I Tried 3+ Easy Dollar Store DIYs And They Turned Out Pretty Good

Diply 10 Oct 2018

I highlight a lot of great DIY projects in my articles, but rarely do I get the chance to actually do any of them. My Pinterest boards are getting kind of ridiculous.

To say I was excited to actually do a few myself and document the process is probably an understatement. My new art room is in need of some decor anyway.

Unsurprisingly, nothing goes as planned, so you get to see how I improvised, too.

Off to the dollar store I went, collecting the supplies for a few of my favorite simple DIYs.

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Fun fact: If you ask the cashier at the dollar store to split your stuff into two separate transactions so you can track work expenses, they will look at you funny when said "work expenses" include toffee and plastic animal toys.

A few of the items pictured were for backup projects, so consider them a spoiler for my next round. All other supplies came from my personal stash of random stuff.

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1. DIY Mini Chalkboards

Oh The Sweet Things | Oh The Sweet Things

My first project was these mini chalkboards from Oh The Sweet Things. The wooden plaques seemed easy enough to find at a well-stocked dollar store, and I had chalkboard paint left over from my kitchen.

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Of course, even though I went to one of the larger dollar stores, they didn't have plaques like those pictured. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

I didn't panic, though, and ended up finding a cute alternative with filigreed corners. Plus, they came in a two-pack!

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I applied the chalkboard paint with a foam brush, doing my best to not let it gum up the corner cutouts. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

I also made a big mess of my hands and the cardboard I covered my table with, but that's hardly a surprise. I'm a messy crafter.

The cheap wood sucked up the paint like crazy, so I ended up doing four coats.

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Once it was completely dry, I went over it with a layer of chalk to give it a used look.

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Then I tried both regular chalk and chalk markers on the surface. They both worked great!

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Since I had two, I left one as-is, but added a string to the second.

Amy Pilkington | Diply

I think it looks pretty cute hanging in my art room, don't you? I use Command Hook-style clothespins to display things in there.

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2. DIY Painted Geometric Coasters

Token and Bliss | Token and Bliss

Next up, I wanted to try these cute coasters from Token and Bliss. I did manage to find cork coasters at my dollar store, but they were flimsier than those pictured. They'll do the job, though.

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I used washi tape to mask off some random patterns, then got to painting.

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Since my coasters were flimsier, I wanted to make sure I used tape that was low-tack enough to peel off cleanly. I used white craft paint along with leftover chalk paints in turquoise and orange, which are the accent colors in my art room.

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After they dried, I took the tape off, but it looked unfinished.

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I raided my art supplies and used a gold Posca paint marker to add borders to the color blocks. You could also use a Sharpie. The Posca is just what I grabbed first.

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I quite like how they turned out!

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Now I can have a beverage while I'm painting without the risk of my watercolor paper taking a trip with a water ring. Which has happened...

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3. DIY Faux Gold Leaf Dish

Instagram | @decorables

I found this image shared by @decorables on Instagram and thought the idea of using foil was super cute.

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Of course, it also meant I got to eat a bunch of toffee.

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I didn't even need the other foil colors. I just liked the toffee. Though, the silver was licorice-flavored. Yuck.

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The dishes I found at the dollar store are for dipping bread in oil. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Once again raiding my leftover renovation supplies, I used an oiled bronze-colored spray paint to give them a dark, shiny finish.

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I actually think the dark dishes look pretty sharp. Sadly, that's where things took a turn.

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It turns out that trying to get bits of crinkled foil to stick down smoothly is irritating AF.

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Even after the Mod Podge dried, the foil was bumpy and curled. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

I suppose that a layer of resin over the foil would smooth everything out, but that would defeat the purpose of this being a dollar store DIY.

#Fail

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4. DIY Animal Bookends

Hi Sugarplum | Hi Sugarplum

Lastly, I really wanted to try making these bookends I found on Hi Sugarplum. Somehow, they make plastic animals and rocks look chic.

Plus, I really needed some bookends for my growing collection of sketchbooks.

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There weren't any elephants at my dollar store, but I had a choice between farm animals and wild animals.

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Okay, I admit it, I chose the wild animals mostly for the hippo.

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I could have sworn I had some copper spray paint around somewhere, but I couldn't find it.

Amy Pilkington | Diply

So instead, I went for a classic white and sprayed a couple extra animals just in case of mishap.

For some reason, the white spray paint would not completely dry. It stayed tacky to the touch for hours. Finally, I sprayed a coat of clear matte art sealant on them, which solved the problem.

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Now I had to find a base for them.

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Originally, I had planned to go for a walk along the river in search of suitable rocks, but coincidentally, my father dropped off a ton of stones meant for my garden, so I swiped a couple from there.

I then gave them a good soak and a scrub.

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I sprayed them with the same oiled bronze paint as the dishes for the other project. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Wesley supervised.

I don't usually do projects at dog level, but my dining table was covered in very slowly drying plastic animals.

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Once I could (finally) pick up the animals without them sticking to me, I picked out the best two. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

The grizzly bear and the hippo got the honors. Due to the shape of the rocks, both had one foot that wouldn't lie flat, but the E6000 held the other three in place strongly enough that I'm not worried.

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I actually love how they turned out. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

They aren't perfect, but that's what makes DIY so special. Even if you follow a tutorial shared online, yours will look different from the original or from anyone else's version.

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Here they are in their new home alongside Bob. 

Amy Pilkington | Diply

Bob Ross is totally my patronus.

Three out of four successful projects isn't too bad! Plus, the painted dish that wasn't ruined with foil is now a classy resting place for my erasers and pencil sharpeners.

Plus, getting to actually document the process gave me a new respect for bloggers. It's hard to do!

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Thus, I leave you with my attempt at a satisfying tape removal.

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Delight in my awkwardness! For such a low-tack option, that washi tape did not want to get off my fingers!

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