Dorm Decor: DIY Decorative Planter


Countless assignments, maddening quizzes, and due dates rushing towards you faster than Barry Alan may make your dorm’s decor seem like the last of your priorities. But a well-designed space can actually help you deal with the stress of college life by increasing your productivity and giving you an environment that feels like home. Everyone knows the struggle with a tiny room and a tiny budget can be real, but mixing high’s and low’s can help you turn your dorm into a dreamy abode. Spend on things that you would be using for a long time, for example, bedding and storage options, and add a DIY here and there to really give that Pinterest-worthy look to your room.


If you have a free couple of hours this weekend, DIY this decorative planter with just some paper and straws and give your dorm the facelift it deserves!


DIY Planter

  • Drawing sheet
  • Straws
  • Copper wire
  • Gold spray paint
  • Faux plant


Lay the drawing sheet flat on the floor and cut it using a paper knife to get the shape shown below. Tip: Drawing the shape with a pencil prior to cutting will help. 

DIY Planter

Fold the cut-out from the center and then open the fold to get a clean line that divides the shape into 2 halves. Place the cutout in a slightly folded position on some more paper, as shown, to determine the size of the paper needed to make the back of this planter. Once you’ve marked it, cut it using a paper knife.

DIY Planter

Now take the front part again and cut and fold it as shown in the picture. Glue the folded margins to the piece cut for the back.

DIY Planter

The cuts shown will help to fold the piece and align it with the back.

Tip: draw details with a gold sharpie for some added pizzazz!

DIY Planter

Now, spray paint your straws for the frame. Lay them flat on a piece of paper and apply light paint coats. Let the paint set before you turn the straws and spray the other side. Also, make sure the straws are not too close to one another so that the sides get painted too.

Measure the straws by aligning them with the planter sides and snipping the extra length. For the lower half of the frame, you’d need 5 straws; 3 for the vertical sides and the center, and 2 for the top.

DIY Planter

Cut 3 pieces of copper wire that are longer than the vertical straws (the 3 longer ones). Pass one wire through each straw and twist the ends together at one side to tie them.

           DIY Planter

Cut 2 more pieces of wire and pass them through the smaller straws for the top. Tie all the wires together as shown. (The paint chipped off at the ends while I was twisting the wires and I had to do some retouching.)

DIY Planter

The number of straws you need for the upper part of the frame depends on you. For a symmetrical look, go for the same length and number as the lower part — but if you want the upper part to be longer, feel free to add more straws.

Look 1 Attach the frame to a drawing board using thumbtacks. They come in a number of sizes and the smaller ones are quite affordable (this one cost me 200 rupees — roughly 2 dollars).


Once you’ve secured the frame, add the planter to it. (Depending on the size of the planter and weight of the plant you’re using, you may have to secure it with thumbtacks too.)


Look 2 Remove the frame and simply put up the planter on the board. This look let’s you skip the whole trouble of dealing with the wire and straws and adds a nice countryside flare to your decor.

DIY Planter

Look 3 Simply hang the whole thing with a hook from the wall and make sure you’ve secured the planter with some double-sided tape to hold it in place. You can vary the vertical height by altering the number of straws you use, like I did here.

DIY Planter

Have fun crafting!


Dorm Décor Ideas Inspired by the Kentucky Derby


Do you have your hat ready? The Kentucky Derby is this weekend, and it’s a time to celebrate everything Southern fashion and horses. For those who left their hearts at Churchill Downs, having a dorm room that fits the unique style is a must. By using dorm décor inspired by the Kentucky Derby itself, you can be sure your room stays ahead of the pack in fashion.




All the Pretty Horses

Horses as bedroom décor may be a bit juvenile, but there is a classy way to play ode to a favorite animal. Start by the old standard — the horseshoe over the door. Not only does it bring luck, but it also lets you take a piece of your home and heart to your dorm room. Mix in some vintage picture frames in an oval shape painted a bright, contrasting color, and you have a great vintage look so many of us love this year.


You can also incorporate horses in inspirational or movie posters framed above your bed. Or, if you prefer a more custom look, create a cork board for your desk using canvas, paint and stencils to trace the horse silhouette. It’s subtle without being overly horse-y.

Gold painted horseshoe with metal flower

Red Roses

The rose is a special part of the Kentucky Derby tradition. For one, it has been placed around the neck of the winning horse since 1896 and was named the official flower of the race in 1904. Now, many fans call the event the “race for the roses.” Luckily for you, roses and the rose red is the perfect statement color for a dark and dreary dorm room!


Rose colored or floral print bedding is making a huge comeback this year. The ruby red is bold but still inviting. But be sure to pair it with an accent color that is much lighter, such as a soft pink or white for a contrast. If you want to go literal, bring in actual roses in small bud vases along your windowsill or create a floral light wreath using fairy lights and plastic roses from a craft store.


Southern Charm

Horse racing is one of the most beloved parts of Southern culture, an event that cannot be missed. If you call Kentucky home or just love all things South, there are many ways you can recreate that look. One of our favorite patterns this is year is actually the gingham or picnic fabrics, a favorite casual look in the South. Use it to cover closet spaces or as the fabric for your accent or throw pillows.


The fashionable South is also all about subdued regalness. If possible, consider hanging a small chandelier or a brass framed mirror. For storage, use wooden crates or storage trunks in off-whites or chocolate browns.

Small chandelier in open air forest

Golden Touches

No race-themed bedroom would be complete without a bit of gold. While you don’t have to have your own trophy display, gold is a must-have for dorm rooms this year. In particular, look for gold lighting (especially art deco style) and hanging storage. Gold plates, bowls, or silverware adds a unique touch to your kitchen décor items. You can also go gold with accent bedding with a throw blanket over a sofa.


Gold doesn’t have to be too out there to make an impact. Glittering gold may be too bold, but a matte gold looks awesome in DIY, spray painted vases and picture frames. For a more rustic look, use gold lettering on burlap for a hanging pendant.


The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports is coming soon, so you’d best get your decorating going today! With these simple touches, you can show your Kentucky pride and love of the Run for the Roses — and be well on your way towards a Triple Crown.