I am a big HGTV fan and love the show Decorating on a Dime.  Here is a guest post from Sink Or Swims,  Samantha, and her spin – Decorating on a $1, where she shares with us how she uses dollar store finds to decorate her apartment.  Samantha is a local budding pottery artist, and she loves photography as well. Check out how she built a mini photo booth for a friends wedding on a budget, or how she recently re-purposed a small dresser for her house at her blog (its cute!)  Sink Or Swim.


Hello fellow bargain shoppers!  My name is Samantha, and there are a couple things you should know about me.  I’ve got big dreams and a tight budget.


When I grow up I want to be a ceramic artist-photographer-philanthropist-extraordiniare with fantastic home decorating skills.  And you know what?  I’m not going to let my lack of cash stand in the way of that.

It’s not always easy finding ways to fund my hobbies and house projects, but having limited resources often inspires me to get creative.  I’ve revamped old furniture and accessories, learned to find beauty and value in secondhand items, and even started up a bargain photo booth business for weddings and events.

One other thing–I’m a dollar-store-aholic.


Or Dollar Tree, rather (we all know that not all dollar stores are created equally).
Now, I love a good sale as much as the next girl (or guy), but when I’m looking to change up my entire living space for a new season, driving from location to location to take advantage of low prices is more hassle than I can afford.  Not only is my free time very valuable to me, but the savings can really start dwindling when you tack on the quarter tank of gas it took to travel to so many separate stores.

All dollar store shopping requires on your end is a little creativity for pairing things together and a keen eye to sift through the junk.  This may sound taxing to some, but there are definitely enough treasures to make it worth while.
I’ll now show you how I put together a quick summer look for my house in one quick stop at my local local Dollar Tree.


Solar landscape lights:

Very plain jane, but they get the job done, and you know what the girl at check out said? “Those are the exact same lights Home Depot is selling for $5 a piece.”

Needless to say, I was pleased as pie.  My husband and I have been wanting a bit of solar pathway lighting for a long time but couldn’t justify spending too much for a rental property.  Now that the weather’s improving we can enjoy a little more outdoor time in the evening without sacrificing our tight budget.

Total: $8

Hanging baskets:

Putting up beautiful flower baskets is a great way to polish up any home, including apartments, and I’ve seen ones very similar to these for around $10 elsewhere.  Not only do I feel great about saving so much, but I can keep the baskets after the season’s over and simply purchase new liners the following year.  I’ve been shopping there long enough to know that they stock them every spring.

Total: $4


Fake fruit:

When I was younger I didn’t understand the value of fake fruit.  In fact, I still don’t get it, so I’m not going to try and explain its merits to you. All I know is that it makes me feel all happy and summery inside to see a bowl full of funky greenish gray pears made of banana leaves– or at least I think that’s what it is.  Could be some kind of animal skin.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the former, shall we?

Total: $3

Basket o’ stuff:


I’ll be honest, I’m really not sure what this one has to do with summer, but it’s fun to look at, no?

I picked up two bags of “stuff” and a small basket to make this table centerpiece.

Total: $3

My husband shares my love for the Dollar Tree.  Why?  Because, when I get the urge to go on a spending spree, that’s where I head, and I rarely do more than $30 in damage.

The grand total for this trip was $18.  Well worth it!  Do you have more great ideas on how the dollar store has helped you decorate? Please share.


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