Dollar Tree & DIY

DIY Mason Jar Sign

It is time for another Dollar Tree craft! And this project is probably one of my favorites that I have done lately! I was inspired by The Daily DIYer on YouTube (she has sooooo many awesome videos) when she took a Halloween sign from Dollar Tree and turned it into a beautiful mason jar sign. I made a trip to Dollar Tree the next day and picked up two of these eyeballs signs.

I started by taking off the bow and the ribbon used to hang the sign. You can spray paint over the eyes with black paint so that if you hang it on a door you don’t see the Halloween sign through the door. The paper that the eye design was on was actually peeling off on the side of the one I bought so I just pulled it off and was left with a tan backing. So then I flipped the sign over to use the back for this craft. I took off the tag, which was not fun. Then I started with painting the lid to the jar with gray paint. I used Apple Barrel Country Grey from Walmart and used a foam brush to put on three coats of the paint.

I then used Apple Barrel Khaki, also from Walmart, to paint the jar part of the sign. I did three coats of the Khaki as well. I then moved on to determining what I wanted to put on the sign. There is a limitless amount of phrases and sayings that could be put on this sign for all sorts of different occasions. I found a “welcome” cut out in one of my Cricut Expressions cartridges and decided to use that. The cartridge I used was (floral). I have an older Cricut model but it still works fantastic! I used some vinyl that I to cut out my design and stick it to the sign to be able to paint on the saying.

Once I had my cutout placed on the sign, I painted the saying black. I also cut out some accent pieces to place above and below the welcome saying and painted those black as well. I did one coat using a foam brush and let that sit to dry for a few minutes. Then I painted a second coat of the black, paying close attention to the edges of each letter as sometimes that paint didn’t get in the corner. I let the second coat dry a little and then pulled off my vinyl very carefully so that the paint didn’t splatter or be smudged by my fingers.

To finish off the sign, I add some Dollar Tree twine right under the lid to give the sign a country look. I also took a couple pieces of the twine and used that to create a hanger for the sign. Then I added in two pieces of black chevron ribbon and two pieces of decorative burlap to add a little more to the country style of the sign. I am pretty happy with the finished product and plan to go back to Dollar Tree to see if I can snatch up a few more of these “Halloween” signs.

Happy crafting!

-Ashley Steinacher

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Dollar Tree & DIY

What’s New at Dollar Tree

On Sunday night after I finished my homework, I decided to head to Dollar Tree to see what new items I could find. I enjoy watching YouTube videos of people hauling items from Dollar Tree or showing walk-throughs of their Dollar Tree, so I decided to see if I could find some of those goodies myself. One of the newest things at Dollar Tree right now: CHRISTMAS! Christmas has arrived almost in full swing at Dollar Tree. My local store doesn’t have out all of the Christmas goodies just yet, but once Halloween and Thanksgiving are clearing out, Dollar Tree will become a Christmas wonderland! I was happy to see a large selection of ornaments and flowers for Christmas at my local Dollar Tree. I immediately spotted some pieces that I wouldn’t expect to find anywhere else for a dollar. First I spotted this “peace” ornament. I was drawn in since it had a rustic vibe to it with the red and cream letters. I also like the twine hanger and the pine cone detail!

To go along with the rustic theme, I spotted this bell. It was a well-sized bell ornament and its detail makes it look like it cost more than a dollar. If you like to decorate for the holidays in a rustic theme, then Dollar Tree has a lot to offer for a great price! Now you can go overboard (we have all done it, some (me) more than others) in Dollar Tree because there are so many great items, but the quality and designs have really stepped up this year!

I then was drawn to this gorgeous gold flower ornament. I just love everything about this ornament. I really love the sparkly flower in the middle and the gemstone. This ornament has some weight to it too which instantly made me think that it could be priced way higher than a dollar at another store. There was also a white version available.

I did manage to make my way out of the Christmas aisle and I know in a few weeks even more goodies will be available! So I took a walk down the craft/glassware aisle. I saw many items that were new to me and seemed like a great bargain! I have never seen this mason jar with the candle holder before and I love it! This item is so versatile! The top is open and the holder could hold a tea light or a slightly taller candle. I could see this piece being a simple home decor item, used as outdoor lighting on a deck or patio, and even used for weddings!

