Collaging in College in 3 Easy Steps

I’ve always been terribly sentimental. That picture frame that I hate but was gifted to me from my grandmother? I can’t throw that away. Old birthday cards? I’ve been saving those for years. A skirt that I once loved but the zipper is broken? Better save that just in case! I’m one step away from being featured on Hoarders. However, I am also a neat freak who hates piles of cards and unwanted knickknacks lying around the house. These two parts of me seem to clash. However, after spending an embarrassing amount of time on Tumblr, I found my solution—collaging.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

The golden rule of collaging is that once you incorporate those scraps into the collage, those scraps take on a purpose. Scraps lying in the back of the closet? Trash. But scraps in a collage? Now that’s treasure. I just moved into my very first big girl apartment, and there are five bedrooms and three living rooms (aka lots of wall space). This is every collage maker’s dream. Here are three easy steps to make a collage.

1—Gather materials

You will need glue, scissors, poster board, and scraps. For my collage, I collected scraps that included everything from magazine clippings, old birthday cards, and fabric from a skirt that has a broken zipper.

2—Glue it down

Before you glue the scraps down permanently on the poster board, play around with the arrangement of the scraps. When you finally find the perfect positioning, glue it down onto the poster board. (Added bonus: holding a glue gun will make you feel like such a boss).

3—Hang it up

Find a perfect spot in your apartment or dorm to display your collage! I’m going to hang mine up over my bed so that I can see it first thing when I wake up. I’m planning on buying more wall art to fill the rest of the blank walls in my apartment.

September is a prime time to collage to make your dorm or apartment look sharp! Share your results on social media and don’t forget to tag @CFashionista.

Additional photos by Lex Kelly and Valerie Cammack.

How to Turn Your Dorm Room Into a Home

With summer finally coming to an end, it’s time to ditch the beach and trade it in for books, hard work, and perseverance. But I will admit, possessing strong determination and motivation is not as easy as it sounds (especially when living in an environment that does not make you feel at home). Whether you’re living in a dorm room or commuting to school, there is nothing more comforting than ending a long day of work and classes in a cozy and relaxing space. Decorating your dorm room (or redecorating your bedroom) even just a little will make a huge difference! Going overboard with room décor isn’t necessary, so try decorating your room with a minimalist perspective.

One approach you can take to make your living space homey is using plants. Yes, it’s just that simple! Grab yourself a tiny vase, fill it up with some water, and add flowers to place on your windowsill; a simple addition like this brings character and life to your space as it makes the atmosphere feel welcoming and hospitable. If you think you’ll be too tired of constantly maintaining and replacing flowers, then use succulents to decorate. Succulents are one of the best houseplants because they are low-maintenance and beautiful. If you’re still not convinced that you can take proper care of a succulent, you can always purchase life-like ones that look just as real!

Another decorative way to use plants is to frame them. If you’re in the mood for a little DIY project, you can easily frame pressed flowers or leaves. Press a portion of the plant of your choice using a book, and once it is pressed to your desire, simply align it to the center of a float frame. Hanging up a float frame as opposed to a regular picture frame provides the illusion of the plant floating itself. Though its simplicity alludes to a contemporary and innovative ambiance, the pressed plant suggests otherwise as it provides a touch of rustic vibes.

Finally, top your room off with a small section of coffee-table books for a casual read (unless you prefer a pile of school textbooks instead).

Have any more ideas on how to make your space feel homey? Comment below or share on social media. Don’t forget to tag @CFashionista!

How to Stay Creative and Motivated in the Summer

Often the sleepy days of summer can mean endless Netflix binging and hours at a job that most likely wasn’t your first choice. If you’re like me and many of my friends, the perfect, inspiring, résumé-building internship did not exactly fall into your lap. The summertime can feel lethargic and discouraging as you leave four months of rigorous and passion-filled college hustle for days spent doing any number of odd jobs from waitressing to retail. As an English major in search of creative and career fulfillment, these are some of the ways I’ve found to keep myself creative and forward-looking, even in the suburban heat of mid-July.

1―Read. Specifically Big Magic by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. This is one of those books that you read and are instantly convinced that everyone and their mother needs to read it right now. All of the sudden you have six copies sitting on your desk ready for grad parties, retirements, and even birthdays. Maybe that’s just me. While admittedly cheesy at times, and falling into my oft avoided genre of “self-help” Big Magic explores the creative process and how we can bring it back into our lives be it as a writer, photographer, or painter. Big Magic got me back into thinking about how I write and create and even had me brainstorming on the sales floor. Even if you can’t be at school, you can still be learning and indulging in a little self-education.

