Ok, it’s true; I can’t stand all those Christmas dorm room doors covered in wrapping paper dressed up to look like packages. Sooo cute. I’m also not a fan of small plastic trees, tinsel boas or singing Christmas Snoopys. Bah, humbug!
Rather than Grinch it this holiday season I’ve collected some cool, cheap and easy ways to decorate a college dorm room. The best part: the RA won’t go ballistic. None of these ideas will ruin the walls.
Why Decorate a Dorm Room?
Decorating, back up, holidays are all about sharing time with people you like. Any dorm room decorating you do, think about the communal aspect of the decorations. Decorating should make you and everyone else enjoy the season. A well-decorated space is one people want to hang out in and enjoy. Joy is what we are after, not Martha Stuart perfect.
Holiday Dorm Room Decorating
Any dorm room decorating starts with a good dorm room bedding set. Get a comforter set that is easy to mix and match so you can change the mood of your room with the seasons. Storage and some basic cleanliness are also a must. Then add a few Christmas pillows or a stuffed reindeer and you’re done.
Simple decorations go a long way. Decorate with things people can play with. Do you have a clothesline? Hang several felt Santa hats from it with green clothespins. Before you know it the hats will migrate out of your room and around the dorm. You can further decorate them with adjectives or names (glue pen and glitter) and attach a pair of funny glasses left over from Halloween.
If you just must tree, find an interesting broken tree branch (not a sappy evergreen). Place it in a kitty litter bucket and add water until it cements. String it with small white lights, candy canes for the taking and paper snowflakes or Origami ornaments. Adding silver spray paint (Do this out of the wind and outside!) to the bucket and the branches adds a little glam. Don’t have a lot of space? Downsize the whole project into a wide squat coffee cup. Add those cheap miniature balls (preferably to the base to cover up the cemented kitty litter).
Holiday Dorm Room Gifts
Again, the holidays are about community and having a good time! Reserve the common room one night for snow globe and holiday ball making. At the craft store buy:
- A glue gun
- White glitter
- Plain clear (plastic) balls that you can remove the tops from
- A bag of small seashells
- Gold ribbon
- Colored paint pens
- Miniature balls, trees and decorations
- A stack of Chinese food to-go containers
Tell people who want to make snow globes to bring a clean jam jar with the label removed. You or they can also pick up clear salt and pepper shakers from a restaurant supply store. Last, stop by a home improvement store and buy a bag of white silica sand.
Mix the sand with the glitter in a bowl and let people have at it. The glitter sand goes in the balls with a few shells. Put the top back on and add a ribbon. The small trees and balls can be glued to the inside tops of the jam jars for an instant snow globe. The salt and pepper shakers are the coolest- they are available pre-made at Anthropologie for $18.00 a piece. The paint pens are for adding personalization. When done- the creations go into the food to-go containers, add a bow and presto- instant dorm room presents.
Holiday Dorm Room Food
Smell and taste is a huge part of holiday decor. A bag of Christmas scented potpourri in a bowl is an easy touch that will not overpower a small dorm room. A candy bowl is another favorite. Make it fun by ordering old time candy like zots online. Mix the zots sparingly with regular candy and watch as your friends start searching for them. There are also dozens and dozens of recipes that you can make up quickly in a dorm room kitchen. Here is one of my favorites. No baking needed and really a sophisticated cake when finished: You will need:
- 1 premade angle food cake round from a decent market
- 1-3 T Instant coffee
- 1 quart old fashion heavy whipping cream
- 3-6 T white sugar
- 1-bag walnuts
- A cake plate and a hand mixer to mix the cream (no, cool whip won’t do!)
Beat the cream until almost firm, add 1 T instant coffee and a little cream in a cup until dissolved then add the dissolved coffee and 4 T sugar (or more) to the cream and finish beating until the cream holds strong peaks. To assemble the cake: cut the angle food cake in half and ice with the coffee whipping cream placing walnut pieces on the inside layer, on the top and around the edge of the cake. Refrigerate until time to eat.
Even the Grinch liked cake!