It’s back to school time, here are some of the dorm room hacks we’ve covered here on MAKE – add yours in the comments! Past or present is OK – I’ll give one lucky person a free Pocket Ref!
Homemade Dorm Room Home Automation System – Link.
College Students Build, Live In High-Tech ‘Smart’ Dorm – Link.
Duct Tape stress tests – Link.
Non-Invasive washing machine cycle detector project – Link.
DIY Air conditioners – Link.
HOW TO – Build a loft – Link.
16 thoughts on “Dorm room hacks…”
An old fav, the beer throwing robot.
When I was in college, a friend of mine and I got into all of the dorms and measured the doors. Then we built a collapsible closet that we could put over someone’s dorm room door to make a room with two closets and no exit.
The collapsible closet was three walls and a ceiling made of thin particle board, with 2×4 reinforcement on the outside edges. It was held together by L brackets on the outside edges, so the whole thing could be assembled from outside the room. There was a rod across the middle to hang clothes on and a (non-working) lightbulb in a socket on the ceiling.
We set it up outside the living room of a suite style dorm room and then tilted it back a bit so we could knock on the door and then put it in place quickly. The people in the dorm said it was “pretty weird” to open the hall door and find a closet, complete with clothes and a laundry hamper.
Pizza Bagels are perfect for quick meals when you’re on the go:
The best I could say was I found some lumber in the dumpster and re-purposed it and built my self a half size lofted bed. I didn’t need a walk-in space below, just enough for my mini-refrigerator and the like so it was about 5ft up which seemed just about right to me.
Among my geek chic projects for my dorm room:
* Furniture from postal supplies (I had a stool, a large table, two or three end tables and a workbench)
* Cheap under-bunk lighting from icicle christmas lights
* Cool pop-art poster from rasterbator-ized image
* Desk platform/shelf from toilet paper rolls and an IKEA bookshelf shelf
* Cheap decorations from coloured water in cool glass bottles
* Miniature DJ setup out of my laptop with iTunes (set to psychedelic visualisations) and some USB-powered speakers (great hit in the lounge)
And my personal favourite, chalk graffiti art of famous paintings (see http://gorilla-art.blogspot.com).
My hack isn’t quite as fancy as some of those, but it is a way to help decorate a dorm room where it can be very costly to stick pins in the wall.
If the drywall has any outside corners, they need a metal strip to protect from damage, and it also happens to be magnetic most of the time. You just use magnets to attach just about anything.
Some years ago (when I was a student…) I made some “hack” to my room (other than…hacking cable tv and wifi of neigbourhood. I mean, nothing…) :
1. Security (not so secure anyway) webcam that stream live 24/24 on the web and alert me by e-mail. Which later was given a small servo-controlled blind for private use ;).
2. “Voyeur” webcam filming outside …also 24/24 on the web. This one was almost destroyed by weather but survived (cheap quickcam!)
3. Some spy cam in the bathroom (lucky me… I got one !) those where all fakes. They where placed strategicaly so when you where about to finish your thing, you knew they were there!
4. One day, my door knob was electro-secured (don’t ask more… it hurt)
5. Another day, my door was open…but… I was locked by a wall of duck tape!
6. One…week… I’ve built a mega paper-towel roll (out of a box of 12 rolls) and rolled it on my shower/bath “pole”… it lasted too long -_-
7. Paper-towel + water = good hole repair
8. 1 day, I made a CRT screen holder (mainly used as a tv in a corner) with wood and ducktape… it lasted about 5 hour, falling on my precious next electronic project (a car alarm trigger for my door)… This was never finished :(
…and so on…
Student life was so fun… but so costly !
Does anybody know what’s the name of the tune?
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