4 Dollar Store DIY Hacks

dollar bill folded into a dollar sign

Sometimes DIY projects can put a drain on your wallet. If you’re looking to save a little green on your next creative endeavor, skip your local craft store and scour your local dollar store for DIY project supplies and ideas. Don’t know where to start? Here are some possibilities to get you inspired.

1. Pots

If you like plants, skip the fancy, pre-decorated pots at home decor stores and hit the gardening aisle of your local dollar store. Here you should be able to find terracotta pots of various sizes. Sometimes you can get sets of two or three for a dollar—a pretty great deal.

Grab pots, a sponge brush, acrylic paint (if the store carries it), and any other fun finds that might help spice the pot up. Start by covering the pot with a solid base coat of white and let loose from there. You can stamp the pot with your standard ink stamps, use Mod Podge to add glitter, or hot glue to add ribbon or rhinestones.

painted terracotta pots

We recommend that you start with an idea in mind. Whether you have Anthropologie inspiration, a Halloween pumpkin pot you want to fill with candy, or an indoor plant that needs a new home, keep the end in mind as you decorate and buy supplies. If you'll be putting a plant in the finished pot, remember the clay will absorb some of the water you use on the plant, so decorate accordingly.

2. Mugs

Mugs can be pricey, especially really pretty ones. Head to your local dollar store and pick up a handful of white mugs. From paint to glitter glue to markers, there are countless ways to decorate mugs and white mugs make a great blank slate for this project.

You can marble mugs by adding nail polish (which can also be picked up at the dollar store) to warm water and making a marble pattern across the top of the water. Gently dip the mug in the water and set it aside to let it dry.

You can also decorate mugs with a fun pattern or trendy saying using Sharpies. After you decorate with the Sharpie, bake the mugs in an oven for thirty minutes on 350 (F). It's important to put the mug in the oven before you turn on the heat, and not remove it until after it has completely cooled. This will help make sure your mug doesn’t crack. Once the mug is cooled, take it out and display it on your mug rack.

hand painting a butterfly on a mug

3. Vases

Most dollar stores have an aisle packed with glass vases. Take a clear glass vase and turn it into a fun colorful accent piece in a few easy steps.

Pick the glass vase that is the right size and squeeze a fair amount of paint inside the glass vase. Swirl it around and then turn the vase upside down, letting the paint drip out and cover the inside of the vase as it does so.

Once the vase has stopped dripping, flip it right-side-up and let it keep drying. Add a ribbon on the outside for decor, then fill it with your favorite fake flowers or leave it as a standalone piece. Remember not to fill this kind of vase with water, though—the paint will immediately start peeling off. If you want to keep fresh flowers in a decorated vase, keep the paint to the outside.

4. Towels

Towels can be a fun way to spice up seasonal decor or liven up a boring kitchen or bathroom. The dollar store often carries dish towels, hand towels, and sometimes even bath towels. Add tassels, practice your embroidery, or give monogramming a go in an easy Dollar Store DIY. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try using tea to dye the towels different colors.

As a note, not all dollar stores are created equally. You may need to check out several dollar stores in your area to find the best one. Look at the Dollar Tree, the Dollar Store, the 99 Cent Only Store, and others. If the first one you search is a dud, don’t give up. There are hundreds of dollar store DIYs out there, waiting to save you big bucks.