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How to Decorate a Dorm Room with Recycled Materials

written by: CrystalGallagher•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 5/26/2010

Moving into your college dorm room is an exciting experience! It can also be an expensive one, if you don't own a lot of furniture and accessories. A great dorm room looks unique, feels comfortable, and doesn't cost too much. The solution is to decorate a dorm room with recycled materials!

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    Decorate Your Dorm Room On A Budget!

    You have just moved into your new college dorm room. You're feeling excited about your newfound independence and own space! Just imagine all the great times you're going to have here. There's only one problem: your room is completely bare, and you have no money to decorate it.

    Here's the answer: decorate a dorm room with recycled materials! Using recycled materials is not only a fantastic money saver; you are also going to feel great about helping to save the environment. Turning your empty dorm room into an awesome space on a tight budget is easy if you know a few tips.

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    The Benefits of Decorating with Recycled Materials

    There are many benefits to decorating your dorm room with recycled furniture and accessories. "Going green" not only saves you money, it also helps the environment. Here are the main advantages of decorating with pre-loved materials:

    • You will contribute to helping the planet: the fewer products you buy, the less waste you produce.
    • You will save money: buying fancy new furniture and accessories is really expensive, especially when you are a student and have to support yourself. Your money can be better spent on essentials, such as food, textbooks and bills
    • Your dorm will be one of a kind! By using recycled materials to decorate, you can guarantee that your dorm room will be like no one else’s.
    • You get to be creative: Decorating with recycled materials allows you to create your own individual work. You can make your dorm look any way you want - it’s totally up to you what you make.

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    What You Will Need:

    Your creativity really is the limit, as far as how to decorate your dorm room with recycled materials. However, here some great ideas to get you started:

    • Old photos/paper/cardboard: These items are all fantastic for creating your own individual posters and wall colleges. Use all different kinds of paper and cardboard and magazine photos - you will be able to customize your walls completely!
    • Old Materials: Materials are great, because they can be recycled in all sorts of different ways. Old curtains and bedspreads can be recycled as each other. Alternatively, they can be a throw, a rug, or a chair covering. If you spot any old material lying around, the possibilities for where you can re-use it are endless.
    • Your Parents: Yes, you may have said goodbye to them, but make sure you check with them before you move out if there is any old furniture, you can have. Make sure you have a thorough look through the basement and any spare rooms as well - stuff that may have been kept in storage because it was unfashionable may be cool again! You might be able to find your very own collection of "antique" furniture with which to decorate your dorm room.
    • The Streets: Don't be put off the idea of picking up items from the curb! In high population areas, especially where there are students and other temporary residents, you will be able to find amazing treasure on the side of the road. The phrase "one person's junk is another person's treasure" really is true. The curb can be the place to go for both useful household items and for cool individual decorations. The curbside really fantastic for anyone who wishing to decorate a dorm room with recycled materials.
    • Thrift Stores: They aren't entirely free, but for a very low price, you'll be able to find a bunch of pre-loved items. Thrift stores are a college student's paradise - funky old clothes items, chairs, books, shelves, and all sorts of other accessories. You may end up finding something you never even thought you wanted.

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    Biggest Tip:

    Keep everything! Especially keep hold of old items from home. Old items that you owned growing up can be turned into something new, or given a fresh spin and used as a decoration in your college dorm room. Think about everything you own - can you turn it into something new?