The Dollar Diva

Dollar Tree gumball machines


Fairly small, and not many choices of colors; this blue and bright red and yellow.  I was hoping to find white, but this blue color will do.

I just filled them with seashells that I’ve gathered over the years.  (and YES, some of those shells were gathered from Dollar Tree stores!)

  I had some MINI red ones that I found a few years ago that I turned into ‘snow globes’!

I had forgotten about the red ones that I filled with little conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day?!?!  Cute, no?


These would be super cute as party favors or table centerpieces.  I just checked the DT website and the gumball machines come in 4 colors, as shown in the above picture from their site.  IF you order from the website, be aware that if you order a ‘case’, you will get a case of MIXED COLORS.  Most DT inventory comes with assorted colors per case.

For baby shower decor, Dollar Tree has lots of the little mini favors and decorations, that would be adorable in the gumball machines!

What else could you fill these cute little gumball machines with?  Buttons?  Little wood spools?  Marbles?  Old photographs???   I’d love to hear your ideas!


Upcycled Dollar Tree trinket boxes


These little trinket boxes at Dollar Tree are quite well made and have a magnetic closure.  The designs on the tops . . . .  um . . .well . . .  really easy to alter!


The manufacturers stickers on the bottom are nearly impossible to remove.  Much easier to just cover them with a mix or match paper.  On these red boxes I opted for a piece of old dictionary page.


I glued a piece of red glitter paper (also from DT!) to the top.  Then a turquoise glitter “JOY” ornament (with the hanger loop clipped off) glued on (I use tacky glue) and a little white foam snowflake sticker (Yep, got that at DT too!) in the center of the “O”.


I always put a little bit of ‘paper shred’ inside any gift boxes that I sell.  It’s just a quirk of mine, I guess.  People ALWAYS open up boxes and look inside and I guess I just like there to be a little something inside to surprise them!  You can buy the bags of basket filler paper shred at DT also.  I add ‘other stuff’ to the regular shred to make my own custom blend.  Colored tissue paper, iridescent icicles, hand folded and cut vintage sheet music and just whatever else I can find!

I decided one little red jingle bell (from where else?!?) would look cute on the front flap.

I tucked them in with a few other red and turquoise items in my booth.

I have a lot of red and turquoise hand crafted felt ornaments in my booth this year too.  It’s one of my favorite Christmas color combinations!

I’ve also altered other colors in non-holiday themes.

Dollar Tree salt shaker snow folk


I made the above batch of ‘snow folk’ using assorted VINTAGE glass bottles, some of which were salt shakers.

P1240127You can view the complete tutorial for them  HERE on my Trash2Treasure blog.

p1230910After I used up the stash of vintage bottles I had on hand, I still had a few ‘heads’ left to use up.


I was perusing Dollar Tree for some project inspirations and spotted these salt shakers.


So I grabbed a few to make into snow folk.


On these I decided to use the bottle cap for the hat, instead of making the paper party hats like I did with the vintage bottle ones.


Pretty much ALL the supplies came from Dollar Tree: the little red bells, the chenille stems used around the neck and for the ‘pom-pom’ on the hat, and the ‘snow’ to fill the jars.

You could make these into ornaments too if you wanted to.  Just slip a loop of ribbon through the holes in the cap before gluing it to the head.

Party chicks


How CUTE are these little chicks from Dollar Tree?!?!


They have ‘bobble heads’ and were in with the Easter decor.  They had bunnies too, but I didn’t really care for the bunnies.


I glued pointy party hats to their heads and tied a bow around their necks.


The hats are made from some ‘ice cream come holders’ that I bought a long time ago on clearance; thinking that they would make cute little party hats! The little pom-poms glued to the top of the hats were something that I had on hand.


I stuffed the hats with crumpled newspaper to make them nice and sturdy.  First a dab of glue (tacky glue) in the point of the hat and a tightly twisted little piece of paper.  A bit more glue and a crumpled piece of paper, tightly tamped down with a pair of scissors.  Just kept doing that, layer by layer until I had just enough space left to glue the hat to their heads.  Used tacky glue for that too.  Only had to ‘hold them in place for a minute of two white the glue set.


Ready to PARTY!!

Altered DT wood plaques

5.13.13 mancave ETSY 012Got these plaques a couple of years ago.  Actually liked these ‘as is’, but still intended to re-do them.

5.13.13 mancave ETSY 013It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the center part where the writing was is a separate and raised piece; so it was easy to sand all of that off with an orbital sander.

P1070284The hardest part of this do-over was matching the paint to the background.  First I painted the center black, then Ivory.  While it’s not an exact match to the border, but distressing the center and letting some black show through; you don’t really notice the slight color difference.

