Dollar stores are the perfect place to snap up a bargain. And it may come as a surprise that cheap doesn’t have to mean tacky. In fact, the internet is awash with clever hacks to make the most of your discount buys, so we’ve compiled 40 of the best here.
40. Paint up some plastic toys to make stylish bookends
Bookends can give a pretty finish to any shelving unit. And now, they don’t have to cost the earth. Take some plastic toys from your local dollar store and mount them on a block of wood. Spray paint the whole thing any color you wish, and there you have it – DIY bookends.
39. Brighten up your yard with a simple pool noodle
Adding a touch of color to your outside spaces can keep them looking sunny all year round. And the good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune on outdoor decorations. Dollar store pool noodles are bright and waterproof, making them perfect for a cute garden garland.
38. Transform picture frames into trendy dry erase boards
While dry erase boards are pretty easy to pick up in office supply stores, they tend to look incredibly dull. But with a dollar store picture frame, a sheet of colorful paper and some imagination, you can create your own reminder board which you actually enjoy looking at.
37. DIY BBQ hack
Now everyone can get their barbeque on with this ingenious charcoal grill hack. Save on expensive outdoor cooking gadgets by taking a dollar cooling rack and placing it over a lasagne pan. Add charcoal and fire and voila – time to get cooking!
36. Use cheap mirrors to make chic pots
These striking pots will set you back just five dollars, plus a little bit of time and patience with a hot glue gun. Once placed together, the mirrors can be used as a pretty planter, an office organizer or a makeup brush holder.
35. Use binder clips to keep all your chargers handy
While gadgets are great for organizing our modern lives and keeping us entertained, the tangle of cables that come with them can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Using simple binder clips attached to your desk, you can keep your chargers separate and always close to hand.
34. Have a tidy car with these over-the-door organizers
As any parent will know, keeping a clean and tidy car can seem like an impossible task. However, an over-the-door organizer can make life a tad bit easier. Hang one over the front seat of your vehicle, and use it to quickly tidy up after every journey.
33. Make an impact with some compacts
If you’re hoping to add a show-stopping feature to your home, look no further than your local dollar store. A bunch of cheap makeup compacts glued together makes a head-turning mirror, that wouldn’t look out of place in any fancy interior design store.
32. Get wrapped up in the latest home trends
Rope baskets are all the rage at the moment. However, buying into the trend could cost you a pretty penny. The good news is that these stylish space-saving accessories are easy and cheap to make – and all you need is some hand-dyed rope and a plastic basket.
31. Freshen up your home with a handmade succulent planter
Given that succulents grow better in dry soil, they thrive in specially designed terrariums. But before you go out and buy a ready made one, consider making your own planter using bowls. Add a layer of gravel to the bottom container, then plant to your heart’s content!
30. Disguise ugly routers in an empty book
In these modern times, most of us couldn’t live without internet routers in our homes. But it’s fair to say that the networking devices are far from pretty. If you can’t bear to look at your flashing lights, place the router into a hollowed-out book. Just ensure your antenna is visible if you have one, to keep those Wi-Fi signals flowing.
29. Save space with a simple towel rail
If your struggling for space in your kitchen, why not add some towel rails to walls or the end of cabinets? You can use the bars to hang pots, pans and utensils, making them easier to find while also displaying them as a design feature.
28. Get your accessories boxed off
Keeping small items like hair bands and clips organized can be a challenge. That’s why this dollar store hack is so exciting. Just use a craft organizer or a big pill box to stash away accessories, and you’ll never have to worry about losing them again.
27. Save space with hanging baskets
If you’re struggling for storage space in your bathroom, this could be the solution for you. Hanging wicker baskets on the walls saves vital floor space. It also adds stylish shelving solutions that are ideal for towels, toiletries or washcloths.
26. Upgrade your laptop with a sheet of contact paper
Whether your laptop’s a bit bashed up or you simply want to protect it from scratches, look no further than dollar store contact paper. This chic wood-effect style is readily available and can be easily applied to devices for a quick-but-effective makeover.
25. Entertain the kids without breaking the bank
Making finger puppets is the perfect activity for rainy days. But before you go raiding the nearest craft store, stop by your local dollar store. Here you’ll find rubber gloves and other supplies that will keep your kids entertained for hours.
24. Spin a hula-hoop into a statement chandelier
Chandeliers scream extravagance, but they don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, you can make an impact with your lighting with just a few dollars. By using a hula-hoop, some lace and a string of fairy lights, you can make your own stunning ceiling fixture without breaking the bank.
23. Make your pantry perfect
An organized pantry can make meal times easier and optimize space for more goodies. The best way to declutter your cabinets is to harness different types of containers, many of which are available from dollar stores. That means all you have to do it label them and fill them with your favorite foods.
22. Make working more fun with this colorful DIY mouse pad
Working is hard enough, without having to put up with a drab office environment. So why not spruce up your desk with a DIY mouse pad? All you’ll need is a cork round – such as a placemat – a funky printed fabric and some glue.
21. Make mini flower pots using salt and pepper shakers
Add a pop of color to your kitchen with these adorable salt and pepper shaker flower pots. Simply paint them your favorite color, add some ribbon and fill them with seasonal blooms for a rustic country kitchen feel.
