Dollar Store Gnome

I’ve been seeing a lot of gnomes on various dollar store craft pages and thought I would give one a try! They are so cute and can be customized for any holiday or occasion. I got all the supplies at the Dollar Tree except for the nose and the tin heart, both of which I had on hand. There are certainly a ton of items at the DT you could use you accent the hat, but the wooden balls for the nose may need to be bought at a craft store. Here’s the how-to!

First, I wanted to share my little hack for keeping your working surface clean. I use Dollar Tree wrapping paper when working on my dining room table. The edges curl and hold the paper in place on the table. When you’re done, toss it!

A lot of tutorials have you using the DT foam cones for the gnome’s hat. All my DT’s have been out of the foam cones lately, so I improvised and went with plastic funnels that are roughly the same shape. You can find these in the car/tool section.

Grab yourself a mop and cut off the strings. Don’t worry about the length because you can always trim his beard later. Start gluing them on the funnel or foam cone. If you’re using foam, beware that the hot glue gun may melt the foam, and you might have to use a cold glue of some kind.

Once they are all secured in place, unravel the mop strings to give your beard more volume. It’s a bit tedious but I think the end result is worth it. Twist the strings in the opposite direction that they are curled and they will unravel pretty easily.

After I was done un-twisting the strings, I could still see the black cone underneath and wanted to hide it more. I did a second layer of strings underneath the original beard. In hindsight I realized I could have just painted the bottom of the funnel white to camouflage it. Something to experiment with if you use these dark funnels.

Comb out the beard with your fingers and trim it if necessary. I started out with this flat round nose but you’ll see in the next few pics I switched to a round ball nose. I like the round ball much better.

Slip your sock over the tip of the cone and adjust it so the end hangs over a bit. I stuffed the hat with some cotton balls to puff it out and give it some volume. Tuck up the opening of the sock to create the kind of hat rim you’d like, and secure in place with a few dabs of hot glue.

I tied the end of the hat with a little piece of red twine and hot glued the tin heart on his hat as an accent.ย For hat accents you could use faux flowers or berries, little seasonal ornaments (a heart, a shamrock, etc.), a little bow, or whatever you feel like. I’m sure he’d look cute just plain too!

He kinda has a Valentine’s day vibe, don’t ya think? I love him but am going to give them another try a different tutorial, with rice-filled socks for the base. I will be sure to post them too. Have a great day my crafty friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

Halloween Nutcracker

HALLOWEEN IS LIFE!!! So incase you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with Halloween and all things spooky! I saw these unfinished nutcrackers on clearance and immediately knew I could create some kind of cool Halloween man! I was debating between a skeleton and pumpkin and decided on pumpkin.

I got him for a couple bucks at Michael’s since they’re trying to move the Christmas stuff! I didn’t use the paint that came with him. I used my stash of acrylic paints that I had on hand.

I peeled off the hair and beard that he came with. I felt like a pumpkin man didn’t really need the traditional nutcracker hair. lol…

I just started painting him whatever colors I was feeling. I love the teal with the orange. It just pops!

For the polka dots, I used the end of an old paint brush. It’s a great tool to easily create perfect little dots!

As you can see he has a “distressed” look. I did this by just dry brushing over the whole thing with black and brown paint. I just kind of winged it and dry brushed him all over. I used a light purple dry brush on his boots.

So…I kinda forgot one of the main features of the nutcracker is the hinged mouth. Initially I just painted a mouth right on the face, but quickly realized it looked kinda weird with the little bottom mouth part just sitting there empty….

So I painted over the original mouth and used the nutcracker part to create a mouth that “opens”! I think it looks so much better.

I’m planning on sealing him with this spray once it stops snowing!

I have a few more and might try a skeleton man next. What do you think of the mouth? Should I have stuck with the first one and just added a traditional nutcracker beard to the bottom portion of the mouth? TIA for your thoughts and happy crafting! ๐Ÿ™‚

Country Themed Dollar Store Crafts

While the selection is better, large craft stores prices can be a little rough on the wallet. There are tons of supplies for general crafting at the dollar store; i.e. tacky foam shapes, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, etc. Those can be great for kids, but it gets a little tougher when looking to do primitive/country crafts.

Here are a few projects that I have done that involve dollar store supplies. A lot of these have been featured in previous posts, so the pictures may look familiar! All of the photos with a white background were found at

Salt Dough Ornies & Cinnamon Applesauce Ornies

Salt, flour, cinnamon, and applesauce, wax paper – all of your main ingredients for both salt dough and cinnamon applesauce ornaments – can be found at the dollar store. The recipes can be found all over the web, I don’t feel like typing it out…hehe. I make cinnamon applesauce ornies in bulk – usually stars, hearts, and gingerbread men for the holidays.

