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So you're all settled into your new college residence. If you're like most students, you will likely slap up a bunch of posters and that will be the end of your decorating attempts. Why not go that extra step and make where you live a true expression of your individuality? With these tips you can turn even the most mundane dorm room into an original and fun environment.
Lets start with painting. Chances are, you are surrounded by plain white walls. One easy way to lighten any room is to create a sky scene on the ceiling. All you need is some light blue and white paint, and an ordinary dish sponge. Paint a light coat of blue paint on the ceiling, wait for it to dry, then dip the sponge in the white paint and lightly dab some clouds on. Most dorms and landlords will let you paint whatever you want on the walls, as long as it can be covered up with one coat of paint.
We all know how cool black lights look in an ordinary room. With a few easy to get items you can make stunning black light displays in your room. Did you know that most ordinary laundry detergents glow in a black light? Just use a paintbrush to lightly apply the detergent to the desired surface. It will be invisible under ordinary light, but under a black light it will glow brightly. Be sure and test an inconspicuous corner of the room first to make sure it won't stain.
Another easy black light tip is to use different pieces of fluorescent poster board or construction paper. These both react well to the black light, and the designs you make are limited only to your creativity.
Ever break a mirror? Want to? If you're not a superstitious person you can create some original wall art with an ordinary mirror. Take old compact mirrors, hand mirrors, or even a full sized mirror and score the surface with a utility knife. Carefully break the piece away and apply some plain white glue to the sides (this will dull the sharp edges of the mirror piece). Next, using some double-sided tape, apply the pieces to the wall in any pattern you see fit. Broken dishes also work well to this end, and you can intermix the two to create a dazzling display.
Are your couches and chairs a little threadbare? The simple solution to this problem only requires a few yards of fabric and some safety pins. Just wrap the cushions like you would a gift, and secure a safety pin to the bottom. Likewise, for the arms and back just measure the length you need for each section and hold it in place with a couple of inconspicuously placed safety pins. That's all it takes for a ten-dollar reupholstery job.
A great place to look for furniture is the local thrift stores. Generally they will have chairs and sofas in good condition for a fraction of what you would pay new in even the cheapest furniture stores. Another place to look is the school newspaper classifieds at the end and right before the beginning of the school year. Many students that are graduating will be selling their furniture, for often for ridiculously low prices.
These were just a few tips to get you started on making a creative and enjoyable living space in college. Keep in mind that your own imagination is the limit, and, most of all, have fun!