1) Check at re-sale shops like Goodwill.
Before buying anything full price, see what you can find at the cheaper re-sale shops like Goodwill. Pinterest is full of pictures of DIY cheap room decor people have made from things found at their local Goodwill locations. You’ll probably like your own unique decorations than the more expensive options elsewhere.
2) Decorate your walls with pictures of friends and family, post cards, and images printed out from online.
Skip spending money on posters or other wall decorations. Decorate with items that have more meaning to you instead.
Images of friends and family are always nice to have around, especially when you're far away. Post cards are generally pretty cheap and can be reminders of places you or friends have visited. And there are loads of public domain images you can find online and print out to add some color to your dorm room. You can easily fill your walls for free (or close to it).
3) Skip buying frames. Make your own.
Frames add some sophistication to images you display, but they're surprisingly costly. Save some cash by making your own. Here are 20 tutorials for DIY frames that are easy and cheap to make.
4) Scour your house and garage for items that can be turned into cheap room decor.
Families have a tendency to collect clutter over time. There's a good chance there are some items sitting around your house or garage that can be turned into dorm room decorations with a little creativity.
Before re-purposing your household items into cheap room decor, check with your parents to make sure they won't be missed. Here are a few decorating ideas for recycled around-the-house materials to give you inspiration.
5) Keep an eye out for garage sales.
If you come up short on items that can be turned into dorm room decorations in your own garage, there's still hope. Be on the lookout for garage sales and you may just find that perfect item for your dorm room at an amazing price.
6) Use washi tape creatively.
Washi tape is cheap and makes it easy to add some extra color and design to just about anything. Invest in a little before you start decorating and then get creative to see what you come up with. Buzzfeed's got a post on dorm room ideas that includes a few washi tape suggestions you might appreciate.
7) Buy some plants for decoration.
Plants are always a nice touch to any room. If you're worried about having to take care of them, go for some succulents that require very little watering. They're cheap, easy, and really cool looking.
8) Turn your smartphone into a projector.
Who needs a tv screen? If you (or a roommate) has a smartphone, you can make a super cheap DIY projector and play videos on your wall.
9) Use decorative sheets or fabric to add color to your wall.
Painting your dorm walls usually isn't allowed and would be a lot of trouble anyway. You can still add color to your walls though with the help of decorative sheets, shawls or other fabric. Pin up a sheet you like and your room will immediately take on a new look.
10) Browse the items being left behind by other students at the end of the year.
This tip requires some patience, but there's a tendency for students to leave tons of items behind when the year ends. If you make a note now to go "shopping" through the leftover items come the end of the school year, you can save a lot on next year's dorm room decorations.