Dorm Room Decor: 10 Must-Haves Under $20

Shopping for college dorm room decor is almost as exciting as the first day itself!

I saw aisles and aisles of cute pillows, light up signs, and other knick-knacks as I was walking through Target yesterday and it made me want to go on the hunt for unique items that not only bring life to your college dorm room, but purpose as well.

Today, I’m happy to share with you my top dorm room decor finds – and the even better news is that they are all under $20.

By the way, I also have an entire post on how to make your college dorm room feel like a retreat. Make sure to check it out once you’re done here!

Bring your college dorm room to life without breaking the bank. These fun and useful items will make college living (and life) more enjoyable - and they might even help motivate you. A must-read for college students! Click through to see the list.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small commission if you purchase something through one of the links. This comes at no cost to you and helps me to continue making Chase the Write Dream even better!*

Before you start shopping, make sure you sign up for Ebates and Amazon Prime Student for FREE!

Alright, let’s get to the fun stuff!

1. Foxy Wireless Mouse

Who said dorm room decor had to be tied to bedding and wall art?

I’m breaking that mold today and introducing you to not just any wireless mouse, but one that actually EXCITES me to get my work done.

Francesca Fox is my favorite, but you can also get an owl, lion, or even a penguin!

2. Colorful and Fun Reminder Notes

Knock Knock Sticky Notes are probably the greatest things known to mankind (ok, slight exaggeration).

But seriously! Where else can you find fun sticky notes that make you laugh or smile when you’ve had a tough day? I also like all the bright colors they come in – it adds a little something to the blank slate room you’re given.

3. Animal Throw Pillow

Throw pillows are a must for lounging around, comforting your back after writing papers for hours on end, and holding close when binge watching all those chick flicks you love so dearly (*raises hand*)

I found this cute elephant pillow on Amazon, but if animals aren’t thing, then try one of these quote pillowcases (just don’t forget to order the throw pillow itself as well).

4. Post-it Notes Holder

I’m a little bit of a Post-it Note hoarder and I often have stacks on my desk AND in my drawers. Funny thing is that keeping them all nice and put together becomes an issue when they’re all over the place.

Not only does this holder act as a helpful tool, it’s also a fun dorm room decor piece that will add life to your desk space!

5. Succulents

There’s just something about adding a little bit of nature (real or not) to your desk space.

The ones pictured here on fake, but they are perfect for dorm room decor because they require absolutely zero maintenance and add a little extra love to your living area. I personally think they’d look great on your desk or by the window!

6. Motivational Wall Quotes

We could all use a little motivation, especially if you a big project (or 3) coming up and literally no time to finish. Let your dorm room decor speak to you during these tough moments!

7. Perpetual Cube Calendar

Keeping track of dates is important, but sometimes wall and desk calendars just get in the way!

If you’re looking for a sleek and effective solution, then this cube calendar is just what you need. There are two different color options (prices vary), so you can match it to your personal style taste.

8. Desk Lamp

Did you ever think that you could have a plant, pencil holder, AND desk lamp all in one?

I can’t lie – I probably would have bought this exact lamp when I went to TCU ten years ago if it had been around.  Not only is this dorm room decor piece cute, but it’s super functional and a real space saver!

9. Fun Lighting


Friends, it’s a UNICORN LAMP! Seriously though, where has this been all my life?

When I was looking for dorm room decor, I felt like there were absolutely no cute lamps to choose from, so pardon we while I live vicariously through you for awhile.

If you read the reviews, you’ll notice that this lamp is in fact very bright and looks amazing in person!

10. Photo Tree

Photos are an absolutely dorm room decor necessity. This photo tree is magnetic and perfect forcreating a collage of pictures of your family, friends, and college adventures!

You can also use this tree to hold other things, like notes, reminders, or even jewelry.

It’s small enough to fit on your desk or on a table, but large enough to fit a variety of photos.

What Dorm Room Decor Piece is Your Favorite?

Did you find something up above that you absolutely love? Do you have a piece in your dorm room right now that you just can’t live without?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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  • Em
    November 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    great ideas! I love that everything is under $20 — thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Tori
      November 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the list, Em!

  • Emma B
    April 2, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I have the photo tree, it is really good. And you can DIY it for even cheaper. I’m sure it’d be great for a college dorm!