2―Exercise. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not exactly the poster child for fitness, but this summer I committed with one of my best friends to train for a 5k in August. While I still groan every time my alarm goes off at 6:10 A.M., deciding to run with a friend not only keeps us both accountable but also gets our brains going for the day, talking out our ideas and plans as we glide through neighborhoods and let the endorphins flow. Running is my activity of choice as it does not really require any equipment and is a great way to take in the quiet nature of the early mornings.

3―Make a Vision Board. This is one of those “successful millennial” things I’ve been avoiding for a long time, but after some careful Pinterest research, I sprawled out on my bedroom floor surrounded by magazines and got to work visualizing my future, an exceptionally daunting task. But ultimately, assembling my life on a cork board was as freeing as I could pin my dreams of law school right next to an image of what I imagine to be the Editor-in-Chief’s office at Vogue. Visually laying out my goals helped me to re-center and remember what it was that I wanted and what I needed to do to get it. Decoupaged in vibrant colors and bold type, the future didn’t look all that scary. In fact, it looked quite bright.

How are you staying creative this summer? Let me know in the comments below. 

How to Create Your Dream Dorm

“Back to school.” Some people dread hearing those words. They immediately think long classes and endless homework, all that makes us remain in a summer mindset forever. But for me, I immediately think about my new dorm and all of the fun ways I’ll style it and make it mine. Your dorm or bedroom is where you should be able to go and get away from the world—that happy little corner that solely belongs to you.

One way to really spice up a room is through fun, decorative pillows. If you chose to opt for more of a neutral-toned bedspread, this is a must, as statement pillows can add a fun and unique flair. Just look for whatever matches your personality, such as a sweet floral or a cute animal. Pillows like this boho one will really brighten up a dorm while keeping it looking cozy and inviting. Another fun idea is creating a pillow bed on the floor. This will give friends a place to sit or provide you with a little nook for doing homework or just chilling out.

Another fun way to decorate your dorm is through creating a very personalized and organized desk. Odds are that this is where you’ll be spending a lot of time due to the plethora of papers and assignments you’ll have to complete. For this reason, you want a desk that makes you feel comfortable and is adorned with what expresses your personality. This can be done through fun pieces, such as this desk toy or fun little plant dog. By creating a workspace that inspires you, you’ll feel more motivated and will thrive to get assignments completed.

As another form of inspiration, it is always fun to create a mood board—a board that is filled with your current obsessions, goals, and inspirations. By having this board, you can work towards being your best self and completing all of your goals.

By creating an atmosphere that most represents you, a sense of peace and protection will be created as this is the room you’ll be spending the next year in. Decorate it with everything that excites and inspires you and create a dorm room that all your friends will be jealous of!

Show us how you decorate your dorm room by sharing it on social media with @CFashionista!


How to Personalize Your Living Space

It’s officially August, which only means one thing for college students: move in day. Everyone will be coming in with boxes filled to the brim holding all their belongings. Whether it is a dorm or an apartment, your living space is a place where you’ll be spending a majority of your time. Since everyone stays in a similar area, it’s important to make your space unique to you! I personally love adding lots of decorations that reflect my personality. It gives guests an opportunity to learn more about you before even speaking to you. The best part is that you get to be the designer and the possibilities of different things you can add to your room are endless.

1—DIY crafts. We’ve all seen the hundreds of do-it-yourself projects that cover our Facebook and Pinterest feeds daily, but how many of us have actually tried them? Even if you aren’t a crafty person, DIY crafts can be very simple and affordable to create. They are also the perfect way to dress up any living space. I personally love candles, so I bought a four pack of electric ones at A.C. Moore for only ten dollars! I decided to buy glitter and glue to create silver glitter candles to give my room that extra sparkle. DIY crafts can be anything such as painting a wooden picture frame or even creating a chic storage box. There are so many opportunities to get creative and have fun with these projects.

2—Posters. Posters are a common room decoration, and there is a reason for that. They are cheap and easy to hang up anywhere. They are also a great way to show people the things that you’re interested in. Do you have a favorite band, book, movie, TV show, model, or celebrity? I’m sure you can find a poster about it! Even just a poster of nature or a beautiful setting can reveal so much about your interests and hobbies. I’ve always been a huge fan of fashion, and two of my favorite icons are Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. I bought three photos of them in black and white to give off that classy, elegant vibe. You can find a poster with just about any design on it to match your room and let your personality shine through.

