Saving with 6abc: Dorm Decor on a Dime

(Saving with 6abc - Amy Buckman)

August 14, 2012 12:30:52 PM PDT
The decor is most dorm rooms is pretty sparse. But who wants to spend big bucks on decorating, when you've already shelled out lots of money for tuition? Turns out with some creativity, you can shop thrift stores and get a designer dorm look.

Beth Allen of DIY Hip Chicks spent just over $100 at Impact Thrift stores to transform a dorm room at Philadelphia University.

Allen explains her strategy. "We found this beautriful purple comforter. It was $25.99 at Impact and if you use the coupon that they have on the back of the receipt, you get 25% off. And we decided to go with a whole purple palace, Bohemian Rhapsody theme."

The pillows cost $3-$6 each. Frames and boxes for the desk just $.50 each and a little lamp was $4. Allen then put her creativity to work on some other accessories.

"You have to think outside the box. You have to look at it and thine, 'Can I put a coat of paint on it? Can I wrap it in fabric? Can I wrap it in paper? Can i give it some new life and save myself a fortune over Home Goods and Pottery Barn?' "

She gave a $2 coat rack new life with spray-paint and paper. A beat-up old desk organizer got the same treatment. And -- also using decoupage -- she turned an old plastic cafeteria tray into a multi-purpose laptop desk.

"They're plastic cafeteria trays, vinaage, way back from what we remember," she explains. "And I took one and found some interesting paper at Michael's, they were 6 for $1. I used three pieces of paper, I decoupaged it, ripped up, tore paper, decoupaged all over it and now it's a tray for a laptop, it's a tray to sit in your room and eat your snacks, you could put it on your bed as a decorative tray, you could hang it on the wall."

By putting light-colored fabric behind a $2 plexiglass poster frame, she created a wipe-off board. And she used Velcro tape to hang a $2 sheer curtain by the bed.

"We took a $2 unused sheer curtain from Impact, this was an Ikea sheer, and we literally just taped it to the wall, and the velcro is like $2 for a pack," Allen says. "So now it'll come down, it won't mar the paint and it just adds a pop of color behind the head."

Allen shares her decorating and do-it-yourself tips on her website and will be holding a decorating seminar in September. Click here for more information.

And to find an Impact Thrift store near you, click here.