How to Make Dorm Room Shopping a Breeze

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It’s official: you’ll be spending next year living in the dorms! Whether this will be your first year in a residence hall or your fourth, you’re probably dreading the whole dorm room shopping ordeal. But you can make shopping a breeze by following these simple tips.

 

Examine the List

The good news is that most colleges will provide you with a dorm shopping list. In addition, you’ll most likely get rules and restrictions (like the size of the refrigerator allowed). Keep these lists close because they will become your best friend. Read through it carefully. Then, do research on your own for college checklists and advice. And add to it as you think about what’s important to you. For example, your bare bones list may only say “bedding,” but if you want something more comfortable, add a line for a deluxe mattress pad.

 

Set a Budget

Shopping for an entirely new bedroom can really add up in costs! If you’re doing it on your own or have a small amount to spend, it’s important to research online and in stores to see what you’ll, realistically, need to spend. Once you’ve got estimates, set a budget and start saving up now. It’s never too early to put a few bucks in a savings account for your dorm room decor.               

 

Shop Early

Shopping early is another way to save a ton. If you put off to July or August, you will run into skyrocketing prices. Buy now when dorm specific bedding and furniture are on super sales and clearances. After May, new dorm styles will go on the shelves and prices will increase. Plus, shopping early means you’ll get your hands on the latest trends before anyone else (like our favorite dorm bedding for 2017/2018: The Mosaic.

 

Recycle What You Have

Who said everything has to be new and unused? If you love what your bedroom looks now, there is nothing wrong with recreating the look and feel in your dorm room. Items like lamps, rugs, chairs, and storage units can be easily moved to your dorm. Really, only linens are essential to purchase before your move.

 

Buy Packages Instead of Single Items

The easiest way to go through your shopping list quickly is to buy your dorm room in a package. There are some huge benefits of value paks like having everything you need come to your door without having to step foot in a store. In addition, everything is coordinated to match so you don’t have to play a guessing game on what will look good with what. And then, there’s the price. Buying in bulk means saving on individual items!

 

Accessorize Around a Theme

Once you’ve got your value pak (or at least a color scheme in mind), you can start picking up the smaller decor items to complete the look. Take the popular Kaleidoscope White. This pattern will go great with a boho theme where you can add feather art, a turquoise desk lamp, or an off-white shag rug.

 

Shop With Online Tools

Finally, don’t forget to use online shopping tools like email alerts, sales notifications, and saving apps. Ebates, Ibotta, and similar apps are awesome to have when looking for dorm room deals online and at your local stores.

 

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Rhapsody Dusty Purple Bedding from OCM

 

With these top tips, you should be all set for move in day!

What to Do When You Don’t Trust Your College Roommate

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Living with someone else is always a difficult experience.  Remember living with mom and dad, or, worse, siblings? It’s definitely not easy, even when it’s your family.  So living with a relative stranger can be especially rough, even more so because it might be your first time living away from home.  If you and roommate just don’t see eye to eye, that’s one thing, but what about when you really don’t trust them?

For whatever reason, you’ve been paired with this… sketchy person.  Maybe you used to get along, and now not so much.  Maybe you were trusting, but last semester they showed you that that was a mistake.  Maybe you’ve switched dorms only to discover that that was a mistake.

Talk to the School

The first thing you need to try to do is convince the school that it was a mistake.  Approach your RA and explain the situation.  It’s important to communicate that you do not trust your roommate, not just that you don’t get along.  They need to understand that this isn’t normal roommate squabbles; this is a whole other level. Your RA will definitely have steps to take to hopefully be able to separate the two of you.  There is likely a vacancy in another dorm, or you might be able to switch with somebody.

However, if you can’t afford to move to another dorm, or perhaps you signed a lease for an apartment off-campus, then you might need to take a different course of action.

Protect Your Items

You might not think that your valuables are safe, either because your roommate will use your things without your permission or worse.  Try and organize your things underneath your bed, conceal them in a trunk, or even in storage lockers. If necessary, make sure that you get a good combination lock.

Don’t leave cash lying around, or let them have access to your credit or debit card.  Luckily, you should have a chip card now instead of a magstripe one, so it will be harder for them to strip your information, though they can still copy down the numbers.

Keep Yourself Busy

Alright, this may sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually probably better that you keep yourself occupied.  As long as you make sure that all of your items are safe, then you don’t want to interact with your roommate more than you have to. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in more messy arguments and the target of ill will.  Keep busy with homework, and if that’s not enough then there’s plenty more you can do.

  • Get involved in clubs or athletic groups.

  • Make new friends.

  • Find internships in your major; the career center should be able to help you no matter if you’re majoring in a STEM fieldcounseling, or even art.

