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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

ollege is a completely different experience from any other living situation.  You’ve got to share not just a living space, but one room!  So before you decorate for Halloween, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your roomie about your plans before you dig into the spooks and ghouls!  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll want to help, and you can create a fantastic Halloween scene!

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to bust out your creative juices.  We’ve got some great tips and tricks for Halloween decorations that are dorm-room sized just for your needs!  

A college student holds a cute and inexpensive painted pumpkin Halloween decoration in her outstretched hand
Use a sharpie to “carve” a mini pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern perfect for your dorm room!  

Decorate on a Budget

There are tons of cute Halloween decorations that you can DIY and save some money.  Most of them you’ve probably done in elementary school, but who cares?  A little nostalgia can make any Halloween decoration more fun!  

Got a box of tissues?  Go out and nab some lollipops on sale and either some string or rubber bands.  Now you can make-- and hang-- adorable lollipop ghosties!  For an extra-cool touch, you can stretch the string in different directions around and across you room and furniture to make a “spider’s web.”  Then attach the little lollipop ghosties to the strings!  

You can do something similar with clothespins-- or leftover lollipops-- and some black construction paper to make little bats.  Hang them up with the ghosties so they can keep each other company!  

Most dormitories won’t allow you to have real candles, and carving a pumpkin in a dorm room just isn’t very practical.  (Imagine the stink of the garbage if the pumpkin guts have to linger over the weekend-- gross!)  But that doesn’t mean you can’t have classic pumpkins for Halloween!

Just go mini!  They’re far less expensive, and absolutely adorable.  And you can decorate them with paint-- which the Art department might let you use-- or with the sharpies you brought with your school supplies!  Other really cool, cheap ideas?  Decorate your pumpkin with nail polish!  Drizzle it, streak it, paint it on in blocks!  

You can follow these directions on how to melt some crayons with a hairdryer and tacky glue to create a really cool pumpkin for Halloween.  And let’s face it-- a little glue and a lot of glitter can make anything more festive!  Just pick glitter in Halloween colors, and be prepared to find said glitter on EVERYTHING in your possession until Christmas.  (A small price to pay for cool pumpkins, we say!  But be a thoughtful person and check to see if your roomies are okay with it too.)  

You can also DIY some really cute lanterns without the need for candles.  You can use milk jugs or large water bottles for this-- just clean and dry them first.  Take a black sharpie, and decorate the jug with a Halloween design, like ghost eyes or a witchy silhouette.  Next, take a craft knife and cut a hold in the back of the jug that’s about the size of a bottle of nailpolish.  Take some strings of lights and shove them inside!  You can string a few of these lanterns together on the same strand of lights, so play around with how many lights you want inside your lanterns.  

For a slightly different take on the same idea, you can soak the labels off water or pop bottles and use a craft knife or scissors to cut the tops off.  Turn them upside-down and decorate them with sharpies or paper cut-outs in Halloween designs.  Then place them over an LED votive-- we like the ones with special wicks that sound like real flame.  Very soothing after a long day of classes and homework!  

A dorm room door decorated with inexpensive materials to look like a mummy for Halloween
Make your dorm room door stand out with some spook-tacular Halloween decorations!  Image courtesy of Pinterest.  

Door decorations  

Let’s not forget your door!  Your dorm room door is an easy place to decorate for any holiday.  For Halloween, we have some easy ideas to make your door spooktacular.  

Start with strings of battery-operated lights!  Many of them come with built-in timers, to help prevent them from overheating and causing a fire if you forget to turn them out.  They also come in classic white-- which are seasonless-- and lots of cute Halloween shapes, like ghosts and pumpkins.  You might need a few 3M Command hooks to keep them in place without damaging the paint!  

You can also make or buy Halloween signs.  Target, Michael’s, JoAnne Fabrics, Walmart and Party City all have great signs with puns and Halloween themes.  Go for the classics, such as “The Witch is In,” “It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus,” or something quirky!  Again, 3M Command hooks will really come in hand here!  You could also get creative with construction paper and the computer lab printer and make your own!  

