quick tips from dollar store style

QUICK TIPS – Page 5

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.

Use cellophane treat bags as
you would basket wrap for small gifts like this mug filled with
candy treats. This would make a good party favour, too.
Instead of tying the ribbon, I used a mini clothespin decoration
to hold it on. 

BONUS TIP – Dollar store
ornaments often come in packages wrapped with ribbon. Save that
ribbon to use for small projects like this. 

If you’re using battery-powered
lights in your decorating this year, you can make the battery box
less conspicuous by wrapping it in a bit of Christmas paper,
leaving the end with the switch open, of course. 

Use a small, flat-backed
Christmas wreath (I got this one at Dollar Tree) as a candle ring
or to accent another decoration, as here. Sit your decoration on a
shelf or mantle and let the ribbon ends hang over the edge.

I bought a cafe
curtain rod at the dollar store that came with two of the same
pieces, meaning I couldn’t insert one rod inside the other like
you’re supposed to be able to. It was useless, or so I thought. I
needed a curtain rod for my kitchen window, which, at 51″
wide would normally be too wide for one of these small rods.
However, when I held the two mismatched pieces end to end, they
were just the right length for the window. Inserting the
appropriately-sized wood dowel to connect the two pieces makes a
curtain rod the perfect width for this window. 

The dowel is from a
package I found in the dollar store that contained different
widths. They’re 12-inches long so you could conceivably extend a
curtain rod another ten inches, leaving one inch on either end for
support.

Sometimes you can find really
pretty decorative plates and plaques at the dollar store and they
don’t always have to be hung on the wall. Bring a favourite piece
out of hiding and use a picture easel to display it on a shelf or
mantel.

Fill a small glass vase with
the faux fruit and floral bits pulled from three or four autumn
picks to make an easy autumn accent for a table or mantle.

Use heavy-based square vases as
a bookends and fill them with accents to suit the season. Here
we’ve used a base of small faux leaves topped with a fall pick, to welcome
the new season. For extra weight, use colored marbles or stones in
your bookends.

Even if, in this digital age, you have no need for
a wall calendar, for $1.25 each you could plunder these 12 by
11-inch calendars for some great wall art to frame. Dollar
Tree 
has a wide selection of calendars in stores
now. 

These vinyl coated
wire racks are good for more than just organizing in the kitchen.
Use one in your home office to keep file folders handy. This
versatile rack can be used to store large books and binders in a
dorm room, too. Find them at Dollarama for three bucks.

What other uses can
you think of for these kitchen racks? Let me know what you come up
with! marlene.alexander@sympatico.ca  

These colored labels come in a
package of twelve for $1.25. Each tag is 4-inches long by about 2
1/2-inches wide. They’re meant to be used as gift tags but would also be a
great way to label storage baskets. I found them in the craft
section at Dollarama.

Use decorative tape around the
inside edges of a plain, wall-mounted mirror to create a
“frame.” We found this decorative tape on a 10-foot roll
at Dollarama for $1.50. It comes in various patterns and
colors.  

Try using wall stickers on
interior doors to add a bit of interest to a plain and otherwise
overlooked surface. Many types of wall stickers can be reused if
preserved on the backing they came on.

Decorate a plain
bedroom lampshade by draping a pretty dollar store necklace over
it. Choose a color and design that matches your tastes and decor.

Okay, so I’m a bit
obsessive-compulsive when it comes to keeping all my kitchen sets
in their respective sets so, when the plastic ring that came with
these measuring spoons broke, I knew I wanted a replacement. The
round metal shower curtain rings I found at Dollarama open and
close even easier than the original plastic closure did so, using
one to keep my measuring spoons from wandering all over the drawer
proved the perfect solution for calming my separation anxiety.  

Candles from the dollar store
are an inexpensive way to help bring color into your home. For
spring and summer, I favor the brighter hues of the season. 

If you’re entertaining
this spring try scrapbook embellishments as table confetti,
instead of the usual. These fabric flowers come in a package with
three different sizes and each one has a rhinestone in its center
for added sparkle in candlelight. 

