The Dollar Diva

Soft cover journals at Dollar Tree

P1120906Found these journals at Dollar Tree last week; the three of them, in these three colors,  to a package.


Environmentally friendly even!  Slightly smaller than composition books, the measure 6″ x 8″ and the cardboard covers are sorter and pliable.  Nice size the carry along with you for notes.

P1120904Bundled, as they are on the shelf, you really don’t notice that there are three of them to a package.  I just bought one set for my personal use.  But these would be perfect to ‘alter’.  Add some pretty scrapbook paper to the front and a few embellishments.  Would make great little gifts or party favors.

These previous posts  show some ideas of different ways I have altered journals in the past if you need some inspiration.

FINALLY!!! A new post!

Greetings Dollar Diva blog fans.  Were you worried that I’d fallen into a sink hole or abandoned my dollar diva ways, since it’s been so long since I’ve posted?!?!?  It’s just getting harder and harder to find ‘good stuff’ at the Dollar store these days.  Much of it is repeat product that I’ve already shown.  Slim pickins on the new stuff!  ‘The birds’ that I look forward to every year were a complete disappointment to me this year.  They were ‘okay’ but just not really ‘alterable’ as they were all perched on a rock or branch.    FINALLY found some fun Easter stuff yesterday at Dollar Tree!

P1120037Bags of 36 little glittered styro eggs in PERFECT colors for me!

P1120038I only bought these 2 colors, but they did have more colors.  Solid color bags also in yellow, green, and a weird pinkish-orange.  And some bags with a mixture of colors.  What will I DO with them?

P1120041I had this recently acquired jar still sitting out on my work table and it was perfect to fill with the eggs.  Each section holds an entire bag.

P1120040A pretty bow on top and done!  Now I have to go dig through my ‘jar stash’ to find more suitable containers.  They’d also be cute in little baskets with some grass.

P1120039Just AFTER I had ‘cleared the shelf’ of both shades of the blue glitter ones, I found these unfinished styro (actually I think this stuff is called ‘dynalite’) ones.  These are a little bigger than the glitter eggs, but a tad smaller than a chicken egg.  They also had a 6 pack of larger plain ones.  Not sure what I will do with these yet, but I KNEW to grab ‘em while I could because they will all be gone by the time I go back!

10% off at Dollar Tree – this Sunday only

I remember them doing this ‘Customer Appreciation Sale’ several years ago, but then it seems like they stopped it for quite some time.   I was pleasantly surprised the other day when the cashier handed me a coupon after I paid for my purchase!

They also sent out the coupons via their email list.  I hope THIS LINK   works for you to print up a coupon for yourself.

Spread the word to your thrifty friends!  And while you’re there, sign up for the email list so you don’t miss the next one!

I’ll be buying some Christmas crafting supplies for NEXT year, some brown wrapping paper that I use to package signs that I sell on etsy (that don’t fit in flat rate boxes)  Goodies for a big ‘treat basket’ we do every year for our post office (small rural office with only about 10 employees)  some gift bags (always nice to have a few spares on hand), the low watt light bulbs that I use in the lamps that I sell in my booths, refills for my tape dispenser . . . .

I could easily spend $100.00!

MY kind of crazy idea!!!

I am SO excited to actually see a BRAND NEW idea in Pinterest!!!  Seems like lately I can only last about five minutes before I am bored with seeing the ‘same-ole-same-old’ stuff yet AGAIN!!

Do you LOVE this fabulously fluffy white wreath as much as I do?!?!?   I JUST saw it on Pinterest and HAD to post it here in my DD blog; because YES indeed it was made using stuff from the Dollar Store!

I don’t even think that “I” could have ever come up with this idea!!!  Pop on over to the  Craftberry Bush Blog for the complete step by step tutorial.

Those big round plastic Christmas ball ornaments from Dollar Tree

I have bought and used these big plastic ball ornaments ‘as is’ here and there in the past when we had our brick and mortar store.  They are great to add to color theme decorated trees for added interest, in moderation.  I’d say no more than three of them on an average size Christmas tree.


