The Dollar Diva

Looat I found at Dollar Tree!


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!!  


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!) 


 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.



P1110568Old spools of string are fun to embellish too.


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!


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.


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.


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.

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.

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???

Dollar Tree votive candle holders turned into cloches

Tulip shaped votive holders from dollar Tree.

I used these ‘lace cut’ ceramic birds that I got at Michael’s on clearance for under $2.00; but you can use just about ANYTHING that has a flat enough surface area to be glued on.  (use e6000 adhesive to glue on your handle)  Old drawer knobs work just fine.  I just look around at thrift stores to find assorted things to use as cloche handles.

I added some of my teeny-tiny hand made glitter crowns to the birds.  (Aleen’s tacky glue to adhere the crowns)

I added a little twiggy nest under one of the cloches.

Tall cylinder vases, which can also be found at Dollar Tree stores work too.  I just happened to find these at a thrift store, along with a hurricane.

Same birds; the center one just a bigger version.

“Sugared” (clear white glitter) vintage sheet music crowns on these guys.

A lot of the time, the tulip holders that I find at thrift stores have been used as candle holders and still have some (sometimes a LOT !) wax still in them.  IF the votive still has it’s shape and has not totally melted, put it in the freezer and it will pop right out.

IF the candle is totally melted into the container, place it in a double boiler until the wax melts .  Pour out your melted wax into an old tin can and let it harden before disposing.  THEN take the boiling water from your double boiler and pour it into your holder to melt away the last bit of wax residue.  Don’t pout this water down the drain, as it has wax in it too.  Use a paper towel to dry and wipe away the last bit of wax residue.

Sign of the times, I guess!

It’s getting harder and harder to find good stuff to re-invent at the dollar store.  I used to NEVER leave Dollar Tree empty handed, but it’s happening more and more lately.  I’m going to have to expand my repertoire in order to add regular content to this blog!

These FAUX white fingerling starfish came from Michael’s, in a 3 pack for $2.00.  I actually thought they WERE real when I bought them (without putting on my reading glasses!)

It wasn’t until I opened the package and looked at the backs that I realized they were faux.  Pretty darn GOOD faux!  And probably STURDIER than the real thing for crafting purposes.

I recently saw a tutorial on a blog for making your own out of Fimo, (or any kind of hardening clay)  Pretty simple to figure out without a step-by-step guide.  They had used a PIN to prick all the little holes on the front though.  I think I’d use an old BRUSH of some kind instead of making them one by one by one by . . . . oh my!

I used these to make some simple peg racks.  FIRST (and it’s important to do this first!) I hammered in my sawtooth hangers on the BACK.  You’ll break the starfish if you try to do it later!)  Glued the starfish in place with e6000.  Once that glue set, I pre-drilled pilot holes and hammered in a couple of rusty nails to use as pegs.

If you want to prevent your rusty nails (or anything rusty) from further shedding ( which it WILL do on it’s own!) just apply a clear coat of any kind; varnish, mod podge, even plain ole white glue will do.  Just anything that will SEAL the rusty surface.

Beach decor

Most of this is Dollar Tree supplies I’ve had on hand for a while, and just recently used for projects.Pretty aqua votive holders with slanted rims.

I just glued a couple of scallop shells on the front.  

Little satin trinket box from Michael’s craft store.

A glittered sand dollar added to the top.

Little sisal frame with sand paper backing and shells glued on top.  Candle also cane from DT.  I just dressed it up by gluing on a starfish.  Aqua bottle is thrifted; shell glued in the top and a piece of sheer ribbon around the neck.

All the shells (except fingerling starfish) came from DT; as did the sheer ribbon and sand paper.

I haven’t found and beach glass (sea glass or decorative glass) at DT this year, but I had a lot in my ‘stash’ and made these sea-sea-glass wreaths.  This and several others are for sale in my etsy shop.  Be sure to check out the sea glass ‘treasure’ collections in my etsy shop too!

Shell ‘necklace’ for a vase

Couldn’t think of what ELSE to call it, so it’s a necklace for now!

Dollar Tree vase I’ve had sitting around for SOME time, awaiting a project. ANY kind of vase or even just a JAR would work for this application.  Just need an indented area for the necklace to be attached.   Shells came from DT also.

For hanging the shells you’ll need some JUTE twine.

And good ole Aleen’s tacky glue for gluing the shells to the jute.

Cut one LONG piece of jute.  You’ll want it long enough to go around the neck of your vase with room to tie a double knot.

Next cut LOTS of shorter strips of the jute.  You’ll be gluing a shell to EACH end of this and it will fold in half at the neck of your vessel.  How long or short you want to make these pieces is up to you; as well as how varying you want the lengths to be.   Put a good blob of glue into each shell, then insert your jute.  Lay flat and let dry overnight.

Take your jute pieces with the shells glued on and LAY them over your longer piece of jute.

I couldn’t get a pic of the next step because it requires both hands.  Pick up the ends of your long piece of jute from the position shown above.  This will DOUBLE your shelled jute pieces over.  Tie the longer jute piece around the neck of your vase; double knot and cut off the excess.

At this point you will still be able to maneuver the shell strips if you want.  Even them out or pull one end longer/shorter.

I opted to keep all my lengths fairly close to the same.


Since the vase itself is ‘so dressed up’ it really doesn’t NEED to be filled with anything.  but if you MUST fill it with something, go for something very SIMPLE, like a bunch of twigs,

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