Personalize your space with simplistic décor

Simply attach bookends to your wall to create a bookshelf that appears to be floating. (credit: Courtesy of P5ycho P3nguin via Flickr) Simply attach bookends to your wall to create a bookshelf that appears to be floating. (credit: Courtesy of P5ycho P3nguin via Flickr) Personalizing your space can be as simple as adding a distinctive touch to your mug using a Sharpie. (credit: Courtesy of Emily Katharine May via Flickr) Personalizing your space can be as simple as adding a distinctive touch to your mug using a Sharpie. (credit: Courtesy of Emily Katharine May via Flickr)

Have you ever seen artsy dorm room decorations on Pinterest or Tumblr but been discouraged by their long and complicated instructions? Do-it-yourself (DIY) décor can definitely make a room look unique and personalized, but it can seem like a hassle as well. There are, nonetheless, some crafts that do not require much effort or time. Now you can make your dorm room or apartment look like lifestyle store Anthropologie!

Mason Jars

The mason jar is currently at the center of most DIY crafts and embraced by hipsters, for good reason. Like most jars, it is versatile and can be used for storage. However, mason jars can also be decorated and used to personalize a room. To spice up a room with a mason jar, use it as a candle holder by placing a candle inside, and then filling the jar with sand to hold the candle in place.

An alternative is to make the candle itself inside of the jar. This project requires more time, but simply involves placing a wick inside the jar, making the wax, pouring the wax into the jar, and letting it stand. To add a personal touch, place glitter on the outside.

Another glitter design is what deal-finding website sweetnsourdeals.com calls the “Fireflies in a Jar” night lantern. To create this design, cut open a glow stick, empty it into a jar, add glitter, and seal the top of the jar before shaking it for a glittery glow-in-the-dark lantern.


Mugs are another small item that you can personalize to make your living area feel more like home. While you could buy a collection of fancy mugs, they are expensive. For a cheaper solution, buy a white-colored mug and use a Sharpie to draw or write whatever you want on it. While black Sharpies can make the mug look serious and artsy, using colorful Sharpies can make your mug look more playful. Some stores sell silk screens with girly floral or butterfly designs that function as a stencil for things that aren’t flat, like mugs. Use these to add fancy designs or letters to your mug.


Lights are another cool option that you can make or decorate on your own to add a unique touch to your living space. The easiest option is to buy a string of lights and put them around your bed or living room (or both, if you’re obsessed). You could also string the lights around a hula hoop spray painted black and duct tape the lights to the hula hoop for a decorative piece that’ll look like it required more time and effort than it actually necessitated.

Another alternative to stringing lights around your room is to twist the lights into a shape, like a heart, or to spell out a word when putting them up on your wall.


Another crafty idea, which may not be suited to everyone’s taste, involves wrapping ribbons of different colors and patterns around an empty lampshade. Not only will this touch make a personalized lamp that no one else will have, but the light coming through the ribbon will also make a cool pattern on your walls. You could copy the wire light fixtures sold at Anthropologie by cutting the handles off a wire basket and then cutting open a section for the outlet cover.


Wall decorations are a major part of making your living space more homey. Decorations can range from posters and bookshelves to something fancy like a tapestry. To create a bookshelf that appears to be floating, attach bookends to your wall and stack your books on top of them. Alternatively, recreate the uneven bookshelf sold at Anthropologie. You could spend the $1,400 for the store-bought version, or glue together small planks of wood in differing sizes and spray paint them so they look classy.

Letters and Photos

To add even more flare to a room, spell out your name or a certain word or phrase using large letters. Generic letters can be found at stores like Michael’s Arts and Crafts or Hobby Lobby, but you can personalize them with your own design. Paint them, add glitter, or even cover them with scrapbook paper or fabric for something more individualized.

Photos are something you can’t really personalize, but you certainly can be creative with the way that you put them up. Looking at photos of your favorite memories may also cheer you up when you’re unhappy. Collages are the most commonly used photo arrangement. Simply arrange the photos in a pleasing pattern in a certain area of the room.

You can also string photos across a wall. Using string that is somewhat transparent, randomly place regular clothespins on the string. Use the clothespins to hold the photos in place. This arrangement will bring more of a vintage vibe to your living space.


Jewelry holders are a final way to personalize your room. These are great because they also showcase your pieces of jewelry, allowing them to add to the décor. You can screw tiny hooks into a wooden hanger, and then hang your long necklaces on the hooks. You could also place fancy nails into a plank of wood — possibly spray painted a cool color — and then hang rings, bracelets, and necklaces on the nails.

There really are countless crafty opportunities for you to personalize your living space, regardless of cost or expertise. Some of them might be time consuming, but making these crafts can be fun or relaxing as well. Make them in your free time or when taking a break from homework. You could even use one of these ideas as a bonding activity for your club or organization.