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It’s back-to-school season, and droves of students are heading to dorms around the world with books, school supplies, and living essentials to make their dorm rooms feel a little more like home. This month our How-to Tuesday posts will be all about how to use crafty projects to make over a dorm room – and all on a college student’s budget. 

Sleeping, studying, snacking… did we mention sleeping? Cozy, comfortable bed sheets are an important part of dorm life! Make your bed stand out with a little custom fabric stamping on your pillowcases and sheets. This is a great project to do as you pack up sheets for school, with your new roommate once you get there, or with other friends on the floor as you get to know each other.

By stamping just the border of the flat sheet and the pillowcases you get a lot of impact with very little paint. Plus, by painting only the edges, you won’t even feel the painted parts as you drift off to sleep. 

Materials:

  1. Clean sheets
  2. Fabric paint
  3. Clean, empty soda bottle
  4. Scrap paper/paper plate
  5. Paintbrush (optional)

Directions:

Lay your sheet and pillowcases out flat. It’s important to wash and dry your sheets before beginning, as this helps relax the fabric and starts you off with a clean surface. If you brought an iron to college (bravo!) it’s a good idea to press the borders of the sheet and pillowcases before beginning.
 

Think of a pattern you’d like on your sheets. This step can take a little time, but it will save you a world of effort down the road. Think about how far apart you’d like each stamp to be, which colors you’d like to use, etc. If you are very meticulous, you can draw a sketch and use a ruler. If you like the rustic, handmade look, just come up with a rough layout in your head.

Choose your paint and get ready to stamp. Pour a little paint onto your scrap paper or paper plate. All you need is enough to cover the part of the bottle you’re going to be stamping with. To make this design, we started with the base of the bottle making the flower-shaped stamps.

Pro-tip: If you like, you can use a paintbrush to apply paint to the bottle or to add/fix details on your sheets.

Dip your bottle into the paint, and apply it to the sheet. Dip and remove your bottle from the paint, and allow any excess paint to drip off before moving it to your sheet. Hold your sheet in place as you firmly apply the stamp, and remove the bottle carefully.

Pro-tip: Sometimes fabric sticks to the stamp for just a moment – take care to pull the bottle away slowly while holding the fabric in place. If stamping with the bottle cap, a light twisting motion can help the bottle come away cleanly.

Repeat! Choose different colors, different parts of the bottle, and get stamping! Fabric stamping is simple and a lot of fun - why stop at your sheets? Curtains, throw pillows, totes, laundry bags: stamping can liven up any fabric surface. We used a soda bottle for this example, but almost anything can be used as a unique stamp!

Pro-tip: If the item you’d like to paint or use as a stamp belongs to your roommate, it’s a good idea to ask before using it. And don’t paint anything that belongs to the dorm! Take our word for it.

What DIY projects have helped your dorm or apartment feel a bit more like home? Share your tips in the comments below!


Margaret Dunham's picture

Margaret Dunham

Margaret’s earliest memory is trying to get a plastic Playskool car up to 88 miles per hour. She lives in a beautiful DIY fortress about a stone’s throw from Peter Parker’s old digs in Queens. By day she writes full time for the City of New York and local nonprofit heroes; by night she spends her time crafting, writing, and kung fu fighting. Read all about it on her site The Fearless Gluestick.