It’s amazing how time flies, huh? Just yesterday, you were in the hospital, cradling your newborn baby in your arms. Then you blinked and they were in a cap and gown accepting their high school diploma. And you know what that means, right, Mama? Time to break out your credit card — you’ve got a dorm to decorate.
When you become a parent, you quickly start to realize the bittersweet dichotomy of milestones. You’re ecstatic when your toddler takes that first step, but it also breaks your heart a little knowing that those steps will eventually take them out your door and into the world. So, when the day comes to kiss your “baby” goodbye as you drop them off at college, we understand those tears you cry might be both happy and sad. Let us take some stress off your plate so you can squeeze in every second of quality time in with your new college student. We’ve curated a collection of affordable dorm decor your young adult is sure to love.
Cactus landscape tapestry
Even when they’re stuck inside studying (sure, Mom, that’ll happen!), your college kid will at least have a lovely desert landscape to look at.
Cactus landscape tapestry, $38.99 at Urban Outfitters
DIY light box LED
Coming up with clever words and phrases for this light box will provide a perfect outlet for your student’s procrastination.
Light box, $18.99 at Target
Yin-yang wall clock
Circa early-2000s-era rap is big with “the kids” these days, and this clock plays tribute to it in the most brilliant (and punny) way.
Yin-yang 12-inch wall clock, $28.99 at Urban Outfitters
Aqua clip lamp
As a mother, you’ll appreciate the practicality of this lamp that clips right onto a nightstand or headboard. Plus, the aqua color makes it super-cute and on-trend.
Aqua clip lamp, $5.99 at Target
Baroque wall mirror
For the student who needs a daily dose of glam in their life, this baroque mirror will dress up the dorm walls on a dime.
Better Homes and Gardens baroque wall mirror, $19.99 at Walmart
Aside from being entirely too cute to handle, this polka dot mini planter offers an ideal repository for some dorm room greenery.
Lekha footed mini-planter, $11.99 at Urban Outfitters
Classic procrastinator pen set
These pens pull double duty as writing utensils and decor. Leave an artful stack of the statement-makers (“Deadline schmeadline”) on a desk, and voilà!
Classic procrastinator pen set, $9 at ModCloth
Feminist wall tapestry
When you’ve got a kid who champions equal rights for all, you’ll be beaming with pride to see them hang a statement like this on their wall.
Feminist wall tapestry, $15 at Urban Outfitters
Småstarr duvet cover set
At only $20, this duvet cover and pillowcase set is a steal! Bonus? The plucky pink, teal and black dots are a smart combo of chic and happy.
Smastarr duvet cover and pillowcase set, $19.99 at IKEA
Macramé boho wall garland
Who would have thought after all these years that macramé would be having another major moment? This boho garland is great for adding texture.
Macramé boho wall garland, $16 at Amazon
Geometric table lamp
Everyone knows the artificial glow of fluorescent lights is harsh (and admittedly unflattering for selfies). This trendy geometric table lamp is a much better alternative.
Geometric table lamp, $28.15 at Target
Black global oversize lumbar throw pillow
No black-and-white dorm room decor would be complete without this lumbar pillow with global appeal.
Global-style throw pillow, $19.99 at Target
Flokati faux-fur backrest in blush
When making it through one more chapter of that American history textbook seems impossible, this faux-fur flokati backrest will keep your student comfortable.
Flokati faux-fur backrest, $29.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
Woven pink accents rug
Since painting dorm room walls is off-limits, a throw rug with a punchy splash of color will help make the space pop.
Woven pink accents rug, $9.99 at Target
“Nap first…” lumbar pillow
A hot-pink and gray color combo paired with an oh-so-apropos message makes this pillow a no-brainer for your student’s dorm room.
“Nap first, adult later” lumbar pillow, $16.99 at Target
Umbra dangle photo display wall collage
Hang a few photos of yourself from this wall collage before you leave campus to ensure your new college student remembers to call home occasionally.
Photo display wall collage, $19.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
“You Are Awesome Sauce” tea towel set
These tea towels are a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and a whole lotta cute. Who wouldn’t want a shot of this positivity every day?
“You Are Awesome Sauce” tea towel set, $20 at ModCloth
Charging station & organizer
Kids today have a bevy of electronic devices at their fingertips. This charging station caddy corrals them all, plus it has a built-in piggy bank!
Charging station and organizer, $24 at Amazon