DIY Dollar Store Christmas Garland
This Dollar Store Christmas Garland is a fun and easy DIY and a great way to get creative with all the little holiday bits and bobs you have lying around.
On a recent nature walk, I stumbled upon a majestic creature in its pristine native habitat. I watched, enthralled, as the beautiful specimen went about its daily routine, unaware that it was being watched and photographed.
I’d never before spotted a Great Blue Handan in a Dollar Tree. It was magnificent! [LOLOL – You’re so lucky that I love you! -Handan]
Notice how it rifles through every item, looking for perfection in an ocean of sameness! Such dedication!
See how it smiles when it encounters the Christmas Wall! Breathtaking!
Look! It’s taking something! Likely it will take more than one. The Great Blue Handan likes to be prepared for anything, and the best way to prepare for anything is to buy lots of everything! How wonderful!
OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod! It’s smiling at me! Stupendous!
I ventured a question to the magical thing.
“So, uhhhh, what are you buying?” I said.
It continued to smile at me, and then it said, “I’m buying these gift tags so my babes can make me a Christmas garland!”
“I see,” I said and slowly started to back away. “What a lucky guy.”
I was walking backwards now, but the Great Blue Handan was keeping pace.
“Does my babes know how he’s going to make it? Hey? Hey? Does he? Hey?” it said, following too close for comfort.
I turned to run, and the last thing I heard was, “Get me another cart!”
DIY Dollar Store Christmas Garland
We’ve got a lot of Christmas doohickeys and doodads all around the craft room and in the basement. You know what I mean. Embellishments, I think they’re called? Or maybe adornments? You know – it’s all that crap that pretty useless on its own, but you can glue it onto other stuff so it becomes less useless.
Yeah, well we’ve got tons of it coming out that wazoo.
Finally, I got to use some of that
junk stuff! And I guess that’s the beauty of this little craft. You can make this garland out of whatever you may have on hand, or you can certainly buy the little embellishments and adornments at Dollar Tree.
The pic below shows what you’ll need for the first part. My babes bought a bunch of those “wooden” gift tags (actually just painted MDF). Her plan was for me to cover them with with scrapbook paper and then decorate them with my choice of doodads.
Now, in an easy world, I’d have been able to glue the scrapbook paper right onto the tag and head on to part 2 of this little Christmas craft.
Alas, the Doodad Factory, in all its infinite wisdom, decided to make the letters and snowflakes a little raised.
No biggie! Nothing a little sandpaper couldn’t flatten in two shakes of a rooster’s tail.
That only took a minute or two.
Ta-da! All done! Okay, fine, I cheated and used my random orbit sander. You can cheat, too!
Next, using DecoArt paint, I painted the sides to hide the brown MDF. Nobody likes brown MDF.
I also painted in a bit because I’d be distressing later, and I thought that the paint would be seen. Turns out, I distressed all the way down to the MDF, so I probably didn’t need to paint as much as I did.
I painted some black, some red and some green.
This was a weird-looking green, but it actually worked for the whole “vintage” thing Handan kept yapping about.
Six tags ready to go, but only five would make it to the finals…
Handan has tons of scrapbook paper (cardstock paper). She buys books of the stuff from Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s when they are on 50% discount. But she also buys them by the sheet when something strikes her fancy – like the buffalo check below. And it’s cheap! Only about 25 cents per sheet.
Mod Podge. My sworn enemy. Don’t believe me? Read all about it here if you’d like.
I slathered the stuff on one side of a tag.
Then I laid a sheet of scrapbook paper on top.
I used a brayer make sure it was on smooth and wrinkle-free. Tip: don’t bray too hard, or you’ll take the ink right off the scrapbook paper!
After braying, I cut around the edges with a razor.
With one side done, I flipped it and repeated the steps on the backside.
I sanded the edges to give the tags the distressed vintage look that Handan was after.
Ooooh, looks like 1950!
One done and ready for embellishments.
Here we are – all done and ready for part 2!
Now for the fun part! I gathered up all the Christmas embellishments my babes has been collection over the years – it was time to put (some of) them to use!
We have several packs of these tin bells – lord knows why. But hey, they’re finally getting their day in the sun! I pulled off their ribbons and tied two together.
