Back before Christmas, I made a post about finding cool stocking stuffers at dollar stores (in my case, Dollar Tree). My "research" for that post (i.e. walking around the Dollar Tree near my house) reinvigorated a long-dormant love for the humble dollar store. So I did what anybody would do--I started a Pinterest board for all of the cool dollar store finds/ideas I could collect from around the web. Turns out, I'm not the only one with a bit of a dollar store crush. People all over the web have great ideas for crafts, organization projects, and gifts from dollar stores. There are whole blogs dedicated to it--Dollar Store Crafts, Dollar Store Mom, etc. And yeah, some of the ideas leave me wondering why you'd bother, even with dollar store materials, but others are a little bit genius, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite uses for:
1. Plastic animals
Image via Hi Sugarplum!
Several bloggers made bookends from dollar store plastic animals and acrylic photo frames. Mad in Crafts has instructions, as does the Kansas City Public Library blog. Hi Sugarplum! suggests another version, replacing the frames with stones, and I absolutely adore the red elephant ones she made (shown above). I also really liked the more subdued matte white version on a wooden base at Maddie Grace Interiors.
Curbly editor Chris turns plastic animals into glimmering Christmas ornaments using glitter spray paint. Other Pinterest users point out things that might not be made from dollar store items, but could be emulated with them, including the animals mounted on wooden plaques and used as necklace hangers on Twinkie Chan and the amazing dinosaur topped novelty jars featured on Uncovet.
Image via Nest of Posies.
Dollar store glassware was probably the most popular item used by blog crafters--there are tons of ideas out there! One Fabulous Mama suggests beautifying clear glass vases, while keeping shiny, by painting them on the inside. Similarly, Nest of Posies makes cool dipped votive holders with simple glass dollar store glasses and paint (shown above). Featured on Dollar Store Crafts, Barb from Craftsty uses glass bowls, and candlesticks to create a display stand. Vintage Gwen combines a dollar store vase and candlestick with small wooden disc and a finial dowel cap to make a cute mini dessert stand. Laura at The Steen Style makes a DIY version of an expensive piece, using glass dollar store vases, bowls, and candlesticks to create stylish apothecary jars. Finally, The Devil's Punchbowl explains how to use simple dollar store glasses to create gorgeous mini terrariums.
Image via Craftberry Bush.
Almost as popular as the glassware are the dollar stores ceramics. The baked Sharpie marker mugs suggested at A Beautiful Mess are probably the most popular dollar store craft on Pinterest right now. Lucy at Craftberry Bush turns three ceramic bowls and two glasses vases into an amazing tiered succulent planter (shown above). A Lotta Magazine, they use stainless steel bowls and table legs to create a posh and cheap craft organizer (but ceramic bowls would likely also work).
4. Other cookware
Image via Chickabug Blog.
The rest of the cookware section is not forgotten! On the Chickabug Blog, a dollar store tart pan and candlestick emulate a chic white cake stand (seen above). Carlee at Ladybird Lane has the ingenious idea of turning dollar store pizza pans into magnetic car games for kids. Thermoweb's Melissa does something similar, turning a cookie sheet into a child's magnetic chore chart. In another magnetic craft, Shannon at Madigan Made turns burner covers into magnetic memo boards. At the aptly named Crap I've Made blog, Char makes kitschy cool kitchen art from dollar store frames and silverware. So You Think You're Crafty features a dollar store kitchen towel and a mesh laundry bag turned into a farmer's market tote with produce bags. Nest of Posies tears it up in this category, too, making adorable mini chalkboards from dollar store chargers.
Sometimes, crafting as as easy as seeing how things could be packaged together. Dollar Store Mom Breanna has the great idea of wrapping up a bunch of small scale dollar store utensils (spatula, wooden spoon, strainer, basting brush, etc.) to gift to a cooking-obsessed kid.
5. Everything else
Image via Dollar Store Crafts.
The creativity found all over the Internet astounds me sometimes. The Dollar Diva turns cheap ceramic figurines, small flower pots, and candle holders into finials. Meg & Andy package dollar store clamps, a flash light, glow sticks, clothespins, and suction cups with revamped twin sheets and cheap rope to create a "Super Hero Fort Kit." Dollar Store Crafts features a Waldorf-style doll made by Carrie of Sew Very Carrie, using all dollar store materials (shown above).
The question, then, is how do-able are these crafts by someone who is...not that crafty? Do the awesome craft bloggers just make it look easy, or are these things a mere mortal could manage? Over the next few weeks, I think I'm going to try a couple of these ideas and report back. I'll also be adding a dollar store craft idea of my own to the mix, for Valentine's Day. Stay tuned, things are gonna get crafty!