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Dorm Room Decor on a Budget

Moving into the dorms as a new college freshman is both fun and a little chaotic! I remember moving into my dorm room and being excited to decorate it and meet my roommate for the first time! Of course, as a college student, you probably won’t have a lot of money to personalize your dorm, and you don’t want to rack up consumer debt on things you don’t need. Here are some ideas for dorm room decor on a budget:


Check out ACCC's tips for dorm room decor on a budget!

Check out ACCC’s tips for dorm room decor on a budget!

The first step to finding dorm room decor on a budget is to set a budget. Let’s say your budget is $100 to decorate your dorm. These ideas are only $100 combined!

DIY Canvas Art

If you have some artistic skills, try making your own wall art! All you need is a few canvases and some paint. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas for canvas wall art. Whether you want abstract, landscapes, or some other kind of art, you can learn how to make it and do it yourself! Canvas art from a store like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond would likely take up your whole $100! Doing it yourself is a fraction of the cost, and it’s more fun!

Approximate cost: $25 for a set of canvases and paints


Houseplants are a good way to add breathe some life into a dull dorm room. When you have to juggle classes, a job, and a social life, it can be easy to forget to take care of your houseplants, so opt for a succulent. Succulents are cheap and typically only need to be watered once a week. You can buy several small succulents and line them up on your windowsill or nightstand.

Approximate cost: $30 for set of small potted succulents

Photos and Twinkle Light Strings

This popular dorm room look is one of the easiest. All you need is a string of twinkle lights across your wall and some photos. Cheap places to print photos out include drugstores like Walgreens and CVS. This can help you stick to your college budget (p.s. – check out our other college planning resources too!).

Approximate cost: $20 for string of lights and printing photos

Cork Board

Cork boards might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about decor options, but it’s more about what you put on the cork board rather than the cork board itself. You can use tacks to hang necklaces and bracelets up. It’s a decor option that’s both functional and fun!

Approximate cost: $25 for a plain cork board

The total cost of all this dorm room decor on a budget is only $100!

Final Thoughts:

College is a huge learning experience, and not just in the classroom. You might be managing your finances for the first time, which includes budgeting, earning your own money, and using credit responsibly. It can be overwhelming, but ACCC has free educational resources for college students!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Sign up for a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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