  •  Get a part time job, as long as you believe you’ll be able to balance those responsibilities and school.

College campuses are abundant with activity.  You should have no problem finding activities that occupy your time.

Set Things Up for Next Year

Make sure that you get an apartment or some other housing accommodation for next year.  There are certainly challenges to living with your friends, but it will certainly be a better situation that what you’re currently going through.  If you don’t have any options for roommates next year, hold interviews or make sure that your school matches you up with someone better.  They need to understand that a repeat of this situation is not an option.

Overall, this sort of situation is unpleasant but bearable.  You will get through this.  The light is at the end of the semester, which seems so far away, but I promise it will be the end before you know it.  College roommates are always a unique situation, but there are ways for you to get around it.  Just make sure that next year you’re in a better place.

 

#DormGoals – OCM’s Dorm Decorating Contest 2016

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OCM dorm room contest

We’re excited to announce the launch our Dorm Goals challenge! After spending the summer shopping for your dorm decor, conquering a hectic move-in day, and getting into the swing of the semester, you are probably well on your way to settling into your new dorm. You likely put a lot of thought into how you wanted to decorate it — whether it’s shabby-chic, preppy, or has a beachy, west coast vibe. The sheer fact that you’re reading our blog shows that you find dorm style important! So now that you’ve achieved the dorm vibe you were going for, you deserve to show it off.

That’s why we set up our Dorm Goals 2016 Challenge. Post your stylish dorm room photo to social media, use #dormgoals and tag @OCMdotCOM, and fill out our form to submit your entry — it’s as simple as that.  Not only do you get to show off your interior design skills, but you have the chance to win some awesome prizes.

The Details

It’s simple to enter! First, fill out the form to let us know a little more about you. Then post your dorm room photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to tag @OCMdotCOM and use the #dormgoals hashtag. The contest will officially close on Friday, November 11, 2016.

At that point, we’ll share all of the photos entered in an album on the OCM Facebook Page. Users will have one week to ‘like’ their favorite dorm pic. The dorm photo with the most likes wins, and we’ll make the announcement on Friday, November 18, 2016!

What’s in it for me, you ask? One Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a $500 Visa Giftcard to spend however they please! Two Runner Ups will each receive a $150 Giftcard to the OCM store. This means they’ll get to add any finishing touches to their dorm rooms. Plus, each runner up will receive a novelty care package from our OCM, filled with plenty of goodies.

Who Should Enter?

All ladies and gents that are currently enrolled in a university in the United States and living in student housing are welcome to enter. Also, note that all photos must be your own and reflect the room you currently live in — we want to see your dorm decor skills.

Tips for Transforming Your Space into a Winning Dorm Room

Are you still working on your dorm room style? Don’t worry, with these tips we’ll get your room in #dormgoals shape before the close of the contest.

Bedding

Sometimes, it’s hard to even know where to start with decorating when you have so many different items in such a small space. We believe that the focal point of most dorms is the bed, so we always recommend starting there. This is partly because it’s typically the largest thing in your dorm, and partly because it’s where you’ll spend so much time — from sleeping to studying and watching TV.

So if you chose the right bedding, everything else should fall into place. Whether you love ombre or if geometrics are more of your thing, the right bedding is so important to create the style and energy you’re looking for. However, if you’re stuck with the same bedding you used last year or decided to go the minimal route with neutrals, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up. Throw on a few colorful or textured throw pillows or blankets to take your bedding up a notch.

Finding Your Personal Aesthetic

Indie, boho, grunge, you name it. Your dorm room is a great way to express your personal style. However, sometimes that’s hard to identify. Maybe you have a lot of mismatched hand-me-downs or erred on the side of caution by buying all of your room supplies in the same neutral color. But neither of these situations are reasons not to own the dorm style you really want.

For any guys out there looking for a little guidance, check out our post on the 12 dorm essentials for guys. From basics like hampers to fun stuff like entertainment centers, there’s a lot to consider when putting together a cohesive, stylish dorm room that really is a reflection of your aesthetic. For the girls inspired by Mindy Kaling or wondering how to design a perfectly preppy dorm, we’ve also got you covered.

While we recommend using your bedding as a focal point, there’s one other way to really identify the style you want to go for. Look around your dorm and identify your favorite piece. Is it the acoustic guitar you were gifted at high school graduation? Or maybe it’s something as small as the stack of neon, fun-shaped post-it notes on your desk. If you use these items as your inspiration, you’ll know the direction you want to take your room — from indie to bright and loud.

Adding Simple Touches Can Make All The Difference

We know the struggle of the small dorm room, and sometimes it can feel very limiting when it comes to dorm decor. That’s why we love this small spaces video from Urban Outfitters. Dorm rooms are often so small that it’s almost a rite of passage to live in cramped quarters — but this video proves that if you go into it with a strategy, you can make even the smallest of spaces work!

