How to Decorate Your Dorm for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again! The holiday rush is upon us and, while I’m not one for decking out in red and green before Thanksgiving, I have been giving some thought as to how my roommate and I are going to decorate our little space. Here are some ideas that could help make your dorm feel more at home during the magical holiday season.

  1. Autumn and Halloween



    It’s getting chilly, the leaves are starting to change, and the IU campus will be in its aesthetic prime. Recreate the beauty outside by making paper leaves to display on your door. It’s easy: just look up “leaves” on Google Images, and either re-draw or trace the picture. Pick a variety of leaves and cut them out in the autumnal colors like yellow, orange, red, and brown. If you don’t have the supplies or aren’t too artistic, go outside and collect some fallen leaves. You could tape these to your door, but make sure they aren’t carrying any bugs. Another idea is to pick up a mini pumpkin at the grocery store. They are cheap and a great addition to your desk or window display.

    With Fall comes Halloween, the spooky holiday filled with fright and a load of sugar. Now is your chance to deck out your dorm with scary décor! Stretch out cotton balls or use string to make a spider web, put yellow caution tape on your door, or get those slime decals that stick to the window. You could even blast creepy organ music until your floor’s quiet hours commence (this is not recommended). If you aren’t too much of a fright fan, you could make cut-out jack-o-lanterns or little ghosts to add to your autumnal leaf display. If you want to be known as the generous person on your floor, you could leave out a cauldron of candy for your fellow floor mates.



    If you have any empty soup cans or jars lying around, use these to decorate as well! Make a design on a sheet of paper, like a ghost or jack-o-lantern, and then tape it to the can. Then, use a screwdriver to punch holes into the can, following your design. Take off the sheet of paper and add a fake candle (real ones aren’t allowed in residence halls!) on the inside so it glows through your design. If you have a glass jar, take a sheet of paper, cut out your design, and use the now blank space of the paper to tape to the jar. Add the fake candle and you’re done!

     
  2. Thanksgiving



    This is arguably one of the best holidays because it gives Americans a good excuse to stuff their faces with delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. You may not be able to celebrate in your dorm with a home cooked meal, but don’t let that stop you from decorating. Take a tip from your elementary school art teacher and make hand turkeys! This project is one of the simplest to do; just trace your hand on a brown sheet of construction paper, and then cut it out. Make the face of the turkey on the thumb, add a red wattle and perhaps some yellow webbed feet, and boom: hand turkey. If you wanted to get fancy, you could even make your turkey a pilgrim hat.



    What is Thanksgiving without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Re-create this wonderful event on your door by printing out some of your favorite floats, like Snoopy, Spiderman, Pikachu, or Mickey Mouse. Cut the images out, make some stick-figure people, and connect string from the float to your stick-figures. If you’re watching football on Thanksgiving instead of the parade, print out a photo of a football field, cut out a football, and pretend your hand turkeys are passing the ball on the field.

     
  3. Winter Holidays

    The holiday season all leads up to this. Whether you’re celebrating the birth of Jesus, lighting candles on the menorah, reflecting on the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or just spending time with family, it is easy to feel the holiday spirit during this time. Deck out your dorm, not with holly, but with a load of Christmas lights. 



    String them around the walls, across the ceiling, and down your bed posts. You can even hang some ornaments from the wires of the lights. Bring in a mini tree, which can be found at any craft store, and decorate it with your roommate. Create a wreath from construction paper or purchase one and hang it outside your door. Make your room a winter wonderland by cutting out some paper snowflakes and hanging them from the ceiling. You could even get your whole floor involved in decorating; have everyone hang a stocking outside their door, and then fill them with small gifts like candy or cards. The possibilities are endless!
     

I hope this post gave you some creative ideas for dorm decorating, or at least got you excited for the holiday season. Even if you aren’t very artistic, I encourage you to make some of these decorations; you may surprise yourself! These crafts are a great way to ring in the season and relieve stress from schoolwork. Happy Holidays!

If you do attempt any of these ideas, tweet us a picture of the final product @We_Are_IU !

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About The Author
Christina MercedesMedia major, class of 2020

Hi! My name is Christina, and I'm a junior at IU. I am majoring in Media with a concentration in Film Production and a minor in Spanish. My goal is to create engaging content by sharing my knowledge and parts of my college experience here on We Are IU. Whether you are reading a post about applying for scholarships, or just looking for ideas on how to decorate your dorm, I hope you find my work and the blogs of other writers very helpful in your search!