3—Bulletin board. Small bulletin boards are a great decoration for any living space because you can put anything on them. If you are a very organized person you can add to-do lists and post it notes with messages. If you have many photos you can put them on the board as well! You can even create a vision board with inspirational quotes and magazine clips. Personally, I love to travel, so I decided to cover my board with postcards from every place I’ve been to.

How do you decorate your living space? Let us know in the comments below!

Extreme Makeover—Turning Your Apartment From an Ugly Duckling Into a Swan

When thinking about college, some of the most important things students’ focus on are how to make friends, how to handle all their classes, and how to make school feel like home. However, when students are thrown into a situation where their apartment is small, plain, and messy, it can be hard to envision ever feeling comfortable at school. By following some of the simple tips I have gathered over the years, you can easily transform your ugly duck of an apartment into a swan.

1—Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the most important tools in designing an apartment. Creating an apartment board is an easy way to find new and fun ideas, and to create a plan of how to decorate each room in your apartment.

2—Color palette. Before going out and buying any apartment décor, it’s helpful to pick a theme and color palette for your apartment. When your apartment is decorated in a certain style, everything seems a lot neater. As you can see in my apartment, I have a Parisian and pastel color theme, as is seen with my Paris tapestry, and my blue and purple curtains. Additionally, by keeping a theme in mind when shopping, you won’t end up with pieces that clash with one another.

3—Target & Urban Outfitters. When it comes to decorating, Target and Urban Outfitters are every girl’s best friend. Their home collections are affordable and contain many cute pieces. My personal favorites are the unicorn lamp from Target and the collection of unique pillow cases from Urban Outfitters. I guarantee that if you go shopping at these stores, you won’t be able to leave without picking up something cute and unique.


4—Pictures. I believe that the best way to make your apartment feel like home is to bring home to you. Whenever I move into a new space, the first thing I do is print pictures of my friends and family. In previous years, I’ve made collages out of pictures in the shape of hearts and stars. This year, I decided to keep with the Paris theme and put up pictures from my recent trip to Paris with a wall decal. Whatever you decide to do, decorating with pictures of things you love is a sure way to make you feel more at home.

5—Lights. Lighting is something that is usually overlooked, but it is essential. I purchased some purple lights a few years ago, and they helped transform my room whenever I would turn them on. Additionally, at night I like to turn on my Christmas lights in my living room rather than my actual lights, as the light is less harsh. Introducing lights into a room can give it a much gentler touch.

Let me know if these tips have helped you by commenting below! Make sure to show us your apartment décor as well by tagging @Cfashionista.

Dorm Sweet Dorm—How to Decorate Your Dorm or Apartment

Moving into a completely blank room in college can be very intimidating and scary on a college student’s budget. By adding some key pieces to your room, you can transform your lifeless dorm room or apartment into a sanctuary. Here are some of my dorm and apartment picks that will turn your room from drab to fab.

Most dorm rooms and apartments in college have very dull and dim lighting. This can make you feel tired and can make it hard to focus on your work. A few ways to brighten up your room include adding a standing decorative lamp, using string lights or adding a salt lamp.  Plus, salt lamps also add health benefits such as improving your sleep, increasing blood flow and clarify the air.

Dorm rooms and apartments sometimes have a dusty or damp smell to them. A great way to freshen up your room is to purchase an oil diffuser. A diffuser combines water and essential oils to make a room smell great. You can tailor your essential oil picks to your specific needs. Lavender oil can help you relax and sleep, tea tree oil can kill mold in the air, and rose oil can relieve tension and boost your mood. Another quick fix is to light some candles.

Listening to music is always a great way to motivate yourself or boost your mood while doing work, lounging around, cooking or cleaning. Try purchasing a small, cute, portable speaker that doubles as a decor piece. Don’t forget that you can sign up for Apple Music or Spotify Premium with a discounted student rate!

Now for the most important part of any dorm room… your bed! There’s nothing better than coming back from a long day of classes to a comfortable bed. To make your bed more comfortable, try using a mattress topper with feathers or one that is made out of foam. Also, make sure you buy a sheet and comforter set that you love and is easy to clean. Add a little fun to your bed with decorative pillows!

Now that you have the tips to make your room awesome, try it out and snap a pic! Make sure to tag @Cfashionista in your post!

Tips on Creating a “Homey” College Apartment

Have you ever noticed how messy or unorganized college apartments can be? I’ve experienced living in a few apartments like this throughout my college journey. I must say that it was hard living with roommates who have different schedules every day because it was difficult to maintain our living space and make it look presentable. Living with fewer people helps because you can make house decisions faster, and it’s easier to keep clean, in my opinion.