Because you’re in cramped quarters, doesn’t mean that you can’t add simple decor touches. From lighting to wall art, you have tons of options to give your space that extra oomph it needs. We think lighting is great, because it can add intrigue and cancel out the often-dreary industrial lights most dorms have. Posters and other art are great touches because you can work with the vertical space in your room (i.e. your walls) to add flair. You can support artists by getting your art from Etsy, or DIY some vintage frames with a fresh, bright coat of spraypaint. At the end of the day, you’ll want to come home to a room that really meshes with you – so curate pieces thoughtfully and you’ll be sure to have a #dormgoals-worthy dorm in no time!

The Dorm Goals 2016 contest is now closed – thank you to everyone who entered! 

15 Cozy Dorm Room Beds We’re Obsessed with

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15 Cozy Dorm Room Bedding

When it comes to bedding style, one thing matters the most: comfort. But you don’t have to break the bank to get the fluffy pillows, relaxed colors, and luxurious textures of high-class bedding! Here are 15 ideas to get you that comfortable but cozy look of your dreams.

1. Extra Throw Pillows

This bed has amazing colors, but we’re especially drawn to the subtle, coordinated throw pillows that seem to scream, “LAY ON ME!”

 

2. Texture in White

White linens can make your bed look extra inviting. This bed sets off the plain color with a textured duvet cover, adding spark to its look.

 

3. Quilted Luxury

Winter bedding is all bout warmth — making quilted or knitted throw blankets a must. They’ll keep you toasty while making your bed look fantastic.

 

4. Lighting is Crucial

Create an inviting, homey space to relax in with string lighting! These bunk beds add some flair with some cloth draping.

 

5. Tapestries Are IN!

When paired with the right bed sheets or comforters, woven tapestries like this one can complete a space and give it that boho vibe we all love.

 

6. Amp Up the Mattress

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Make sure your bed matches the feel it’s giving off by adding OCM’s top-rated Deluxe Gel Memory Foam Topper.

 

7. DIY Canopy

To steal this look, all you need are hooks that can go into the wall and a few yards of thin white fabric. Line up the hooks with the corners of the bed, then string the canopy fabric through. That’s instant luxury!

 

8. Go Dark

Add a bit of masculinity by switching out white for gray and black, like with OCM’s Gray Hampton Plaid set.

 

9. Create a Headboard

Start by measuring the front of your bed, then cut a piece of thin plywood in the shape you desire. Add padding and fabric with a staple gun, and attach with zip ties or hardware (if possible).

 

10. Go Natural

Image via Huffington Post

Place your bed so it gets ample exposure to open windows whenever possible. The closer you are to natural lighting, the better you’ll feel.

 

11. Reduce the Clutter

Image via Her Campus

Invest in storage solutions like bedside organizers to add space and keep your cozy feel going.

 

12. Loft It!

Keep your space your own and maximize privacy by lofting or bunking your bed.

 

13. Add Touches from Home

Image via Uncle Bob’s

Don’t be afraid to get personal with your bedding by bringing in something meaningful — your favorite pillow, your grandma’s quilt, or a stuffed animal.

 

14. Cover It Up

Bedskirts make your bed look more inviting and can hide ugly, cold floors. Coordinate with your cozy linens for a super-impressive look.

 

15. Snuggle Up

Not all bed linens are the same, especially when it comes to breathability. Instead of just jumping in, read up on warmth quality or lightness, and buy the right bedding for your sleep style.

My Dorm Room is Already a Disaster!?!

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Cleaning Messy Dorm Room

I know, I know.  School just started.  How can we possibly already be talking about decluttering?  In one way, you’re right.   You have only had a month max to mess up your dorm room.  It can’t be that messy, right?

Well, that depends! We’ve all got different styles of housekeeping. Some of us need to fold laundry as soon as we complete it, and others want to leave it in the hamper until it’s all dirty again. Despite the small square footage of your dorm room, plenty cannot stand anything on the floor. Personally, my freshman roommate and I tried to find out how many toilet paper rolls we could leave in the bathroom before someone else picked it up.  So, by the end of my first month, I definitely should have cleaned out my room.

(I didn’t.)

You might think you’re only a month into school, but it’ll all snowball from here.  Syllabus week is a distant memory at this point, and the realities of your coursework are finally hitting home.  You might’ve been acing quizzes without studying before, but give it a few more weeks.  Soon, you’ll be asking the library what time they close.  (“Midnight? It’s not open 24 hours!?”) And when those dreadful weeks come around, you won’t have time to deal with the colossal mountains of energy drinks and old assignments.

