11 Hackable DIY Supplies You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store

published May 2, 2023
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High angle view of craftswoman using digital tablet on table in diy craft workshop
Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

If you’re looking to decorate your home on a budget, DIYs are your friend. You can often get the look of pricey store-bought decor for way less if you’re willing to do a little customization of your own. And if you want to save even more money, DIYing with supplies and materials from wallet-friendly sources is the way to go. Thrift stores, bargain bins, and outlets are all great options, but there’s one other place you shouldn’t forget to check: dollar stores.

Whether you’re shopping at the Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Five Below, or another dollar store, you’re sure to find supplies that can look downright luxurious with the right treatment. Skeptical? These stylish home decor DIYs will prove it. Below, find the 11 supplies you should always pick up from the dollar store — and what you can make with them.

1. Shower Rings

Large link details show up across multiple home-decor styles, and shower rings are a great starting point for DIYing the look. This boho-style tray by Rachel of Faith Hope Home, for instance, is made with shower rings, a pizza pan, and rope, all of which she got at the dollar store.

Credit: Tina Le Mac

2. Rope

Speaking of rope: This is a durable, versatile material you can use for a variety of DIY projects, making it a really smart dollar store buy. Aside from a tray, you can also use it to make a macrame plant hanger like DIYer Tina Le did here, boho wall art, or an affordable rope basket.

3. Blocks

Blocks are a great, well, building block for all kinds of DIYs. For example, blogger Katie of Little House of Four gave the childhood classic a modern farmhouse facelift with paint to create a desktop block calendar.

4. Glass Vases

Fishbowl vases are a dollar store staple, and even un-hacked, their clean, simple look makes them easy to use for votives or centerpieces. But you can do so much more with them, too, as Katie of Little House of Four shows. She used a plain vase plus raised pearl stickers and white paint to create this expensive-looking faux hobnail glass vase.

5. Dowels

Fluted furniture and decor are gaining popularity, but the style has been a classic for ages (literally — fluted styles have been around since ancient architecture). DIYer Lindi of Love Create Celebrate brought the fluted look into her kitchen with her custom utensil holder, crafted with dollar store dowels.

6. Toys

The toy aisle isn’t just for kids. This project from Lauren at Bless’er House shows why. Here, she used a toy horse to create her own faux concrete figurine that’s reminiscent of pieces from traditional-style high-end home decor brands.

Credit: Sugar & Cloth

7. Picture Frames

Dollar store frames perform beautifully as straightforward frames, but their wallet-friendly price means freedom to experiment with turning them into a desktop whiteboard (like Ashley of Sugar and Cloth did), a thermostat cover, or even kid’s art storage frames.

8. Faux Florals

DIYing with real flowers can be cost-prohibitive, not to mention short-lasting. Keep your DIY work in pristine condition by using faux stems from the dollar store. Beyond arrangements (like the one blogger Monica Benevidez made here), you can also make garlands, faux pressed flower art, or even a flower accent wall.

Credit: Tina Le Mac

 9. Dishware

Dollar stores are treasure troves of small plates and other dishes. Turning them into trinket trays is a cute and effective way of corralling anything from keys at the front door to your favorite jewelry pieces. You can make them match any style, too, from minimalist to traditional to boho. Check out Tina Le’s ring dish DIY for inspiration.

10. Candles

Melting down dollar store candles and reusing their wicks is a cheaper way to DIY your own candles than buying supplies individually. These citronella candles made by Greg of The Navage Patch were made using dollar store candles and dollar store margarita glasses as the vessels.

11. Seasonal Figurines

Don’t overlook the seasonal offerings! They can provide a great base for creative decor that’s anything but cheesy. For example, this elevated tray from Angelina of The Frugaholic uses wood snowman figurines as the legs. Turned upside down, they’re completely unidentifiable!