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Dorm Room Decorating: Best DIY Ideas for Beds, Walls & Closets

August 22, 2019

Easy ways to customize your dorm room with special pieces.

So many good vibes going on in this dorm room, don’t you think? A dorm room truly is a blank slate – typically pretty generic and plain, it’s the ideal space to really showcase your personality and style. Good news: we’ve got lots of ideas for you. Our DIY projects are easy-to-achieve, and within the budget. Sew custom pillows and curtains using fabrics that nobody else will have. Create clever organizational pieces using unexpected materials. Do it yourself and the only limit is your imagination.

Dorm Room Decorating: Best DIY Ideas


Lounging encouraged.

Use pillows as the centerpiece of your dorm room plan. After all, you’ll spend a lot of time lounging on that bed, and it better look good (and be comfy, too!). The only rule when decorating with pillows? Pile them on, of course. The more shapes and sizes, the better.

An envelope pillow cover is so, so simple to sew. It’s basically a square with an opening in the back to insert your pillow inside of. Purchase new pillow forms (they are available in many sizes), or reuse pillow forms that are inside of outdated pillows you already have.

Make a pillow like the gray plaid pillow above following this envelope pillow cover beginner sewing tutorial. Follow this chart to determine the fabric cuts you need. Add finishing touches with large 2-1/2″ Dritz cover buttons; tuft them in place using a decorator’s needle and waxed button¬† thread.

The cover on this pillow is like a pillow case, so there was room at the end of it to add this fun detail with 7/16″ Dritz grommets. Weave binding tape, ribbon or cording through the grommet openings, or not. It’s totally your call. Dritz grommets come in many sizes and finishes, and there are lots of cool ways to use them for both home projects and garments.

Check out all of our pillow projects for more ideas.

Deck the walls.

Utilize wall space for hanging functional organizational accessories like these super easy magnetic message boards. We made these using pizza pans that we spray painted to match our pillow fabric. Have fun mixing and matching colors and hang them in groups or solo wherever you have space. Nobody else on your hall will have anything like them.

Fabric covered buttons with magnetic backs are a great way to use up scrap fabrics you have left over from your pillows or curtains. Bonus: they’re sure to match!

Check out all of the other things you can make with cover buttons. Watch this YouTube video to see just how easy they are to make. Be warned: they’re addicting!

Floor space.

Don’t forget about your floor space. Create extra places to sit and lounge by pairing a soft textured rug with some floor pillows or cushions. Here’s a hint: when looking for rugs, don’t forget to consider bath mats – they’re ideal for use in any small space (not just the bathroom).

Bed, walls, floor – almost done.

It’s starting to look really good, isn’t it? Funny what you can do with a little planning and resourcefulness. Your bed, walls and floor are now sporting a one-of-a-kind, coordinated look.

Organization situation.

The next thing to tackle, that closet situation. Dorm room closets are often small and oddly sized. To outfit them with style, make your own curtains and add cool details to store-bought shelving. Ingenuity is the name of the game here.

Custom-sized curtains not only look great, they hide that mess within. These grommeted curtain panels are sized right because they’re customized to fit your specific closet (or window). Use this worksheet to determine fabric needs.

Maximize the storage space you do have with drawers and shelving units. This standard issue plastic drawer set takes on a whole new look with the addition of fabric handles attached with Dritz chicago screws. See how it’s done: follow this tutorial and use foam stabilizer if you want to bulk up the body of the handles.

Laundry lovin’.

Yes, you can even have fun doing the laundry. A large laundry bag is a dorm room must-have. Wool dryer balls and lingerie bags are handy, too. There are many neat Dritz laundry items that are ideal for college students who are getting acquainted with doing the laundry.

Space-saving ironing station.

A tabletop ironing station gets high marks for convenience and necessity. Use these items to create a highly functional ironing area that is easy to stash when it’s not in use: collapsible tabletop board, ironing board cover,¬†small travel iron and silicone iron rest.

Dorm Room Decorating: Best DIY Ideas

All together now.

Can you believe how this dorm room has transformed? These cool pieces work together to create a really dynamite look. Check out our lookbooks for more refresh ideas and DIY makeover inspiration and plan how you’ll use creative touches in your spaces. The ideas are plenty – just grab some motivation and get started.

Remember to follow Dritz on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about all of our current sewing and DIY projects.

Happy making!