Or tie some curly ribbon to a few and scatter them about your Christmas dinner table as decorations.  OR tie on little name tags and use them as place cards.  We used them for outdoor decorations at our store, hanging them from the Dollar Tree pine rope garland (the single strand kind w/o any branches).  I don’t have any pictures, but they looked quite nice hanging along the ENTIRE front of the building.  It was in a strip mall, and we were in about the center of a 7 store strip.  Thought it would look cheesy to ONLY decorate our tiny store front, so we bought enough to do the entire strip.

They packed away and kept well for several years of use.  Now that we don’t have the store, what to do with the leftover decorations?!?!  Most of them we donated.  I saves a few of the balls and prettied them up:

10.18.13 both malls prijects 162These are the big ‘softball size’ ones.  I covered them with strips of vintage sheet music, then mica flakes.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 157Leaving the plastic tag loop made them easier to work with.  After I put the mica flakes on, I used an opened up paper clip through that loop to hang them to dry.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 158I also had some metal stars leftover from last year; purchased after Christmas on clearance:

etsy-stars-12-24-11-012You have to look very carefully at PAINTED items like this.  Oftentimes the paint is RAISED, and therefore the design will still show though when repainted.  Luckily these were nice and flat.

etsy-stars-12-24-11-062Last year I papered a few of them with vintage sheet music then added the mica flakes; and displayed them with some ‘seed bead’ ornaments.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 160I had ‘started’ working on some more of them last year, and spray painted them gold and silver.  Dug them out this year and just added mica flakes.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 159Didn’t want them to be TOO ‘matchy-matchy’ to the balls!

10.18.13 both malls prijects 161I also found a few smaller balls.  I think they were from a set of assorted blues/aquas and I just didn’t care for this particular color.  Not that it’s a BAD color, it was just more ‘ice blue’ than aqua and didn’t work with my color scheme.  So I covered them with the sheet music strips and mica flakes also.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 169The small balls have silver tops and the bigger ones have gold.  I decided to see how it might look to just mix them all together with the silver and gold stars.  Not bad actually!

10.18.13 both malls prijects 166I still want to tie some pretty bows through the hanger loop on the ornaments.  Still pondering whether or not I need to do anything more to the stars. . . .

10.18.13 both malls prijects 168Will price them individually and put them in a big bowl or tray; for sale in one of my antique mall booths.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 160I know it USED to be a real ‘no-no’ in the decorating and fashion worlds.  And I don’t think I’d ever put just ONE big silver adornment with an otherwise gold room (or outfit!).  But I really am liking this particular mixture of a little of each!  Maybe it’s because the mica flakes on everything helps tie it all together visually?  

What do you think about decorating with gold and silver like this?

Pumpkin bobble heads at Dollar Tree

Posted in Dollar Tree,Fall / Halloween by trash2treasure on October 21, 2013

This is about the time of year that I try to frequent my local Dollar Tree stores more often, looking for Christmas supplies.  The good  stuff goes REALLY fast, so if you snooze, you LOSE!  White and gold are ‘the’ colors for Christmas this year, at DT at least!

They USED to wait until the day after Halloween to put the Christmas stuff out, but it has been appearing earlier the last few years.  As soon as some of the Halloween stocked shelves empty, they start putting out MARKED DOWN Christmas stuff left from last year.  I’ve found some really great deals on mark down!

I was just ‘running in real quick’ to buy some new hair clips on the way home from the movies (Gravity in 3D!  It was amazing!) and spotted these little guys on one of the front displays:

10.18.13 both malls prijects 005How cute are they?!?!?  And I’d been into other DT stores in my area recently and NOT seen these in any of those others?!?!  They also had a witch and a mummy, but they were not as cute as the punkin heads!

10.18.13 both malls prijects 006Seriously, almost cute enough to use ‘as is’.  But of course you KNOW I can never do that!  They actually remind me of one the style of my favorite modern folk artist, Dan DiPaulo.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 042

The paint was a little sloppy in a few places; the orange from the base was on the boots in a few places, so I painted over that to neaten it up.  Then I glittered the heads!

