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By Simon Thompson
 
     

If you’ve just started your second year at university, then you’re probably all moved into your new student house by now.

As opposed to student halls, this time you’ve got yourself a brand new bedroom which will probably be much larger and much more accommodating.

If you would love to decorate but you’re super strapped for cash on a student budget, then check out these top tips on how to customize your abode on a shoe string allowance this academic year!

#1 Budget lights

Are you permanently scared of switching on the lights due to your newly settled electric bill?

Never fear, you can easily make lights at home for pennies.

Take large old jars, the best ones are big, flat bottomed pickle ones, and wash them with hot water and soap, before scouring off the label. When they are suitably polished and clean, pack in LED battery fairy lights, they cost a max of £2.50, you can usually find them in Primark or online. Batteries can be found at places like pound stretcher, Pound land or Home Bargains. Then switch on and enjoy the glow! You can also paint the jars to add more colour or wrap them in ribbon for a decorative effect.

More info

#2 Photo washing line

If you are looking for a cheap, easy way to display your photos that also doesn’t risk the chance of blue tac staining the walls- then this a great idea. Take some twine, you can usually find it on eBay for a couple of pounds, and some small craft wooden pegs, once again these can be found online at a discount price. By hanging up the twine you can attach your photos using the pegs, to add more glitz you could wrap some fairy lights around the twine as well! To avoid blue tac marks, try tying the twine around your wardrobe and from your window frame.

Photo source.

More info

#3 Blankets and throws

A great way to do up your living room and to take away the often-shabby look of student house sofas is to use blankets and pillows to basically cover everything up! It’s always a great idea to head to IKEA if you’re on the lookout for discount blankets, a much cheaper alternative for throws is always Primark where you can grab them for as little as six pounds!

Look after your blankets and throws by washing them regularly and you’re house will be smelling sweet and looking extra comfy.

#4 DIY photo frames

You can often buy packs of cheap photo frames from pound shops or places like home bargains and pound stretcher. These are great to liven up with paint, you can colour theme them to the bedroom or the living room, you can even stick them all together to make a large photo frame collage!

#5 DIY candles

This one completely depends on how much yoghurt you eat, but if you do manage to get hold of the ones that come in small glass pots, remember to keep them. After you have washed them out, you can place small tea lights in them to make rather pretty lights to scatter around the house, always remember to blow them out of course!

#6 DIY flower pots, make up brushes pots, pen pots

As a student, you will probably be having quite a lot of pasta, this idea is a great way to give all those tomato cans a second life! First, give the cans a good wash in soap and hot water, before scouring off the label and leaving them to dry. When they are completely dry, get decorating. You can get metallic spray paint off eBay for a cheap price, you can also wrap the cans in wrapping paper and tie ribbon round them. They make great small vases, pen pots or holders for makeup brushes, the possibilities are endless, and rather cheap!

More info

#7 Cork board

Cork boards can be a great way display your jewelry, keeping it from getting all tangled up in your messy drawers. Simply pick up a cheap cork board, you can grab them from stores like Wilko, and push decorative pins into it for a great way to display your lovely necklaces, you can also paint the whole board to make it fit in with the rest of the room!

#8 DIY book shelf

Need somewhere to store all those university books?

Wooden crates can be brought from a variety of stores, here are some from IKEA. Take the boxes, you’ll need at least seven of them, and arrange them into a book shelf by placing the boxes on their sides, stacking four at the bottom, two on top of them and finally one on top. You can also paint the boxes or add tape or glitter to them for a more decorative feel. All you have to do when you’re finished is place your books onto the shelves, you can also add trinkets or some of your DIY pen or flower pots if you like!

More info

#9 Quilted ribbon notice board

This involves getting yourself a cheap corkboard again, you will also need a small amount of your favourite fabric.

Take the fabric and stretch it over the board, you can usually secure it with a high-power wall stapler. Then, using pins, push them into the quilted board to create the illusion of a studded quilted board. Next, you will need ribbon, cross this across the board, both ways, securing again with the stapler to create a checker board affect. This cute pin board can then be used to slip notes, reminders, invitations and cards into.

More info

#10 Wall art

A great way to add character to your student house is to make cheap wall art. Shops such as Paperchase offer larger sheets, which are apparently used as wrapping paper?!

They detail maps of the world, maps of Britain, London and Europe. They’re colourful, bold and can be brilliant to place in cheap large frames that you could also paint to put around your new student house.

#11 Ladder Bookshelf

This one might sound a little outlandish, but if by any chance you are up for a big DIY project, then this one is definitely for you.

Take one small ladder, similar to the one that only comes up to your shoulders and that your Dad pulls out to change a light bulb with. Once you have this, you will need some planks of wood, these will need to be cut progressively smaller as you will essentially be placing them between the open ladder, making a tiered effect. Next, paint, you can either opt for the rustic look or decide to add some colour to the equation. Finally, add your books, photo frames, flowers, anything you fancy!

More info

#12 Photo frame key holder

If everyone in your student house is  always losing their keys, this is the one for you. Take an old photo frame and give it a paint, including the card backing that is usually placed behind the glass. Then, remove the glass, you won’t be needing it. Attach screw hooks, they are super cheap from offline, you find them here; there you have it, no one will lose their keys again…

Photo source.

More info

#13 Make your own wicker effect basket

You will need for this one a cardboard box, a roll of rope and a cream pillow case. Using super glue, attach the end of the rope onto one of the outside bottom corners of the box, then start wrapping it round and round, until you get to the top! This should give it the look of a rope bound basket. To finish it off, line the inside of the box with the cream pillow case and attach the corners of the case using super glue to the corners of the box. This is great to store toiletries such as toilet roll in.

More info

#14 Fairy light curtains

You will need a simple curtain rod for this, along with self adhesive hooks for the lights, a pack of fairy lights and some sheer, light fabric/curtain, preferably cream. Hang the curtain rod and brackets high up on your wall, next, line the space between the two brackets with hooks before attaching the fairy lights to them. Finally, hang up the curtain.

More info

#15 Chalkboard paint board

All you will need for this is a flat wooden board, usually you can get a piece of laminated flooring off eBay, find one here, and chalk board paint, find that here. Paint the board and voila, you have a chalk board, simply add some chalk, which you could store in you DIY tins, and there you go! You can leave passive aggressive messages for everyone about cleaning the kitchen!

 
 
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