How to Decorate Your Dorm for the Holidays

By Kailey Walters on December 11, 2017

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For many people, decorating may as well be the best part of the holidays. It could be on any level, from a simple “Happy Holidays” sign to an entire lawn display of Santa with his entourage of reindeer.

As college students, we don’t normally have this luxury of going all-out with holiday decorations when we’re confined to our dorm buildings. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still seize the opportunity to bring out our creative, festive sides.

If you’re itching for a chance to bring a bit of holiday cheer to your dorm, check out some of the following tips and ideas on decorating.

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1. Put up string lights.

String lights are already kind of a college dorm staple at this point, as evidenced by all the photos online of picture-perfect rooms with twinkle lights, tapestries, and colorful throw pillows. But if you don’t already have string lights (or maybe you do and just want to add more) putting these lights around your room can bring a little holiday cheer to your living space. Plus, get multi-colored lights and now we’re talking extra festive. Coming back to a room that glows and welcomes you with warm light is certainly a great way to get in the holiday spirit!

This fabulous College Fashion site also offers some noteworthy tips on exactly where to put the string lights — think about wrapping them around your bed frame or stuffing them inside a jar.

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2. Deck the halls with boughs of holly.

Grab some faux Christmas wreaths and/or garlands to place around your room. You could hang a wreath on your door or somewhere on the wall; you could also drape garlands on the door frame or arrange them neatly on the windowsill.

It’s probably in your best interest to use fake wreaths, as you won’t want to risk making a mess by dropping leaves and needles all over your carpet.

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3. Turn your room into a winter wonderland.

There are many different directions you could take this one. What comes into your mind when you think about winter? Imagine ice skating, hot chocolate, snow… To mimic a snowy scene, make snowflake cutouts and place them around your room. You could hang them lined up on a string, stick them haphazardly on your walls and windows to look like flurries, or even hang them from the ceiling. Another possibility is to get together large clumps of cotton, which can be found in a crafts store, and arrange them in your dorm to look like fluffy piles of snow.

This suggestion may be a little less original, but you could also print out pictures, photographs, and/or paintings of snowy scenes and decorate your dorm with them. These could give your room a wintery feel without it being too overwhelming.

4. Wrap everything in wrapping paper.

College Fashion suggests covering various objects in your dorm with wrapping paper. This could include your door, your lamp, the surface of your desk… even creating posters that are made out of just cardboard and wrapping paper. Choose a pattern or design that reminds you of the holidays and brings a smile to your face. It’ll be like opening a present every time you walk back into your room!

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5. Light a holiday-scented candle.

What with all the visual stimuli, your nose might feel left out until you light that holiday-scented candle. Even if you’re not allowed to have candles in your dorm, you can still use other fragrances, such as in the form of incense or air fresheners.

6. Get an object that is emblematic of the holiday you celebrate.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or anything else during this holiday season, getting an object that symbolizes that particular holiday will certainly get you in the right mood. Get a mini Christmas tree and decorate it with various ornaments. Create your own Hanukkah menorah or wreath and display it in your room. Make a Kwanzaa kinara and put it somewhere prominent.

However you decide to decorate your room, personalize it and make sure it’s something that will get you in the holiday spirit.

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