I also spotted these colored jars with handles. My store had red, green, blue, and clear available in this style. Again this would be priced way higher than a dollar at another store. This piece also could be used in so many different ways and the green and red are great for Christmas.

Dollar Tree is really stepping up their game lately with the new products! There are so many things that can be done with all of these items, and I love that! I can’t say it enough, Dollar Tree is AWESOME!!

-Ashley Steinacher

Dollar Tree & DIY

DIY Rope Basket

Today I’m bringing you another DIY project! This is another easy to do and affordable (under $15) project that looks like you just bought it from Pier 1! I was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest to try to make a rope basket using a basket from Dollar Tree. I have seen many of these styles of baskets featured in home decor magazines and on home shows on TV, but they can get pricey for a simple basket. So I decided that being a broke college student, I would try to make one myself for less. So I headed to Dollar Tree and bought a bigger basket that could hold a few blankets or pillows. Dollar Tree has a huge variety of storage bins and baskets and any one of them could be used for this project! They come in many different colors, but that doesn’t matter because once the rope is on you don’t see the color of the basket. I picked up a purple one for a dollar and then went to Walmart to buy some rope.

I found this twisted rope in the aisle with the tools and outdoor ropes and tarps. The Walmart I went to had a decent variety of rope to pick from, such as different thickness and colors, but I decided to go with ¼ inch rope that was 100 feet long. I ended up needing two packs of this rope to finish my basket and had a little left over that I will save for another project. Each of the rope was around $5-6 dollars. I’m sure craft stores, such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby carry a similar product and you could try to use a 40% off coupon to get a good deal.

You will need a glue gun for this project or some type of glue that will hold the rope to the basket. I started on the bottom of my basket and worked my way up gluing the rope. I didn’t glue all the way around the basket instead, I placed glue in a few areas as I went around and pulled the rope tight to keep any part of the basket color from showing. I didn’t see the need to put glue all the way around each time I wrapped the rope, but you could certainly do that. The basket has a rim around the top and I took the rope all way to that rim before cutting it off. The post I saw on Pinterest lined the basket with fabric and put that around the rim, but you could also paint the rim to hide the color. I decided to paint the rim white, but once I added a blanket in the basket, you didn’t see the rim.

I placed my finished basket on the floor next to my fireplace and placed a blanket and pillow inside. I am very happy with the way this project turned out! I would never believe that this basket cost under $15 to make if I saw it in someone’s home. I think it goes along great with the other farmhouse decor that I have in the living room and is a great place to store blankets!

Happy basket making!

-Ashley Steinacher

Dollar Tree & DIY

Outdoor Fall Decor

I love decorating outside for fall just about as much as I love decorating inside! I enjoy driving around my community and looking at the different fall displays. I love everything from the pumpkins to the mums, and even the scarecrows! So now that I’m not living on the third floor of an apartment building and in a house I had the chance to decorate outside! And I wanted to incorporate all of my favorite fall items!

To start I bought some mums, an orange and a purple, from Buchheits. Mums are one of my favorite fall flowers, tied with sunflowers! Then I needed some pumpkins, so my parents and I went to Greene Fields Farm located in Greenfield, Illinois. Check out their Facebook page to find out more information about this great family farm! I got all of my pumpkins, big and small, from there along with some colorful gourds. Once I had those pieces, I needed some bigger pieces to arrange my mums and pumpkins on, so I turned to my dad’s garage (if you have been following along with me, then you might have been able to guess this). Dad set me up with a wooden crate and an adorable metal stool.

Can you spot the cat?

I decided to spray paint the stool lightly with some white paint to even out its color and add to the farmhouse look I was going for. I also decided to use the basket that I had bought from the Litchfield Pickers Market (check out my blog post about that trip). I started out by placing the basket on top of the stool and standing the crate up to be able to use the shelves. I placed one mum on the floor and put the other on a metal plant stand. I then added in all of the goodies from the pumpkin patch!

