Being festive in a dorm can be really challenging. Trying to follow the rules around the campus while also getting in the spirit of the holidays is stressful, as you never really know if you’re allowed to do something.
Whether that means you can’t pin anything on the walls, or have an open flame or wax melts, it can be frustrating to make your dorm room your own without breaking some rules. Thankfully, we’ve found some of the best dorm-friendly Halloween decorations that you can grab to enhance your space.
So, if you’re wanting to grab some great decor without worrying about a write up or a dreaded email or message, check out these amazing dorm-friendly Halloween decor.
13. Decorate Your Bed
The safest way to make your dorm a bit spookier is by changing up your bed around as well as any seating that you have. Instead of the plain bedspread, you can grab a decently priced bed sheet from Amazon.
From black and white sheets with adorable ghosts and skeletons, to a cuter, pink bed spread with all things Halloween, there are several options that won’t break the bank while also allowing your friends to stay festive. Priced at around $30-$40, this is the perfect solution if you need some cheering up this October.
12. Throw Pillows and Blankets
In addition to your bedspread, adding some throw pillows and blankets with your bed or sitting arrangement is just another way to make the room pop with spooky festivity. When your friends come in, they can enjoy the warmth and comfort of your decor.
From the classic throws with iconic decor from pumpkins to witches, for only $17.99, to the wonderful Hocus Pocus themed pillows for only $13.99, you can make the room match your aesthetic. And don’t forget your plaid Halloween fleece blanket for a great price on Amazon.
11. Door Decor
One of the best things that you can do while being in a dorm is decorating your door. Whether you’re residing alone or collaborating with your roommate, it’s one of the best ways to show your hall who you are and what you’re about.
Whether you prop it open to make friends or leave it closed for privacy, decorating your door is one of the best ways to make the room feel like yours. So why not decorate it for Halloween? With cheap signs on Amazon, to the stretchable spiderweb and spider combo, there is a lot that you can do.
Depending on your college rules, you could even put down a door mat that enhances your spooky theme. Having a cute sign like the one featured is also perfect for RA’s looking to let residents know that they’re open for a chat while still staying festive.
10. Spooky Tapestry
This is definitely one that you need to make sure doesn’t break any rules. While most colleges allow you to hang decor on walls, some has specific rules on how you hang.
Nails and pins usually aren’t allowed, but if you use tape, or even command strips, those are really easy tools to hand something up without too much worry of damage. Just make sure if you’re using tape that it doesn’t peel off any paint.
Some great examples are this tapestry for Halloween movie buffs featuring iconic characters like IT, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and more. Or if you want to stay on the theme of Hocus Pocus we have going on, check out this decently priced “I Smell Children” tapestry.
9. Fairy Lights
Fairy lights are one of the most popular decorations dorm rooms have to begin with. It provides a subtle glow to work in during the early mornings or late nights without having to deal with the headache-inducing florescent light that pretty much blinds you. But if you don’t have any, this is your sign to grab them.
Whether you want to just string them around the bottom of your bunk bed around your desk or hang them around the perimeter of your room entirely, they are the perfect feel-good decorations.
You can also snatch up some adorable Halloween related lights, one of the best dorm-friendly Halloween decor ideas. One example are these adorable pumpkins that can replace your fairy lights for the time being, giving off a beautiful glow to help you work, but making the dorm a bit more enjoyable.
8. Small Pumpkins to Paint
Of course it’s not really Halloween unless there are carved pumpkins, however, doing that in a dorm is just cruel and most likely not allowed. No only are some dorms extremely strict on the tools that you’re allowed to bring, like no knives whatsoever, even butter knives, the idea of scooping out the pumpkins insides while being in a small room is not pleasing.
And don’t even get me started on when the pumpkin starts getting old, the number of bugs it could bring in. Thankfully, there are other ways to have pumpkins around without creating a huge mess. Painting pumpkins, or just simply buying small pumpkins, is a great way to decorate.
7. Halloween Garland
Similar to fairy lights, garland is a great way to decorate if you’re having friends over and want to make the place feel more festive. Garland can be simply thrown above the door, or around your closet space, or above your living space. You can even hang it on the bottom of your bed if you have it lofted.
