5 Ways to Use Christmas Lights to Decorate Your Dorm Room


The challenge of dorm decorating is to turn a dark, cramped, institutional room into a fun, lively space that reflects your personality. Holiday lights let you decorate, personalize, and brighten up your dorm room all in one easy step. This is a perfect project to get started on the right foot with a new roommate. Show up with strings of lights and a few ideas, then see what the two of you can create together.

Spell It With Light


Choose a simple word that reflects your college experience, like “Study” or “Dream,” then spell it out with rope lights on your wall or ceiling. You and your roommate could each have your name in lights on your own side of the room to create a sense of separate space, or you could agree on a word that brings you together.

Some Enchanted Evening

Tiny white lights placed behind a sheer white curtain will make your corner, wall, or window look like a magical landscape. Make sure to choose cool LED lights so you’re not creating a fire hazard (you’ll find lots to choose from at online sellers like Christmas Lights Etc). This lights-behind-the-curtain trick works well as a window treatment, but you can also hang your lighted curtains from the ceiling at the four corners of your bed to create an enchanted canopy or on a wall to brighten up a dark corner of the room.

Create Ambience

You can use holiday lights as a replacement for your boring overhead fixture by stringing them all around the room, where the walls meet the ceiling. You can even plug the holiday lights into a dimmer switch so you can set a mood with them. Turn them on bright for homework, halfway down for watching movies, and dimmed to almost off for a soft nightlight glow.

Make Your Own Lamps

Any clear container can become a lamp if you stuff a string of holiday lights into it. Make firefly lanterns by stuffing glass jars with strings of white, yellow, or green lights. Pick up some carafes, vases, and glass pitchers at yard sales and make a nice arrangement, then stuff each one with a different color of light. You could also use goldfish bowls, bird cages, or lanterns meant for candles. The nicest thing about this idea is that it’s temporary; you can change it up whenever you feel creative.

Highlight Your Favorite Things

Use several strings of light to outline a shape on your wall — a large circle, a diamond, or a rectangle. Hold them in place with adhesive hooks. Fill the outline with an assortment of your favorite photos or a favorite poster, or put hooks on the wall inside the shape so that you can hang bracelets, scarves, and mementos.

Cool-burning LED lights can be used anywhere your dorm room needs a little extra brightness and personality. These are just ideas to spark your creativity. Coming up with your own ideas and then bringing them to life is half the fun of having your own space to decorate!

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