The Dollar Diva


BIG Dollar Tree Snowflake ‘wreath’

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Big 18″ acrylic snowflake from Dollar Tree. (I used TOW of them, and ‘offset’ the points for more fullness)   Smaller silver glitter covered cardboard snowflake, also from DT.  Hand crafted vintage sheet music rosette topped with a silver glitter “Merry Christmas” DT ornament.  (the Merry Christmas ornaments come in a five pack).

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A little bit of glue, $3.20 worth of supplies and about five minutes is all it took to create this simple ‘wreath’.

Dollar Tree Reindeer

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You can’t tell from the picture, but these glittered reindeer that I found at Dollar Tree are BIG!  I didn’t measure them, but they are about 15″ x 22″.  They came in silver, Platinum and red glitter.  I didn’t care for the red reindeer, so I only bought the silver and Platinum colors.

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bought these bags of little jingle bells at DT also.  This was the smallest size bells they had; which came 50 to a bag.  There were 2 more bigger sizes in the bags.  Then, as they always have, the BIG jingle bells with the snowflake cutout that come 9 to a cello box.  They also had all four bell sizes in red, green, silver and gold.  I bought several packages of ALL sizes and colors; but mostly RED!

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And here is how I ‘dressed up’ the silver reindeer.  I glued on black satin ribbon in the shape of a harness; then added jingle bells.

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I forgot to get pictures of the other ways I decorated them; but I did some with just one red jingle bell on the nose (Rudolph!)  And some with red bells strung around the neck.

with as inexpensive as these were, you could easily afford to buy enough to create Santa’s entire reindeer team to place on your mantle and the wall above!

I bought at least two dozen of them and sold nearly ALL of them at a Holiday Craft show.

Dollar Tree Glitter Holly Wreath

Found these solid green glitter holly wreaths at Dollar Tree.

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They are about 12″ across and came in solid red glitter too.  I only bought the green because ‘red holly leaves’???  Um. No.

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Super quick and easy to spruce up!  I glued (using tacky glue) little red jingle bells on top of the raised ‘berry’ spots.  And then glued a red glitter “Merry Christmas” ornament at the top, over the bow.  (also using tacky glue)

**** A word about ‘glues’.  I am not a big fan of hot glue.  I ALWAYS get burned at least once, EVERY time I use it; and I HATE the strings!  (yes, I KNOW you can get rid of the strings with a hair dryer.  I still hate having to deal with them!!)   So, I use tacky glue whenever possible.

On these wreaths, I applied the dots of tacky glue on top of ALL the berry spots at once.  This gives it a minute to start to ‘set’.  It really only takes a few seconds to begin to set.  Then I added all my bells and let it dry flat overnight.  The next day, I added the Merry Christmas ornament the same way.

Tacky glue also holds up better to extreme heat or cold; whereas hot glue tends to harden and crack and crumble over time.  Stepping off my glue soapbox now.

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Perfect, no?

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The bells at Dollar Tree come on FOUR sizes.  The biggest ones in a 9-pack.  Then they have bags of them in three smaller sizes.  The smallest ones (which is what I used on this wreath) have 50 per bag.    I buy several of each size of the red bells and put them on EVERYTHING!!  All four sizes of bells come in red, green, silver and gold.  And yes, I have a stash of ALL four colors!

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Red and green vignette in my booth.  The big jingle bells sell well individually priced too.   have a bowl and jar of them.

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Those same red glitter ‘Merry Christmas’ ornaments were the perfect addition to some ‘snow globe’ apothecary jars I made using Dollar Tree supplies too.

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These turned out really cute!

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I actually bought the supplies for these a year or two ago; and just got around to using them this year.  The white glitter deer is an ornament, but it did stand on it’s own,  I used wire cutters to cut off the to hanging loop on the antlers.  The snow came from DT also.  The little bags they used to sell with the Christmas Village stuff.  (Which, by the way, I have NOT seen any of the Christmas Village stuff at DT this year?!?)

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The trees were also from the Christmas village stuff; they are a little more ‘lime’ green than dark forest green.  They came in a two pack, two sizes.  I used one of each size in these jars.

