28 Easy Dorm Decorating Ideas

Moving to college and beginning a new life away from home is a thrilling experience. It’s also when you get to make your living space yours. Your new dorm room is a blank canvas that calls for posters, photos, string lights and other dorm room decorating ideas that will define your college years. If your bare walls are staring at you, take a look at these dorm room decorating ideas to help inspire and ignite your creative process. Then, after you map out your decorating strategy, don’t forget to add personalized dorm room decor like wall art, photo mugs, blankets and more.

DIY Ideas

If you are feeling extra creative and crafty, DIY is the way to go. From hanging branches to creative cork coasters as wall ornaments, there is something for every type of dorm room.

1. Hanging Branch Photos

photo display with branches on a wall. These DIY photo hangers work well in a dorm room and cost next to nothing. You can even find these branches right in your backyard. Just keep an eye out and think of the possibilities.

2. Creative Wall Hanging

Graduation cards posted on a wall in front of a white desk

Print your favorite photos and display them with an easy DIY project that doesn’t put dozens of holes in the wall. You can also hang any best friend graduation announcements, birthday cards or even Christmas cards that you get from loved ones.

3. Coaster Fun

small cork coasters on a wall.

Transform these small coasters into low-cost miniature boards for pinning. You can hang your keys, favorite quotes and photos.

4. Easy String Art

string art on a dark wooden plank.

String art not only looks amazing on your dorm room wall, but it’s a simple project that you can do yourself.  Decorate alongside cute little succulents for a modern feel.

5. Vinyl Clock

a vinyl made into a clock.

This amazing DIY wall clock is a cute dorm room idea for anyone who loves old vinyl records. If you don’t want to use a record from your own collection, you can always find some at thrift stores and local flea markets.

6. Washi Tape Door

a door with a washi tape desigin on it.

Dorm room doors are all the same. Make yours unique with a little washi tape. Choose colorful statements or go wild with metallics or prints. Not only is this easy to create, it’s also easy to remove.

7. Washi Tape Photo Frames

posters with washi tape on a blue background for dorm style

Use washi tape or mini clothes pins to hang photos that double as fashionable frames. Mix and match colors with your favorite photos, posters and signs.

Bed Ideas

For small or big places a bed is key to restful sleep, especially when cramming for tests or after study sessions. If you’re looking for easy bed solutions for your dorm room, check out these ideas below.

8. Bunk Bed

a bunk bed with a black couch below it.

Bunking your bed and adding a couch underneath is a smart use of space and totally transforms your room into a fun place to hang out. Add fun pillows to go along with your decor. You can personally mix and match your personalized pillows to add a special touch for your dorm room.

9. City Pride

bed with a Chicago city drape next to it.

Display pride for the city you’ve come from with a large urban print by your bed. You can choose to print it in color for a more vibrant feel.

10. Fun Layers

a cozy bed with layered blankets and pillows.

Keep it cozy by layering your favorite blankets, fleeces and fuzzy pillows. You can keep this look throughout the year by switching out heavy blankets for soft linen sheets and pillows. You can also consider adding personalized fleece blankets that will add a touch of personality to your bed spread.

11. Fancy Bed Frame

bed with lavender and black pillows on it. If you can ditch the classic dorm room bed, bring in a fancy bed frame to take it up a notch. Check out vintage stores and sales—you don’t have to spend a lot of money for it to feel luxurious.

12. Motivational Pillows

bed with a personalized pillow on it.Print a motivational quote on a pillow to help you power through finals. Another cute idea is to print a favorite saying from any one of your family members. It’ll put a smile on your face whenever you think of them. You can personally add any memorable photos or utilize Shutterfly’s personalized pillow designs to add to your dorm room decor.

13. Good Vibes Wall Art

bed with a good vibes only poster behind it.

Looking for good vibes? This oversized quote is a game changer. No more grumpy mornings, only positive ones.

14. Adorable Succulents

window with small succulents under it.

