For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 27 2015
by Elaina Berkowitz

4 DIY Dorm Decor Projects

By Elaina Berkowitz - Sep 27 2015

I spent most of the summer before I left for college making decorations for my dorm room. I could not wait to arrive and have blank canvas to decorate. 

Here are some fun and simple DIY decoration projects that will spice up your dorm room!

Floral Letter

-wooden letter (I got mine at Michael's)
-20 fake flowers or various colors and sizes (I got mine at Michael's)
-hot glue gun & glue
-old newspaper/magazines
Step 1: Pop or cut off the stems of each fake flower. Some fake flowers come with removable stems, but others require scissors.
Step 2: Plug in your hot glue gun and lay out your wooden letter on old newspaper or magazines.
Step 3: Lay out a flower (without the stem) and apply glue to the bottom of it. Also apply a dot of glue to the place you will apply it on the wooden letter. Stick the flower on the dot of glue. Make sure to hold it firmly in place for 15-20 seconds.
Step 4: Continue adding flowers until you can’t see any part of the wood. Try filling in empty spaces with smaller flowers.
Step 5: Allow 24 hours to dry.

Painted Quote Canvas

-1 white canvas (any size)
-5 acrylic paints (various colors)
-1 paint marker (I got mine at Michael's)
-1 pencil
-old newspapers/magazines
-paint palette or plate to mix paint
-sponge brushes 
-cup or bowl of water

Step 1: Select the colors and order you want to arrange your pattern.

Step 2: Dip you sponge brush in water and coat the entire canvas with 2 layers of water. This will make blending the colors a little easier.
Step 3: Mix each color with a little bit of water. This will also make blending the colors easier.
Step 4: Dip your sponge brush into your first color and apply it to the top of the canvas. Your horizontal paint stripe should be a little more than 1/5 of the canvas. It does not have to have straight lines because you will be blending it out.
Step 5: Dampen and clean your sponge brush before dipping it into the second color. Apply the second strip to your canvas, but slightly overlap it over the first stripe. Again, this stripe should be a little more than 1/5 of the canvas.
Step 6: Continue this cycle with the remaining colors. If the colors are not blending well you can add more water to the canvas or paints.
Step 7: Allow 24 hours for the paint to dry.
Step 8: Taking your pencil, write out the quote of your choosing. Make sure the words are evenly spaced so that they take up optimal space on the canvas.
Step 9: Go over your pencil with the paint marker. Make sure not to press too hard, but apply more pressure for more paint.
Step 10: Allow 24 hours for the second layer of paint to dry.  


-paper shopping bag (I used a Lilly Pullitzer one)
-1 pencil
Step 1: Remove the handles of the bag.

Step 2: Cut the largest side of the bag off and place it on a hard surface.

Step 3: Using your ruler, trace out block letter of your first initial.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 with our middle and last initial. If you need more paper, cut the backside off of the bag.

Step 5: Cut out the 3 letters following the pencil marks you made. 

Jewelry Holder

-wooden board with handle (I got mine at Michael's)
-4 knobs (I got mine at Marshall's)
-power drill
-1 pencil
Step 1: Measure the length of your wooden board and divide by 5. Starting from one side, measure out the number you calculated and make a dot with your pencil.
Step 2: Starting from your first dot, measure out the number you calculated and make another dot. Continue this for the next 2 dots. This will ensure that the knobs are evenly spaced.
Step 3: Measure the width of your wooden board and divide by 2. Starting from the top (toward the left or right edge of the board), measure out the number you calculated and make a dot with your pencil. Place your ruler length-wise on the board and line it up with the dot. Make sure your ruler is level on the board. Draw a very light line across the board. This will ensure that your knobs are in the middle of the board.
Step 4: Adjust your original 4 dots so that they fall on the horizontal line, but remain in the same spot vertically. Make this dot more prominent because this is where you will be drilling your hole.
Step 5: Erase all pencil marks besides the 4 dots you just drew.
Step 6: Taking your power drill, drill holes where you marked in the wooden board. Start out with small holes and gradually get bigger in small increments. After each increment, check to see if the posts of your knob will fit. You want to ensure that the holes are not too big for the knob posts.
Step 7: After drilling the 4 holes, removes the nuts from the posts of the knobs. Insert the posts into the holes and screw the nuts onto the back of the board. Tighten as much as possible to ensure that the knobs do not fall out.

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Elaina Berkowitz - Syracuse University

“Elaina is a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Advertising. She loves writing, watching The Office and dancing. Her favorite things are ice cream and Instagram. You can follow her on Twitter @Elaina_Berk and on Instragram @elainaberk!

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