But my mom and I felt that something more was needed. So we headed to Michael’s to see what we could come up with. I found two adorable scarecrows that I thought I could incorporate somehow. I also bought some leaf garland at Dollar Tree to use. With some new goodies in hand, my mom and I headed back to finish off the display. We both decided that the scarecrow couple should sit on the stool and I simply placed the basket on the floor.

I then cut up the leaf garland into several pieces to be able to use in different areas of my display. I added some to the basket to give it some more color and contrast. I also added a few pieces to the crate for more color. I am really happy with how the final display came together, and shout-out to my mom for helping me! It also looks even better with my adorable cat, Colby, in the window!

-Ashley Steinacher

Dollar Tree & DIY

DIY Fall Arrangement

It’s no secret by now that I love the Dollar Tree! And when it comes to their seasonal decor, I just can’t help myself! So on a trip a few weeks ago, I found an adorable tin container with a scarecrow face on it and thought it would be perfect to make into a fall decoration. There were several other styles of containers at the Dollar Tree to choose from as well. I thought the container would look great with some fall flowers and leaves in it. I bought some sunflowers at Michaels along with two picks that had pumpkins and leaves on them that were exactly what I was wanting. Michaels is usually running some kind of sale on all our their seasonal items anywhere from 40-60% off, so my tip is to never buy anything full price at Michaels. From what I have seen is that once the seasonal items, such as the fall decor, is fully stocked the sales begin and last for the whole season! The most common sale is 40% off the seasonal items. Dollar Tree also has a nice selection of fall flowers that could be used as well.

I added a foam square to my container so that my flowers would have something to hold them in place. You can find the foam squares at any crafting store along with Dollar Tree! Then I cut apart my sunflowers so that each stem was an individual and then began to add them to the container. I also cut apart the two picks that I bought and placed the individual parts in with the sunflowers. I liked these picks since they had a pumpkin and some berries to add dimension to my arrangement. I also liked that the picks had different color leaves to help the arrangement not run together as one solid color.

I like to start by placing a flower in the middle and then working my way out. I prefer for the center of my arrangement to be to the tallest point and then the sides flow out from there. Then I work my way around the center and try to fill in any blank spots. Since I had the pumpkins that were bigger and I wanted them to be seen I tried to place them in first before I started to do all my filing in. The great thing about foam is that it allows for you to easily move something if you don’t like the placement of it. Of course, this is just the way I prefer to do arrangements, but there are millions of ways to arrange all the pieces and do what makes you happy! I didn’t add any ribbon to this arrangement, but a bow could easily be added to step up the final look.

So there you have it! A great, inexpensive fall decoration that you can say you made yourself! It is a pretty simple project to take on and it’s a great way to express your creativity!

-Ashley Steinacher

 

Dollar Tree & DIY

Falling into Fall Decor

I have been loving this weather lately! It seems like fall is making its way in and I am perfectly okay with that. Fall is my favorite season hands down. I get so much enjoyment from decorating for fall, so with the change in the weather I thought I should get started with my decorations this year. Now Dollar Tree has been ready for fall for a few months now it seems like, so I had (yes the store made me buy this stuff) to get some fall decor items.

First I bought some hydrangeas to change out my coffee table centerpiece. I immediately went for the burnt orange bunch and found a nice cream bunch to pair with it. My centerpiece consists of all items from Dollar Tree; a small glass fishbowl, pebbles, and hydrangeas. I simply filled the bowl with the pebbles then I cut off individual stems of hydrangeas and arranged them in the bowl. I did have pink and white hydrangeas with white pebbles in the bowl during the summer months. I love the way this centerpiece looks and it can be achieved for around 5 dollars! I placed my bowl on this tray that belonged to my late Aunt Deb. I think it ties in perfectly with the rest of the farmhouse decor in my living room.

Dollar Tree also carries a great selection of decorative pumpkins that I love to decorate with. I found some burlap pumpkins which I have not seen in previous seasons at Dollar Tree. I thought they would also go nicely with my farmhouse decor so I picked a couple up.

I also picked up two of these ceramic pumpkins. These are such high quality for the Dollar Tree. They are heavy and come in many different patterns and colors. I was drawn to a beautiful white one with a simple green leaf on it. This pumpkin could go with any fall decor and stay out throughout the fall season! I also was drawn to this brown speckled one. It is so simple, yet looks so elegant. Whether you believe this or not, those were the only pumpkins that I purchased (thus far).  

