Holiday decor doesn’t have to be costly

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

It is about that time of year again, when presents are wrapped, cookies are baked and family and friends gather to celebrate their favorite holidays.

Although the countdown to semester break is on, there is no reason not to usher in the coming season by turning a dorm room into a winter wonderland. To help welcome the festivities, here are some easy, inexpensive ways to bring holiday cheer to campus, as found on’s “101 Easy Decorating Ideas.”

Use wrapping paper for more than just gifts.

Wrapping paper seems to be like snow in Antarctica, never ending and no two rolls alike. With its array of designs, wrapping paper can bring a wide variety of colors and patterns into the dorm. Use it to wrap just about anything – the door, end tables, shelves, pots of plants, picture frames. Add a bow or ribbon for a finishing touch. To spread light on the season, wrap tissue paper around a lampshade. However, be sure not to get it too close to the bulb. Even wrap empty boxes and create a display in a corner.

Deck the halls with garland.

Whether it is bought or homemade, garland can create holiday spirit in any room. Similar to wrapping paper, garland comes in all shapes, colors and sizes. Create unique pieces of garland with items found in the dorm. String together things like popcorn, cranberries, cereal or beads on to yarn. Cut out shapes from construction paper and bind them together at several lengths for a different look. When cutting shapes out, use seasonal ones, such as snowmen or mittens, so they can hang up long after the holidays. Use the garland to outline the door, window and walls, or wrap it around poles and the legs of loft beds. Add sparkle to the garland by intertwining lights with it.

Be creative and use what is available.

Anything can turn into a holiday decoration with paper, glue, scissors and a little bit of an imagination. Instead of a tree, dress up a plant with homemade ornaments and lights. Create a collage with holiday cards or cutouts from a catalog. Make classic snowflakes by folding and cutting paper, and place them spontaneously throughout the room. Jazz up an empty jelly or peanut butter jar and use it as a candy dish. Hang lights, bows and ribbons throughout the space. The possibilities are endless. Just be creative.

When decorating in the dorms, remember to be safe and follow the general decorating rules found in the Residential Life Handbook. Do not use real trees or garland, and unplug any lights when not in the room. If there are any questions about a decoration, contact the resident assistant.

Although the dorm is not home, make the best of it by welcoming the season early with unique decorations. Remember, it is not money that is needed, just imagination.