10 DIY Dorm Decor Ideas for Boys

Boy's Dorm Ideas


Starting college is a huge transition in and of itself, but add dorm living and even the most independent of young adults may have a challenging time adjusting. Most dormitories are stocked with the same clunky wooden furniture, cinder block walls, and well-worn grey carpet, so adding a few homey touches can make an otherwise nondescript space feel much more comfortable and personal. While there are infinite options to create a feminine dorm aesthetic, we’ve rounded up masculine-leaning ideas here for those inclined toward rugged, industrial minimalism. Make sure your student feels completely ready to live on their own by creating a few of these straightforward dorm room DIYs prior to arriving on campus.

  • 01 of 10

    Industrial Record Cabinet

    Industrial Record Cabinet

    A Beautiful Mess

    For the audiophile that can’t leave home without their record player and a few choice vinyls, construct a mobile wood and metal record cabinet. The handy maneuverable wheels make this piece adjustable to even the tightest of spaces—perfect for that pared-down dorm life.

    Industrial Record Cabinet from A Beautiful Mess

  • 02 of 10

    Washi Tape Gallery Wall

    Washi Tape Gallery Wall

    Mother Mag

    Washi tape is a godsend for those bunking down in dorms—it’s easy to use, inexpensive, and perfectly removable. Try building a gallery wall by attaching posters, photos, and inspirational messages with bits of neon tape for a rock ’n’ roll art installation that is a thousand times cooler than off-white cinder blocks.

    Washi Tape Gallery Wall from Mother Mag

  • 03 of 10

    Hanging Perpetual Calendar

    Hanging Perpetual Calendar

    Handmade Charlotte

    Tick off the days until spring break in style with a homemade perpetual calendar. This version uses colorful cardstock as the medium for each month, day, and date, but balsa wood or etched metal would make things even more ruggedly masculine.

    Hanging Perpetual Calendar from Handmade Charlotte

  • 04 of 10

    Pegboard Words

    Pegboard Letters

    Lovely Indeed

    Not only can you display a favorite catchphrase, song lyric, or personal motto with a set of oversized pegboard letters, but you can also use them for storing otherwise tricky odds and ends (think: ID lanyards, neckties, or keyrings). Add hooks, shelves, or wire containers to keep everything accessible and easily sorted.

    Pegboard Words from Lovely Indeed

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Hanging Shelves

    Hanging Shelves

    Why Don’t You Make Me?

    Storage space is essential when considering dorm living, so making good use of vertical space is key. Add a set of simple, modern hanging shelves to allow for easy display of photos, plants, or even books. Not allowed to nail into the dorm wall? Use hefty sticky-back plastic hooks to install temporary shelving with ease. 

    Hanging Shelves from Why Don’t You Make Me?

  • 06 of 10

    Plywood Hanging Organizer

    Plywood Organizer


    Go for clean minimalism (and stay organized at the same time) with a simple hanging academic command center. Corkboard, note pads, and shelves are all handy inclusions, but feel free to start with a blank piece of plywood and tailor it to your student’s actual needs (try a wall calendar, planner, or whiteboard, too). 

    Plywood Hanging Organizer from Burkatron

  • 07 of 10

    Scrap Wood Basketball Hoop

    Basketball Hoop

    My Sweet Savannah

    If your student craves an active, kinetic break from studying on occasion (or often), send them to school with a beautifully handmade basketball hoop. This piece, crafted from recycled palette wood, is heavier than other wall-hung items, so consider using lighter balsa or aluminum to make this DIY even more dorm-friendly. 

    Scrap Wood Basketball Hoop from My Sweet Savannah

  • 08 of 10

    Ping Pong Ball String Lights

    Ping Pong Lights

    Sarah and Nick

    The overhead fluorescent lighting typical in most dorm rooms is harsh and can strain the eyes, so make sure your teen has some alternative options. Instead of shelling out for expensive decorative string lights, upcycle old ping pong balls and a strand of holiday lights into a creative, unique lighting experience.

    Ping Pong Ball String Lights from Sarah and Nick

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Upcycled Crate Nightstand

    Crate Nightstand

    Pillar Box Blue

    One essential piece of furniture that doesn’t usually come standard with your dorm room: the nightstand. Craft a rustic, homemade, simple accent piece that your student can keep at their bedside to charge their phone and collect late-night reading materials. 

    Upcycled Crate Nightstand from Pillar Box Blue

  • 10 of 10

    Photo Wall Hanging

    Photo Display

    Homey Oh My

    Encourage your college kid to bring a bit of home to campus with them—even if it’s just a few special photos. Printing them in black and white and all the same size keeps things unified, tidy, and sleek, and adding a wooden dowel and a bit of black twine makes this project very budget-friendly (no photo frames needed).

    Photo Wall Hanging from Homey Oh My