Dorm Room Decor 101: Deck Out Your Desk

Abigail Sawyer | 16 Jul 2014 | DIY Projects

In college, a desk is so much more than a desk. It’s where you eat dinner, watch TV, put on your makeup and even where you fall asleep after studying into the wee hours of the night.

We’ve rounded up the best college school supplies and DIY ideas to decorate your dorm room desk.

Dorm desk ideas

Awesome Desks to Inspire You:

This desk via the glitter guide is enviable, but so easy to recreate! Just hang some inexpensive shelves (like these) on the wall, add colorful accessories, and tape up photos and prints with washi tape.

Small Study Space

Like many dorm rooms, this basement study space from Mom Spark is lacking natural light. But with lots of indirect lighting it still feels bright and airy. Grab a few lamps for your dorm and use them instead of the harsh florescent lighting.

Basement Study Space

Keep your memories close at hand! Jen of I Heart Organizing covered her desk with instagram prints and covered it with a piece of inexpensive plexiglass. This is a great way to camouflage a dorm-issue desk that’s seen better days.

Photo Desk

Dorm Room DIYs To Help You Study Better

This simple wall calendar is a super cheap dorm room decor project. Grab a poster frame and cover the cardboard insert with fabric. Use paint chips to create the calendar spaces. Re-attach the plastic top and frame sides, and you’ve got an instant dry-erase calendar!

See the full DIY at Maple and Magnolia

Paint chip calendar for the dorm room

You room may not come with a bookcase. Turn any surface into book storage with spray painted rock bookends.

See more at Refinery 29

Gold Rock Bookends

Make an instant pen holder with a mason jar and some sprinkles (and a touch of unexpected whimsy!). If you feel icky about leaving sugary things out in the open, use seed beads instead.

Via The Farm Chicks

Dorm decor ideas - sprinkles pencil holder

Desk Essentials

You’ve got to have a good lamp. When your roommate’s asleep and you still have to study, you’ll be happy to have this little guy.

Pop Desk Lamp via Urban Outfitters

urban outfitters pop lamp

Days of the week sticky notes will help you stay on top of due dates and plans with friends. Plus they look adorable sitting on your desktop!

Days of the Week Sticky Notes via Knock Knock Stuff

Days of the Week Post-Its

A cute trashcan by your desk will prevent gum wrappers and loose paper from piling up. Remember, your room is your prime hang-out spot so keep it presentable!

Driftwood Trashcan via Mod Cloth

trash can

Off to Class

Save yourself some headaches and keep everything you need for class at the ready on your desk. That way you can grab and go when you wake up 5 minutes before class.

Herschel’s bags and backpacks come in amazingly cute colors and patterns. They will fit everything you need to tote to class and look more grown up than plainer packs.

Settlement Backpack via Herschel

Herschel Settlement Backpack


A laptop sleeve will keep your computer safe when you tote it all round campus. And a cheeky message doesn’t hurt either.

Eat Cake for Breakfast Laptop Sleeve via Kate Spade

Kate Spade Laptop Sleeve

Taking notes is less of a chore when you’re using adorable notebooks.

The Art of Instruction Notebooks via Urban Outfitters


These vintage inspired pens will be your go-to when you’re scribbling away with a professor who talks too fast.

Delfonics Wood Ballpoint Pens via Walker Art

Delfonics Pen

The great thing about college? You bought the book, so you can write in it all you want! (But, if you’re renting, make sure this won’t void your return).

If you’re doing lots of underlining, ballpoint pens can skip and run out of ink, but felt tip will never let you down. Skinny Le Pens have an ultra fine tip that;s perfect for fitting notes in the margins.

Le Pen available on Amazon

Le Pen

Want More Dorm Decor Ideas?

How to Organize That Dorm Room

Get the Coziest Bed Ever

Dorm Decor 101: Make Your Front Door Fab

  • About Author

    Abigail Sawyer is the Manager of Social Media Marketing for She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and goldendoodle, Biscuit. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Follow her on twitter + instagram at @whatabigailsaw