There is skull garland that are easy and simple, or maybe these plush pumpkin ones that are absolutely perfect to leave up all of fall. Surely, all of these choices will make the perfect addition to your dorm room.
A DIY project or easy purchase that makes a great addition to your decked-out door are some Halloween wreaths. Whether you’re interested in spooky ones like this skeleton head ring that will put the fear into visitors, or more fun and cutesier one like this witch one, there are some great options.
For a more natural choice, you can pick the one featured above that shows orange and black leaves that not only fits Halloween, but autumn in general, making it one of the best dorm-friendly Halloween decor ideas.
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5. Wall Decor
While tapestries are wall decor, this is entirely different. This is the perfect chance to pin up some paper or light up bats, which is a cheap and easy decor option.
Or maybe find some spooky portraits to hang up to give a frightening, almost uncomfortable feel to your dorm.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan and want to bring the great hall into your room, you can purchase the hanging electric candles for a great source of light, and a magical twist to the Halloween season.
4. Candy Bowls
One of the biggest reasons why kids love Halloween so much is the candy. While we might be a bit grown up for trick or treating, we’re not grown out of our love for candy. A great decor piece that also allows you to have access to sweets at any time is to have some candy bowls around.
This not only is a great addition to your room, but a great way to lure in some potential guests! It can be hard making friends, especially if you’re in a new area, but having some candy laying around might implore visitors.
3. Halloween Letter Boards
This could be yet another addition to your room decor, or something that you can prop on your desk or nightstand, but there are some adorable letter boards that you can have displayed. One example is this adorable coffin letter board with spooky emojis like spiders, ghosts, bats, and black cats.
It’s a great addition to your decorated room that can put your thoughts and feelings into art. It comes in black, orange, red and even purple if you want to find the perfect one to match your aesthetic. There are also plain letter boards if you’re interested in using it all year round.
2. Neon Lights for Windows
Potentially a more expensive option that you can opt for are neon lights. I don’t know about where you go, but at my college, painting and decorating the windows was one of the many fun activities that we did.
A lot of us even use sticky notes just to paint images or write. It’s a great way to show off dorm pride and keep everyone motivated throughout the year. And another great way to show off your amazing decor with windows is through these neon signs. You can grab a bat that flies, or maybe just a basic pumpkin. This is one of the best dorm-friendly Halloween decor you can pick from.
1. Figurines and Plushies
There’s something about tiny skeletons, or adorable plushy ghosts that send people into a craze. Myself included. You could grab a bunch of mini skeletons and not only decorate your dorm room, but even your whole floor if you wanted.
Placing them in precarious positions or in odd places would get the whole floor interacting, which is a great way to bring people together. And for plushies, while there are countless of squishmallows that you can grab, like this Skull Cow and Witchy Cat, but there are also some Halloween decorated gnomes in witches costumes or vampires.
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What Makes it Dorm-Friendly?
For college students, we know that there are some strict rules we need to abide by while residing in the dorms. And unfortunately, a lot of colleges have different expectations on those rules.
Some dorms allow wax melters to help provide a fresh smell to your residence, however, most don’t allow that. That can make decorating a bit of a pain.
But these examples above are some great ideas for those that want to decorate but don’t want to think about what might work or what might not. These are dorm-friendly because, for the majority of colleges, they’re allowed.
Common Dorm Rules to Know
Like mentioned, each dorm has their own preferences and rules, so be sure to check out the handbook before doing anything that might not be allowed.
Some common rules, however, that I am aware of that could affect your decoration situation include any decoration lights should not be attached to door frames, fire alarms, sprinklers, and they must have a limited number of bulbs.
If you’re wanting to do wall decor, then it can’t cover more than 20% of the wall.
Some dorms do not allow you to have live plants, only artificial.
Unfortunately, there are also some dorms that do not allow any decoration on your doors, so make sure you research before adding on anything on your dorm door.
And of course, some dorms do not allow window decor (however, somehow our dorms always go away with it, yet we do not condone breaking any rules of any kind at your college).
Where to Buy Dorm-Friendly Decor
If you’re wanting to look around at physical stores, try checking Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby and Michaels. They have an amazing decoration section full of artificial plants, throw pillows, blankets, office decor and supplies, pictures, and even themes decor for upcoming holidays.