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Dollar Store DIY Holiday Decorations

Creating a frugally festive home with some easy craft ideas.

The beginning of December brings an itch I'm so tempted to scratch! The craft aisles call to me and Pinterest beckons me to make those wonderful holiday crafts that I pinned oh so long ago!

I've yet to find all my holiday decoration boxes, and I know I have more than enough to decorate my abode. However, every year I want something new and festive for the holidays, and that can lead to a lot of money spent on knick knacks that spend 11 months in a basement box.

Rather than totally succumbing to temptation, I'm using my crafty ways for good, and finding holiday decorations that I can make using Dollar Store purchases, and items I already have around the house.

So, get out your glue guns and paint brushes; it's time for some Christmas craftiness!

Holiday Flower Balls: You know those big balls that sit in a big bowl on your coffee table? The ones that you can buy for $10-$15 at home decor stores?

Here's a cheap/smart holiday version:

Items Needed:

  • whiffle ball (wrong season, I know, but I stole several from our hall closet.)
  • fake flowers- poinsettias or carnations, red or white 
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • scissors

How To: Cut stems off flowers. Glue around a hole of the whiffle ball and place a flower bud in so that the outer petals stick to the glue.  If you want to hang the ball, tie a ribbon through one hole of the whiffle ball before gluing the rest of the flowers in place. Make three to five flower balls, and place in a large bowl or basket on your coffee table, stacked in a large clear vase on your mantle, and mix in some shiny ball ornaments if you'd like more color.

Winter Bouquets: Replace your regular flower arrangement with something seasonal without spending money on silk flowers.

Items Needed:

  • 5-6 twigs from your yard, ranging in height, 18-24 inches long
  • white, silver, or gold craft paint (The Dollar Store may not have the metallic craft paint, but an art store will have small bottles available for under three dollars.)
  • glitter (optional)
  • vase (from home or check out the Dollar Store selection)

How To: Collect twigs from the yard. Paint the twigs with craft paint, and add glitter while the paint is still wet (if you don't mind a bit of glitter in your house). Once dry, arrange the twigs in a tall vase on a table, mantle, or in the corner.

Pinecone Garland: My preschooler is obsessed with collecting pinecones on the playground, so naturally I'm going to do craft projects with them!

Items Needed:

  • 10-15 pinecones
  • ribbon
  • screw hooks for coffee cups or smaller
  • tacks


How To: Collect your pinecones, bring them home and prep them for use. To use pinecones found in nature, you want to make sure they are rid of bugs and sap. Bake the pinecones in the oven on an aluminum covered cookie sheet at 200 F degrees for 30 minutes. The pinecones should be ready for use the next day after they have had time to cool completely and open up. Screw the coffee mug hook through the bottom of each pinecone. Tie a knot with the ribbon around each pinecone with hook and space the pinecones a few inches apart on the ribbon garland. Using tacks or tape, hang the garland from your mantle, across your windows or around your door.

Christmas Bow Wreath: Every year I buy a big bag of Christmas present bows even though I have leftovers from years past, and pack rat that I am, I also save all the bows from the presents under the tree, meaning I have a bow hoarding problem that needs an outlet. So I'm making Christmas Bow Wreaths a plenty this year! This is a super easy, 20 minute project, that adds holiday fun and whimsy to your house.

Items Needed:

  • foam wreath from craft store
  • Christmas present bows (from Dollar Store or your own bow-hoarding collection)
  • glue gun


How To:
Sort your bows by color and decide on a color scheme/pattern. Glue bows on wreath. Hang with a ribbon or wreath hanger.

Sharpie-decorated Plates and Mugs: This craft idea has been floating around Pinterest since the craft mecca's  inception, and I haven't tried it because some DIYers say it works great and others say it wipes right off the mug or plate. I put the sharpie mug craft to the test. On one Dollar Store coffee mug, I made a design with a plain black Sharpie pen. On the other mug, I used an oil-based Sharpie paint pen. I followed the directions from the website and baked the mugs at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. After cooling, I washed both mugs with soap and water. The regular Sharpie pen design washed off easily. The oil-based design stayed put, but would have likely done the same without the baking process. Do not plan on putting these crafts in the dishwasher, and even with hand-washing, you may see the paint nick over time. It's an easy craft that can add some holiday flair to your tablescape.

Items Needed:

  • coffee mugs or plates
  • oil-based paint pen


How To: Decorate the outer ring of plain dessert plates with sayings, Bible verses, or Christmas song lyrics, or add holiday cheer to coffee mugs for hot chocolate or coffee with friends.

Christmas Card Display Wreath: Here's a clever and inexpensive way to display all those Christmas cards your receive every December.

Items Needed:

  • wire clothes hanger
  • yard of ribbon
  • 1 50-pack of clothespins
  • green craft or spray paint
  • red pony beads
  • wire cutter/pliers
  • glue gun


How To: Paint the clothespins green. To do this without drying time for each side, clothespin them to the top edge of a box, so you can paint both sides at the same time. Cut the neck of the wire clothes hanger with the wire cutter, and shape it into a circle. String the clothespin through its spring onto the wire hanger and alternate with the red pony beads until it is full, leaving about an inch of wire on each side. Overlap ends and glue together with the glue gun. Tie ribbon to cover the glued section and hang. Wait for mail.

Making frugal holiday decorations will make you proud and feeling rather smart that you saved money for your other Christmas expenses!

Mary Stachyra Lopez December 06, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Definitely going to try the Christmas card wreath. That sounds like fun!
Thomas December 06, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Those are some excellent ideas! We do new decorations for christmas and often get ideas from homeseasons. This will be fun, maybe for the kids, Toilet paper Tube angels? You can use glow in the dark sticks, hole punch, tissue paper and toilet paper tubes. Hole punch the toilet paper tube (or poke holes with a pencil), place a glow in the dark stick, make the robe, wings, and head from the wrapping tissue paper, and see your angel glow!

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