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I made one square jar too.  On this one you can better see how far up I filled the snow.  First I applied a thin layer of tacky glue on the entire inside base of the jar, to hold some of the snow in place.  But BEFORE I poured the snow in, I added the trees and reindeer.  Put a good size ‘glob’ of tacky glue on the bottom of each tree and positioned them.  Did the same with the reindeer.  (if your jar opening is not big enough to fit your hand inside, use a pair of pliers to lower them into place and position them, as needed.  Then before your tacky glue dries, pour in an inch or so of snow.

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A little red snowflake that I had in my stash was perfect to place on top of the lid.  I used  green satin ribbon to tie the red glitter “Merry Christmas” around the neck of the jar.

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Classic red and green Christmas decorations.

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Dollar Tree mercury glass lanterns

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These mercury glass style pint size glass jar lanterns with wire handle are perfect ‘as purchased’ from Dollar Tree.

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Still, I prefer to always add a ‘little something’ to dress them up a bit . . . and as an inspiration to others.  Most of the time I just rummage through the embellishment supplies I have on hand to find those little somethings.  In this case, I had some blue METAL snowflake charms that I tied on with some satin ribbon.

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Whenever possible, I make the added embellishments ‘removable’, just in case the purchaser has a different vision for using them.  These are easily removable by just untying the ribbon.

They also had gold and red colors of these mercury glass lanterns.  I usually add a tea light or batter tea light to them before I put them out for sale in my booth or at a show.  It’s just a little extra ‘nicety’ that doesn’t cost hardly anything to add on.

Looat I found at Dollar Tree!

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Little black wire Halloween trees!  Just one per package, but still not a bad price.  Haven’t decided what to do with them just yet.  They also had ALL the stuff it set up an entire “Halloween village”, like the Christmas village stuff.  You could paint these ANY color.  I might cover mine with black GLITTER!

P1150639It was utterly IMpossible to get a picture of these without a glare from the flash!  They look MUCH prettier in person.  They had a few different styles of these ‘Mercury glass looking’ votive holders and in silver as well as the gold, which I bought.

P1150645These will be pretty for a Christmas table centerpiece or even WEDDING or anniversary table decor!

CHEAP (almost free!) TRICK

It’s spring and I love making, selling and decorating with bird themed things, including nests with EGGS in them.

P1120046Things like this.  I can buy the nests pretty inexpensively, in bulk from a wholesale supplier (CWI, but you do have to have a retail license to buy from them) and the moss to fill out the nest from Dollar Tree.  But the EGGS???  The eggs are ridiculously expensive!!  

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Tiny ‘mini jelly bean’ sized ones are $3+ at the craft store.  And they are not even very realistically looking, with a very visible ‘seam’ where the two sides have been joined.  (you can ‘sand off’ those seams with a nail file!) 

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 I use the little eggs in wall collages like this. (the birds came from DT.)  And package the nests with eggs to sell individually.  With as many eggs as I use, I HAD to come up with a less costly egg supply.

P1120049HERE is my solution!  This was NOT my own original idea; but it was SO long ago that I came across it on the internet that I can’t remember WHERE I saw it.  (I always try to give credit where credit is due!  If you happen to know who originated this idea PLEASE let me know so I can credit them!)  Can you tell what these ORIGINALLY were??

P1120052They’re PISTACHIO shells!!!  Crazy cool, eh?!?!?  By the time you glue them into a nest you really can’t even SEE the other side, so why not!?!

Just save up a bunch of Pistachio shells.  Lay them open side down in a box (I use the low side boxes, like 4 six packs of soda come in)  You want the paint to easily reach them, but don’t want them to ‘blow away’ from the force of the spray!  Since them are so small, it is easier to use spray paint.  I probably did over a hundred of them at once.

I used white, cream, pale blue and light green paints all in really quick short spurts.  This will give you the most natural coloration of your eggs.  Once dry, you can add your speckles.  You can read about speckles and the splattering tool that I used  HERE.  It really is a pretty handy little tool.  I’ve TRIED to add the ‘fly speckling’ with an old toothbrush and ended up with BIG BLOBS instead of tiny specks.  But if you have a method that already works well for you. bu all means do it your way!

P1120047Adding a feather to the nests is a nice added touch.

 

Little glass jars

Since ‘good crafting stuff’ has been harder to find at the dollar store, I’ve been looking at the craft stores a little more.  Found these cute little glass bottles at Michael’s.