Re-purpose felt
cut-out placemats to give glass cabinet doors a spring makeover.
Position them on the inside of the door and secure with two-sided
tape. If the glass is held in place with screw-in hangers, as mine
are, just loosen the top two hangers, slip the edges of the
placemats under them and re-tighten the screws.

I found these
attractive spring placemats at Dollar Tree. They are made entirely
of paper stiffened to keep its shape. I’d be reluctant to use them
as placemats, for the simple reason that they couldn’t be
effectively cleaned. However, they make dandy modern art. Try a
group of three to five to brighten your walls and cheer your
winter-weary spirit.

Make a simple calendar
with a dollar store clipboard and free printable calendar pages.
If you wish, print the pages horizontally so you have room to add
a picture, either a favorite from an old calendar or a personal
photograph.

You can hang your
clipboard calendar on the wall or keep it handy on your desk.

One website that lets
you print pages without a special download is: http://calendarprintables.net/2015-printablecalendars.htm
which gives you the current and the following month to print.

Make an easy springtime or
Easter centerpiece by filling a metal container with basket filler
and topping with three small candle rings.

Use a piece of
rubberized shelf liner to keep food and water bowls from traveling
across the floor when your dog or cat eats and drinks.

For a quick and easy
Valentine’s Day gift, print a favorite romantic poem from the
internet then choose an appropriate frame from the dollar store to
put it in. If the frame is plain, add a bit of bling, as here. You
can hot glue the rhinestone hearts on for permanence or use small
squares of two-sided tape.

Ever wonder what to do with all
of those instruction manuals and/or warranties for kitchen
appliances? I found a clear plastic pouch for use in a binder at
the dollar store. I put the instruction manuals inside the pouch
and put the pouch in the back of the binder I use for collected
recipes. 

You could also use a separate
binder and plastic protector sheets to corral them all in one
place and keep the binder where you store your recipe books.  

Even something as
simple as a small wooden bowl filled with seashells helps to bring
a summery feel to your indoor spaces. Use this idea in a bathroom
or sit it on your coffee table. I can attest to the fact that
young and old, alike are drawn to the touchable quality of the
shells.

Rotate the accessories you
already own seasonally instead of buying new ones. It will keep
your rooms looking fresh and save you money.

Use a wooden hanger to hold an
extra towel in the bathroom. In this case, we extended a towel bar
by twisting the hook so that the hanger would lay flat against the
first towel. You could also simply hang it on a hook on the back
of the door.

A large
pencil case or something similar from the dollar store, is a good
place to store small sets of mini lights. Tie
a label to the zipper designating the contents. For example:
“Mini lights for small tree.”

 

I’ve seen a couple of good
ideas for storing Christmas lights so they don’t get tangled. I
think this one is among the best and cheapest of them. 

Wrap the lights around a piece
of cardboard, cut to fit within a storage box and notched at the
top and bottom to ensure the cords don’t slip off. This bin could
probably house at least three sets of mini lights, depending on
the length of each set. It was three bucks at Dollarama.

Cut out pictures or other
designs from the wrapping paper scattered around the floor
Christmas morning to use for scrapbooking Christmas memories. Use
them as picture labels or backgrounds for your photos to add an
extra layer of memories.

Traditional mistletoe
seems to have been ousted by the
“why-beat-around-the-bush” kissing ball. I’ve seen these
made entirely of glued together pinecones. My version is easier.
Just fill a large plastic ornament with mini pinecones, sprinkle
in some Christmas confetti for a little sparkle and use a colorful
ribbon for a hanger. 

If you wish, you can
tie pieces of greenery into the ribbon before hanging.

A banana tree can be a used as an ornament stand
to showcase a favorite ornament.

A single pretty Christmas pick takes
on new beauty when highlighted under glass. See more ideas
for using your vases like this: https://www.dollarstorestyle.com/Christmasunderglass.html

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