If you’ve followed TinyCrafter for any amount of time you know I love getting supplies cheap and using things in creative ways to make miniatures and dollhouses. The dollar store is one of my favorite sources for cheap supplies so I thought I’d share a list of the things I like to look for and get.
Even after Dollar Tree recently announced they will be raising prices on most things to $1.25, I still think most of these things you can find there can be a great value and handy to have.
I always find so many useful things there anytime I visit – hopefully this list will inspire you on your next dollar store trip for things to look for!
My Dollar Store Dollhouse Shopping List:
1. Toothpicks – Great for just about anything, and sometimes they even come in a cute canister that’s also useful for making things. If you need a LOT of toothpicks, it’s probably more economical to buy at a big box retailer, but we loved the canister it came in!
2. Battery Operated Tea Lights – These little lights can be used in a number of ways, for lighting fixtures, for a fireplace glow – you name it!
3. Hair Clips & Accessories: We found all sorts of cute hair clips and barrettes and headbands and more that would make for excellent accessories and decor in the dollhouse! Bobby Pins can also be really useful for attaching things in foam.
4. Socks: Dollar Store socks come in all kinds of colors and patterns and sizes and you could easily use them for bedding, towels, a rug, or even curtains!
5. Artificial Flowers: Most dollar stores have a great selection of artificial flowers, though it usually depends on the season for what kind you will find. Sometimes their flowers are a little bit too big for 1:12 scale but they would still be great if you were making fairy houses or anything like that.
6. Floral Wire: Floral Wire is great for making things like hangers, bending and twisting into a number of furniture pieces and accessories, fastening things together, and more. Unlimited uses.
7. Photo Frames: What can you do with a photo frame? Make a decorative coffee table, or snag one of the small-sized ones for a large photo or mirror.
8. Binder Clips: These are great to use as clamps when gluing and assembling dollhouse furniture and accessories.
9. Tape: I am always using Painter’s tape whether I am building a dollhouse from scratch or just need to hold pieces in place while the glue dries or I don’t want to get paint on the floors of the house. Washi tape + patterned duct tape can also be great for decorating things.
10. Stickers: My dollar store always has a lot of scrapbooking stickers that could be cute to use as signs or even artwork – just make a frame to go around them! You could even use some of the stickers as wall decals.
11. Beads: Beads have a lot of different uses in dollhouses, and it’s always good to have some on hand! While I think it’s definitely more economical to buy your beads in bulk, you can definitely find pony beads + small seed beads there. They are great for making fancy lamps and chandeliers.
12. Jewelry: Our dollar store doesn’t have a lot of jewelry, but sometimes you can find some nice things that will work well for various decor and accessories.
13. Popsicle Sticks: You can build anything for a dollhouse out of popsicle sticks. I usually buy them in bulk (and I get them in all kinds of sizes – jumbo, super jumbo, miniature, etc.) – but if you were low on supplies you could definitely get enough for your project there. They also often have the colored ones.
14. Toys: Every dollar store I’ve ever been to has a toy aisle and while they aren’t always the best toys, you can find some cool things. Maybe your dollhouse needs a giant dinosaur sculpture in the living room? Some dollhouses also sell dollhouse furniture which you can customize in all kinds of ways.
15. Party Favors: Party favors are often in miniature scale and you can especially find things for baby-related items, like miniature carriages and bottles for baby showers.
16. Foam: Like popsicle sticks, you can carve and cut just about anything out of foam! The Dollar store also sells foam board, although their quality of foam board is not the greatest. I do love using it for prototyping dollhouses though – it’s a great way to make sure your design is going to work before cutting it out of wood! It’s also perfect for any kind of furniture you’ll be reinforcing with cardstock or fabric, such as a couch or even a cabinet.
17. Stones, Pebbles and Floral Marbles: You can use these for making a fireplace, stairs or path leading to the entranceway or in the dollhouse garden.
18. Floral Moss: Great for the dollhouse garden or if you’re creating a nature/fairy inspired scene.
19. Potpourri: Dollar Store potpourri is potent (doesn’t smell terrible necessarily – just VERY strong) – but it can be awesome to use for natural items if you’re doing fairy houses or anything like that. When I buy it, I usually will open the bag as soon as I get it + let it sit outside to lose some of the potency.
20. Decorative Sand: Build a sandbox or accent your walkway, or maybe use for a beach scene.
21. Plastic Containers: Plastic containers are great for sorting small pieces or storing your other supplies. The shoebox-sized totes are great when they have them in stock.
22. Cotton Balls: Can be used in a number of ways, for example for filling pillows or making couch cushions.
23. Q-tips – These can be great for painting, gluing in hard to reach spots and adding details to small pieces.
24. Paperclips – These can often be bent to use as a sturdy wire but I like to have them just to stay organized. A lot of times I will make patterns for my dollhouse furniture + things and I can just clip them together to put into plastic sleeve of my binder.
25. Thumbtacks and Push Pins – This is another useful thing to have handy, especially if you’re working with foam. Push Pins can quickly add some height to a bed or sofa!
26. Ribbon: Dollar Store ribbon is kind of bigger than you might use for most dollhouse miniature projects, but it’s easy enough to trim into smaller pieces + use for all kinds of things like a table runner or adding a nice touch to pillows and blankets.
27. Yarn, Cording + Baker’s Twine: Most Dollar Trees now have a huge craft section that includes cotton yarn as well as baker’s twine + cord. This can be great for making rugs + baskets out of!
28. Glue: I always need glue and while again, it’s something I generally buy in bulk because I use so much of it, you can find tacky glue + other types of glue at the dollar store which is great if you’re just getting started with miniatures and on a tight budget. They even have glitter hot glue if you want to add some sparkle to your next project.
29. Paint: Again, a great deal if you are on a tight budget! You can even get the watercolors and make miniature watercolor paintings for your dollhouse.
30. Vinyl: If you have a Cricut or Silhouette machine, you’re probably already familiar with vinyl – this can be great to use as a covering for furniture!
31. Wood Shapes + Wood Blocks: You can get a wood blocks game and use the wood for all kinds of projects, they also often have blank wood shape pieces shaped like circles, squares + hearts which are definitely great for building stuff out of.
32. Pipe Cleaners: Pipe cleaners are one of those craft supplies you can always find a use for and just good to have on hand. I don’t use them very often, but there’s definitely a lot you can do with them because they are so easy to bend and shape.
33. Pom-Poms: I have been thinking of making a miniature pom pom rug for eons – the Dollar store sells those too!
I am sure there are a lot more things I could add to this list – there are so many things you can get at the dollar store, especially if you shop their holiday + seasonal sections. Just walking down the ailses you will definitely be inspired with ideas for things you can make!
Have you found anything cool at the dollar store for your dollhouse DIY projects you’d like to share with us? Anything else I should add to this shopping list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!