P1070285I think they tuned out pretty darn good!!

P1070289I left the original hanger on the back and just added another to hang the horizontally.

P1070288NOW I’m kinda wishin’ I had MORE of the to re-do!!


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.

Collaged spiral Dollar Tree journals

Gosh, I’ve had these little spiral journals for YEARS!  Bought them back when we had our shop and was offering to personalize them with monogram letters.  Never did sell very well, and they got packed away when we closed our store.  In my recently renewed quest to ‘use up what I have’, I can across the box of them and decided to fix them up and sell them on etsy.

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 030There were some in the original batch that I bought that the covers were ALL kraft color.  It’s these with the strip of color on the edge that I had a hard time with because I had to coordinate that side color with what I put on the front.  There were also some with pink on the sides.

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 029They are actually quite nice little journals.  I’ve not seen these same ones at DT since ‘back then’, BUT it doesn’t HAVE to be a ‘blank cover’ journal for you to alter.  Just be use that it is a color and pattern that you can easily work .  OR, if you can’t find a journal, grab a good ole composition book!  Altering those is quite popular these days!

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 023These are the ones with the pink strip.  I just rummaged through my scrap book supplies until I found something that ‘worked’ for me.

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 024On these I did 2 different prints of paper; 3/4 and 1/4.  Any combination of papers will work; just avoid going 50/50.  Remember the rule of ODDS in decorating.

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 025Then after all my papers were glued on, I looked for embellishments  and just happened to have this set of six that worked perfectly with the paper colors.

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 027The purple and green ones were much harder to find the right papers for.  I just don’t have much in those colors; and I was NOT about to go out and BUY any more.  Just as I was about to resign myself to the fact that maybe these were just ‘meant to be’ tossed in the Goodwill donation bag . . .I found paper that worked!

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 028And I think the green ones are now my favorites, with the addition of the turquoise!

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 031A couple more pink ones.  This time I just did one color on the front; after i realized that one color actually looked okay when I did the purple ones!

1.1.13 etsy signs boxes 032And with the few plain kraft cover ones I was able to add more papers to the front; three layers here: old dictionary page, scrapbook paper then old sheet music.  The embossed kraft color embellishments were the perfect finishing touch!

These will soon be listed for sale in my etsy shop.

Quickie little journal do-over

12.29.12 stars Val buys 016Sorting through some more bins of old product and came across this little 5″x5″ DT journal that I had bought to alter and just never got around to.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 017Completely covering would be a LOT of work, so I kept the original color as my background and used that for my color inspiration for the make over.  First I added a hand torn piece of vintage sheet music.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 018Then a hand folded crepe paper rosette topped with a sticker that says “Happy Hearts”.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 019I try to make most of my Valentine stuff, NOT just for Valentine’s Day.  More love, hearts, cherubs etc themes.  That way I can still sell them AFTER Valentine’s day.

Started my Valentine crafting

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 107I hunt for empty used heart shaped candy boxes throughout the year at thrift stores.   Then I do a bit of  collage work on the lids and sell them on etsy and in my booth at the antique mall.  These two are the smaller size heart shaped boxes.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 109First I covered the lid with vintage sheet music, then a red metallic paper doily, then a tea stained white paper doily, then this ready made heart tag.  There’s no real method or system to what I layer on top, or when.  I just ‘play around’ with the assorted papers that I have and select what I think works best.

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 115Oftentimes the boxes even still have the divided plastic trays in them.  Which was the case with these.

12.12.12 projects Stars 044Remember these SMALLER 3 to a pack chocolate candy candles I showed you a while back????

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 113They fit into the divided plastic trays in the box!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 111Is this too cute or what?!?!?  No calorie chocolates for Valentine’s day!

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 112The heart shaped paper insert was still with the box too!  I’ll probably add some embellishments to that too.  Maybe a sweet Valentine sentiment of some kind?

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 110The ‘chocolate fragrance’ on these littler ones is not as strong as on the bigger ‘cupcake size’ ones, also from DT.  But that I can fit them directly into the heart shaped candy boxes is a big plus!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 001

Trying to decided whether or not I need to ‘pretty up’ the side of the box too.  What do you think?  Is just decorating the top enough?  Or should the sides be done too?  Maybe just the vintage sheet music on the sides?

12.26.12 Valentine crafts 114

Cute Dollar store wreath idea from Mrc. Polly Rogers blog via Pinterest



Click here  to see the complete tutorial.  And while you’re there, take a look at some of her other stuff!  I found this blog via Pinterest, and she has a lot of really great and inexpensive ideas!