How to Decorate Dorm Walls Without Damaging Them

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

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Published on July 9, 2016

For the renters and college students of the world, damaging your walls for the sake of #aesthetic can be a pricy proposition. No one wants to pay those annoying repair fees, so we’ve pulled together a list of the best ways to deal with common decor issues, nail and damage free. Here’s how to hang pretty much anything without damaging your walls in the meantime.

how to hang a tapestry without nails

{Plaster And Disaster}

How To Hang Tapestries Like a Pro

To hang a tapestry like a pro, think of them like art that needs a frame. We recommend mounting your tapestry to a piece of wood, or a dowel to hold the wallhanging without any bowing or collapsing in the center. A few staples or nails will do the trick. Then, you can use command hooks to easily mount the wood on the wall and give your space a little bit more color. Command hooks are great for a tapestry because the fabric is so light. You can even use the tiny, clear command hooks for an invisible look!

decorate dorm walls

How To Mount Curtains Without A Rod

To mount curtains without a rod, get creative! Curtains can be a super-functional way to spruce up a space. But, dorms often lack rods. Instead, get a dowel rod, light curtain rod, or shower curtain rod from the hardware store. Use large command hooks in the corners of your window frame or even a few inches above it to hold the rod and curtain! If your window is inset, you can even get a tension rod that will fit exactly inside the frame without any hooks at all.


decorate dorm walls

How To Hang Posters Without Frames

To hang art or posters without frames or nails, think outside the box! To minimize the damage to your walls, use colorful washi tape for each corner of your poster or picture. Binder clips at the corners of a poster also make a convenient hanger- just use a thumbtack to hang each binder clip! Or, use hangers for a funky twist on a gallery wall (like above). You can always use command strips or hooks to hang your art, too.


decorate dorm walls


How To Hang Heavy Objects Without Nails

They key to hanging heavier pieces is to do your research. As always, command hooks or strips can work great! But, be careful which ones you choose. Pick a hook with a heavier weight limit (some can hold up to 8lbs), appropriate to your art piece. You can even combine several hooks for one item, which can help distribute the weight. Be careful– maybe avoid hanging something super heavy right above your bed, since accidents do happen. But, these are great pieces to place above a desk or bookshelf.

decorate dorm walls

{Oy Vey Living}

How To Hang Wallpaper Without Committing

The key to renter and dorm-approved wallpaper is removable wallpaper. We recommend only using it in one space, as installing removable wallpaper throughout a whole room can be very challenging. But, it’ll make a great, non-damaging accent to any space! You can even get wallpaper that creates a mural on one wall of your room. Just make sure whatever you purchase is removable and doesn’t require permanent adhesive.

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