A little hot glue held them in place.
Shazam! It practically SCREAMS farmhouse!
Wait, that’s still cool, right? I’m mean the whole “farmhouse” thing?
Yeesh, I wouldn’t want to come off looking like a square. Here I am all “Ooooh, look how farmhousey this is!” Meanwhile you’re like, “Pfffft, what an idiot! Farmhouse was so 2019! Doesn’t he even realize that RANCH-HOUSE is all the rage now??”
Madam, I’m not what you’d call a trend-watcher. When “farmhouse” quietly goes the way of the dodo someday, I assure you, I’ll be the last to know!
Hey, and I found a good use for those cowbell ribbons!
A little hot glue….
Bam! Another piece of the garland complete.
By the way, it occurred to me as I was assembling my Dollar Store Christmas garland that crafting would be a miserable affair without the hot glue gun.
Can you imagine actually waiting for regular glue to set and dry before moving on to the next step? It’d make crafting as slow and monotonous as woodworking! Now you know why woodworkers have such sparkling personalities!
I found this in my office drawer. I had big plans for it.
But that project will probably never see the light of day, so I commandeered it for Handan’s garland.
Why settle for bland wood when you can bedazzle it with some Rub ‘n Buff?
Sure, paint would have been easier, but….Hey, it’s RUB ‘N BUFF!!
See that bow? I made it! Wanna know how?
I’ll teach you how to make little bows like that lickety split! Just have a peek at the short video below.
I “painted” the bottom with red stain (I thought it was paint when I brought it up form the basement).
Looked pretty good, but….
Since I was already playing with my Rub ‘n Buff (can you tell I like to say “Rub ‘n Buff?), I decided to vintage it up a little.
Because if it ain’t vintage and it ain’t farmhouse, it just ain’t cool!
(Right? Vintage is still cool?) Yeeesh, I should keep up with the trends.
And for the top of the stocking – another Dollar Tree special! Seriously though, I don’t know how some of the stuff in that store can be a dollar. Okay, so this is a microfiber cloth. I mean, big whoop, right? But they have freaking scientific calculators in there that can solve complex mathematical equations! If you could put one in an envelope and mail it back to 1969, NASA could have strapped it onto a Saturn V rocket and used it to send Neil and the boys to the moon!
Okay, so you get the point with these gift-tags-turned-Christmas-garland, right? You can use literally anything.
Well, maybe not literally anything. I mean, a pork chop probably wouldn’t be a good embellishment, but you get my drift, right madam?
It’s time to root through your craft stashes and put some of that stuff to use!
Now, I made 6 of these, but we only decided to use 5, as one of them kinda looked like a kindergartner made it.
Oh, you want to see that one, do you?
Very well, madam. Very well. Here ya go.
Yes, it’s a tin snowman frolicking in a snowy forest while baby reindeer prance in front of him. Complete with puffy glitter trees and glitter snowflakes.
As I said, madam, I was channeling my inner kindergartner when I made that one.
Anyway, to hang the 5 tags that didn’t look like they were immediately followed by Juicy Juice and Nap Time, I used these doohickeys that Handan gave me. [I call them garland clips and you can find them here – Handan]
Okay, enough preamble and chatterboxing! Let’s get to the glory shots, already!
My babes hung these above our newly-madeover fireplace.
She really couldn’t be any happier with her new fireplace. It’s the perfect place for her to hang this Christmas garland.
And the greenery (lambs-ear garland) she hung from the mantle can stay year-round.
We just need to swap out seasonal garland tags like these dollar store Christmas ones.
So there you have it – a cheap and easy DIY that will help use up some crafty clutter. And hey, just because my kindergarten-looking one didn’t make the cut, doesn’t mean you can’t have your kids or grandkids make a whole slew of of these. Glittered macaroni makes perfect sense as decor when made by little hands.
Now that we’re officially in the Christmas Season, we’re scampering here to get the living room painted, the stair rails stained and all the trim painted in time for all the decorating we plan to do.
We’re wondering what you guys will be up to this year. With Covid, everything has changed, and we’d like to hear how you’ll be handling the holidays this year.