If you have some string, staples and tape, you can make a giant spider’s web to fit over your door!  This may take a little mapping out ahead of time if you want a classic orb-web spider web, but let’s say your spider had just a little too much caffeine and had the jitters!  Use the stapler to make connections between the strings, and use tape or the 3M Command hooks to keep it in place.  And make sure you add a little-- or large-- plastic spider (or two or three) to complete the look!  

Halloween is a great time for classic movies, especially horror!  Turn your dorm room door into a Halloween Movie Poster Gallery.  You can buy the posters, of course-- but why not make them yourself with the computer lab printer?  You could make the whole thing interactive by leaving envelopes taped to your door for people to vote on the Best Halloween Movie of All Time.  Cap it off with a showing of the winning movie in your dorm room on Halloween night!  

We’d like to take a moment, though, to warn you against buying and mounting motion-activated hanging door decorations.  Your neighbors, roomies, and Resident Life workers will NOT appreciate the constant noises in the middle of the night or day.  You don’t know what kind of sleep or study schedule your dormitory pals keep, so please leave the noisy and motion-sensitive decorations at home or on the shelf at the store.  

Halloween decorations including a stone skull and a jar labeled bat wing potion
Little Halloween nick-nacks are perfectly sized for a dorm room, and add just the right finishing touch to your decorating!


If you’ve got a little extra cash to spend on Halloween decorations, why not invest in some that will last beyond college?  

Fun doormats are always cool!  Etsy, Michael’s and other stores have some cute options that  are durable enough to wipe your feet on and provide a safe place to put mucky shoes.  The dollar store has cheaper options, but they might not last as long.  Our favorites have cute sayings, just like the signs-- “What up, Witches?” and “Creep it Real” are favorites with us.  If you’re worried about it getting stolen, leave it inside your room by the door.  

Target and Walmart often offer seasonal burlap garlands, which you can drape over your headboard or hang on the wall.

And let’s face it-- ANYTHING related to the beloved Halloween movie classic Hocus Pocus wins!  There are some super-cute t-shirts out there with quotes from the movie, silhouettes of the Sanderson’s famous hair-do’s, even a take on the DNA test trend.  You can frame the shirt of your choice, or hang it on a hanger and complete the look with a fun witch hat.  Throw a few spiders onto the wall around it-- maybe add a few on strings dangling from the hanger-- and you’ve got a whole scene!  

Speaking of spiders, never underestimate the decorative power of faux spider webbing.  You know the stuff-- it comes in a bag and looks like fluff, but sticks to everything!  Add little plastic bugs and spiders for creep factor, and get creative with where you put it!    

A medium-to-large fancy Halloween wreath may be just what the witchdoctor ordered!  We love the look of a black feathered wreath-- so Edgar Allan Poe!  You can find skull wreaths, too, which add a cool touch.  You can also easily DIY a Halloween wreath from the craft store with a styrofoam circle, some Halloween ribbon and some straight pins.  Simply wrap the styrofoam completely in the ribbon-- make sure no foam is showing-- and secure the ribbon in place every few inches with a straight pin.  You can add extras by scoping out the faux flower section or glitter glue.  

By the way, don’t neglect your windows!  Many stores carry Halloween window clings.  Sometimes they come in little gels but they also come in a vinyl-like sheet.  The glow-in-the-dark ones are something really special though!  

Textiles are another fun way to decorate for Halloween, and in many ways it’s more grown-up, too.  Fabric pumpkins in various colors and sizes can be stacked on tables or used as throw pillows.  You can also find actual throw pillows in seasonal colors with Halloween themes.  Drugstores, dollar stores, and discount department stores like Walmart also usually sell Halloween fleece throw blankets, which are cute and practical in the cooler weather!  

Better yet, grab a few friends and make a run to the fabric store.  Buy some fleece in a seasonal or Halloween pattern and follow these instructions to make a blanket yourself with no sewing required!  Be sure to watch Halloween movies and stuff yourselves with candy and pizza while you do it!  

three young women wearing masks at a halloween masquerade pose together
Make your college Halloween memories extra-special with our decorating ideas!

No matter what your budget, you can decorate your dorm room for Halloween!  Keep it simple or make it an extravaganza, but be sure to let us know in the comments which decorating ideas worked out best for you!  

Happy Halloween!