The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Better homes and dorm rooms: DIY room decoration

3 min read
The first few weeks of school are arguably the most important in terms of dorm room decoration.


The first few weeks of school are arguably the most important in terms of dorm room decoration. How can you possibly be expected to focus on homework and raising your GPA if your study area is bland, dull and still has the stains from a former resident?

The further it gets into the semester, the less likely it is that you will have that impetus to decorate, and then your room quickly becomes a dark, tiny hole that you hate to spend time in.

The solution? Decorations.

But decorations are expensive, hard to find and are often generic.

The solution? Make your own! (This is clearly a better use of your time than studying).

Sophomore psychology major Andrea Stegman made all her own wall decorations for her apartment in Eagle Landing this year, and it could not be easier.

Here she shares her tips and tricks for making two different kinds of canvas decoration.

Canvas One:

Once you have all your materials, decide on the color scheme you are going for. Paint your canvas the base color, unless you are using a white background.

Once dry, apply painter’s tape in stripes and paint over with your second color. Voila! Instant stripes.

For a simple quote, you can freehand, or use a Sharpie and stencils if you do npt trust your artistic abilities. For a design or picture, like the Audrey Hepburn print pictured, things get a little tricky.

The first thing you need to do is choose your photo. Black and white will probably work the best, so make sure you have an outline or something that does not rely on a lot of detail.

Take a piece of tissue paper and staple it to plain white printer paper. To make it lie flat, consider ironing the tissue paper, but do so lightly. Load it into your printer and ta-da! You have your design.

Now take the tissue paper, detach it from the printer paper and lay it smoothly on your canvas. Trim around the design to get it as small as possible and then apply modge podge.

Note: modge podge is a glue-like substance that has astonishing sticking powers, and dries clear. You can get this at any craft store. Or make your own! There are dozens of recipes online.

After applying modge podge, let the canvas sit for a while. During this time, the tissue should have become transparent. Feel free to go over the edges with your original paint color, or fix a stray edge with sharpie.

Canvas Two:

If you thought canvas one was easy, canvas two is a walk in the park, and you can be flexible with your materials!

If you do not want to use a canvas, anything square or sturdy would work, such as a shoebox lid. You can use almost anything for your fabric. For example, Andrea used an extra pillow case, so it would match her bed spread.

Apply a layer of glue or modge podge to the top of your canvas (or lid) and lay the fabric down on top of it. Smooth it out to get rid of any wrinkles, and then pull the fabric around to the back. Feel free to glue or staple the edges as necessary to make them tight.

Next, take your letter (be it wooden, cardboard, etc.) and glue it to the fabric. It is very important that your fabric is attached tightly. Otherwise, the weight of the letter will make the fabric sag.

Check to make sure everything is nice and secure, and then you are done!

Soon you will be cranking these bad boys out like it is no one’s business and all your friends will be begging you to make some.

So congratulations! You are now armed with an easy way to decorate your dorm room and possibly make a few bucks off of your friends!