A wonderful salt dough tutorial can be found at

This “snowman pop” I picked up at a craft show looks like salt dough. I definitely want to try this. A cute stocking stuffer perhaps?

Primitive Electric Tea Lights and Jar Candles

My best seller and favorite dollar store craft: electric tea lights! I recently found the tea lights on the right at a local Dollar Tree…. 3 for $1! I have found that they are as good the ones at the craft store, and last just as long!

These particular ones have been coated with gold and brown texture fierro, a textured paste made by DecoArt (found at the craft store for about $6 a jar). I have however used plain cinnamon which I get at the dollar store. First I put a piece of tape around the base of the little silicone flame, so my cinnamon doesn’t get on it. Then, paint them with regular glue or modge podge, roll in cinnamon, and let dry. Once dry, re-paint with glue/modge podge to seal! The cinnamon technique works great, but I prefer the look of the texture fierro.

This candle was grubbied up using the cinnamon/glue technique.

These candles were found at the Dollar Tree. I used the same technique as the electric tea lights. This can be done to any glass item or jar candle. Same thing goes for these – dollar store cinnamon works great for a more rusty look!

Wooden Spoon Kitchen Decoration

You can get packages of wooden kitchen spoons at the dollar store (usually 4 per pkg) that can easily be painted and made into very cute country kitchen decorations. I spray painted them black, sanded the edges,ย  and finished off with a homespun tie and dollar store faux berries!

Silicone Dipped Bulbs – Christmas Lights and Country Night Lights

Hand dipping silicone bulbs looks like a daunting task, but is actually quite easy. I do this with night lights found at the dollar store and also with strands of Christmas lights. I scooped up a huge supply of plain white Christmas lights at the dollar store during the holidays to use all year round! The silicone must be bought elsewhere, but I found it real cheap at Walmart. To see how to dip silicone bulbs, view my previous tutorial here.

Turn these…

into THESE! ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas lights for Everyday Country Decor

As I said, I stock up on these after the holidays to use for a variety of projects. One simple idea (not a “craft” per say, but cute nonetheless) is to look for old bottles at yard sales or thrift stores, and put a strand of lights down inside to illuminate the colored glass. I got this blue house shaped bottle at a yard sale for 10 cents, added a string of white Christmas lights, and it looks so darn cute! This picture doesn’t do it justice, but I swear it looks awesome up on a shelf!

Another idea is to take small strips of homespun and knot them on the strand of lights in between each bulb. I have seen it/done it before but can’t seem to find a picture! Cute idea and super-duper easy!

Brown Craft Paper

The Dollar Tree has a surprising selection of brown crafting/wrapping paper that can be used for numerous craft purposes. The one on the far right has little gold stars, and is super cute – one of my favorites.

They also sell plain (without patterns) brown craft paper by the roll. I use this to make labels for my products like the one seen below. I use a paper cutter to cut 8.5 x 11 sheets that can be run through the copier. The Dollar Tree also sells a really great red gingham craft paper – the one that the snowmen are clipped to!

I use it to cover my craft table too, so I can make a mess and then replace it as necessary!

Brown craft paper gift bags are great for stamping.

Homespun Wrapped Candy Cane Ornaments

You get 6 plastic candy cane forms for $1…you can’t beat it! Simply wrap in homespun. I used hot glue to dab on the ends. Another one of my FAVORITE crafts of all time. This could be done with the large candy canes also found at the dollar store!

I haven’t tried these LARGE Dollar Tree candy canes, but I bet they’d look great!

Jingle Bells – As Bowl Fillers and Accents for Other Crafts

Dollar Tree sells all kinds of little jingle bells at Christmas time. I typically spray paint them barn red, navy blue, and forest green, tie a bit of homespun on the top for a little country flair.ย  I use them as bowl/jar fillers and tree ornaments.

This cute holiday candle decorated with these same (spray painted) jingle bells was found at

Scatter around candles or mix in with your potpourri. Heck, plop a big wooden bowl on your table and fill it up with these suckers for a nice holiday center piece! A nice silver candle and bell display is shown here, by

A list of other craft supplies I have found at the dollar store:

  • Small round magnets & clear gems/marbles (marble magnets)
  • Styrofoam cone forms and balls (rag ball ornaments)
  • Basic floral supplies (wire, moss)
  • Baskets
  • Mini terra cotta pots & spanish moss (country witch head)
  • Jute
  • Large Christmas bulbs (the old-fashioned looking ones)
  • Small glass jars (use to hold potpourri, putka pods, cinnamon sticks, buttons, etc!)
  • Buttons
  • Glitter
  • Wooden frames (to paint and distress)
  • Wooden shapes for all kinds of crafting
  • Super glue/basic craft glue

Visit The Dollar Diva for more great dollar store craft ideas!