Be sure to take advantage of well-lit window space by adding some greenery. Include a few low-maintenance succulents to keep your room fresh and full of life.

Wall Ideas

Wanna make your dorm room extra sweet? Try wall art. Whether you hang photos of your family or just pretty scenery, wall art helps personalize a room and keeps it cozy. Find your style below.

15. Photo Grid

Photo tiles in a set of 9 on a wall with hats displayed and a white desk with a pink chair

Photo tiles offer a great way to add your most cherished photos your dorm decor. You can fully customize each photo tile to feature your own personal photos or utilize images Shutterfly has personally curated for our Art Library collection. Explore all the great ways to create your personalized photo tiles and fill your dorm room with amazing memories.

16. Hexagon Wall

colorful hexagon wall.

These colorful cork board hexagons are a great dorm room decor idea because they can easily be removed at the end of the year. Display photos, concert tickets, quotes and even daily reminders in style. Check out our hexagon shaped photo tiles that will also add a splash your your room decor.

17. Letterboard message

A letter board that says "whatever it takes".Even the simplest message makes a huge impact. Take a letterboard and add your favorite inspirational quote to get you through the year. Feel free to update with different quotes whenever you need that extra push.

18. Leather and Wood Shelves

leather and wooden shelf on a wall.

If you simply cannot find space for everything in your dorm room, these DIY shelves will hang just about anywhere. They are beautiful, easy to make and can liven up any space in your dorm room.

19. Pin Board Fun

graduation board with grad lei and graduation cards displayed on a white boardCan’t choose the right photo? Add them all and fill your pin board with favorite colors. You can use photos, postcards and sweet messages from your friends. Get creative and colorful.

20. Shopping Bag Decorative Wall

blue Tiffany bags on a wall.

With a little extra work, discarded Tiffany’s bags become cute dorm room wall decor. Fill the bags with jewelry, flowers, pens, sunglasses or notes from friends. The possibilities are endless.

21. String Photo Wall

a photo wall created with strings and photos. A simple string with some mini clips can become a trendy photo display area. Pick your favorite wall and decorate away. This idea is fun and easy to create.

Around the room Ideas

If you are looking for fun ideas for around your room, adding small details make all the difference. Below, you’ll find fun ways to spruce up your space and make it your own.

22. Colorful Bean Bag

a bean bag made with colorful fabrics.

This easy DIY bean bag chair is a cute dorm room idea that is also cheap and practical. Gather your favorite fabrics and have friends help you create the ultimate lounge chair.

23. Metallic Brick Bookends

bookends made with bricks.

A little gold paint and two bricks make a cute dorm room decor idea that doubles as a space saver. If you’re looking to make a bolder statement, include bright colors.

24. Colorful Cabinets

drawers painted in different colors.

A few dabs of paint turn an ordinary wooden cabinet into a statement that fits right on your desk. Get creative with the colors you choose or make a statement with metallic hues.

25. Mini Fridge Washi Tape Decor

a mini fridge with the word "foodie" on it.

All dorm rooms have a mini fridge, but does yours have this cool washi tape design? This quirky room decor idea is one of our favorites and super easy to make.

26. Clever Organization

organized shelves with framed photos above it.

Organized shelves work wonders for a dorm room. Not only do they look great, you’ll never lose your favorite nail polish again. For an extra personalized look, add your favorite tabletop picture frames or canvas prints above it.

27. Personalized Room Decor

room personalized with photo mugs and frames. Personalize everything from your smartphone case to coffee mug to spruce up your dorm. Not only are they sweet reminders of your loved ones but these also make your room look super fresh and colorful.

28. Vintage Vibes

a gold vintage dresser.

Keep your dorm decor simple by adding statement pieces like this vintage bureau. Accompany it with a vintage lamp or artwork to keep the theme going.

Dorm rooms can be unique and personalized if you get a little creative. As you can see, there are many ways to keep themes going, have a little extra space and stay organized. Whether you choose to DIY or purchase, make sure you decorate a space that you love to come home to.