Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Five DIY room decor projects to personalize your room

DIY projects are the ultimate lifesavers, especially if you’re a college student.
(Cynthia Ntinunu/Daily Collegian)

College is known for a lot of things: wild parties, meeting new people and stressing through classes. But it’s also generally known for being a fun time. But one of the pinnacle moments of college is being able to decorate your room. You’re able to express yourself through your decor. While the process can be exciting, we know that room decorations aren’t cheap. Places like Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond have ridiculously priced items that we may want but cannot buy.

I thought, there has to be a way to have nice room decor without breaking the bank. Thank goodness there is a way: DIY room decor. Below I’ve suggested five DIY projects you can try out. They’re fairly easy to recreate and won’t cost a fortune to make. Instead of purchasing all your decor this year, consider making some yourself.

Magazine File

One of the greatest things about DIY projects is the ability to take regular, everyday items and turn them into spectacular pieces. This is exactly what’s happening with the DIY magazine file. You are taking a cereal box and transforming it into a useful piece of decor for your desk. All you need is some washi tape or paint, scissors, a ruler and of course your cereal box of choice. It’s such an easy DIY because all you really need to do is cut out an opening for your magazines or papers and then decorate it whichever way you choose. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Painted Mason Jars

Mason jars are a DIYer’s holy grail item. There are hundreds of ways you can use a mason jar. You can use it for food purposes, for beauty, for gifts or as a nice accent piece for your room in this case. Just like many of the DIYs on this list, the painted mason jar is a simple DIY that only requires a few supplies. Just grab some paint, a mason jar, paint brushes and tape in case you want crisp lines. You can paint the whole jar, half the jar or paint a design on it. The possibilities are endless, and you get to customize it whichever way you choose.

(Cynthia Ntinunu/Daily Collegian)

Photo and lights

If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, then this DIY has popped up countless times. It’s an extremely popular room decor because it looks aesthetically pleasing and goes with any style of room you’re trying to achieve. It may be a little cliché, but it helps fill your room. Get a few Command hooks and arrange them as you please along your wall. Then weave your string lights in any pattern and clip your photos to the lights with clothespins. Your wall and room will instantly transform from bland to a serene photo oasis. A little tip: wait a few weeks after the ‘back to school’ campaign is over to buy lights. You can get fairy lights at discounted prices, some as low as $4 at places like Walmart.

Projects and Papers

If anyone knows anything about projects, it is that they usually take a long time to complete. You put in tons of hours into creating the ultimate project for it to only be graded and tossed aside. While we don’t want to accumulate unnecessary items, projects are perfect to use as decor. Just as parents used to put up their kids’ projects on the fridge, you can put up your awesome projects or accomplishments in your room. Whatever you call it, it’ll be a creative use of your space and can be used to showcase your passions. 


We can all agree that paintings are really cool and make for nice room decor. Unfortunately, paintings can be a tad expensive for our little college bank accounts. If you’re on a tight budget, consider making your own. Even if you’re not a painter, it’s a cool way to personalize something just for you. Also, you can make this into an event with your friends. It can become a coffee and paint night, or whatever beverage of choice. Purchase a decent size canvas from Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics, get some paint supplies and invite some friends over. You can paint whatever your heart desires, be it as simple or as complex as you’d like. It can be super serious or super silly as long as you’re having fun making it.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to DIY room decor. Whichever DIY project you end up recreating, it will help make your room feel like home. 

Cynthia Ntinunu can be reached at [email protected].

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