dollar store challenge #1

dollar store challenge #1

I am starting a new series here at Our house now a home. The dollar store challenge! The rules are simple. Once a month I will go to a dollar store, select something to redo, rehab, or change up. I will then do just that by only things I purchased at the dollar store, or by using the assistance of things already in my home to help with the up cycle project. So for this first challenge I used a whopping $1. That is right. I purchased this calender, with the plans to use it for the pictures. The pictures in it were so vibrant and natural.

I had these two frames in my basement. Back when I was just starting out with decor I had this brilliant idea to use these shabby chic frames. I created the little decor inside them. Yes, I did this on purpose. Nothing is wrong with this exactly. But, nothing is exactly right about this either.


I tried, and that is the perfect part about DIY. I tried, I learned my lesson, and had these frames waiting in the wings to be used again. I had planned to go shabby chic before we even bought this house. My subsequent color and pattern choices were far too bold for shabby chic, so that was scrapped, along with these frames.


Nice detailing on them, but the distressed look just does not work for me. I like it on furniture, in small doses. On picture frames I am really not feeling. My plan was to brighten these up with a can of spray paint. So I will be going shopping in my garage for left over spray paint. But first….



I had 12 amazing pictures to choose from. I decided to put these pictures in our bathroom. It has not even been painted yet, so this is in the very early stages of planning. I can hang them in there for now, but I wont be sharing it with you all. I would, but the walls are white and the frames are white. A contrast for pictures is needed and we wont get it. I hope in the near future I will show the whole bathroom fancied up with these pictures front and center.


I knew I wanted to continue a light blue theme. We have these great towels in their that are blue, light green and brown. So thinking along those lines I kept the color palette similar for these pictures. Selecting a ocean one and a one with trees in it. Both beautiful in their own ways.


Before we go on, in case you were worried those little things that were in the frames initially are going to wonderful homes.


Nora is going to use them in her doll house as wall art. We reuse and recycle all the time here at Our home.
Getting back to the dollar store challenge at hand, time to fit the calender pictures into the frame. I had about 1 inch on either side that needed to be trimmed in order for it to fit in the frame.


I lined up the glass where I wanted the picture to be. I used the trimming needed to cut the little circle part that is on the top of all calender pictures off. This gets rid of all remnants of this being a calender and it is now just art.



Using a pen I just simply traced the glass. Making sure to push in the pen somewhat deeply in the dark areas. Otherwise when cutting it would be difficult to see the pen line in some spots.


I did not show any pictures of the next part. It is pretty straight forward, cut along the line.


Perfect fit!


Time to cut the other picture. For this one I did not place the glass in the middle. I wanted to have as much of the water as possible in the picture. So I situated the glass more to the left and cut off more of the mountain.


Once all was fitting nicely, it is time to paint.


Because this is a DIY house I have just a few left over paints, samples, gallons, spray paint. We have it all. And since this is a challenge I have to use what I already have. I did have some aqua color spray paint, and some black spray paint. I chose to make these pictures pop as much as possible. So I chose the Rust Oleum white. I wanted the pictures to be the star of this show.


Paint time. Keeping a good distance from the frames I spray paint from one side to the other. Keeping it even and slow. If I try to rush this along the paint will run. I was only needing to do one coat with a few touch ups on the side.
 I had planned on sanding, but on further inspection the frames were a paper finish, possibly wall paper on top. I don’t even know. There was no way to sand it all off and get into the detailing as well. So I gambled with this one and just spray painted on top. It went on fine, and I am willing to bet there will not be too many snafus with the paint getting scratched off. It will be in a low traffic area, on a wall. Little to no chance of damage. Unless my kids decide to go in our bathroom, stand on the toilet, and deliberately scrape their little nails across the frames. While not likely, I am NOT willing to bet 100% it wont happen. With kids, you just never know. However, I think I am safe.



And that is it! Calender art, cut, paint, and voila! New artwork. This is something I think I will enjoy challenging myself on. Hardly any cost. I will have to get really creative and see what I can do. I want to make this challenge still turn up nice things. I am not going to make something corny. So spreading my decor wings a little more is going to be a positive side effect of this challenge.


I am hoping as time goes on you, my wonderful friends will take part in the dollar store challenge. Or if you are thinking you need something new and different. But decide against it because the money is just not there. Re think your brain, challenge yourself and find 4 quarters in your couch, head on over to a dollar store, and make something new. I could have even bought frames there for $1 each if I did not have any. So this project can be done without a stack of frames and paint at home.


These pictures are beautiful. I plan to use some of the other ones in the staircase leading down to our basement. That is untouched as of yet, and the vibrant colors and beautiful images will just make that brief walk to the basement that much more enjoyable.


The detailing on these frames is great. I assumed it was flowers. But once I painted them white I realized it was more of a wispy, random detail. I think it goes along with the nature of the pictures in the frame.




So, there you have it friends. My first self imposed monthly dollar store challenge. I am excited to get to share other ways for people to think outside of the box. I have always tried to make the “magazine ready” home accessible to all. I have focused my efforts on using and redoing what you already have. Or creating something on your own. But, sometimes you just need something new. Well, there is cost effective ways to make that happen. Shop the dollar store, use the change you can scrounge up in the bottom of your purse and add a little new touch to your space. I hope you all enjoyed the first edition of the challenge. I did! Have a great start to the week. It is Monday, lets do this!


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  1. Nice project! I thought I was the only one who framed calendar photos! Lol. I have a post on that in the fall. Looking forward to your Dollar store challenge series. I'm always amazed at all the goodies that can be found at Dollar Stores 🙂

    • This is the second time I have used calender pictures as art work. I also have a old window pane with x ray pictures of flowers in my dining room. That is so funny you have done it too. I think it is a more underground art movement 🙂

  2. Verrry cool!! I have quite a few old calendars…but I make cards and altered stuff with paper and I stamp my butterflies on the pics and cut them out and use on cards and such! So this, is verrry cool! As I also collect frames, cruddy and all, from yard sales and such!! Great inspiration!! Thanks!!!

    • Your car idea sounds great to use old calenders. Glad to see I am not the only one holding on to things I don't need at the moment. I always assume the moment will come. And usually it does. Thank you so much for stopping by, I am enjoying your comments!

  3. What a great idea! I love dollar store projects. Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing with Creative Spark Link Party. Hope you join us again tomorrow.
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze

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