P1110593Very ‘vintage’ shape; came in just these two colors.  (was HOPING for aqua ones too!)

P1110591Grabbed a few of these little key charm packets.

P1110592And these little embellishment sets.

P1110599A snippet of scrapbook paper and some string or muslin and a little key turned the bottles into mini works of art!

P1110601Just be sure you really secure the keys in place or they will disappear!

P1110603On this bottle the key is GLUED on as well as tied on.

P1110590Here are some other bottles (thrift store finds) that I embellished.

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P1110568Old spools of string are fun to embellish too.

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On these I used some wired tissue paper ribbon.  Hard to work with.  Liked the prints on them but NOT working with the wire.  And the wire made it tear really easily if you tried to make a bow out if it.  Lesson learned.  Wired tissue ribbon LOOKS cool, but it’s JUST for looks!

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For most of the rest of these, I hand stamped tea stained paper.

P1110538The old yellowed book pages I used as the background on these three bottles was VERY brittle.  Even just applying glue to them caused them to tear.  My remedy:  Took them outside and sprayed them with a couple of quick coats of clear spray on varnish!  Still had to handle it very carefully, but it made it strong enough to glue in place.

P1120083Another recent batch of thrift store bottles.

P1120095Scraps of scrapbook paper for the label.  (I LOVE all the different papers with writing on them; even the stuff that is illegible looks cool!)

P1120088Another little strip of paper and some jute twine around the neck and a vintage repro key.

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More of my favorite papers with a snippet of old dictionary page sandwiched between.

P1120085Sheet music scrap and white twine around the neck, and a vintage repro key charm.

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More of the writing scrapbook papers, and a paper repro clock face (from a booklet of such assorted things)

P1120090Scrap of paper and some bakers twine on the neck of this one; and a key charm.

P1110956All these bottles are in my booth at Stars Antique Mall in Portland.

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.

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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.

Embellished the two bigger boxes

12.19.12 boxes Stars 034You’ll remember this set that I recently showed you how I recovered them.  I decided to add a little ’embellishment’ to the 2 biggest ones.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 006The little DT nests with eggs; and I’ve added a little bit of reindeer moss (also from DT!)to fill out the nest a bit.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 004Would be cute to use as storage boxes or gift boxes or just to display with your bird and nest collection!

NEXT several post with be VALENTINE stuff!

Little frames

So I’ve got a BUNCH of these little frames.  Round, oval, square and rectangle; and in ALL kinds of colors.  Some Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy colors like BRIGHT ORANGE!  (but you know what I say about COLOR!  You can ALWAYS change that!)  They were on SALE, so you KNOW I stocked up on them!  And that’s as far as I got.

I did a couple of little projects with them, like the framed ‘wish’ above; then I just got STUCK.  And they got shoved to the back of my supply stash and were forgotten.  UNTIL I went on a recent craft room organizing binge.  I am REALLY trying to USE UP all the old craft supplies I have.  And if I can’t think of a way to use it, I’ve been listing them on etsy, or donating them to Good will.

At the same time that I happened upon the old box of little box of old frames, I also happened upon these little bird lapel pins.  I GUESS I bought them because the bird was cute.  I don’t “DO” jewelry because I don’t WEAR jewelry.  I’m just NOT a jewelry person at ALL!  But I liked these little birds and bought them figuring I’d come up with SOME way to use them in my crafting.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .  I wonder if the bird pin will fit into the frame???  They just had a glued in place PLASTIC film front, instead of glass, so I had to rip that out.  Then I just cut the cardboard that the bird was already mounted on in a circle to fit the frame!

Super easy!

The frames and the bird pins came from those ‘impulse buy’ bins that Michael’s craft stores have at the front of their stores.  (you know, that ‘stuff’ that USED to be $1.00 each and now is 2 for $3.00?)  Well, at the front of MOST of their stores.  One of the two local Michael’s I shop at has them in a weird ‘out of the way.  In a way back corner behind all the jewelry stuff.   A corner of the store that I typically don’t even bother going to.  I just figured THIS Michael’s decided to NOT carry the stuff anymore!  Then when I finally found them, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t just ASKED where they were!  DOH!!!

Any thoughts on what else I can do with my little frames???

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