The truth is, you should get a head start and clean up now.  Dirty dorms come with their unique health risks, and it’s easier if you keep up with it continuously instead of all at once. However, when cleaning out your room this early in the year, there are some special guidelines you should consider.

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Access How Long It’ll Take

Now, you’ve likely never cleaned your room before, so you can’t be 100% sure how long it’s going to take you.  Make a list of all the things that need to be done, and think about how long it took you to do those chores at home.  Your parents’ house is probably bigger than your dorm room, so it won’t take as much time, but it can give you a good idea.  Thinking about chores back home can also help you remember what you might be forgetting.  You might not even consider cleaning the sink until you remember your old weekly duties.

Block off this time in your schedule specifically for cleaning, whenever you happen to have the free time. It’s tempting to go out with your friends on the weekends, but even just an hour can make a world of difference.  However, you might need to invest more than just an hour. Be honest when accessing your room.  You should be able to rope in your roommate in helping you out- by this point, you should’ve developed a cleaning schedule with them.   For better or worse, my dorm room was often the hangout spot for all my friends.  This meant we had more mess, but I was also able to guilt trip others into helping out.  If you get a good number of people together, this should reduce your cleaning time significantly!

Be Honest

You likely have a couple of items that you purchased for the upcoming year, only to realize that you’ll never use them.  Maybe you bought a shower caddy, only to realize that you have a private shower.  Or maybe you brought up a can of bright orange paint to cover your walls, only to find out that your dorm doesn’t allow that.  Whatever the case, be honest with what you’ll use for the year (it’s generally a good idea to keep old assignments until the end of the semester).  You have a little better idea of what to expect now, so there’s no reason that you should let those items clog up an already-cramped space.

So, you have three choices.

  1. You can give these junk items to someone else, either for a price or for free.  Think: do other dorms have communal showers?  Or do you have any friends in apartments who can paint? Maybe these items will be easy to get rid of if you find the right market.
  2. You can send it home, for your parents to do whatever with it. Keep it in your old bedroom, use it themselves, or hold onto for younger siblings.
  3. You can throw it away.  This is kind of a waste, and there are somethings that you can’t just throw away for environmental reasons, so it’s better to go with one of the other two options.

Unless it’s something weather-related, if you haven’t used it in the first month, you probably aren’t going to.  The exception is obviously items for future projects, but you should put those somewhere out of the way until the appropriate time.  You might have been on your dorm’s Holiday Committee, but don’t keep your miniature Christmas tree in the middle of the room until December.

Evaluate Problems and Establish Prevention

Do you come home late, stick Easy Mac in the microwave, only to fall asleep and find a cheese-charred mess? Do you have nowhere to put past assignments? Do you allow your roommate’s mess to dominate the space?

You have a very limited square footage, so every item placement should be mindful. If you realize that you don’t have enough room in your closet, remedy the situation with some space-saving hangers.  Get a second trash can if you’re having a lot of parties.  Hang up a monthly calendar instead of having an ever-missing planner.  A messy room after only a month is a symptom of a larger problem, and you need to address it now before you can’t find your take-home test, and it’s 60% of your grade, but it doesn’t matter anyway because you’ve contracted a staph infection from your filthy shower, so you’re begging your roommate to take you to the hospital, but she can’t find her car keys anywhere.

Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Look, if you’re like me, it’s just not in your nature to be super clean.  A little mess doesn’t bother you.  However, a lot of mess bothers everyone, and it’s a lot easier to prevent a mess than to clean one up. And believe me, when it does come time to move out, you’ll be thankful that you kept the dorm clean.

Save vs. Splurge: Which Dorm Items Should You Buy?

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Knowing what and what not to pack for your first year in the dorms can be challenging. With limited space in your car and your dorm room, it’s time to cut out the unnecessary stuff and splurge on the essentials. Here are items you can buy on the cheap (or leave behind altogether)—and items you should be willing to spend a few extra dollars on:

Splurge:

1.   Linens and Pillows

There is nothing worse than sleeping on old or low quality linens and pillows. Find a set of dorm bedding that make you feel like a queen or king, splurge on a pillow that will help you fall asleep faster, or select that comforter that will last you all four years. Your body and mind will thank you.

2.   Area Rug

For many college students, an area rug is more than just a sweet décor choice. It’s also a perfect way to keep out chilly drafts, a gathering place to study with friends, and a space divider between roommates. Spend a bit more on one that can withstand stains and heavy foot traffic if you plan to use yours for multiple years.

3.   Wall Art

Your dorm room won’t look like much of a home when you first walk in. White or beige walls, brown furniture, tile floors—your room will need your personal touch if you want it to feel like a space you would actually enjoy living in. Wall art, either DIY or bought, is a great bet. A favorite wall canvas or a motivational poster will certainly help you transition from home to dorm. Consider spending a few extra dollars to have your posters framed in order to maintain their quality throughout the year.

