Making White Cinder Blocks Work

As every college student knows, the white cinder block walls which make up most dorm rooms are atrocious.

1) It’s far too easy to hear what’s going on next door.

2) They do not insulate against the cold. Freshman year the wall my bed was against an exterior wall. In December I would’ve been warmer sleeping in an igloo.

3) You can’t use nails or screws or anything to hang your stuff, so Command Hooks become a dorm room staple.

Unfortunately, Command Hooks just don’t do the trick when trying to mount pictures. Freshman year I made do with a bulletin board I pinned pictures to, but sophomore year the quantity of pictures I wanted to display would’ve required at least four bulletin boards (I really love pictures). I instead opted for double-sided tape which worked really well for the first semester. By March though, the corners of my pictures would become un-stuck and I would routinely have to re-attach them. To make matters worse, when it finally came time to take down all my pictures, I couldn’t remove the tape without ripping the pictures so I had to get all new ones printed for my semester in New York.

In New York, I came up with a pretty creative system to put all my pictures on the wall that involved paper clips, duct tape, and several lengths of string. It worked out okay, but still wasn’t exactly what I wanted.

This year, I think I really hit the nail on the head. I was stuck with more cinder-block and lots of pictures I wanted to get onto the wall without using tape.

I spent a solid hour wandering around Target today after getting everything on my list, searching for inspiration on how to make my dorm room less “blah” and more personal.

I had to pick up some curtain rods and that’s when the idea struck me. Next to the little curtain rods I was looking for, were long, white, flat, metal ones.

White curtain rod from Target


After a quick price check on the curtain rods, I determined all I needed now were magnets (I knew I still had copious amounts of Command Strips back in the room). Magnets proved extremely difficult to find amid the endless aisles of Target, but lo and behold, I found them hidden behind the binder clips.

Clothespins Magnets (also found at Target)

Had I realized how awesome my project would’ve come out, I would have taken some pictures along the way to document the journey, but, alas, it was only once my project was complete that I realized how great it looked! I mounted the two metal pieces of the curtain rod on the wall with Command Strips so they were parallel to each other. From there, I started clipping and pinning up my pictures then filling in the gaps with old ticket stubs and comic strips.

The funky little magnets


The finished product!

Pretty nice, eh? For the first time, I’ve got all my pictures, on the wall, in one place, with no tape!

I finally feel like the whole room has come together. Katherine’s side looks really nice decorated with all her pictures from her time abroad, and now my side is adorned with photos with all my favorite people and memories. We even hung up the curtains today which hopefully will insulate a little against the sub-zero temperatures we’ve been experiencing up in the Northeast.

Hope everyone’s staying warm and getting ready for more snow headed our way tomorrow!


About MMM

Resolving to write in 2011!
This entry was posted in Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Making White Cinder Blocks Work

  1. paul says:

    Mere: This is incredible! Your creativity, together with your excitement and artistic sense have converged with awesome results! Glad I’m in one of those pics!

  2. julie says:

    Very creative Doll. Nice pics!

  3. Magdalena Richiusa says:

    Curtain rods that are made from aluminum are the best since the are very light and strong. “;”‘*

    Our own blog

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