Dollar Store Style

Free Decorating Ideas and Tips by Marlene Alexander

Kitchen and Bath

 

   


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Arrange different shapes of cork trivets on a wall to create an outside-the-box message centre. Trivets are thicker than the usual cork board so you can be sure push pins won't scratch walls. 3M Comand strips work well to adhere the cork to the wall.

The embellishments are 3D stickers also found at the dollar store. I'm always surprised by how many surfaces stickers will adhere to.

 

Label your closet bins using pictures, rather than writing on labels. Stickers work well. For instance, if you have dog gear in one basket, like I do, you can always find stickers with dogs on them. Or, if you can draw or have a talented relative in your family, put a hand-drawn picture on the label. In my case, my son Curtis helped me label the bin with extra hats and gloves in it and made another label that designates all things related to shoes, such as laces, polishes and spray protectors. 

Keeping such things all in one place makes them easy to find when you need them.

 

Don't throw out those zippered plastic cases that your new sheet sets or blankets came in. They make great places to store other linens. A fleece sheet set came in the one pictured and I've been using it as a place to store my Christmas linens ever since. The whole package doesn't take up much space in my linen closet and tablecloths, napkins, fingertip towels, oven mitts and cushion covers for the Christmas season are all kept together in one place. 

 

Rather than buying specially designed tissue boxes for the season, make your own using Christmas tape (on the green box) or scrapbook borders. I lucked out and found a booklet of Christmas-themed scrapbook borders by Martha Stewart for only $1.50 at Dollarama. The plainer store brand tissue boxes work best for this purpose as the patterns are less busy.

 

 

You know all those paper wine bags you collected last year around this time? Re-purpose some of them into different sized gift bags. Cut them to the height you need, fold the tops down about an inch inside the bag and use a one-hole punch to accommodate a ribbon, rope or cord hanger.

 

I find that the Slide Seal storage bags are just as good as the more expensive brand and are terrific for storing everything from small craft pieces to Christmas decorations. Last season, I stored my snowman fridge magnets in a small Slide Seal bag to be sure that the pieces would stay together and be easily found this year. 

 

Often, cupcake liners from the dollar store come with decorations to stick in the top of the finished cupcakes. Instead, you can put them in a shot glass to use as appetizer picks. Besides being useful, they'll help to dress up your buffet table this holiday season.

 

Someone gifted me with apple-scented potpourri years ago. Although the scent is long gone, the potpourri is still attractive. For contrast, I've added some elements from other vase fillers, such as the cream-coloured paper flower, as well as some pinecones and faux acorns. Served up in a wooden bowl, it makes an attractive decoration on a coffee table that will last throughout fall and winter.

 

Here's a quick and easy party favour for your next fall party: Simply wrap regular-size chocolate bars in scrapbook paper. Here, we've left the ends open. Place a faux leaf on top and secure it in place with baker's twine as you wrap the chocolate like a gift. Tie a knot in the twine, leaving the ends long. 

Print messages such as "Thankful for You!", "Give Thanks" or place names, if you prefer, onto a sheet of address labels and cut them out. Apply messages or names to small tags, add a small embellishment like the leaf confetti shown here and tie the label onto the ends of the baker's twine.

 

Okay, so the zipper pull on one of my fabric storage bags broke. Since this isn't something on display for all to see, a safety pin works as the perfect quick fix for the problem.

 

If you're like me, you hate to throw out reusable gift bags but what can you do with a bunch of paper wine bottle bags? I mean,  you don't gift someone with a bottle of wine everyday. If you have a collection of these tall paper gift bags, here's the answer. Just cut them down to a shorter size (however tall or short you want), leaving about an extra inch at the top to fold down on the inside of the bag and use a one-hole punch to make holes for a ribbon or decorative cord handle. Voila! A gift bag that's wider than your average small gift bag and great for smaller gifts.

 

Perch small potted succulents atop glass candlesticks of varying heights for a quick and easy coffee table centrepiece. If your faux succulents are in larger pots, use candlesticks with wider tops.

 

Organize your craft supplies and make them easily accessible by using a lazy Susan. We cut a piece of non-slip shelf liner to fit the top of this 10-inch glass lazy Susan and added six mini glass canisters to hold small craft pieces like buttons, tacks and other small pieces. These small canisters come in a set of three for two bucks. Place a square votive candle holder in the middle to store things like sharpie markers and paint brushes.

 

Pull out a few of your votive candle holders, fill part way with birdseed and nestle bird-shaped tea lights into them. This is a quick, easy and very affordable idea you can use for casual entertaining this summer.  You can buy a small bag of birdseed for a buck at Dollarama. The bird tea light candles are from there, too. See more summer candle ideas here: Light of the Party.

 

Make a 23-inch tall outdoor side table by hot gluing two 15-inch round pots together and sitting a 15-inch round melamine tray on top. Each piece cost three bucks. Don't glue the tray on so you can use the top pot to store small items like sunglasses or acrylic glasses to protect them from the elements when they're not in use. Run a bead of hot glue along the raised edge on the bottom of the tray and let it dry to help to keep the tray-top from sliding around.

 

Add a decorative covering to a chair the easy way. Slip a cushion cover over the chair back,  fold the top corners of the cover down and pin them in the back. These cushion covers will fit a chair back 15 1/4-inches square, or less.

 

 

If you want to decorate a terra cotta pot but don't necessarily want to mess with paint, you can use peel 'n stick paper to accent the rim. There are so many different patterned rolls available now, you're sure to find one that you like. This roll of peel 'n stick is 2-inches wide and the pot rim is 1 1/2-inches wide, so I simply followed the lines on the back and trimmed half an inch from the length of paper needed. 

 

Make cushion covers from a vinyl tablecloth to make some of your old cushions outdoor-ready.

 

So, I was in a home store the other day and happened upon a mat that was meant to be placed under your coffee machine. I though it was a great idea but I was not going to pay that price! Next door at Dollar Tree, I bought a 12 by 18-inch micro-fiber dish drying mat for $1.25. Works just as well, don't you think? And you have a choice of colours and patterns.

 

Use a wide bag clip to hold your place in a recipe book while you're cooking. 

 

Use three different sizes of fillable plastic Easter eggs to make a fun and easy Easter party favour inspired by nesting dolls. Hide an Easter treat in the smallest egg, put it inside the medium egg and put the medium egg inside the largest egg. Kids love it!

 

Make your own vinyl placemats using shelf liner. Use a placemat you already have on hand to measure for size. If you wish, shape the corners. Use the first cut off corner to measure where the other corners should be cut, to be sure they're all even.

 

Elevate your decor by turning  square vases upside down to make pedestal bases. Try a grouping of three in different heights. To ensure things don't get accidentally knocked off, secure items to the pedestals with two-sided tape.

 

Use a pretty vinyl shower curtain to hide a storage area in the basement. You can use a shower curtain tension rod or a regular curtain rod. Either way, you can hang it with regular metal shower curtain hooks. 

 

These Slide Seal storage bags from Dollarama are great for storing more than just food. I like them for corralling small pieces like these Christmas fridge magnets to ensure they're easy to find when I want them next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                               Quick Tips, Continued....

 

 

 

 

 

 


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