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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
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Deck the (res) halls: inexpensive holiday decorations guide

Second-year students Leo Peace and Pooja Vikraman decorate for the holiday season.
Second-year students Leo Peace and Pooja Vikraman decorate for the holiday season.

We know how stressful the holiday seasons can be between buying gifts, cooking an abundance of meals and studying for finals. That’s why we’re sharing with you 12 ways to decorate your dorm festively without breaking the budget — or Res Life’s rules!


Christmas Tree

Although a true evergreen may not fit under the ceilings of Shorter or Roberts, Walmart and Michaels do sell 2-foot Christmas trees for under $20. While you’re there, you could purchase fir-scented air fresheners. You can also find desktop trees for less than $5 at these locations to spruce up your study space.

String Lights

Traditionally white or gold, around the holiday season you can find these little lights in green and red for $5-$10 at Walmart or Ross. Hang them in front of your window, around your door or throw them on tabletops for a cozy effect.

Bulk Baubles

Ornaments, bows, bells, oh my! Bulk bundles of these festive trinkets can be found at Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Ross for less than $10. Hang them on your mini tree, from the ceiling or in front of your window!

Festive Blankets and Pillows

Walmart, Ross, Marshalls, Bed Bath and Beyond and Macy’s all sell throw blankets and pillows decorated with holiday designs for $15 or less. Fling them onto your bed or desk chair for good cheer.


Felt stockings are only $1 each at Party City, or $5 if you want one with a festive design! Stock up with stockings for each of your roommates and fill each other’s with sweet treats as you count down the days until Christmas.

Mini Wreath

Hang one up on the outside of your dorm’s door for a cheery welcome. What else is cheery? The fact that these are less than $10 at Walmart and Hobby Lobby!


Paper Snowflakes

Whether you choose to make them white like snow or multicolored and creative, paper snowflakes are a blast to make! Hang them around your room and gaze in awe at your artistic abilities.

Paper or Photo Christmas Tree

Recycle old papers that you don’t need anymore into little evergreen trees to disperse around your dorm! You can also print and tape photos of you and your roommates into a Christmas tree shape on the wall if you don’t have floor space for a standing tree.

Pinecone Garland

Put all those pinecones fallen off the campus trees to good use! Collect and string them onto yarn to drape on tabletops or over doorframes. You can even dip the edges in white paint to give them a snowy effect.

Gingerbread House

Although you may have to buy a gingerbread house set from Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond for about $10, putting it together with your roommates and friends is a fun, classic holiday tradition! Display it on a central tabletop to wow guests and to nibble on as the days get chillier.  

Personalized Mugs

You and your friends can sip hot chocolate out of your own unique holiday-themed mugs! Using paint pens, cotton balls and rubbing alcohol, you can decorate a mug that is permanent and dishwasher safe! Find out how at the link provided.

Christmas Banner

Welcome in the holiday season with a banner cut into reindeer, made out of ribbons, spelling the jingle of your favorite festive tune — you name it!

 If you decide to decorate your dorm with any of these festive ideas, tag us on Instagram! We’d love to feature you on our social media.

Happy holidays!

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