Hope you found this post helpful in saving a few bucks while working on your country/prim crafting endeavors. I don’t think I could survive without my local Dollar Tree. If you have any great dollar store ideas and/or crafts, I’d love to hear! Have a great week ya’ll! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Perfect Grubby, Grungy Hang Tags: A Tutorial

Ok, so I think I finally have it down! The batch of hang tags I recently made came out so deliciously grubby!

Here we go! So start by getting basic hang tags at your local craft store. I don’t make any fancy mixtures – I use straight (very strong) coffee. The coffee was really hot so I put it outside in the snow to cool for a bit, so it’s a little easier to work with.

Tip: Seriously, wear rubber gloves! My hands were in the coffee for a very short time and it still stained my nails brown. I usually get down and dirty with my crafts, but for this project, I will definitely wear gloves next time!

Drop in a few tags and mix them around until the are completely submerged in the coffee. Leave them in for only a minute or two.ย  Leaving them in for a long time makes the little red enforcers fall off. One thing I have learned is that this process is not about how long you soak them, but about how long you bake them in the oven!

Once the tags are completely saturated, lay them out on a cookie sheet so they are not touching. Tip: Don’t shake off the excess coffee. I am convinced that leaving them really wet and saturated (see pic below) is the key to making them grubby. That excess coffee soaks right into the tags as they bake!

Cook at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes. The excess coffee should be absorbed by now and the tags mostly dry.

You’ll notice that one side is pretty grubby, while the other side isn’t. SO, the next step is to RE-DIP all of the tags in the coffee mixture and flip them over to bake on the other side. Bake another 15 minutes. Yes, this is time-consuming, but it works really well and creates a really great over-all grubbified effect! ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy the winter scenery while you wait…

Then…VOILA! Perfectly grubby, grungy hanging tags!

Use them for all your prim country projects, scrap booking, gift wrapping, or whatever else you can think of! The possibilities are endless! I think I might start by stamping a few with a great new skeleton key stamp I recently found!

That’s all for now. I am leaving going to Arizona for a week so I won’t be posting for a while. I hope to have some fun pictures to share when I get back. Happy crafting to all! ๐Ÿ™‚

My Attempt at Marble Magnets…How FUN!!!

After two weeks of dog sitting, I am happy to be home and get my hands on some craft supplies and go to work. I haven’t done a whole lot since the New Year, so I was itching to play around with some new ideas, as seen in my last post. I decided to try the marble magnets first. They are SO much fun, but I must say they are going to take a little experimenting to get them just right.ย  I like the way they came out, but the perfectionist in me feels there could be some improvement. I used the tutorial found at Not Martha, but here is my experience!

You’ll need:

Clear decorative marbles – make sure they are not the iridescent ones. I found these at Michael’s.

Silicone Sealant – I could not find this at the craft store, so I went to Home Depot and found this DAP brand adhesive. It worked great! I do want to try super glue gel, as recommended on another random site. It think it would dry quicker, which would be nice.

Magazines or scrapbooking paper for your designs – I had bad luck finding little pictures in magazines so I turned to some scrapbooking paper that I had lying around. It worked great because of it’s heavier stock.

Magnets – I found these at the Dollar Tree.

Scissors – for obvious reasons. As stated at Not Martha, a large hole punch would save a ton of time!!!

Toothpick – to apply small amounts of silicone sealer to the top of the magnet.

A tip: Don’t bother using the large marbles. They are not as clear as the small marbles. It is hard to see in this picture, but images appear tinted brown through the marble. Look closely at the whites behind each marble and you can see the difference. It’s very obvious in person. Also, all of the big marbles had major defects on the back and would not create a clear image. Oh well…lesson learned!

I was going to use a small button to trace a circle around the image I wanted to cut out, but found it’s just as easy to use the magnet itself to trace. The edges of the pictures seem to stick out a lot once the marble is in place, and I don’t like that look. It helps to cut the picture slightly smaller in diameter than the magnet, as seen above. I applied a small amount of silicone sealant right smack on the top of the image and pressed on the marble. Oh I LOVE that part! Seeing the glue spread out under the marble is most satisfying. I had NO problems with bubbles at all.