 

So I decided to add one of the burlap pumpkins and the brown speckled pumpkin to my coffee table centerpiece. I simply placed the two pumpkins on the tray with my flower arrangement and that was it. I love this super simple centerpiece that was inexpensive yet looks elegant and many would not guess the items came from Dollar Tree. I plan to use the other pumpkins in my fall decor throughout my house and more fall post will be coming!

 

Happy Fall Y’all!

-Ashley Steinacher

Adventures

Chicago Trip Part 3

Day 3: The last day in the windy city. We decided to make the most of the last day before we would have to head to the train at 1 pm. So we took a walk over to the Chicago Riverwalk and it was beautiful. We had perfect weather for the three days that we were visiting, blue skies and cooler temps, with no rain. Since it was morning time the Riverwalk was less packed so we are able to stroll along and enjoy the river views. There are benches and steps to sit on all along the Riverwalk along with restaurants. We also stopped by the Chicago theater sign for a few photo-ops. Again, since it was early the streets were less crowded and we were able to get some great pictures of the famous sign.

After leaving the Riverwalk area we strolled down the magnificent mile again enjoying the beautiful Chicago scenery. We then made our way to the Driehaus museum, a 19th century home in the middle of Chicago. I found out about the museum after doing some google searches on hiding gems in Chicago and was immediately drawn in by the elegance and style of the home. As a lover of old homes and antiques, I knew this was right up my alley and Megan returned the excitement after I shared their website with her. You may have guessed this, but we arrived before the doors opened so we admired the outside of the home surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Chicago, as the house is just 2 blocks from the magnificent mile.  

Immediately walking into the house, my breath was taken away, it was simply stunning. I didn’t know where to look because everything in sight had me in awe. The home was crafty with so much detail and uniqueness. I always try to picture what it was like back in its prime when the original home owners lived there. The museum offers self-guided tours as well as guided tours, but we opted for the self-guided. What I loved about the tour was that there were signs giving details about the home and its artifacts along with pictures of what the home looked like back in the 19th century. The museum is filled with pieces from Richard Driehaus, the founder of the museum, private collections of fine and decorative arts. The home has three stories that can be viewed and at the top is the ballroom, which I loved. As I walked up the stairs I thought about the numerous balls that must have been held here and the dresses that were worn.

I could have stayed at the museum for hours just soaking in the history, but I didn’t want to seem creepy, so we headed out to do some last minute shopping. We walked down to Dylan’s Candy Bar and oh wow. This place was awesome! I actually didn’t even get any pictures because I was overwhelmed by the CANDY!!! This place was two levels of candy people, candy! I guess you could say that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. They were handing out free samples at the door and literally had every kind of candy ever it seemed like. I would not recommend taking a child into this place or you and your wallet will be sorry. Megan should not have let me go into this place, but yet there I was with four candy bars in my hand. I picked out a brownie batter, s’mores, white cupcake with sprinkles, and a dark chocolate candy bar to try and tried to limit myself to just that. I made a beeline for the register in an effort to not buy anything else. The candy bars so far have been amazing! I have tried the s’mores and cupcake one, both are delicious. We ended our Chicago trip by eating lunch at Portillo’s. This place was really neat on the inside and was packed, which hinted that it would be good, and it was. I decided to try the chili dog and fries and I was impressed. Everything that I saw go by from the burgers, italian beef and even the salads looked amazing.

And just like that our BFF Chicago trip came to end as we had to head to the train station, but it was an incredible trip! We were able to tackle a lot in a short time and make some great memories. Shout out to Megan for going on this trip with me and putting up with my crazy itinerary, love ya girl! I would highly, highly recommend planning a trip to Chicago. Taking the Amtrak was a great choice for us so that we didn’t have to mess with driving and parking. We stayed at the Best Western River North hotel and both thought it was great. We were able to walk to most places from the hotel but we weren’t right in the middle of downtown so there was less foot traffic around our hotel. Overall I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my summer!

Until we meet again Windy City!

-Ashley Steinacher