4.   Mattress Protectors

While colleges do their best to provide you with clean and gently-used mattresses, you can still splurge on an additional layer of protection. After all, you never know where that mattress has been in the past. A mattress topper that is waterproof and bedbug proof is an essential item to have. Buy one with memory foam or made out of feather down to help you fall asleep faster and fight against lumpy, uneven springs.

Save:

1.   Television

In years past, the major trend was to go in on a new television with your future roommate. However, new streaming technology has almost obliterated that need. Most college students now watch their favorite shows and movies online on a tablet or PC. Furthermore, many dorms have also outfitted their common spaces with big-screen TVs for students still wanting to watch the big game or host a movie night with their friends.

2.   Printer

While a personal laptop is one of the most essential items you will need to bring with you, the printer can stay at home. Use the convenient and affordable library printer instead. It will save you money on ink and can withstand all of those hundred-page research articles you will inevitably need to print out. However, if you still think a printer is a must-have, consider splitting the cost with a roommate or floormate.

3.   Alarm Clock, Camera, etc.

As a general rule of thumb, if your phone can do it, leave it at home. Bringing all of this extra stuff along with you will just be another item to pack, store, and worry about. Instead, invest in a smartphone that can do it all. As a side note, consider bringing an extra phone charger with you to college, so you can leave one in the dorm room and carry one with you in your backpack.

As you are packing for college, think about the essentials that are important to you. While you may not have much space to store your favorite shoe collection or to display your big screen TV, you should consider splurging on items that will make your space feel more like home.

Do you plan on saving vs. splurging for any of these products? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Holiday Savings Guide

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The holidays are upon us, and that can only mean one big thing. Okay, well two. The first is of course celebrating with family and friends over delicious food. The second? SAVINGS. Black Friday is the day where shopaholics everywhere unite to score deals on their favorite items and check off those holiday shopping lists. Then there’s Cyber Monday, which gives our stay-at-home shoppers the opportunity to leverage amazing sales without ever leaving their house.

If you’re in the market to stock up and save this holiday season, you’ll thoroughly enjoy our gift to you: 20% off on popular OCM items and bedding essentials with code HOLIDAYSAVE20. Don’t know where to start? Here’s all the amazing things you can snag at a discount on OCM.com until December 2nd.

1) Bedding Value Paks: Looking to refresh your linens and give your room a makeover? Now is the perfect chance to stock up on any of our Bedding Value Paks. They make great gifts, too. There’s nothing that says ‘Happy Holidays’ like a brand new bed-in-a-bag wrapped and snuggled nicely under the tree. A bag of bedding goes a long way, and they’re guaranteed to last by OCM. Recently reduced, Value Paks on OCM have recently seen a drop in prices from the summer season, giving you EXTRA savings when used in addition to the promo code. Go ahead, complete that room.
valuepaks

2) Storage & Organization Solutions: Now that the cold winter months have arrived, it’s time to clear out the closet of any summer and spring clothes and bring out the heavier fabrics. This could lead to a stuffy closet if you don’t have the proper means of storing and organizing. You can save big on student favorite storage items such as over the door shoe hangers, under the bed storage containers, double-sided laundry baskets, and more. Don’t forget to check out the Rhino Armor trunks, too! They’re super durable and multi-functional — they’re the perfect size for carrying all of your new holiday gifts back to
campus!
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Don’t forget to also look at all of the appliances and kitchenware. Now’s the time to snag that Keurig you’ve always wanted!

3) Decor – Oh the possibilities. Decor pieces are really what makes a room unique and put together. The small and thoughtful touches of certain pictures, carpets, decals and more help make a room YOUR room. Stock up on all of your favorite wall decals and sparkly shag area rugs. A bright shag rug really ties the room together and adds a pop of color to any space. If you’re looking to make your room unique and special, browse through the selection of decorative pillows that come in a variety of textures and colors. This year’s favorite picks? The sparkly owl pillows!

4) Care Packages – Sometimes you can’t always be there in person to send your best wishes. In that case, OCM’s Care Packages are a perfect mix of fun and delicious, all in the same box. You can pick from a variety of themes, including Final Exams, Birthday, and more! Don’t forget to pick a festive card right before checkout. You can even upload your own photo! While you’re at it, snag a Care Package for yourself, too. There’s too much deliciousness to pass up at such a great price!

