$4 Decorating at the Dollar Tree: Autumn Candles

Looking to level-up your decor with a project that helps you flex your creative muscle without breaking the bank or sacrificing all your free time? Here’s a quick, easy, cheap project just for you!

Halloween Candles_5

I got all of this at the Dollar Tree:

  • Two glass jars – these are definitely seasonal. They have a bunch of different colors, too!
  • A 2-pack of tapered candles – again, there are a bunch of different colors.
  • Popcorn – in a bag like this NOT a microwavable one! The last thing you want for this is buttery, salty popcorn kernels…
  • Two Dixie cups – I had these in my bathroom. Any cups will work as long as they can fit in the jars you chose and don’t quite reach the rim of it. You could also cut down larger paper/plastic/styrofoam cups.
  • An exacto knife – if you don’t have one, get one! Every crafter should own one. That said, a regular knife or a sharp pair of scissors will work in a pinch.

Total material cost: 4 bucks – heck yeah.

Halloween Candles_41. Cut a hole in the bottom or each dixie cup the same size as the diameter of the candle. I marked it with a pen, first. If you only have a knife, you should be able to simply cut an X in the top and slide the candle into it, but it won’t hold quite as well.Halloween Candles_32. Place the dixie cup with the candle in it into the jar and fill the jar with popcorn. The popcorn will help keep the candle upright and the dixie cup will help take up some space in the jar so you don’t need quite so many kernels. I used about 2/3 of the popcorn bag for this whole project. Halloween Candles_1

3. … actually that’s it. Honestly I planned to get a clear glass jar and some ribbon to decorate these myself, but I found the pre-decorated jars instead and I just couldn’t pass them up! They’re so pretty and festive!

Easy 2 -step DIY for making some inexpensive autumn decor!

Honestly the best part of having my own house is getting to decorate it! Plus I don’t have 50 years worth of decorations stocked up like my parents (as people tend to when they’ve been decorating for many holidays over the years) so we kinda need decorations, too!

I hope you also enjoy this picture of my entirely monochromatic dining room… we’re planning to paint that soon 😉



Keeping Your Drains Clean with Almost No Effort: A Dollar Store DIY

The Problem:


I’ve always lived with at least one other luxuriously haired female, so post-shower there’s at least this big of a nasty nest. 

The Solution:

A new shower accessory to be able to easily pick up the hair that’s keeping your shower water from draining

I’d argue that picking up matted, soapy, goopy hair from the drain is akin to picking the food remains out of a kitchen sink with no garbage disposal. Gross.

Step 1:

Remove the label from your bottle. Goo Gone!! I love this stuff. Just rub it onto whatever’s gooey and it will come off! If it’s not working, let it sit for a bit and it will work. It’s really mild so you can get it all over your hands no problem (some dish soap cleans it off). Fun fact: back in fourth grade I managed to work a ton of tree sap into my hair (don’t ask, I was a wild child) but after shampooing my hair with this awesome stuff, I got to keep my hair.

Step 2:

Cut the top off. I used an exacto knife, pressing in gently to I could control it better for the first round, then used the channel I made to push the blade in harder and get a cleaner cut. Once it’s cut out, sand it down until it’s nice and flat. To make a nice finish, take your lighter to it, waving it over the cut plastic quickly to melt the sanded bits until they’re smooth. I’ll go over that a bit more later.

Step 3:

When you look at your bottle, you’ll see two seams, one that goes down either side of the bottle. Those are the parting lines from manufacturing, but they work as great guides now! Measuring from the hole in the top that you just cut and down the seam, mark out three inches. Don’t worry about getting too much sharpie on it, we’ll clean that off later. The second two measurements will go from that same hole, but down the front and the back and will be .75”. If your bottle is different than mine you might need to fudge those numbers.

Step 4:

Connect the marks you just made as depicted below (the top is already cut off). Again, don’t worry about getting sharpie everywhere, we’ll get it off later. You’ll want to start with an exacto knife because you don’t want to damage the top or bottom piece, but once you can get your scissors in there, I found them to be an easier option.

Getting Nice Edges

Simply take some sandpaper to the rough edge until the curve is how you like it, then make quick passes under it with a lighter. Holding the lighter under it will melt the edges quickly, so just let the flame kiss the edge before pulling it back out.

Step 4:

Cut the “holder” half into the shape you like. I made two different holders because I wasn’t sure which I preferred, so I’ll give you the option to make your own choice!

If you want to show the tweezers like this…

Simply extend one of the drooping sides all the way around the other side in a large curve. I like this one because I thought the curves of the tweezers and the curve of the holder’s droop looked kind of artsy.

If you want to hide the tweezers like this…

Put the tweezers into the holder then hold it up to a light source. Put your finger down until it touches the top of the tweezers and mark where that is. Extend that mark in a straight line across the front and then up to the top in a small curve. I like this one because it totally hides their tweezers, concealing what it does and the grossness it holds.

Step 6:

If you just bought the suction cups, you can definitely fudge this. However if you bought them on something like I did, you can use the other product to help you on this next step. See how the suction cups were attached with that snowman shaped hole? We’re gonna do that on our hair holder. 

To get the shape, I did a rubbing just like we used to do in grade school! Any colored pencil/graphite pencil (mechanicals will work, but are more difficult) will work for this.

Cut out the shape and mark around where you want it on the holder. Make sure the smaller circle is on top! Then cut out the shape.

Step 7:

Mark where you want some drain holes on the bottom. Heat up your soldering iron and simply poke it through! Slow and steady wins the race here guys, give the heat time to melt the plastic, don’t shove it through too hard.

And those melted rings you have when you’re done? An exacto takes those off nicely.

My Dirty Little Secret:

I took this picture toward the end of the project, but see that big ugly hole? That was my first attempt to use a dremmel to make the holes. The plastic was too slippery and there was nowhere good to hold it so it got caught and the drill bit ate up the plastic… not so pretty! The soldering iron was much easier and safer!

Getting off extra sharpie and burn marks

LOOK AT THIS MAGIC, Goo Gone guys, it’s a beautiful thing! Just dab a bit on a paper towel and rub off the gunk.

Step 8:

Make some hot glue gun designs on the sides of the tweezers for some grip, showers are slippery! The put some glue on the inside of the tweezers so it can help grip the hair as well.

Step 9:

Let’s decorate! I used a marbling technique I’ll show you here.

This is where you’ll use the saran wrap covered bowl (to keep the bowl from getting ruined) along with a few different nail polish colors (dealer’s choice).

Fill the bowl with some room temperature water, then dump little bits of nail polish into it. If the water is too hot or too cold, the nail polish will dry quicker. If you’ve ever done your nails this way and want to use a toothpick to make some cool designs, it will work beautifully here! I opted to simply do the nail polish blotches which come out looking kind of like marble. 

Simply dip your holder into the water at an angle, then pull it back out, that’s it! It will take some time to dry, but not too long.

The holes you just made will probably be coated in nail polish, but a toothpick or pin will clean them out nicely.

Now you can clean up that nasty hair without even having to touch it! And before your family yells at you… again…