20. Revamp plain white mugs with this marbling technique
These handmade mugs make great gifts, but you may struggle to give them away. To make them, fill a disposable casserole dish with warm water – adding as much as you’d like the color to reach on the cup – then drizzle in nail polish. Using a toothpick, swirl the mixture, then quickly dip the cups in to create the marble effect.
19. Turn a rubber mat into wall art
Vintage iron wall pieces can make a desirable addition to any home. But, sadly, they tend to be quite expensive. Luckily though, one blogger found that painting up a rubber mat and sanding it to give it an older feel had much the same effect – at a fraction of the price.
18. Pimp up candles with thumb tacks
Plain white candles are cheap to come by, but they can look rather uninspiring. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Pressing just a few thumb tacks into the wax to create patterns can transform your old candles completely, meaning you might never want to burn them.
17. Put your own stamp on your favorite tee
Stand out from the crowd in your very own, homemade statement tee. Just use a dollar store stamp set and get creative with designs. You can even get the kids involved to make their own, because what’s cooler than personalizing your own clothes?
16. Cookie cutter candles
Give old candle ends a new lease of life with these cookie cutter candles. Simply melt them down, add a crayon as dye, then pour them into the molds with a new candle wick. Once the wax has dried, pop them out and they’re good to go.
15. Use cups and saucers for a fairytale bird bath
This DIY bird bath looks fresh from the pages of Alice In Wonderland thanks to its tea party inspired design. To recreate the look, pile up a variety of plates, teapots and cups to create a stand worthy of the Mad Hatter himself.
14. DIY Japanese lanterns
With their minimalist design, Japanese hanging lanterns make popular light fittings. And with a little bit of imagination, the home accessories can be made using some Manila folders, wooden skewers and tissue paper. You’ll also need some craft glue, along with a hot glue gun and glue sticks.
13. Make flying a breeze with a washcloth carry case
Flying with toiletries can be a drama. However, an easy way of keeping all your liquids together is to fashion a washcloth into a carry case. That way, you’ll save time at security and have something to wash your face with when you get to your destination.
12. Handmade skewer starburst mirror
Starburst mirrors can add retro glamour to any space, and you can have your own for just a few dollars. Use spray painted wooden skewers and glue them around a small mirror to create the dramatic effect. And remember, gold or silver can give an expensive-looking finish.
11. Use cupcake liners to make a pretty chandelier
A plain round pendant shade can be transformed into something much more extravagant with some paper cupcake liners. Using a glue gun, stick the baking accessories all around the sphere, then hang pride of place in your home.
10. Get creative with the trash
Turn a dollar store waste basket into a contemporary night stand by spraying it and turning it upside down. People will never guess that it was once meant for garbage, let alone that it cost next to nothing.
9. Use a spice rack as a desk organiser
Keeping a tidy desk is no mean feat, so make life easier with this clever hack. Take an inexpensive spice rack and fill different pots with all your fiddly office supplies. Then, next time you need a paper clip or a thumb tack, you’ll know exactly where to find them.
8. Use wooden sticks to make feature walls pop
Create a standout wall design by arranging wooden craft sticks into a geometric pattern. You can paint each hexagon a different color for a striking finish, or dilute the paint gradually with water to create a bang-on-trend ombré effect.
7. Use contact paper to give your furnishings a marble effect
Not only can contact paper be used to give your devices a facelift, it can also give furnishings a much-needed makeover. One Instagram user used this marble-effect style to transform her nightstand from drab to fab.
6. Makeshift in-flight entertainment stand
Flying can be a long and boring ordeal, especially when there’s no in-flight entertainment. However, one woman has discovered a dollar store easel hung on the tray table makes the perfect phone holder. So now you can watch downloaded shows without cricking your neck.
5. Hang utensils on the inside of cabinet doors
Another way to save space in your kitchen is to hang your utensils on the inside of your cabinet doors. That way, they are tucked neatly away without taking up space in your drawers. Little adhesive hooks are perfect for this job, and are available at most dollar stores.
4. Cups as modular storage
While these white plastic cups might not look like much separately, when bolted together they make a modern, modular storage unit. Different sized cups can be used to store different items, but these ones are perfect for smaller items like hats, scarves and gloves.
3. Customise a vase with spray paint
A glass vase is a classic addition to any home, but why not give one a modern makeover with a spray of paint. Use tape to cover the parts you want to leave clear, then color the remaining spots in any colour you wish. Just let the paint dry thoroughly before removing the tape to avoid unwanted drips.
2. Brighten up the bathroom with flower-filled soap dispensers
See-through soap dispensers make stylish bathroom accessories. However, there is a way to make them even more striking. How about adding false flowers, glass gems and colorful soap?
1. Harness the heat-resistant nature of the clothespin
Given you can pick up 100 clothespins for one dollar, it’s always good to know new ways of using them. One of the most innovative ideas on the internet is this trivet idea. Firstly, take about 24 pins and paint or stain them how you please. Then glue them into a circle, and voila, you’ve just saved your surfaces from hot skillets.