5) Diploma Frames – There’s nothing more special than a gift from a loved one that helps you showcase all of your hard work. Don’t worry about searching everywhere for the perfect gift for the recent grad in your life. OCM’s large selection of school specific and generic college diploma frames are beautiful, timeless, and hand crafted. Available in a variety of sizes, prints, and colors, these frames are the perfect keepsake. For each school you will find watercolor, photo and generic frames to surprise your loved one with. Good luck picking! Don’t forget to use the HOLIDAY20* promo code for a discount before December 2nd!

*Exclusions apply. Promo Code valid only on products sold and fulfilled by Our Campus Market. Excludes Northwest Group, Greek Gear, Art.com, Yogibo, Bake Me A Wish, Gourmet Gift Baskets, and FTD. Cannot be applied to past orders. Other exclusions may apply. Expires at 12 am Tuesday December 2, 2014.

9 DIY Dorm Decorating Crafts

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OCM DIY Crafts

Even with great bargains, shopping for dorm decor can add up to be costly. Sometimes even after you buy all your matching room essentials, you’re left wondering what’s missing to give your room a more personalized feel. If your room is covered in statement pieces and you still feel like you need something else, create it! Nothing says personality more than a homemade decoration that is fun and easy to make! Creating your own decorations means that your decor options are endless and can be made in any color of your choosing.

Maybe you aren’t the craftiest of people and don’t know where to start with DIY dorm decor. If you need some inspiration, you came to the right place. From re-upholstering chairs to making your own wall art, we’ve made a list of various crafts you can glitterize to your heart’s content.

1)  Hanging Yarn Balls: (See Cheetah Nails, Cake Pops and Hanging Yarn Balls) These are fun, cute, and decorative crafts that you can place in a bowl or hang from your ceiling with some fishing wire or colored thread. They’re super simple to make and easy to hang! All you need is some glue, a few 5″ balloons, and some colored string or yarn. If you’re interested in making these bad boys for yourself, take a look at the link above to get step by step directions.

DIY Candle spheres (using flameless candles only) to make chandelier!

Source

2)  Painted Glassware: Whether they’re dollar store wineglasses for your mocktails or simple plastic drinking glasses, your creative options for decoration are endless. Buying some glass paints and then baking your dishes to set the paint (to make them waterproof) makes a great room accessory and even better gift! Make your glasses extra chic with matte spray paint to make parts of your glasses matte and part of them glossy. Secure some various sized rubber bands around the glass before you spray and leave some parts “bare”. After you take off the bands you’ll have a neat design with matte/gloss contrast that will look modern and sleek. You’ll be surprised how cool your glasses will end up looking after a little TLC and dedication!

Source (DIY instructions!)

3)  Spruce Up Old Pillows: Remember that couch in your living room that had the matching cushions? Remember how your mom got rid of the couch 10 years ago but still has the pillows in a storage bag downstairs? Throw them in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes to kill any ‘dust bugs’ and to re-fluff the cushions. Find a fabric you like or that matches your dorm room and sew them over your cushions for a pillow makeover. You can even sew embellishments, flowers, and other decorations on to your pillows to make unique statement pillows. Go to your local craft store and see if you can’t find some cursive lettering to sew your initials onto your design. Your room will look extra polished and your friends will be asking you to make them for their birthday presents!

Source (DIY instructions!)

4)  Pillow Beds: Movie nights are for comfort, eating pizza, and bundling up for nights of relaxation. In dorm rooms, the lack of room and bed space makes it hard to fit everyone comfortably. Those left on the floor get chilled easily and have to sit on the hard ground for the entire movie. Be a nice host/hostess and make movie nights at your place a bit cozier. Take about 5 pillowcases (get them from your local stores; Kmart, Marshalls, Homegoods, T.J. Maxx, Walmart) and sew them together vertically. You can find pillows also at said stores, to stuff inside each of the pillow cases to create a ‘pack-and-use’ pillow bed! The best pillow cases to buy are the ones that are generally used on top of your bedspread for decoration. Try to pick ones with thicker fabric that have a slit in the back instead of on the sides. Pillow cases with slits on the side may make the pillows easier to shimmy out while people lay or sit on the pillow beds. Once you have five different cases you like, sew each of the bottoms of the cases (landscape side) together to create one long ‘accordion’ of cases. The thickness of these cases will allow your pillow beds to last longer and be more resistant to spills and stains. When it’s time to wash your pillow beds simply remove all of the pillows and throw it in the washing machine. Dry as usual and stick your pillows back in. Simple, easy and comfortable. When your pillow beds aren’t being used by guests, stick them in between the wall of your dorm bed and wall. This will keep you warm and keep the cold wall off your skin during those in between class cat naps.