For us – we’ll be having Thanksgiving and Christmas alone. We’re just too far from family, and travel is out this year. But that doesn’t mean we won’t do all the decorating we would normally do! In fact, we’ll likely do more, because the neighborhood we live in went big for Halloween, and I’ve heard that Christmas may be even bigger!
Yep, we hit the jackpot with this move! 🙂
We love it when you share our posts on Facebook and Pinterest!
As a retired 40-year kindergarten teacher, I must say your grade for this project would be a giant “Happy Face”. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful ideas and stories. Cindy
Woo Hoo! Do I get a gold star, too? 😀
Too cute ideas y’all have!!! And such fun you two are also ? Can’t wait to see what’s next!!!! Thanks for sharing everything, y’all are appreciated and loved?
Thank you so much, Kim – that is so nice to hear! 🙂
How you make me smile. I will be in the first apartment by myself ever. No child. No husband. He is in Fort Collins holding because the dummy flew a plane without checking the oil. Ghana wants their plane back in working order$10,000 for that big boo. Grrr. So sit he must cause I don’t have that kind of money. So I am happy I get to decorate as I want. Maybe my child and spouse and twin littles will come over. Maybe one sister. I just want to see the littles.
I’m happy to make you smile, Jody, but I’m trying to piece together exactly what happened with your husband (A pilot…but military? How does Ghana fit into the picture?). I do hope you get to see the rest of your family for the holidays though! 🙂
I think Handan is a lucky girl to have a humorous, willing helper and crafty husband! I love reading your writings!
And, BTW, I think your stocking on your garland, could use a tiny sprig of holly on the cuff. It looks just a bit bland. Just sayin’—that’s my opinion!
Love your blog!
I tell her how lucky she is on a daily basis, Karen! 😀 And good idea on the holly – it would spruce it up!
You two are so funny. You would be a hoot to have as neighbors. The fireplace looks awesome all dolled up for Christmas. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas will be bare bones with us due to Covid and the uptick in outbreaks again–no travel, no family who usually come up from VA, or gatherings with friends that we usually do, just me, hubby, and mother-in-law. Lot less cooking that way so there’s that. Grab some mulled wine and Netflix on the couch. I will still decorate the house though, but not until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time around here.
I’ll let you know when something pops up for sale on our street! 🙂 Yeah, the benefit of small holidays is smaller feasts – less prep and less cleanup! Turkey is kinda nasty anyway, so this year, it’s goign to be a roasted (or barbecued) chicken!
You are too funny! What a cute whimsical garland you two created! I must say the Dollar Trees around here look like dumps compared to yours – which is nice and big with lots of wonderful merchandise! A fun place to shop!
Thank you, Gail! This is the big Dollar Tree I mentioned in a previous post. It’s not part of a strip mall! It stands on its own with its own parking lot! It’s truly a marvel, LOL!
Super idea but what i really want to Ask is Can your dollar store show my dollar store how to grow in to a big super Dollar store like this one? Wow
LOLOL, I know, right! It’s like the Taj Mahal of Dollar Trees!
Yes, I wish Dollar stores in my area had nice things.. I think we get all the rejects. Very little craft stuff. Yes, Christmas things, but nothing that nice..
Every time I go there (I just got back 5 minutes ago), there’s better and better stuff. The craft corner now looks almost as good as Michaels, the Beauty area with the shampoos and things now carries almost all major brands in actual usable sizes, and the seasonal decor just keeps improving! On a recent trip, Handan and I found a whole line of perfumes and colognes – ripoffs of really high end stuff….and they smelled EXACTLY the same!
Love the garland, Greg. I am wondering if Handan comes up with all the ideas and you bring them to life? The garland looks great on your mantel.
Thank you, Barbara! Yep, she’s the brains and I’m the muscle! 🙂
My favorite one was the “Kindergarten” one. LOL I know that less is more, but I loved the background paper, too. You get a ? and a ?!
YES! Smiley Face AND Star! Wooooooot! 😀
I love your new fireplace. Every time I look at it I say I want that in my livingroom. As for the holidays, I’m just waiting the virus out and seeing how much it climbs before I do Thanksgiving and then Christmas for my family. Don’t want anyone getting sick.
