Dollar Store Decor Can Outfit Your Summer Shindigs — For Cheap

A woman decorates her house for Halloween. She is putting up fake black cobwebs.
Getty Images

As the leaves start to change, so do the types of parties we host. Spring soirees are so last season (literally). So bring on the pool parties!

Your local Dollar Tree has all the makings for fun decor for fall parties, as well as the whole year long. And each item costs just $1.25.

Dollar Store Decor Finds for Summer Shindigs

Father’s Day

A white plastic tablecloth is a big, blank card for children of all ages to write a message, draw a picture or make a list of “Ten Great Dad Moments.” The kids can decorate it with crayons or markers before you celebrate then the personalized tablecloth will surprise and thrill dad when he sits down to eat.

String this rustic twine across the windows, kitchen counter or a doorway. Use the colored clothes pin that come with the twine to hang special photos of Dad and the kids over the years.

The 4th of July

Dollar stores offer plenty of red, white and blue decor, but these items add a special touch.

Hang an old fashioned bunting on the front of your food table, your doorway, inside the bow of the boat or across the kitchen windows to give your party a vintage look.

A pack of 16 cardboard hot dog holders printed with the flag or an array of stars can hold that totally loaded dog, of course, as well as chips, brownies, coleslaw, cornbread or anything you are serving up.

Make a centerpiece that will light up any party by filling this clear, wide-mouthed jar with red, white and blue glow stick necklaces. Invite guests to make their own glowing jars by poking holes in the lid of a couple jars they can fill with fireflies. It’s a summer right of passage.

Pool Party

Dollar stores are full of pool and beach toys that can be used for play as well as a playful spread of food.

Fill a few of these brightly colored little buckets with snacks. The shovels are your serving spoons — buckets for chips with a shovel for serving.

Guests will smile when they help themselves to salsa or guacamole served in a little blue swimming pool just the right size for Barbie.

Fill the pool with noodles, beach balls, floats and even a “chair” that supports you with pool noodles inserted on either side.

Dollar Store Decor Finds for Fall Festivities

Football Fun

Whether you’re hosting a tailgate or a watch party, these frugal football finds will make your gathering worth an end zone dance.

Welcome your guests with a field goal made out of four pool noodles that can be easily assembled using clear plastic packaging tape. If your team colors include red, orange, royal blue or black, Dollar Tree sells foam footballs in these colors. Have one for guests to toss, or place a few around your food table.

You’re sure to find the team color you love in the wide selection of plastic table coverings. 

Make individual snacks by filling these plastic champagne coupes, which cost $1.25 for six, with pretzels or Chex mix accented with the appropriately colored candies such as M&Ms or Mike & Ikes.

Halloween

Make a cage of skulls for your centerpiece. Spray-paint these two laundry baskets then place a few of these creepy skulls inside one basket and tape the other on top of it.

Surround it with a few stemless wine glasses  with a couple orange glow necklaces spiraling inside. Place one of these spiders to the rim of each glass.

Thanksgiving

Make a fall wreath by wrapping this foam form with burlap ribbon. Next, line these vibrant sunflower blooms around the wreath or use these fall colored dahlias for a more formal look.

Looking for home decor on the cheap? Here’s our roundup of 22 cheap home decor stores that let you deck out your home for less.

Dollar Store Decor Finds for Winter Parties

Christmas

Create a winter wonderland tablescape with these elegant finds. Line three of these 18-inch  white tabletop trees down the middle of a rectangular table or group them in the center of a roundtop. Arrange some of this wired green garland around the base of the trees and accent it with smaller pieces of greenery and berries that look like they have been dusted with snow. (You get six pieces to a pack for $1.25.) Add two or three of these clear reindeer to roam among your forest.

Place an 8-inch, old fashioned bottle brush tree that also has a touch of snow on the pine needles on each person’s plate.

Valentine’s Day

Create a fun centerpiece by filling a glass globe vase with pink, decorative crinkled paper shreds or pink tissue paper fluffled to fill the space. Then, buy this 4-pack of 7-inch Valentine’s teddy bears with hearts on their ears, nose and toes. Place them inside the glass facing out.

Spread pink rose petals on the table around the centerpiece for a final touch.

Dollar Store Decor Finds for Spring Soirees

Easter

This Easter arrangement makes for a wonderful centerpiece or gift for someone special. Fill a globe vase with plastic grass and marshmallow Peeps bunnies facing out so their cute faces show through the glass. Drop in some little chocolate eggs as well. Place these glittery foam eggs on skewers and arrange them as if they are flowers. Tie a colorful ribbon around the rim of the glass for a finishing touch.

Mother’s Day

Bring mom breakfast in bed on a custom tray that is a gift as well. Choose one of these three wooden trays with handles then have the kids use sharpies to draw pictures if they aren’t writing words yet. Older children can inscribe notes and lists of things they love about mom, special memories from the year or books, shows or sports events they enjoy together.  These wooden trays do cost $5 each, but there’s also a sturdy clear plastic tray for $1.25.

Dollar Tree also has options for special gifts. Choose one of these 24-page photo albums with room for 48 photos. Use the Walgreens photo app to print photos from Mom’s Instagram. Take a screenshot of favorite photos then upload them to the app and pick the actual photos within an hour. Prices vary, but often photos cost as little as 15-cents.

Or personalize one of these aprons with handprints made using Dollar Tree fabric paint. An adult or older child can write words with fabric paint or a Sharpie to name the child who corresponds to each handprint. Or try: “Hands Down, Best Mom Ever.”

Graduation

Show your graduate’s progression through the years by hanging photos on this rustic twine with the colorful clothespins that come with it. Tie the twine between two trees, at the top of a doorway or across the windows.  This white plastic tablecloth serves as a decoration, party activity and special keepsake when guests use Sharpies in school colors to write messages to the graduate.

 

Katherine Snow Smith is a freelance editor and reporter and author of the book Rules for the Southern Rulebreaker: Missteps & Lessons.