Sunday, September 19, 2010

Good Things

Beautiful things that you can replicate with dollar store materials:

1. Anthropology inspired mirror

Materials needed:
3-5" round Dollar Tree candle mirrors -$3
1- full length mirror with black frame - $15 at Target
1- Dollar Tree double pack of electrical tape- $1
1- Dollar Tree tube of super glue- $1
TOTAL -$20

Instructions: position three round mirrors evenly down the center of the long mirror and glue in place with super glue. Let dry over night. Tape straight lines from the round mirrors out to the edges and down the center. Carefully tape around each round mirror, being careful not to stretch the electrical tape too much. It can result in peeling later. Hand mirror vertically or horizontally.

2. Placemat pencil cups

Materials needed:
2- Dollar tree placemats -$2
thread and sewing machine or needle -on hand
sewing pins- on hand

Instructions: Cut one rectangle each out of two contrasting place mats along the edge of the place mats. Cut one circle each out of the remainder of the place mats. Sew both rectangles into a tube along the short edge. Place one rectangle inside the other with seams facing each other. sew the hemmed edge of the rectangles together. Turn that piece inside out and pin circle to bottom with patterns matching. stitch in place. Turn right side out and fold down the top inch.

3. Paper Bag Vases

Materials needed:
1- bag of Dollar tree lunch sacks -$1
assorted rubber stamps- on hand
white stamp pad- on hand

Instructions: Cut brown paper lunch sacks down to size. Stamp front and back stamps in white ink. Place any container inside such as a bowl, jelly jar, or glass. Fill with flowers. Make several designs and store flat for whenever you need them.

4. Lace Doily Bowls

Materials needed:
1- crocheted lace doily -$1
bowl- on hand
liquid starch- $2+
TOTAL -$3+

Instructions: Completely soak the lace doily in liquid starch. Drap over the back of an upturned bowl and smooth down. Let dry over night or until completely dry. De-mold and fill with lovely things.

5. Clip Bookmark

Materials needed:
1- set of large clips- $1
1- permanent marker- $1 (or rub on words)

Instructions: With a marker or rub on words. Decorate a large office clip and use as a bookmark or mail clip.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Easy Halloween Party Decorations

Quick, cheap and easy were my Halloween party decorating themes last year. I managed to get a majority of my decorations at the Dollar Tree. Here's what we did:

Witch Laundry. I used black and long socks that I had in my closet and decorated them with pinned on bows and the plastic spiders I got out of a pack of spider webbing. The hats are plain and sparkly hats from the Dollar Tree and Target's dollar spot decorated with scarves of my own and black and orange crepe streamers. The gloves are just a pair of stretchy orange gloves with pinned on bows. All hung up on green dollar store clothing line with old fashioned clothespins.

Witch laundry
witch hats $1 ea.
stretchy gloves $1
ribbon and scarf accents (on hand)
black crepe streamer $1
orange crepe streamer $1
clothesline $1
clothes pins $1
safety pins (on hand)
socks (on hand)
plastic spiders (from a bag of spider web)

The 'laundry tub' cauldron stuffed with crumpled newspaper and topped with spider webbing. The bubbles are silver and blue christmas ornaments tucked inside. Clear would work well too. It rests on a 'fire' of orange twinkle lights. I added some empty laundry containers and a few more clothespins next to it. On the window ledge behind is a dollar tree raven, a dollar store frame with a pic of the Bride of Frankenstein and a tall dollar store vase filled with orange, green and purple Christmas decorations on a bit of spanish moss.

Laundry Cauldron
cauldron (on hand)
Twinkle lights (on hand)
spider webbing $1
Christmas decorations $1

Window Display
raven $1
silver frame $1
tall glass vase $1
Christmas decorations $1 (or on hand)
spanish moss $1

Another window ledge holds some dollar store bones, a tea light and a glitter skull on a bed of spanish moss. The dome is a 2 liter bottle with the bottom cut off and the top covered with tin foil set upon a saucer. The skull is decorated with scrapbook paper and black and orange crepe paper streamer. The dome is accented with scrapbook ribbon from Target's dollar spot and a small button that we had on hand.

Glitter Skull Dome
glitter skull $1
scrapbook paper $1 (or on hand)
black crepe streamer $1
orange crepe streamer $1
spanish moss $1
saucer (on hand)
2 liter pop bottle (on hand)
tinfoil (on hand)
scrapbook ribbon $1
button or other accent (on hand)

For the costume contest awards, I decorated some dollar store bones with scraps of ribbon and some metal scrapbook accents I had on hand (plastic skull or spider rings would work too.) I wrote the categories on the sides of the bones in permanent marker.

Costume Bone Awards
bones $1
scraps of ribbon $1 (or on hand)
accents $1 (or on hand)

Costume contest winners also received a goody bag full of Halloween pencils, skeleton bendy straws, plastic bookmarks, rings and other favors, and candy.

Goody Bags
goody bags $1
Halloween pencils $1
skeleton bendy straws $1
plastic Halloween favors $1
Candy $1

Friday, September 3, 2010

Classic Literature Halloween Theme

Want Classic Literature themed halloween decor? Here's a few ideas that can be replicated with dollar store materials.

