3 ways TikTok #DormDecor will redesign your space on a budget

Extreme makeovers for your dorm room? TikTok says so — and here's how.

TikTok shop the look
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Raise your hand if TikTok is making you embarrassed over how underwhelming your dorm room was creative-wise? A majority of you? Good to know, I'm not alone.

After one-too-many deep dives into TikTok's #DormDecor, I'm in awe over how easy it is to upgrade the best mattress with a few pieces from the Dollar Tree or how simple it is to catch some peace and quiet (and privacy). And, fortunately, if you're wondering how easy it can be: we're here to help. 

We've compiled not only a list of our favorite TikTok #DormDecor videos but how you too can shop their look, too below. 

Shop our favorite TikTok #DormDecor makeovers

1. This updated headboard

Dorm room beds don't have to be unattractive — or at least, TikTok user @EmilyRayna doesn't believe they have to be. With the help of some Dollar Frame picture frames and chalky spray paint, you'll have a brand-new bed without breaking the bank. 

@emilyrayna (opens in new tab)

Another dorm DIY! #dormroom #dormessentials #dormdecor #diydorm

♬ Opportunity - Quvenzhané Wallis (opens in new tab)

Shop this Tiktok #Dormdecor look

Special Moments Narrow-Edge Black Picture Frames, 11x14 (opens in new tab) in for $18/case, at Dollar Tree

You're going to want to start by investing in picture frames from Dollar Tree. This pack of 18 is 11x18' frames (opens in new tab)is ideal for any first-time DIY, as there are a few extra in the event you mess up and can cater to larger-sized beds, too. 


E6000 5510310 Craft Adhesive Mini (4 Pack) (opens in new tab) l Was $4.89, Now $3.27, at Amazon

Formula to meet high-performance projects, this glue (opens in new tab) offers a window of five minutes to make any minor adjustments before it sets to your designated area and offers longevity when placing picture frames on the below-mentioned foam board. 


School Smart Railroad Boards, 22 x 28 Inches, 6-Ply (opens in new tab) for $25.47, at Amazon

Once you've disassembled any unwanted parts from the picture frames, go ahead and use the E6000 (glue) and attach the picture frames directly to the foam board. (opens in new tab)A larger-sized version like this is best, but that's not to say you can't take two smaller choices and glue those together; both ways work and are solely there to act as a base. 


Rust-Oleum 277239 Stops Rust Spray (opens in new tab) for $14.28, at Amazon

After deciding on what color spray paint (opens in new tab) you're looking for, go ahead and spray the picture frames until well coated.

Command Hanging Strips (opens in new tab) l Was $11.99, Now $9.06, at Amazon

Lastly, hang the foam board using these command strips (opens in new tab) and ta-da! A brand-new bed without breaking the bank. 


2. A room divider that provides space and doubles as a canopy

Ever need some space? TikTok user @akiraraee (opens in new tab) provides the best solution for anyone who wants some "alone time," which also doubles as the chicest canopy bed we've seen in a while. 

@akiraraee (opens in new tab)

I think it’s kinda cute 🥰 hby? #greenscreen #ColorCustomizer #roomdecor #canopybed #canopy #dormdecor #TodayILearned #fyp

♬ original sound - Makayla (opens in new tab)

Shop this Tiktok #Dormdecor look

Kenney Davenport 1/2" Petite Café Decorative Window Curtain Rod (opens in new tab) for $12.95, at Amazon

Start by assembling a curtain rod (opens in new tab) to the top of your wall or anywhere else that there is room to screw this no-tool curtain rod. For a sliding design, we recommend opting for two of these. 

Mainstays Sliding Darkening Grommet Curtain Panel (opens in new tab) for $19.97, at Walmart

After the curtain rod is up-and-running, reach for a pair of darkening blackout curtains (opens in new tab) like these. Available in a slew of shades, you can pick whatever shade best matches your aesthetic, and depending on the size, go for one or two. Either way, the sliding feature provides enough privacy, and when tied back with bows, creates a chic canopy too.

3. Upgrade your boring wooden desk

Sure, sure, we've all heard "to work with what we have," and TikTok user @DormDecor (opens in new tab) did just that. Taking the provided wooden desk, this DIY'er added a desk cubby in contrasting wood before adding in a statement rug, accessories, and of course: the best armchair. 

@dorm_decor (opens in new tab)

How to transform a boring dorm desk with our Desk Cubby!##furnitureflip ##dorm ##dormdecor ##howto ##college ##freshman

♬ Like That (feat. Gucci Mane) - Doja Cat (opens in new tab)

Shop this Tiktok #Dormdecor look

Bush Furniture Universal 2 Shelf Bookcase (opens in new tab) starting at $104.34, at Amazon

In truth, I wasn't a big fan of the TikToker's recommendation for an extra-large desk chubby/bookshelf, as I worry about it falling over in the middle of the night or simply being far too large for a dorm room. So, instead, I'd swap out their selection and reach for this more practical piece (opens in new tab). With two shelves, it provides ample storage and also comes available in a slew of color choices. 


Antique Brass Retro Table Light by Drew Barrymore Flower Home (opens in new tab)l Was $99, Now $79.67, at Walmart

Flowers and plants are great, but when it comes to late-night study sessions, you're going to want a lamp (opens in new tab) like this brightening up your room and mood. 


Ofelia Dusty Pink Velvet Swivel Dining Chair (opens in new tab) l Was $399, Now $299, at Crate & Barrel

Pretty and polished, this choice (opens in new tab) is one of the best armchairs (opens in new tab) to select for any college-bound student. 


Brittany Romano is a Shopping Editor, based in New York City. From her start as a fashion market assistant at Marie Claire to building a highly profitable commerce vertical at Us Weekly and AMI brands, Brittany has produced award-winning content covering everything from celebrity beauty hacks to must-have items from online sales. She is a graduate of New England College. When she isn’t writing, you can find Brittany indulging in yet another DIY project or cheering on her beloved Boston Bruins. 

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