Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Crazy Crafty: The ADVENT of the Dollar Store ADVENT!!!

The dollar store is the only retail environment in which I can afford to browse.  Typically, I am the type of shopper who treats a trip to the store like a combination obstacle course/scavenger hunt, jumping hurdles and ferreting out the necessary items in record time; seriously, I can do a full Costco run in under twenty minutes!  But the dollar store is a different story.  It's the one place where I don't have to casually turn items over, discretely checking for a price before gingerly setting them down, trying desperately to quell an acute onset of the vapors.  At the dollar store, I am Oprah.  It takes all of my limited will-power not to extend my beneficence to every other cost-conscious consumer, shouting, "You get some corn picks!  You get some cough drops!  You get a coloring book!" - especially at Christmastime.

Strutting the holiday aisles of the dollar store in a lordly manner, I am supremely confident in the knowledge that I can buy anything in sight - often in multiples - and still remain solvent.  It is here that I look for inspiration for Christmas crafts as there are at least 1,225 things one can do with a spray of pine cones covered in gold glitter and styrofoam snow.  This year, however, nothing intrinsically holiday-related was speaking to me.  This year, I had to search further afield; I had to hunt in the "Health & Beauty" aisle.

It occurred to me several years ago that these ordinary, weekly pill organizers made perfect sense as the foundation
of an advent calendar.  My nephew's obsession with the disposable advent calendar I sent him last year was the only motivation I needed to finally turn this dollar store bargain into a Crazy Crafty Christmas Miracle!

With some adhesive-backed craft paper from the stash and a sheet of dollar-
store stickers, we transformed the pill cases from utilitarian to beau-tilitarian.

As with all of my experiments in Crazy Crafty, I tend to go off half-cocked.  With absolutely no plan and no instructions to follow, I have to make things up as I go along (and disaster often ensues).

My original thought was just to simply glue each pill case together.
Unfortunately, that would have prohibited the proper function of those little hinged doors.

Instead, I punched a hole in the top and bottom of every Saturday and Sunday, stringing
the cases together with a double-thickness of baker's twine and bead spacers in between.

Fully-functioning advent doors reveal mini chocolate balls, holiday
stickers, money, and a few toys/trinkets that I had lying around.

wacky tacky advent calendar
Sure, it's a little cutesy for my usual taste, but I know one five-year-old who will love it!

Lest that same five-year-old think that it's all about him, I got weird and found a plastic baby at the cake-supply store, wrapping Him in bias-tape swaddling clothes and giving Him a grommet halo.

"Go, Shawty.  It's Thine birthday.
We're gonna party like it's Thine birthday!!!"

Do you have any new holiday crafting ideas for this year?  Will you too find your supplies next to the stool softeners and pregnancy tests at your local dollar store?  Whatever you've got planned for the holiday season, we hope that your days may be Merry & Bright!

"White Christmas" - The Drifters


Mr. Tiny


  1. that is genius! i feel like this idea might take pinterest by store. i love the quarters in there. i know when i was a little kid any kind of money made me go crazy! One year my grandpa gave us all walnuts in our stockings. everyone gave theirs to me because i was the only one interested in eating them. when grandaddy cracked the first one open for me, there was a folded up dollar inside! it was AMAZING, i still remember it vividly!
    Your nephew is lucky to have such a fun uncle! my little nephew ellis is just now talking and we hung out with him this past weekend. Nothing like hearing a little voice pipe "Come color with me Aunt Rae!"

    1. Thanks, Rae! My nephew loves finding "treasure" in the form of nickels, dimes, and pennies. That walnut thing is awesome and would still wow me as an adult!!!

  2. Hi... I am your Aunt Lynne's pal..from Colorado.... this is so charming..and funny...
    in the fifties 'we' made miniature chests of drawers with match boxes..and brass brads...
    I think little people...will love your adaptation.... and to make something delightful from
    something so blah...is a victory! Kendra

    1. Hiya, Kendra! How kind of you to take the time to leave a comment. There is something so magical about miniatures; I think my next project might be matchbox furniture! Thank you!

  3. I'm with Rae! I'm gonna pin the shit outta this!!! And probably make one next year when my nephew is old enough to appreciate its majesty!!!

    1. Thanks, Kimmie! I'm thinking someone needs to make a grown-up version for me filled with real chocolate and folding money!!!

  4. That's so clever! The decorations on the doors are very cute. I love it!!

  5. That is INSPIRED! I love finding inspiration in unusual stores, like jewellery ideas from the hardware shop.

    1. Thank you! There is something especially satisfying about truly repurposing an item!