Dollar Store Style

Free Decorating Ideas and Tips by Marlene Alexander

Kitchen and Bath




Odds and Ends

Dorm Room Re-Do

Moving away from home for the first time is both exciting and a little scary. If you’re heading off to college or university this fall, decorating your first home-away-from-home can be part of the fun. Dollar stores offer plenty of inspiration that will leave most of your school money free for all of those expensive textbooks! Here are just a couple of ideas to help make a utilitarian space a little more personal.

Three dollars is all it takes to dress up your sleeping area. These 16” zippered animal cushion covers come in a variety of animal designs. Ask mom if she has any cushions stored away and give them new life as dorm room accent cushions. 

Also, you can easily turn an ordinary sleeping pillow into a lounge pillow by making an open-ended pillowcase out of a 40 x 30” micro-fiber blanket. Simply sew three sides together and turn right side out. It’s as easy as that and you have a lot of different patterns to choose from.


We fashioned this swag curtain from two lacy shawl scarves and hung it on a dollar store clothesline using the colorful plastic clothespins that came with it. Dorms and apartments have different rules about what you can do to the walls, so make sure you check before you put hooks or nails in the walls. Even chipping the paint with stick-on hooks, can result in an extra expense to you when it comes time to vacate.

Each of these scarves was a dollar. The clothesline and clothespins are a dollar per set. FYI: If you wanted to do something like this in your bedroom at home, these clothespins will clip onto a small café rod just as easily.


Here’s an idea for displaying favorite photos and mementos from home using the same dollar store clothesline and some decorative clips that come in a package of six for $1. You could use the colored clothespins here, as well.

Simply secure the line from a shelf or directly onto the wall with strong tape and let hang down. You don’t need to cut it unless you prefer to, just hang it in loops. The hook on the wall behind is the type that pulls off cleanly, at least it always has, in our experience, and we would recommend these for tying the clothesline curtain rod to. Just make sure that the surface you’re sticking them to is clean and remember that they have a weight limit. Unfortunately, the dollar store doesn’t carry anything like these hooks, but they are a relatively inexpensive purchase available in most department and hardware stores.

The clips we used for the memory lines also make an attractive alternative for hanging your curtains. Choose a color and design that appeals from the choices available in your local dollar store’s craft aisle.



                                                      See also: Storage for Students

                                                                       Dishin' on Dishes

                                                                      Storage Times Three









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