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Dorm Room Design Tip: Use Scrapbook Paper to Decorate Your Walls

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Scrapbook paper is a cheap, versatile tool for beautifying your dorm.

Scrapbook paper is a cheap, versatile tool for beautifying your dorm.

One of the main difficulties of dorm decorating is the blankness of the walls. At my college, we're not allowed to paint them or cover them with wall paper, and there are often strict guidelines about what we can attach to the walls.

Luckily, I've found that scrapbook paper can make a room a lot more cozy and interesting. You can buy scrapbook paper cheaply at craft stores, or in the craft section of department stores. Here are a few creative ways to use scrapbook paper for dorm room design.

Piece together a wall quilt
This is one of my favorite ideas and a great way to cover a lot of white wall space. Buy a book of scrapbook paper, which often costs around $13 and comes in a variety of color schemes. I think the large, square size works best.

On a blank wall in your dorm room, adhere the squares to the wall, lining them up next to each other like a quilt. (Make sure you use whatever wall adhesive your school recommends.) You can create a pattern of repeated squares or mix it up completely. When you're done, you will be left with a gorgeous wallpaper quilt.

1. Easy wall decals
Wall decals are all the rage these days, but they can be pretty expensive. Luckily, they're very easy to create out of scrapbook paper. Choose whatever outline you want for your decal, although simple silhouettes are easiest. Popular decals include birds, words, and flowers.

Sketch the design you want onto the back of the scrapbook paper. If you're less confident in your artistic abilities, print out an image and use it as a stencil. Cut out the shape and affix it to the wall. Don't be afraid to get creative. One of the best DIY decals I've seen is a real branch attached to a wall with a bird cut from floral scrapbook paper perched on it.

2. A faux headboard
If your dorm bed doesn't have a headboard, you can create one out of paper. This is very similar to the wall quilt idea — just cover the area behind the head of your bed where a headboard would be. If you want to make it look extra realistic, use foam tape to give it a 3D effect.

3. A bulletin board
Bulletin boards are both useful and decorative. You can make one from cardboard, just make sure it's thick enough that push pins won't come out the back. Use the classic rectangle, or cut the cardboard into shapes like triangles or hearts. If it's not thick enough, glue multiple layers of cardboard together. Cut some nice scrapbook paper into the same shape and glue it to the cardboard. Attach it securely to the wall, and you've got yourself a bulletin board.

4. Wall of words
Cut out letters spelling out your initials, your name, or a favorite word from thick foam or cardboard. Use the letters as stencils to cut out the same shapes in the scrapbook paper, and glue them together. You can attach these 3D letters to your wall, or you can prop them up on your windowsill or bookshelf.

These are just a few of the many uses for scrapbook paper in dorm room design. There are many more on craft sites and Pinterest. I'm excited to use the quilt idea to cover my walls next year. Hopefully, with very little money and effort, you, too, can transform your walls from blank canvases to works of art.

Photo credit: Flickr