Dorm DIY: Geometric Wall Hanging

If you’re living in dorms (or have ever been a teenager, for that matter), you’ve likely come across wall hangings. I’m sure you know the type — sold at the local head shop and printed with any number of psychedelic images such as kaleidoscopic patterns, tie-dye, dancing wolves and moonlit dolphins. Wall hangings, with their inexpensive materials and large dimensions, make wonderfully cost-effective ways to decorate your dorm room. Unlike posters, which can be laborious to hang and often end up looking mismatched and cobbled together, a single wall hanging can lend a bit of cohesion to an otherwise jumbled space. If artwork reminiscent of an acid flashback isn’t your cup of tea, however, the art of the wall hanging might leave a bit to be desired. Luckily, crafting a chic, modern wall hanging is not only incredibly inexpensive, but it’s also incredibly easy. We made this simple geometric wall hanging in mere hours with just a few materials. For the full step-by-step guide, continue after the jump! — Max


  • One standard, flat sheet — We used a full-sized white cotton sheet. If you have extra bedding hanging around your dorm room or don’t use the unfitted sheet that came with your set, you already have this item! Any large length of fabric can be used, as well.
  • Standard interior paint — We used Benjamin Moore’s “Olive Tree” color.
  • A triangular wooden block — We used blocks from Todd Oldham’s Kid Made Modern set for Target. You can also use cut cardboard or any number of objects for printing.
  • A plastic painter’s tarp large enough to sit under your sheet.
  • A disposable dish or a plate that you don’t mind getting paint on.
  • Pushpins or thumbtacks


Above image: Triangle blocks from Todd Oldham’s Block Party Kit for Kid Made Modern.


1. Find a space large enough to fit your entire sheet spread out on the floor.

2. Lay your plastic tarp down, trying to avoid wrinkles. This is very important. Interior paint tends to bleed through fabrics, so unless you want your floor covered in paint splotches, a plastic tarp is highly recommended.

3. Lay your sheet down on top of the plastic tarp. Stretch it out to its full width, avoiding wrinkles, and pin each corner down to hold it in place.

4. Open your can of paint and pour a small amount into your dish. Slowly tilt the dish around so the paint spreads evenly across its surface.

5. Dip the surface of your triangular block (or the shape/object of your choice) into the paint on your dish, trying to keep the entire surface as even as possible.

6. Beginning at the top left corner, print your object from left to right. If you print the object with a light touch, you should be able to get 2 to 3 prints before needing to reapply paint.

7. If you’re printing a triangle like we did, we advise lining up the corners of the triangles so they’re touching as you progress from left to right. On the next line, start your printing slightly to the right so that the top side of your triangle is located between two triangle points from the line above.

8. Continue until your entire sheet is filled with your pattern.

9. Leave out until completely dry.

10. Unpin your sheet and hang it on your wall. BAM! Who said wall hangings couldn’t be stylish?

Above image: Although we used Benjamin Moore’s “Olive Tree” color, any number of colors could work for this project. Feel free to mix it up, use more than one color and be adventurous!

  1. Ingrid says:

    What a great idea to recreate your space! Thanks for this phenomenal post!

  2. Justine says:

    Where was Dorm DIY when I was a freshman in college! Love this series, just what young people need to feel more at home with limited options!

  3. K says:

    This is great! When I was in college I used a vintage flat sheet as a wall hanging — I think it had a Vera floral print on it. It immediately made those cinderblock walls warmer.

  4. K says:

    BTW, where is that lamp from?? It’s amazing!

  5. Catherine says:

    Beautiful! I love the textures in the prints.

    The print looks a lot like one I did this summer for my room, although it was a serigraphy :

  6. What a great idea! Fantastic! Could I suggest that blocks cut from potato can produce a similarly cool effect:)

  7. Art and Chic says:

    this is great and huge :-)

  8. claudia says:

    very nice!
    and the use of potato is really sutable!

  9. Claudia says:

    This is great for home, but many colleges will fine students if they have tapestries up in their dorms as it’s a fire hazard!

  10. Chelsea says:

    I had a tapestry in my dorm and they didn’t give 2 hoots, so every college is different!

    But now I’ve graduated and I’m reno-ing a bathroom and this would make an awesome shower curtain!

  11. Aislinn says:

    really like this! works well if you live somewhere you can’t paint the wall!

  12. K- I believe the lamp is from Schoolhouse Electric! :)

  13. Joey Thomas says:

    This is beautiful! I love it so much.

  14. Emily S. says:

    I love this idea – it is perfect for bland dormrooms that need a pop of color or even color schemes that you need to complete with your dorm accessories. I love how simple it is – it really is perfect for a college student! Thank you for sharing – I hope to try this.

  15. shailee dalal says:

    loved it!!

  16. Hannah says:

    What a fantastic idea! Loving the layout … look forward to implementing this

  17. Shreya says:

    this is wonderful! but how have you guys hung it up (without damaging dorm walls)??

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi shreya!

      it’s just fabric so you could easily hang with double sided tape, or attach to foam core and lean that against the wall :)


  18. Juan says:

    I want to draw a psycadelic design but seems kinda hard. Anyone know where I can buy an already painted one.

  19. miriam says:

    hey, love this idea, exactly what ive been looking for! one question though, what paint can i use? would acrylic be okay? or just simple poster paints?


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