Being away from home in college has taught me to be independent because we don’t have our parents here with us every second of the day telling us what we should be doing. What I’ve learned with my most recent roommates is that it only takes a few items to make a college apartment feel “homey.” For your college apartment, you don’t have to buy expensive decorations; there are easy ways to budget or use DIY ideas from Pinterest. As you can see in my kitchen, we have some empty glass bottles along with olive oil bottles and kitchen canisters to accessorize the counter space.

To create the “homey” vibe for our living room (and every other room for that matter), we always keep candles lit when we’re home. I absolutely love candles—I like how it can make any room smell amazing! We also love keeping flowers on our living room table. My roommate found a DIY on Pinterest on how to make these cute mason jars that can be used as decorations for anything, so we used one for flowers. It always puts a nice pop of color into our living room.

One way you can make your bedroom feel homey is by putting up pictures or sticker quotes. Whether it’s painted pictures of flowers like my roommate has, or pictures of you and your friends like I have in my room, pictures are always a good way to decorate your room. It’s good to try and match your furniture color as well in order that everything doesn’t look tacky. Also, keep your space organized! Since I live in a small apartment and the storage space is limited, I keep my makeup in a makeup organizer on a desk that holds everything I need to get ready on a daily basis.

There are so many ways you can make your space feel more like home when living away for college. All it takes is a little time and effort to making a place look nice, and these were just some ideas that I use in my apartment.

What does your college apartment look like? Share with us on Instagram by tagging @CFashionista!

All About the Neutrals—Minimalistic Bedroom Décor

Interior decorating is one of my favorite hobbies. Scrolling through home décor Pinterest boards and walking through the aisles of Home Goods are typical ways I spend my free time. I am beyond excited when I have the opportunity to decorate my college dorm or just redesign my bedroom.

When decorating a room, I think it’s important to make sure you are designing it according to your likes and personality. Your room is your own personal living space and it needs to reflect who you are.

This year, my family rebuilt our summer home, which means I finally have a new room to decorate! I couldn’t be happier to shop in my favorite home stores and design my room according to my style.

How I Decided to Decorate

Although my room is down on the Jersey Shore, I wanted it to be a bit rustic, with a touch of modern. I started out with a classic white blanket as my bedspread since there is no need to have a thick duvet for warm summer nights. I topped the bed with neutral colored fluffy pillows and a blanket from Home Goods. For wall décor, I followed the new trend of a photo gallery above my bed. To the left of my bed when you walk in, I placed a small desk from Home Goods. This doubles as my vanity where I store both makeup and desk supplies. I paired the desk with a small stool from Target and added desk accents from Home Goods and Urban Outfitters.

Above my desk, I added a helpful calendar and bulletin board. I purchased white curtains from Pottery Barn for my sliding doors, then added a fur stool and full-length mirror next to my closet. Lastly, I purchased a rolling cart from Home Goods to display all of my jewelry. My inspiration for decorating came from wanting a neutral and minimalistic feel in the space.

As you can tell from the pictures, a simplistic feel is portrayed, but I am still not nearly done decorating. It’s only been a month, and I feel I acquired a lot of basic pieces. I plan on adding more wall décor and a wooden or iron headboard. Overall, I cannot wait to pull the room together with some little pieces that will bring the space to life.

Is interior decorating one of your favorite hobbies? If so, leave some tips in the comments below on how I should finish decorating my space!

Easy Steps to Have the Cutest Dorm on Campus

Even though we might have our minds on fine summer days, time flies and school will be here before we know it. I am a strong believer that a well organized and perfectly decorated space is the key for a successful year! Here are some easy steps and trendy decor pieces you should start gathering for your dorm now.

The first step is to find the perfect bedding. Whether it be a fun printed comforter or a simple duvet cover like the one photographed, this is your starting point. From there you can let your designing run with fun pillows to decorate and accent your bed. Some of my favorite pillows are this faux fur one and a textured linen one. This adds dimension and style into your dorm.

The next piece that has been key for me keeping up my shopaholic lifestyle has been a clothing rack! Not only does this work to hang your clothes on, but it also doubles as a furniture and decor piece. You can display your closet favorites and even hang up preset outfits that are ready to go for school.

Lastly, to add more life and spruce up the dorm, a girl can never go wrong with some succulents. This is an excellent way to add some greenery to a space. They can either be displayed in a plant pot, or in a decorative ceiling plant hanger! Once you have conquered the dorm shopping list and have perfected your room with the help of these steps, I guarantee your dorm will be goals. Now you can have all of your new friends over to check out your space and catch up on some CollegeFashionista articles.

What are some of your favorite dorm decor pieces? Let me know in the comments below!