Thank you, Cheryl! I hope for the sake of a happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas, it ebbs in time for the holidays!
Hi there! Great project! Is there a chance you can share the dimensions of the tags for those of us you can’t find the tags at the store. Thank you!
Thanks, Wendy! Those tags are 7 inches x 4 inches.
I almost didn’t read this post because it didn’t sound like something I’d be interested in, but I beg your pardon, Greg, because it was great! Those are too cute! I’ll never doubt you again.
I’m glad you did, Toni, and I’m glad you liked it! 🙂
These are so awesome! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Kathie, it is our pleasure! 🙂
Absolutely love your site and can’t get enough of your funny writing and Handen’s design concepts. You guys are the greatest and your so handy, wow, Triple stars all around. Stumbled upon you a couple of years ago and loved the hummingbird story, so interesting and you jam everything into great humor. Keep em comin’ my man.
You got it, Carol! We have no intention of stopping! 😀
Hi you two cuties. You always make me smile. I love everything about your blog. I can’t wait to go to my Dollar Tree to see what mischief I can get in to. Your mantle is perfect!
Why thank you so much, Marian! Let’s hope your Dollar Tree is stocked with Christmas goodies! 🙂
I didn’t even finish reading all your post because I ran to Dollar Tree. BooHoo my store did not have any. So I found huge ones. What I need from you is measurements so I can cut my own out of the big ones I bought. I bought plenty so can make some for every holiday. You mentioned that in your post are you going to do the same design or something different? Tell Handan I need ideas for other holidays using same pattern
Hi Judy, the tags I used are 7 inches by 4 inches. I also bought some bigger ones, though I haven’t used those for anything yet. I’m not sure yet what we’ll be hanging for other holidays, but I’m sure Handan will brew something up soon! 🙂
My poor sweetie was trying to go to sleep as I read this, laughing aloud and sharing snippets of your writing but I don’t think he minded too much! While I love your garland (do recall where you got the greenery from? I like that it isn’t faux pine) my main takeaway was the love between you and Handon. It’s not that usual “ look at our perfect but not really, relationship”. It is love that not too many people are blessed to have. Maybe because I too, am blessed with this kind of love that I noticed it, but I think it is my favourite part of your blog. I look forward to your next entry!
Aww, thanks, Giselle! 🙂 We got the lamb’s ear garland from Walmart: https://rstyle.me/+rZmqdB6tfJe1Gocwx06HaQ
We got lucky with that real pine. A recent tropical storm brought down a whole bunch of branches on our walking path, so we loaded up and used them to decorate! Unfortunately, they only lasted about a week before they yellowed, but at least we were able to sneak them into one post!
I loved all of them and the mantel, beautiful. And your blog did not disappoint!??
I was smiling pretty big when I saw the size of the dollar tree?
All of your ideas are awesome! And the chicken wing recipe!! Wow!
Thank you so much, Brenda!! I’m so happy you like this craft, and I’m thrilled you liked my wings! Spread the word! 🙂
Well the genius has done it again, six gold stars from me. Wow your dollar stores are big and so much more interesting than our pound shops! Your garland looks fabulous, if I had more storage and work space I’d be making lots of your projects. Christmas will be the usual quiet occasion for us but of course I will do my usual mad decorating with my tree that just touches the living room ceiling and have garlands everywhere 🙂 Wales was locked down just before Halloween so the usual village shenanigans were cancelled 🙁
Thank you, Catherine! I’ve been reading about the lockdowns over there, and it makes my head spin! I do hope they’ll let you all out before the new year! Stay sane, Catherine – it’ll all blow over some day. 🙂
Love all the crafts you make; so detailed. Your patience is evident. If only I had a house and not a tiny NYC apt. 🙂 I’d probably follow you down the craft rabbit hole. I also admire you and Handan’s relationship and the constant banter. Your brain so so funny to me. Wonderful sense of humor you have.
You’re a beautiful couple. God’s continued blessings to you and your wonderful family.
Keep the crafts coming and the funny.
Fan of the Navage Patch
Thank you so much, Chrissy, what a beautiful comment! Blessings to you and your family this holiday season! 🙂