Here’s my first set…not too bad for a first try!

And my second set! See how the paper sticks out a bit on the edges? This really annoys me. It can’t really be avoided because the magnets are almost the exact size of the marble. Maybe finding some smaller magnets would help? Also, once they are up on the fridge, it’s not noticeable at all.

I think I will go out and get some new scrapbooking paper and try some more soon. I want to make these as gifts for a bunch of people…the themes and ideas are really flowing!!

That’s all for now. Hope everyone had a great weekend. We are covered in snow here in western New York, and it just keeps on coming! Stay warm! Oh, and if you decide to try these, I’d love to hear about them!!!

Oreo Ball Deliciousness

I had some of these delicious Oreo balls at our family Christmas gathering (thanks Carol!) and ever since, I have been craving more! So since one of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, the first thing I did on New Years Day was run out to Wegmans and buy Oreos and the rest of the supplies to make them! Not off to a great start…oops…

You’ll need:

1 pkg of regular Oreos

1 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese

Melting chocolate of your choice

Wax paper

Since I am such a classy baker, I smashed up the Oreos in a ziplock bag using this wine bottle. Hey…it worked, didn’t it??

Then add the cream cheese and mix in using a blender or by hand, until smooth. I used this handy-dandy NINJA blender thing that Greg’s mom got us for Christmas and it worked GREAT! I suppose a food processor or regular blender would yield the same results.

Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet.I LOVE recipes that are inexpensive yet make such a large quantity! Place in fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes so the balls are a little more solid and easier to dip.

Microwave the chocolate melting chips for 30 sec intervals, stirring in between, until melted..or use a double boiler if you wanna get all fancy. Dip Oreo balls in melted chocolate using a fork to drain the excess, and place on wax paper to harden.

I drizzled blue/milk chocolate on top for decoration. Just put the melted chocolate into a ziplock bag, cut the corner off (very tiny bit, to make a thin line) and drizzle away! They look like a hot mess right now…but once you put them on a plate and break off all the little excess pieces of chocolate drizzle, they look gourmet! ๐Ÿ™‚

YUM! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone has a FABULOUS New Year’s weekend!!!

Craft, Food and Wine Show 2010

The craft show went GREAT! With the help of my trusty friend/accountant/maintainance woman Christine, we sold about ยพ of the items and made about 20% more money than last year! There was a record 4000+ people who went through the show this year, thanks to the addition of food and wine, which drew in many more customers than previous years! Here are some pictures from the show! ๐Ÿ™‚ (be preparedโ€ฆI went a little overboard with the picturesโ€ฆ)

Grubby tea lights and mini snowman clips…sold out!

All cinnamon shapes…sold out on the first day!

Sold ALL but 5 or 6 candles! They were hit!

Signs…not so much. The same thing happened last year. I only sold a few. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I do have a few people who want to buy some for Christmas gifts, so that’ll be good. ๐Ÿ™‚

All 3 wooden ironing board displays…gone!

The antiques sold very well. There were other craft booths, but none with antiques. Both vintage scales sold the first day! I love them for kitchen decor.

Christine and our mascot Melanie! Mel sure did draw in the people to our booth…I learned babies are a good marketing technique!

No one bought any of the little candles I enhanced with the texture fierro (brown and green ones along the bottom). I was surprised, because I thought they were really cute! Oh well.

Sold all but one of the country night lights.

I am an antique bottle junkie, and probably sold 1/3 of ’em.

The vintage reindeer and santa went too…wasn’t sure about those guys. I love vintage Christmas ornies! Probably do more of those next year, if I can find them. I got those at the Amvet!

All the lil snowman magnets…sold out!

The penalty box was directly behind my booth space…SCORE! We used it as our little nook…or ‘office’…hehehe! The ledge made for a great transaction area, plus being a few inches off the ice made a HUGE difference in us not freezing out @$$’s off like last year! I am going to request the same space again for next year…it was SO awesome!

There’s one of my Craigslist scores…the tea cart used as a display.

Homespun candy canes and pins…sold out!

The drool queen!

I thought Christine was going to beat me because I sold all of my ironing board display pieces! In place of them are Christine’s little TV trays drapped with fabric.

The trip home was pretty funny. Even though we sold a ton, the truck was full of all the display stuff. Christine took one for the team and was wedged into the front seat with the boxes that wouldn’t fit in the back, along with my brown bag full of wine I bought. lol. Thanks Teeny…I luv ya!

Hope everyone is weathering this snow alright. It’s coming down like crazy here in western NY. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks for looking…I’ll be back soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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