Project – Dollar Store Kid’s Craft – $3.00

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This beautiful Christmas tree was easy and inexpensive to create. All three of my grandsons loved putting it together. The only supplies we needed were bought at the dollar store. We purchased one piece of black foamboard and two packets of glittery stars. We had freezer paper on hand for the template, but old newspaper would work just as well.

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First we scattered the stickers and took a good look at them. We noticed the stars could be used as they were, or to double the amount we had to use, the insides could be punched out and used as separate stickers. Whoo-Hoo…fun…let’s begin!

Before the boys were ready to start I cut a piece of freezer paper into a tree shape by folding it in half and cutting away half a tree. When opened, the sides matched and when placed on the foamboard waxy side down, the paper clung to the  surface just a bit. To help keep the freezer paper from shifting we weighted the corners down with what was handy…salt and pepper shakers. The littlest grandson thought the salt was part of the project and promptly salted the foamboard.

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All three of the boys ages 2 1/2 through 8 years enjoyed the project. It was completed within fifteen minutes and was instantly gorgeous and bright. The only problem we had was some of the paper backing on the stickers stuck a bit for the younger boys.

When the tree was complete and we had oooh’d and aaah’d over how beautiful it was, I used my glue gun to place a string for hanging about a third of the way down from the top. The foamboard is very light and will hang on even the smallest nail.

Happy Christmas Crafting to You!

Phavorites and Products – Good Buys at the Dollar Store

PicMonkey Collage Dollar Store save

Photo Collage Created with: Pic Monkey Photo Editor

Over the last few days I had a good time scouring my house for all the products I use from the local dollar store. How did we ever live without these fabulous centers of bargains galore? Oh sure, I know it is easy to go in for one thing and come out twenty dollars poorer, but there are also terrific buys and deals if you are careful to visit at least once a week and keep your eye open for name brand overstocks.

Here is my list of favorites, although I am sure I have forgotten to include a few.

1. Dental Pic Brushes – Small portable packs of ten. They have a nice case you can keep for other things.
2. Gift bags – Almost half price compared to other stores.
3. Stickers – Great assortments
4. Notebooks – Great varieties and half the price.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide – Super-sized bottle
6. Eyeglasses – Best deal in the stores
7. Scrubbing Buffs – They last forever
8. Digital Timer – My latest “amazing” find/works great/perfect to remind me the dryer is about to stop.
9. Microfiber cleaning cloths – Really pick up the dust. Pretty colors!
10. Toys, Toys, Toys – They aren’t well-made, but they are PERFECT for the back yard.
11. Coffee Filters
12. Foot Sponge – Another of my new favorites. A rough and tough HARD gritty sponge. I’ve never found anything that removes dirt and dead skin as well off of the back and bottom of my heels.
13. Toothbrushes
14. Notecards – Beautiful overstocks of gift shops
15. Boxed Matches – I like to keep a lot of these on hand.
16. Hand soap – Another item I like to keep stocked up.
17. Pens – Years ago I merchandised school supplies so I can recognize the better grade pens that are sent to dollar stores because of back-to-school specials and other sales. Take a close look…don’t get packs of ten, purchase the packs with one or two pens. These are great deals because they are smooth writers and will last fairly long.
18. Diaper bags – Another new find. 75 plastic bags, scented nicely ( I usually detest the smell of scented plastic, but this is rather nice) They are PERFECT to dispose diapers and other “untouchables.”
19. Laundry bags – Three in a package…Love, Love, Love these. They last a long time and really do protect delicate garments in the wash.
20. Game books – You can save two to three dollars each by buying these in the dollar store.
21. Foil sheets – Oh my! Can’t do without these. Love them.
22. Holiday baking – decorative containers and wrappings.
23. Gift wrapping accessories.

This list doesn’t even begin to touch all the seasonal buys you can find, the candy bargains, the storage containers, the kitchen gadgets, the terrific scissors I’ve found that actually cut fabric. I couldn’t believe it. I remember the day a pair of scissors that cut fabric were very expensive. If you are having a party you can stock up on party decorations and balloons.

A few things I avoid.
Bath items – Bad fragrances most of the time.
Paper plates & Napkins – Too flimsy and the smell of the dye can be overpowering, even headache producing.
Children’s dyed craft supplies such as foam sheets. The smell is oftentimes HORRIBLE and actually can smell poisonous. I’m careful about what I buy for children. Also dollar store Play-doh clay knock-offs are horrible, as are the paint sets and paints. Cheap crayons just plain don’t work as well.
Disposable Razors – OUCH Need I say more
Makeup, unless it is an overstock of a good name brand
I buy nothing for a baby or infant
Larger tapes such as strapping, duct, masking. It’s terrible quality and hard to get off the roll. Scotch tape is fine.

The photo collage picture at the top of this post was so much fun to create. I have just run across the site of “PicMonkey” and like a few of the other photo editing sites it has a lot of offer. The collage application is the best I’ve ever used. Super-easy to learn and use. I can’t wait to try it again. Thanks so much for stopping by…feel free to list a few of your favorite dollar store or discount store bargains.

Plants & Project – Sprouting Morning Glories

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I was in a local dollar store this week, and noticed a rack of seed packets. The azure blue illustration of morning glories drew my eye. Hungry for blue sky on a grey and cloudy day, I picked a packet out of the rack and purchased it for under a dollar. I soaked the seeds overnight, and by morning discovered several little white appendages poking out of their black coats. I planted them about 1/4 inch deep in seed starting medium, covered with self-stick plastic wrap and put them near a heating vent. Oh my! They sprouted in under two days.

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Within two more days the sprouts are greening up. I am planning on growing these vines indoors around a window. I hope to have flowers by the end of March. I will not thin them out, but instead leave them crowded, never fertilize them, and let them fight between themselves for nutrients. It will be a true survival of the fittest. It sounds harsh, but actually my lack of tender-loving care should yield me more blooms of blue. Morning Glories do best in poor soil. If I feed them or give them too much room to grow I will have a magnificent vine and a paltry few blossoms. I want blossoms, blossoms, blossoms…all in glorious shades of sky blue. Updates on their progress will be posted soon.

Planting morning glories is an inexpensive and easy project for children.