10.18.13 both malls prijects 045Let my glitter glue dry overnight, then shake to get any loose glitter off; then a quick coat of clear spray to keep the glitter from ‘shedding’ too much during use.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 105This cloche made from a DT beverage glass and thrifted knob fit over them perfectly!

Dollar Tree cookies make over!

Not MY idea, but a great one that I found in bloggeritaville and had to share!

Pretty cute. eh?!?!?  If I hadn’t mentioned cookies in the post title, would you have EVER guessed that that is what these are made of?!?

This is the package that the cookies came from. Now I don’t usually peruse the cookie aisle when I go to Dollar Tree so I don’t know if we get these locally.

And these are the cookies that were used.  See the complete how to in the post by BLISSFUL ROOTS .  And you can see what she did with the same cookies for Christmas ornaments  HERE.

Eons ago I hand painted some McDonald cookies.  Do they even still have those?  In a little box like animal cookies, but in the McDonald’s characters shapes.  Here’s what I did to mine to preserve them for YEARS.

After painting you need to dry them out really well and crisp them back up.  Turn your oven on to it’s LOWEST temp.  While the oven heats up, spread your cookies out on a cookie sheet.  TURN THE OVEN OFF as soon as it heats up and put your sheet of cookies in for an hour or so.  The oven will stay warm enough to get ALL the moisture out of the cookies.

Immediately after removing your cookies from the oven, attach the string or ribbon for them to hang from and let the glue dry overnight.  The next day apply a couple of coats of clear varnish to the cookies, front and back.  You’ll notice that the first coat of varnish really soaks INTO the cookies.  That’s fine. and it really helps to strengthen them.

To preserve the cookies that Blissful Roots has shown us, you would want to varnish them BEFORE adding the glitter.  And remember, it’s a good idea to give ANY glittered item a coat of clear spray after your application glue is completely dry to help minimize ‘glitter shedding’.

I’d LOVE to see any variations that you come up with on ‘altered cookies’!

SERIOUSLY slim pickins at the Dollar Store!!!

I used to NEVER leave the dollar store empty-handed!  Lately though the picking have been really slim.  Slim to ZIPPO!!  I hardly ever have anything new to share here in the Dollar Diva blog, and it’s making me very SAD!!

Was hoping for some new items for fall, but it’s mostly the same old, same OLD stuff.  And it seems like the longer an item remains in stock, the poorer the quality becomes!

Case in point.  I went in to buy a few more of the feather crows they have every year.  Still have a few from a couple of years ago that I had stashed then couldn’t find, so I bought more; then found my stash.  The ones they have this year all look like they have MANGE!?!?  

The little chocolate truffle candles they first got in 4-5 years ago in very short supply.  I buy them mostly for display on the cupcake and dessert stands that I upcycle; but people always want to buy them so I started buying more and putting a price tag on them.  Last year they had HOARDS of them in stock, and several new ‘flavors’ too.  Glad I bought about 5 cases of them then because the ones they are getting in now, and seem to have year round; look like CRAP!!

  I did find some cute little ceramic glittered pumpkins earlier this month.

P1080309But there is nothing more that you can really DO to them.  I used to buy the plastic gourds and pumpkins and paint and glitter them.  These I can use ‘as is’; but I prefer to ‘alter’ my DT finds.  All I had to do to these was give them was spray on a coat of clear varnish to keep the glitter from shedding.

***These would be PERFECT to use for Thanksgiving table place-cards!   Just tie a little tag with the name written on it to the loop on the stem.

P1080306These black owls were nice.  Hoping that maybe next year they will make the crows like this, with velvet like bodies and just a few adorning feathers.  But all I could think of to do with the owls was add a crown.

P1080537And I did have to ‘work with their feet a bit’ to get them to stand up.  They kept falling over, until I got the feet bent ‘just so’.

P1080302These sets of magnetic frames are cute, but NOT very magnetic!  They wouldn’t even hold up a small piece of paper.  That’s okay though because I didn’t buy them for their magnetic use.  I’ll use them for some altered art projects; and probably paint them black or white.