Pillow Bed Teen Girl Pillow Bed TieDye Pillow by CreativeChickie

 

5)  Crayon Canvases: If you’re a fan of Pinterest, I’m sure you’ve seen and been dying to try this one out already! Glue your favorite colored crayons in a horizontal row across the top of a blank canvas. Plug in a hair-dryer and start running it back and forth over the crayons. Watch as the crayons melt, leaving dripping colors streaking down the canvas and blending them together. Make sure if you’re doing this project that you do it outside or in a place where you can get a little messy. Don’t place the hairdryer directly on the crayons, but a few inches away. Make sure not to touch the hot wax with your fingers or accidentally burn yourself on the hair dryer. Don’t forget to remove the crayon wrappers! After you’ve gotten your wax dripped just the way you like it, let it dry overnight. This project can be customized multiple ways! Tape parts of the canvas before melting the crayons to ‘protect’ it from the melting wax. Pull the tape off after you’re done melting the crayons and create a cool chevron design!

Mama Shona: 4H Project -- Crayon Canvas Art!

Source

6)  Flat Iron Heat-Resistant Travel Case: All girls with a flat iron have seen the unsightly burns they can leave on carpets, bathroom counters, and any plastic that accidentally happened to be too close to the iron. It’s almost near impossible to use your flat iron, unplug it, and travel with it safely in under an hour. Not to mention, trying to store a hot flat iron can be both dangerous for burns but even more so dangerous if they happen to catch something on fire (you don’t say?) If you’re going to be traveling with your flat iron or don’t want to rest it on certain items after unplugging it, make your own flat iron case that will allow it to cool smoothly. Go to your favorite home store and find a cute pot holder that matches your dorm room. Fold it in half and sew the bottom and side of the pot holder shut so that the only open slot is on the top. If you want, sew a button with an elastic strap on one side to secure the carrier more securely around your iron. Simply unplug your flat iron, stick it in the carrier through the top slot, and carry with ease!

Turn a pot holder into a heat-safe travel case for your flat iron or curling iron! #DIY #Solutions

Source

7)  Chalkboard Trays: Ever go to a thrift store and find vintage trays or plates that you love but don’t know what to do with? Well now you can! Re-purpose them into a functional but stylish chalkboard. Spray paint them with a shiny silver coating or spray them with bright neon colors. Create your own chalkboard paint with a few easy steps and paint the middle of your trays or plates with the paint and allow it to try. Take a small piece of sand paper and lightly run over the surface to get rid of any bubbles and then rub some chalk on your painted area and wipe it off. Homemade chalkboard tray for your dorm! To really top it off, glue a fabric bow to match your dorm decor on the top of the tray and prop it up against the wall. Leaving notes for your roomie has never been so easy. “For the love of all that is holy, WASH YOUR SOCKS- Love Roomie.”

DIY Framed Chalkboard Tutorial | Positively Splendid {Crafts, Sewing, Recipes and Home Decor}

8)  Re-upholstered Chairs: Vintage is so in these days, from old antique items to delicate jewelry and clothes. But sometimes vintage is a little too-vintage, with musky smells and ripped fabric. If you have a chair you bought at a goodwill or yard sale, don’t throw it away, re-create it! Find some fabric you love and look up some sewing techniques to sew it over the chair. You can even add your own chair-skirts and bows to make them look more modern and feminine. This goes the same way for the desk chairs that come with your dorm. Those wooden desk-chairs may serve their purpose in functionality, but they can really put a damper on your room decor! If you’ve personalized everything else in your room why not personalize these as well? Go to your local fabric store and pick a perfect fabric to cover your chairs with. Instead of sewing the fabric on to the chair (I’m sure your RA wouldn’t like that too much) create a chair-slip to slip right on top of the wood. Create ‘ties’ on the back to tightly secure the extra fabric on the back of the chair into a neat bow. You can even find a bold statement cushion to compliment your new chair!

Source

9)  Modge Podge: Mod Podge works for almost anything (and with any glitter). If you’re into crafting, the one thing I could recommend you buying is Mod Podge adhesive. There’s really just so many things you can do with it, and it’s durable and long lasting. For a creative wall canvas, cut out shapes from different pieces of scrapbook paper. Paint a canvas in a gradient fashion, or just simply paint it one color, and glue your cut out scraps in a design on your canvas. Add some embellishments and a few vintage knick-knacks found at your craft sore and your wall decor will be ready to hang.

There are countless ways to create your own dorm decor. If you’re interested in finding out more crafts you can make for dorm decorations search the web and find some projects that you feel you could comfortably accomplish. If you start a project and it’s too hard, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes people make crafting look so easy in pictures, but they leave out the bumps along the road they had while getting to their final product. Experiment a bit and remember that it’s YOUR decorations for YOUR dorm. The way you want them to look is up to you, so be creative and have fun.

