.

MAKE IT: DIY Hanging Laundry Hamper

BUY: Magnetic Memo Board

Keep track of school assignments, club meetings and social outings with this magnetic chalkboard memo board. The oversized board features a sleek and simple design and adds an orderly accent to your wall. Best part? It will last you long after your first semester because it wipes clean and allows you to customize the dates each month.

Buy It: Etsy, $64.00

DIY: Chalkboard + Washi Tape Memo Board

Make the most of the small space you have with our clever DIY wardrobe memo board. Line the inside of your wardrobe doors with removable chalkboard panels, and use colorful washi tape to create custom accents or divide the door to share with your roomie.

MAKE IT: 20 Totally Removable Dorm Room Decor Ideas

BUY: French Tassel Shower Curtain

Roomie leave the shower curtain shopping up to you? Add this clean and classic white shower curtain to your cart. The bright-white curtain will appear fresh in even the dingiest dorm bathrooms, and the flirty blue tassel trim pairs with both preppy and bohemian design styles.

Buy It: Serena and Lily, $78.00

DIY: Pom-Pom Embellished Shower Curtain

Love the look but hate the price? Pick up a white shower curtain from a local discount store then give it an elegant, new look with one of our budget-friendly shower curtain projects listed below. Use vibrant tassels or bright pom-pom trim to create a flirty frame for your dorm’s shower stall.

MAKE IT: 3 Budget-Friendly Ways to Embellish a Plain Shower Curtain