Great Expectations: Miss Havisham's rotted wedding feast.

Set up a table like a wedding cake table, draps with white or lacy cloth. stack three varying size white hat boxes or make fake ones from foam board circles and tag board sides. Glue together. To tier the layers, use candlestick holders. Add white fake flower blossoms and strings of mardi gras beads as iced decor. Spray paint it all white Top with two toy skeletons (dollar stores usually have the rubbery kind or use the skeleton party straws) Decorate as bride and groom with scraps of black fabric. Make a bridal bouquet with white and black flowers and tie with a black ribbon. Lay alongside cake. Cover the entire table with a wrap of spider webbing as thin as you can get it.

Dollar store supplies:

Toy skeletons or jointed skeleton straws
Black ribbon
Black and White faux flowers
white foam board
white tag board
White spray paint
white lace doilies
White plastic table cloth

Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven.

Set up a halloween vignette. With a piece of chalk or a white paint pen white quotes from the book on a piece of black tag board and use this as the back drop. Grab a dollar store easel and set up a copy of Poe's book. If you don't have one, find a cover you like online and print out a full page color copy, glue to white foam board. Throw down some tattered cheesecloth or Dollar Tree creepy cloth and some black craft feathers or feathers plucked from a second bird. Get a small silver ornate frame and add a photo of Poe to the table. If you're lucky enough to have a decorative bird cage, place a feathered raven inside. Print NEVERMORE on a strip of paper and glue it to beak as if he were holding it in his mouth. If you don't have a birdcage, glue a roll of black tag board or a stick to the top of a candlestick horizontally, Spray paint black and glue bird atop. Nab a couple ceramic bird sculptures and spray paint black, add red painted or glitter eyes. Mix in any other number of household items like black and hard cover books, pumpkins, clocks, an old typewriter, a vase of fake flowers, etc.

Dollar store supplies:

Back spray paint
black plastic tablecloth
halloween creepy cloth
ceramic bird sculptures
black craft feathers
black tag board
foam board
chalk or white paint pen
small silver ornate frame
feathered raven
fake flowers

The Legend of Sleepy Hallow: Ichabod Crane.

Paint a pumpkin white and write 'Ichabod' on it in a fancy script. If your handwriting is not the best, print a large font and cut it out and glue it to the pumpkin. Top with a top hat. Here's a link to make a top hat from tag board, scrap fabric (like a black t-shirt) and wire:

You'll also need a hot glue gun and sticks. Percha atop a wooden stool. Add a pirate spyglass painted black from the party favor section. Decorate hat with a black ribbon hat band.

Dollar store materials needed:

white spray paint
black spray paint
black tag board
black t-shirt
pirate spyglass favor
hot glue gun
glue sticks
black ribbon

Alice in Wonderland: The Red Queen.

Spray paint two more pumpkins white. Paint the Queen of hearts silhouette on one. Secure a frame of black lace around it with sewing pins or glue. Use a victorian face silhouette like in the picture or a full body silhouette like in the clip art below. On the second pumpkin write 'off with your head in black permanent marker or cut and paste printed letters. Decorate with thin black ribbon and more pins or glue.

Dollar store materials needed:

white glue
sewing pins
black lace
black ribbon
white spray paint

Mac Beth: The three witches.

Set up a dessert buffet that recalls the three witches from MacBeth. Cover your table in black or lime green plastic tablecloth. Add halloween creepy cloth. The dollar store usually has small plastic cauldrons. Fancy these up by super gluing them to black spray painted candle sticks, upside down ice cream glasses and plant holders. Mini cauldrons can hold nuts and candies. Make witch broom take home favors by vertically shredding brown paper lunch bags. layer two together and fill with candies. gather loose ends around a stick and wrap tightly with black electrical tape or a twist tie. For centerpieces: the dollar store has some great fall grass and pussy willow stems tight now. Grab a couple bunches and slip them into a pair of black shoes or boots. Place in the center of the table. On either side of the shoes, display two simple black witch hats that you have decorated with feathers, ribbon, pom poms, jewels and whatever else you find. Perch them atop pillar candles set in black spray painted candle holders. With a permanent marker, write 'bubble, bubble' and 'toil and trouble' on two white candles. Or pint and wrap around the pillar candles. For added effect, super glue a glass plate to an upside down ice cream glass to make a cake plate, Fill with assorted bottles from the dollar store and your recycling bin that are labeled with ingredients mentioned in the passage and decorated with plastic spiders and bits of ribbon.

Check out my next post for a simple dollar store dessert buffet!

Dollar store supplies needed:

black or lime green plastic table cloth
Halloween cheesecloth
small and mini plastic cauldrons
candle sticks
ice cream glasses
plant holders
black spray paint
brown paper lunch bags
black permanent marker
black electrical tape
faux fall grass sems
black witch hats
pillar candles
white candles
plastic spiders
assorted glass bottles
candies and treats

Bonus: More great images to frame and place around the home: