Teary-eyed parents, we’ve got good news: there’s one more thing you can help your college-aged kids with before they head off to the next chapter of their lives. W

With August upon us, students are preparing to leave for university (or have already left!). While moving away from home can be a challenging adventure, we can make that move easier by equipping them with organizational tools and dorm decor that make their home away from home feel a bit cozier...and studious!

Washi-Tape Lampshade

Listen: we already know that every student is going to have the same identical lamp from Target as everyone else on their floor. Why not elevate it with a custom design that speaks to your new college student? Using washi tape, you can create geometric patterns on lampshades (or even the lampstand itself) for a one-of-a-kind vibe. A washi tape lampshade is an easy way to turn a plain, eggshell-colored lampshade into an art piece that matches the color scheme of their dorm. You can wrap the washi tape onto the inside and use a dab of hot glue to hold it in place. By doing so, you may even be able to remove it and redecorate as their style evolves.

Magnetic Color Block Desk Accessories

Speaking to past college students, there is one common scenario they’ve all experienced: the frantic search for a paper clip, binder clip, or staple at the last minute as they rush to turn in some essay. Solve the problem entirely by making magnetic desktop holders. All you’ll need is some paper mache circular boxes, strong ceramic magnets, and paint of your choice. The tutorial by Earnest Home Co recommends metallic colors for a classy, upscale look, but whatever matches the dorm aesthetic is just as beautiful. Use painters tape to create contrasting paint colors. Once dry, use a glue gun to glue a super strong magnet to the bottom of the box (inside of it!). You may want to glue multiple for a better hold, but be sure to hold them securely in place until the glue fully dries — your magnets will want to stick together!

Clip-On DIY Desk Organizers

College dorms are expensive, which means many students opt for cheaper housing situations that come with — yep, you guessed it — WAY less space. In doing so, the search for space-efficient hacks is so necessary. One way to improve a dorm workspace is by using DIY clip-on desk organizers. They clip to the side of your desk and can hold any supplies imaginable, clearing up desktop space for spreading out all those textbooks. To make these, you’ll need spray paint, grip clips, a loaf pan, a coffee can, a soup can, a heavy duty felt blanket pad, and some washers, nuts, and bolts. Assembly will require a power drill and screwdriver. Line up the clips on the containers, mark drill holes, and drill. Spray paint the containers your desired coloron both the inside then the outside. You can also spray paint the clips to match! Attach clips to your new organizers. Then, measure and cut out felt pads to the tops of the clips to prevent table scratches. Fill with pencils, pens, rubberbands, calculators, and more!

Personalized Doormat

Moving into a new collegiate space means trying to define your new self and find like-minded people. What better way to break the ice than with a personalized doormat? This is an especially easy DIY that definitely makes a statement. Use tape to attach stencils to your doormat spelling out a trendy hello. Use a paintbrush to apply acrylic paint between the stencils. Allow to dry completely before removing the stencils. Then, fill in any missing punctuation or some fun decorative art with pops of color!

Magnetic Baking Sheet Boards

Another magnetic project? Absolutely! College is all about convenient organization, and magnets always seem to do the trick. Generally, most baking sheets are inherently magnetic, making them an awesome base for a hanging magnet project. To start, you’ll want to gather some (relatively inexpensive and lightweight) baking sheets and spray paint them. Any color works! Because they’re not the most porous material, two coats of paint and a good overnight dry time. You may want to create custom magnets by attaching magnet rounds to floral prints, acrylic pins, buttons, and other interesting art pieces. You can also decorate the baking sheet interior by gluing paper strips or photos! Lastly, add command strips for a hardware-free solution that won’t damage dorm walls. Voila! The perfect space-saving wall hanging for keeping important documents, a calendar, miscellaneous club or event flyers, and pictures of new friends.

Use Project Home DIY Projects Beyond Your Home

Whether you’re the parent of a student or a student yourself, Project Home DIY’s multitude of creative DIYs can spice up any space! When you subscribe to Project Home DIY, you receive one subscription box complete with all of the materials necessary to customize a new home decor piece each month. All new subscribers receive a complimentary starter tool kit alongside their first box, so you don’t need to worry about the basics either. You can visit our site to see past monthly boxes, or subscribe on behalf of yourself or your student. Kickstart your DIY journey and decorate a dorm like no other today!

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