The Dollar Diva


Dollar Tree gumball machines

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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?

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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!

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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 Glitter Crowns: Quick & Easy!!

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I found these GLITTERED poster boards (3pk/ 8.5″ x 11″) at Dollar Tree.  There were quite a few different colors, mostly bright ‘jewel tones’.  I bought the copper color and turquoise.

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It IS much more ‘glittery’ in person than it shows in photos; and the glitter STAYS on the paper and doesn’t shed as much as adding your own glitter!

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To make my crown I cut one piece in half lengthwise and glued the two pieces together, end to end using tacky glue.  I press mine under a heavy book overnight to be sure it dries nice and flat.

Next form your long strip into a circle, overlapping the ends as much as needed to make your crown the circumference you want.  Press together and/or use clamps to be sure it dries nice and flat.

Once that glue is dry, cut your crown points with scissors.  You can cut them any width you want.  I prefer to make my points very WIDE.  The wider points are, the sturdier they will be, and won’t ‘dog ear’ with wear as easily.

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I chose to embellish my crown with a crepe paper rosette.  (you can get the crepe paper at Dollar Tree too!)   Cut a 30″ piece of crepe paper.  Fan fold it in 1/4″ folds.  Once your whole piece is folded, glue the two ends together to make a circle.  Use very LITTLE glue for this part.  Too much glue and several folds will stick together in a clump.

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I prefer my rosettes to be a bit ‘pliable’ so I back them with card-stock instead of heavy cardboard.  I use my scalloped edge punch to cut my backing pieces.

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This part can be a little tricky because your rosette will want to ‘sprawl out’ and ‘pop back up’ and NOT lay perfectly flat as shown in the picture above this one.  Cover one side of your backing paper with plenty of tacky glue.  Position your rosette so the folds fan out as evenly as possible.  Gently place your backing piece, glue side down, onto your rosette.  Gently tap it around the edges; you don’t want it sticking too tightly just yet.  Flip it over and maneuver your folds to even them out more if  needed.  I use a small paint scraper for this next step, but a stiff piece of cardboard would work too.  With the backing facing down, take the paint scraper and tap it between each fold, close to the center.  ( hope that makes sense!)  This step helps the backing stick to the rosette, without crushing all those pretty folds.

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I just happened to have some copper colored glitter, so I decided to glitter the ruffles of my rosette.  For this, I use regular white glue (tacky glue is too thick for this).  Dip a fairly stiff paint brush into the glue and gently dab it along the very edges of your rosette.  If you look closely at the picture, you can see how quickly the glue absorbs down the folds, so don’t use too much glue.  Once you’ve added glue all the way around the edge; pour some glitter into a small dish and gently roll the glued edges of your rosette in the glue. Set it atop ‘something’ tat the edges do not touch (like a can) and let dry overnight.

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I wanted to glitter one of my smaller scalloped edge circles to put in the center of my rosette.  But getting glitter on the whole thing in one step proved problematic.

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My solution?  Glue a tiny scrap of paper to the back and fold it to make a tab.  Then with the same brush I had used for the glue for the rosette edges, I covered the other side of this scallop circle with white glue and sprinkled on the glitter.  That little tab came in handy for the glue drying time too, as it propped up the glued side while the glue dried so it didn’t stick to anything.  (as you can see, a bit of glue and glitter does seep over the edges!)

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Once that glue is dry, snip off the tab on the back.  I then glued my glitter circle to a slightly larger plain paper circle; then glued both in the center of my rosette.  (that little bit of glue seepage dried clear, so it’s not a problem.

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Total cost per crown is less than a dollar!  

These would be fun to make for a little girls party.  Even without any embellishments they are really cute.  You could even let the kids embellish their own crowns by supplying assorted plastic gem stones.  (which are also available at Dollar Tree!)

Party chicks

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Ready to PARTY!!

Waiting (IM)patiently for the new stock of birds to arrive at Dollar Tree

I KNOW they have had some kind of new style of resin birds in stock every year.  I THOUGHT the new stock would arrive sometime in March, apparently not.  I don’t remember exactly WHEN I bought them in the past, but it seemed like early springtime.  Maybe after the Easter stock is gone they will bring in the birds.  In the meantime, I gave these ceramic doves a make over.

They’ve had these particular doves in stock forever it seems.  For some reason, I always passed them up.  I think I didn’t care for the ‘sandy’ finish on them.   Repainting them and adding some Ralph Lauren glaze helped.

The birds, clear glass bowl vases, clear small plates and Spanish moss all came from DT.  I could/would have bought the candle holder base there too, except that I had a case of others I’d bought for less at a rummage sale.  The eggs were the little wood ornament eggs.  I removed the string for hanging them, and  painted them.

I work a handful of the moss into a nest shape and GLUE the egg in the center.  (those eggs tend to disappear if they’re  not glued down!

Use e6000 for gluing the bird to the globe and the candle holder to the bottom of the plate.

AFTER I made all of these and took them to my space at Stars, I decided they needed CROWNS!


Dollar Tree Christmas clearance crafts

So, did you venture out to any of the after Christmas sales yesterday?  It’s my VERY favorite shopping day of the year.  First stop is always Dollar Tree.  (and next stop and the next!  Each store will have different stock left; so I go to as many close by ones as I can!)

FIRST I look for red or white stuff, nothing that had Christmas designs though.  The red things I can usually use for Valentines day.   And the white things work with shabby chic year round.  (white berry picks are my #1 white buy!)  Then I look for things I will use as SUPPLIES for next years Christmas crafting.  Snowflakes, chenille stems, garland etc.

You can see some of my previous ideas here.

And here’s what I’ve come up with THIS year:

Unless you are really INTO holograms, you’ve probably passed these by.  I was intrigued by how BIG and 3D the star was when opened up.  Knew I could make them over somehow to suit MY decorating tastes.

Isn’t the SHAPE just awesome when you open it up???  And actually, you probably COULD sue them ‘as is’ to decorate for a New Years party.

They just ‘pop open’ (do it slooooooowly; you have to ‘help along’ the tips a little) and pull the cord to keep it open.  If using ‘as is’ you use the same cord to hang it from.  If you are -re-doing; it like me, you need to get rid of the cord and bead!

I cut the cord and remove it, then TAPE closed the opening left behind.  (that’s that hardest part of this re-do!  You really need five hands!)  Then I GLUE on strips of paper along the seam that I taped, and the tips and edges; as shown above, to really make them sturdy. (ANY paper will do for this part, as it will be fully covered when finished)   Then I start using the paper that I want to SHOW on my finished project, I chose my favorite vintage music paper!)    Again using GLUE and going over the parts that are already papered first, but in the opposite direction.  (across the seam instead of along the seam)  Keep at it until at least 90% of your star is covered.

Let that much dry overnight, then apply your final coat using liquid starch as your adhesive.  ( this is MY method of paper mache!)   And let dry overnight again.

The center point on both sides is the ‘trickiest’ to cover.  Use TINY pieces of paper and extra layers as this spot will wear the most over years of use.

Since I am putting these in my booth as New Years decor, I added a KISS banner that I made.

This gives you a better idea of how BIG they are!

Fairly time consuming to make, but well worth it!  I always have a box or two of torn paper strips on hand.    I do a lot of  ‘paper tearing’ at night while I’m watching TV.  That way, when ‘inspiration strikes’ I can get right to my project.