So you’ve got your hall/residential college allocation for the first time. Or the second, or third, if you’re no longer a freshie. The room that will be your home for the next few months.
You want to spruce it up to make it feel homier, but there’s all the rules you need to abide by that hold you back: no open flames. No nails. No adhesive tape or anything that would destroy the walls and leave marks (this includes Blu-Tack, by the way). Basically, do nothing that would cause the room to be altered permanently.
What’s a student to do? (Other than do it, but not get caught)
Being university students once, we understand how important a room is to one’s overall mental state and productivity. So we’ve scoured the net to find you 8 inexpensive ways to decorate your room, which can be done by both guys and girls! Do note that many are simple D.I.Y projects!
1. Washi tape everything
If you don’t know about washi tape, I’m about to let you in on this wondrous gem. Available in a huge array of plain colours and patterns, washi tape is low adhesive tape made with rice paper that is low tack adhesive.
This means that it’s removable and reusable, and won’t damage your walls! People have used washi tape from everything like creating removable wall art, to upcycling old phone cases.
If you have photos that you would like to stick to your hall room’s walls, we suggest using washi tape. The coloured borders will also add a gentle pop of colour to your room!
You can also use tape to spice up cheap alphabet wooden letters (tip: Stalk Typo’s site for their occasional sales!) and display them on your desk or shelf.
A basic roll of good quality washi tape (or two) shouldn’t set you back by more than SGD10 and will last you a long time. You can then use it for your notes or journals afterward.
2. Fairy Lights
Basic? Maybe, but there’s nothing better than switching off the room lights and winding down to a soft gentle glow. Also, it creates an awesome atmosphere to watch your favourite movie in. Stalk Typo (both online and physical stores), as they run sales on fairy light strands once every so often.
Clip photos of your loved ones on the strands, or put them in mason jars on your desk!
Another option is to buy electric tealight candles (you can find these in daiso, too) and set them in tiny jars (which you can decorate with washi tape). No risk of burning the room down, here.
Relatively inexpensive: all you’ll really need is some twine, material of your choice (cardstock/construction paper/fabric) and some hot glue. Or just poke holes on either side of the material, thread your twine, and you’re good to go.
We imagine that you can have tons of fun with these….Game of Thrones themed bunting, maybe?
4. Upcycle prints…
Not much explanation needed here: recycle prints that you like from a past year’s wall calendar, or your favourite magazines. Arrange them in a grid for a photo wall effect.
5. Or make your “own”
Alternatively, if you’re a fairly crafty person and your accommodation has a soft board/notice board you can pin things on, you can try doing string art! Just print a simple pattern you like on paper, and pin plain push pins according to the outline. Then remove the paper and start twining your string!
6. Make your room the centre of the universe
With the help of online shopping and sites such as Taobao/Alixpress, Carousell, or Qoo10, stuff is now way cheaper than before. This means that it’s perfectly within your means to buy a galaxy projector lamp and transform your room at night.
Be surrounded by stars without needing to leave your house (the light pollution makes it a little hard to spot stars usually, anyway)! The only downside is the strength of the projector and finding a trustworthy vendor.
Or you can make a simple one with inexpensive materials, if you’re hesitant to spend!
Just make sure that your roomie is okay with a ceiling full of stars – but who wouldn’t be?
7. It’s a rug life
At the end of a tiring school day, melting into your chair and having a soft rug under your feet can be chicken soup for your soul. Rugs add colour to your room and break the monotony of the floor.
It’s also nice to rest your feet on if you have the air conditioning on.
Buying expensive rugs might be a little out of budget, so we’ve found an eco-friendly option for you: making one out of your old shirts. All you’ll need is rug mesh/a non-slip mattress, which should easily be found in Daiso. Customise your rug with the colours that you like!
Or make a pom-pom rug with yarn!
Making your rug will take a bit of time and patience, but your happy feet will thank you.
8. Bonus: D.I.Y Phone projector
Okay, this isn’t really a décor hack, but we think it’s pretty darn cool. With the help of a shoebox and a magnifying glass, you can make a no-frills projector that you can use to watch movies with! This takes socialising in hall (or just chilling) to a whole new level, for sure.
As you will be handling sharp tools (exacto knives, etc.), do exercise caution.
Find the tutorial here.
If you’re too lazy, you can find ready-made, reasonable costing ones on sites such as Lazada.
We hope these ideas will help you create a home away from home. Just try not to get too relaxed and forget to revise!
Inspired to get down to work on any of these projects? Do share your end products with us! If you’re an NTU student looking to select your hall, check out our NTU Hall guide.