Announcing the New 2014 Spring Linen Collection

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With every new season comes trends, color and an opportunity to refresh your space and wardrobe. At OCM, our main goal is to provide families with all of the dorm livin’ essentials they need to make their home away from home as comfortable as possible. With that being said, we’re keen on staying in-trend, bringing onboard only the finest of prints, colors and fabrics to turn your residence hall into your canvas. From floor to walls, we’re always working on keeping your space as modern and cozy as possible. You saw last year’s roundup of bright neons, a wide selection of wall canvases and art, the coziest of carpets to keep things comfortable and your favorite Value Paks in a multitude of colors and prints. Now, we’re pleased (and super excited) to bring you this year’s preview of the 2014 lineup. Inspired by your feedback from previous years and a lot of stalking of celebrity style, we’re confident you’ll fall in love with this year’s new line just as fast as we did.

1) First up to bat, the perfect print for someone who loves to match patterns and really make a statement: Blue Lennox (even the name sounds awesome, amiright?)

Blue Lennox - OCM.com

Blue Lennox – OCM.com

Take it from Halle Berry… blue chevron looks amazing both in your closet and on your bed. The mix and match of patterns in this set creates depth and personality while the vibrant blue hues cool your space and add a vibe of freshness. Pair it with your favorite navy accessories and don’t be afraid to accessorize with beachy decor.

2) Guys, this next one has you written all over it. Robert Pattinson rocks the grey and black color palette that adds just the perfect pinch of suave sophistication to your room. The Black Easton Stripe print sets the tone for laid back style. Available in separate pieces or in a Value Pak bundle, this set is ready to order and ship to your new man-cave on campus.

BlackEaston

The best part about this set is you can pair it with any color you want or mix and match with your wall art and canvases. A black rhino trunk goes with just about every room and is 100% a college student’s rite of passage. Use it as a storage unit, bedside table, extra seat and more; it’s up to you. Girls, you can even rock this print too – just pair it with a bright neon colored sheet set and your favorite accessories. It’s your canvas, get creative!

3) Grape Melange: right in season and always on trend.

GrapeMelange

Angie Harmon looks adorable in this radiant purple peplum dress. The Y shape stitching and detailing on this dress adds the perfect touch of style without overdoing it. The Grape Melange room reciprocates this, adding comfort and on-trend style to your room, apartment or residence hall. Radiant orchid hues are going to be making a big splash this summer on the red carpet and in home decorating – get above the curve!

4) Black white and chic: Black Lennox

BlackLennox

We don’t even need to get into how perfect Selena Gomez always looks. She kills the black, white and red look in this shoot for Glamour magazine and we love her dress made from clashing patterns! The Black Lennox print is stylish, timeless and overall glamorous when tied together with the perfect red accents. Pair it with one of our red Majestic Home Goods seating solutions to add style and functionality all at once! Just like the Blue Lennox print, this mix and match of chevron and diamond patterns gives you a little taste of everything all in one adorable solution. Guys, this one’s not just for girls! Pair it with your favorite City Prints wall decor and add a grey, black or red rhino trunk to tie it all together.

5) Maison Leaf Print:

MaisonLeaves

Blake Lively shows us that even the most floral of accents can look amazing when paired with the right accessories. Her blue floral bodycon dress is perfect with her subtle makeup and pop of a bright pink lip. Not to mention, the simplicity of her hair and jewelry puts the focal point right on her outfit. Love her look? Steal it with the Maison Leaf print available for the 2014 season. The simplicity of the complimentary toned leaves add a dainty and floraly feel without overwhelming the room. The cool blue hues pair perfectly with a dark floor covering or white shaggy carpet. Pair this one with your favorite beachy wall canvases and any rustic wood compliments you have laying around (like the owl touches shown here). And of course, don’t forget to add a trunk to store all of your valuables when not in use. Love this print? So do we!

6) Victorian Damask and Kiwi:

victoriadamask

Not an oldie, but still a goodie. Kate Beckinsale steps out in a lime green pinch-waist dress that accentuates her accessories with the contrast of the bright neon hue. Steal her style and make your space exciting and inviting with the Victorian Damask set and a pop of your favorite color sheet. Play it up for the Spring and Summer with a bright blue, purple or green sheet set and tone it down in the winter by changing the sheets out for a dark red, purple or deep pink. Don’t forget to switch up your accessories to keep things fun and interesting! And if you’re wondering, yes that white shag rug is glorious on your feet stumbling out of bed for 8 am classes!

Looking for more fabulous looks and new items added to OCM for Spring 2014? Head here and browse for everything you need (or want) for back to school season!

Image Credits:

Selena Gomez, Kate Beckinsale, Blake Lively, Rob. Pattinson, Halle Berry, Angie Harmon.