Welcome to Five for Five, the Kaiku Blog’s ongoing inventory of five super cool things that cost $5 or less. We’ll be bringing you everything from creative gifts, cheap foodie recipes, DIY arts ‘n’ crafts, self-improvement lifehacks, entertainment and more.

Today’s list is about how to decorate your apartment or dorm room for under $5. Here’s some of our favorite, cheap DIY ideas from Pinterest and elsewhere on the web.


1. Vinyl records from the dollar bin

$1 each from record stores and thrift shops.

Vinyl records add a chic, vintage flare to any space. Most record stores and thrift shops sell old LPs for $1 or less — the vinyl might be too scratched to play (or the music is awful!) but they’ll look awesome on your wall.

Vinyl Records as Cheap Wall Art

How To: Buy some LPs and mount them to your wall! Pick five ironic covers or just toss the sleeves and use the vinyl itself.


2. Melted crayon art

$1.37/Crayola 24ct Box at Target, Cardboard (Free at Grocery Stores, etc.).

OK, so this one might be a little more than $5 if you don’t already own a hairdryer, but you can always save by borrowing your mom’s. You can also invest a little more and use a real canvas if you’re not into the DIY cardboard aesthetic.

Melted DIY Crayon Art

How To: Get some cardboard (many grocery stores will give you their leftover boxes) and a box of crayons. Arrange the crayons in an artistic pattern and use the hairdryer to melt ’em until you’re satisfied. Wait for the wax to cool, then mount.


3. Paint Sample cards and tape

Free at Home Depot, $3.67/Scotch Blue Painters Tape at Walmart.

Add some color to your world without worrying about repainting the walls after you move! Visit your local Home Depot, Lowes or other home improvement store and check out the paint aisle. You’ll find hundreds of paint sample cards you can take home for free.

Paint Sample Cards DIY Bedroom Decor

How To: Lay the paint sample cards on the floor and rearrange them until you find your favorite pattern. Then, use Blue Painters Tape to mount them to your wall. You’ll have the most colorful room anywhere for under $5!


4. Blank frames

$1 each at 99 Cents Store, various under $5 prices at local thrift shops.

Can’t decide which photos to hang where? Use empty picture frames as home decor to liven up your walls and create a sophisticated minimalist style. For the DIYer on a budget, you’ll find lots of frames for less than five bucks at your local 99 Cents Store or thrift shop.

Blank Frames: Home Decor for $5 or Less

How To: Buy your favorite frames, take out the glass and backing and arrange them on your wall. If you’re feeling extra artsy, you can also decorate the frames yourself (maybe using your leftover crayons from project #2!).


5. Driftwood

Free from nature.

Perfect for channeling your inner Ron Swanson or adding the finishing touch to your hipster mancave. Driftwood is beautiful, natural decor that will make any room feel more stylish and cozy. Best of all, gathering this free artwork gives you and your friends a great excuse for an outdoor adventure!

DIY Driftwood Art

How To: Find driftwood, mount to walls.

What’s your favorite way to decorate for less than $5?

Now you’ve heard our Five for Five on how to decorate your apartment or dorm for under five bucks. We hope you’ll feel inspired to give your place a rad, budget-friendly home makeover.

Got ideas of your own? We’d love to hear ’em! Connect with Kaiku on Facebook and Twitter to share your DIY secrets.