P1080300These buttons will be great for some spring projects.  I bought several packages.

P1080307I bought these resin pumpkins to repaint, but I’m not liking how they turned out at ALL!  Will maybe paint them white or gold them glitter just  the outer most raised ribs. 

THAT’S IT!!!  That is ALL I have found at DT in MONTHS.  sigh.

So that leaves me wondering . . .  what do I do with this blog?!?!  Do I remain true to my original ‘mission statement’ for this blog and stick with ONLY posting about dollar store projects; potentially leaving it ti fizzle out and die due to lack of content???

Or do I ‘get with the times’ and start posting about ‘discount store finds’ and make overs?  Because now that I spend so little time perusing DT stores, I get out to Ross and Marshalls a lot more and am finding some pretty cool stuff there.  It just costs more than a dollar!  

I’d love to hear what direction you’d like to see this blog move in.

*Stick with Dollar Store finds no matter what.


* Expand my posting repertoire to include ‘bargain finds’ from other sources also.  (which I have done occasionally in the past)


Got another ‘wire (trash can!) cloche done.

Since I showed you this base for another wire cloche that I was working on:

2.12.13 etsy projects 031

I thought you might like to see it after I finished it:

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 045And on this one I remembered to take a picture of how I attached the knob:

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 046I just painted the little wood oval (you can buy these at the craft store) black at the same time that I was painting the wood knob.  Pre-drilled a hole in the oval so the wood wouldn’t split when I added the screw.  Then I was actually able to drive the screw into the knob with a hand-held driver. (BECAUSE the hole in the wood ‘washer’ was pre-drilled)

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 047

This looks SO much better than seeing the ‘screw stem’ of the knob hanging down on the inside!

Dollar Tree wire cloche

I have to admit that this was NOT my own original idea.  I saw this picture on Pinterest:

Dollar store transformation

And BAM!!!  My wheels started turning! Dashed out to Dollar Tree the first chance I got and looked for the wire trash cans (which is what the biggest one is made from)  There were NONE!  Rats!

But I seem to recall seeing them there ALL the time.  Maybe more were coming in soon.  I checked at different DT later in the week and found them.  I opted for BLACK.

I had made these, using old lamp shades in the past; but the ‘right’ lamp shade can be hard to find.   You need the ones that were attached to the lamp with a screw on finial at the top.4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 040Here’s my version using the DT trash can.  The only thing I didn’t really care for in the Pinterest samples was that you could SEE the rest of the knob screw coming through the inside.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 042

I brainstormed a bit with Michael and opted for a big wood finial (I grab the whenever I see them at thrift stores!)  Made a small round wood ‘washer’ and screwed it in from underneath.  NO screw stem showing!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 041I wanted mine on a taller pedestal base.  Just happened to have this vintage heavy resin cherub statue in my stash; and the top of it was FLAT.  I had bought a pile of the plastic charger plates at DT when they were half price after Christmas; not knowing WHAT I would use them for.  They were the perfect size for this project. I glued the plate to the statue with e6000.  Let the adhesive set for a day; then spray painted!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 039Now I can’t wait to make MORE!  This one is for sale in my booth at Curiosities in Beaverton.

2.12.13 etsy projects 031This pretty urn (plastic painted gold!) was found at a thrift store.  It has some very ugly fake flowers in it, and was half price.  I bought it specifically for the urn only.  Originally intending to put a little Christmas tree in it.  That didn’t happen.  So it was just ‘sitting around’ when I made the previous pedestal; and was a perfect size to fit the DT charger plates!

2.12.13 etsy projects 032For better ‘footing’ I inverted the urn and glued the plate to the bottom.  Painted it all black too.  Working on the top for this one right now.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 044Here’s another lamp shade one; sitting atop a little upcycled table.  Cast iron base and round metal tray glued together, then spray painted black.  These are also in my booth at Curiosities, but the table and cloche are priced individually.    The cherub one is priced as a set; top and base together.

Trying to decide if I want to try some white ones now; or the smaller ones from the Pinterest picture.  Although I’ve only seen those smaller baskets in OVAL; which would be hard to find a base for.

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