Throw a festive get-together on the cheap with these fresh dollar-store finds.By Laura Fenton
Like what you see? Everything here comes from the dollar store! Votives ($1.19 each; Dollar Store), bowls and plates (99¢ each; 99¢ Only), glasses ($10 for a 16-piece set) and cutlery ($10 for a 48-piece set; Dollar General). Look for similar items at your local store, and read through for more great buys.
Photo by Mark Weinberg, Studio D; craft styling by Laura Fenton; prop styling by Frances Bailey.
Related: Discover 9 buys that are cheaper online.
Crepe Paper Streamers
Streamers-they're not just for kiddie parties anymore. Typically sold two to a pack, they're your secret weapon for inexpensive party decor. Make the flower embellishment (the napkin holder featured in the photo), or create any of these easy crafts.
Drink stirrers: To turn streamers and wooden skewers into fun drink stirrers, snip one side of a 2" length of streamer into a fringe. Roll the non-fringe side tightly around one end of the skewer to make a tassel. Secure with a dot of craft glue.
Chandelier: Construct a cheerful "chandelier" by tying streamers to a large embroidery hoop and letting them hang down (cut the ends so they're even or leave the lengths intentionally random). Suspend it over your table or in an entryway.
Bow accents: Simply knot streamers and cut the ends short to turn them into perky bows. Tie them around flatware, drinking straws, votive candles-you name it!
Chocolate Bars + Gift Wrap
Remove the paper wrappers from chocolate bars, leaving the foil intact. Rewrap the bars with bands of wrapping paper that suit your theme.
Related: Discover 8 calming foods that ease stress.
Nab a stack of frames and fill them with snapshots of your guests-the sillier the better. Present them as placecards on the table.
Taper Candles + Ribbon
Bundle a few taper candles together, tie with a ribbon and add a gift tag for each guest. Instant favor!
Jarred Treats + Cupcake Liners + Twine
Buy jams, salsas or whatever condiment fits your theme, plus liners and twine. Soak the jars in hot water to remove labels. Top each with a cupcake liner and secure with twine.
Related: Learn about 15 clever uses for household items.
Clear Vessels + Candies
Pick up a bunch of vases, bowls, glasses and wrapped candies. Fill the vessels with sweets and arrange them down the center of the table for a colorful display-guests can help themselves.
Paper Napkins + Stamp Supplies
Transform a pack of discount cocktail napkins into pretty party decor: Hunt the shelves for an ink pad and rubber stamps (think initials, a saying like "Cheers" or even a small design). Be sure to let the ink dry before you restack napkins!
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