Making A Doll Clothes Closet with Dollar Store Items (Perfect For American Girl Dolls)!

American Girl Doll Furniture

My girls have been asking for a doll clothes closet for their doll items for quite awhile. One has an American Girl Doll, and the other has two different 18 inch dolls, so between the three dolls they have started to accumulate many items. I noticed they were not using them much though, and figured that must be because I had them all thrown in a pile in a basket.

The only thing was, everywhere I looked, the doll closets were pricey. Then there was the issue of space. Where do I put a doll closet, in their already packed room. So, we decided to head to the dollar store, and convert one shelf in their closet into a doll closet. If you are looking for American Girl doll furniture, this is a great budget friendly option! American Girl furniture can cost you over $100, so $7 for a closet was the perfect alternative for us.

We used an existing closet shelf, but if you did not have something like this existing already you could either buy a cheap small bookshelf, or take a drawer out of a dresser and convert that space into a closet like this.  We spent $7 to make the closet you see above. It might be more or less for you, depending on what items you have on hand. If you needed to add in a cheap bookcase, you could still make one for less then $20, which is likely still much cheaper then you can buy a doll closet for.


If you don’t have an existing closet space, something like this shelf organizer on Amazon could work (just add the dowel, rather then the middle shelf). Its only $12.95, so it would be an affordable option.

Supplies you will need (we got most of these at our local dollar store):

  • Space to make the closet (a shelf from a bookshelf, or part of a dresser, etc)
  • Wooden Dowel the length of your shelf space (we got one at the dollar store, and cut it down to size. You can also find these at JoAnnes and Michaels, but they may be cheapest at Home Depot if you don’t have them at your dollar store).
  • Kid size Hangers (we had a ton of these on hand, so we used our own, but they had packs at the dollar store too)
  • 1 package of Clothes pins (we found a large pack of the wooden ones for $1 at  the dollar store)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Two Screws or Nails (to attach Dowel)
  • Canvas Bin to hold small items like shoes (we also found ours at the dollar store)

Metal clothespins final

We also found these colored metal pins at the dollar store. The plus to using them is that you will not need a glue gun, they will fit right over the hanger and still clip the clothes. The downside, is that you will need more packages (it would take about 6 to put together a closet the size of the one above). So, depending on whether you have a glue gun already, it may cost you less or more to use these).


Clothes pins final

How to Make the Hangers with Wooden Clothes Pins:

If you want to keep it really simple you can buy doll hangers. We found this 10 pack for $7.95 on Amazon. If you are looking for a more budget friendly alternative, you can make your own for as little as $2 (enough to fill the closet shown above) if you have a hot glue gun.

These are so simple, and really affordable to make if you have a hot glue gun. Grab one of your kid size hangers, and add a dab of hot glue onto one side of your first wooden clothes pin. Place it approximately 2 inches in from the center of the hanger and hold it for a few seconds until the glue starts to dry and its secure. Do the same thing with a second clothes pin on the opposite side of the hanger. Now, to secure them better (since little hands would be tugging on them) I flipped the hangers over and added a bead of hot glue on the back, so that the hot glue went all the way around the hanger (see image #2 above). Let the hot glue dry fully.

Once the hot glue is dry, you simply attach the doll clothes with the clothes pins (like in picture #3).

american girl doll closet

How to put your doll closet together:

This part is so simple once you have your space planned out and supplies ready:

#1 Measure the length of your shelf and cut your wooden dowel to that size

#2 Screw or nail your dowel into your shelf walls (screwing it in will create a more secure connection, but its also easier to split the dowel).

#3 Start hanging your doll clothes, and organize your Canvas bin with the items that don’t hang up. I purchased two plastic organizers in the bathroom section of my dollar store (see photo above) to organize the shoes in and it worked perfectly!

My kids have started to play with their dolls much more since we put the closet in. Clothes that used to sit in a basket, are exciting to the kids again. They get the dolls dressed for the day, and get them in their PJs at night. It was not much effort, but resulted more fun for the kids!

If you are really handy with woodworking, Ana White has these plans to build an actual American Girl Doll Closet here too.

Other articles you might be interested in:


4th of July Flag Craft


Want to pass time before the fireworks festivities. Here is a fun patriotic craft you can do with the kids!

By  Contributor Sarah from Chickie Momma Crafts:

There is just something about my kid’s handprints-I just love them!!  It seems to freeze in time their cuteness.  I love looking at their footprints taken at the hospital and think, “Were they really that little?”  Because of that, I am a sucker for crafts with my kiddos’ hands or footprints.


  • Poster paint-I recently found this in three packs at the dollar bins at Target
  • Poster paper (if I was doing this again I think I would use the Dollar Tree’s foam poster board-that way the flag would keep it’s shape and be more durable)
  • Paint brush and drop cloth


  • Start by cutting your paper  in the shape of a rectangle (mine is 14” by 18”).
  • Lightly mark with pencil the “star-hand” section and the “stripe”-feet section.
  • I started with the hand of my three year old.  I painted the paint on his hand, then helped him press it in the star section.  He loved this-he loves all things squishy and dirty.  I did all the stars first then gave him his own sheet to do more “stars” on.
  • After that section was dry, I did the stripe section using my 5 year old’s foot. He hated this!  He hates all things dirty.  He had no desire to do his own stripes, but he did want to use the paint brush and paint his own flag.

I love how it turned out.  I am planning on mounting it on a navy blue poster board so I can use it above our mantle on patriotic holidays.  I like that it could be for more than just the Fourth of July.

So, what are your favorite 4th of July crafts?


Fourth Of July Marshmallow Flag – Easy Holiday Dessert or Decoration!

How cute is this simple idea that Jens husband Ben came up with last year, to do with their girls for 4th of July (they also threw a fun Red, White and Blue Smores party in their backyard that you can read about here).

A couple of ideas on how to use the Marshmallow Flag:

  • Its so simple, that if you are short on time its a great way to put together a centerpiece for a picnic or potluck event. 
  • Build a bonfire in the back yard and let folks grab a marshmallow from the flag to roast for smores.
  • Use the marshmallow flag for a dessert station if you are BBQ’ing on the fourth. Put out some popsicle sticks (get a pack at the Dollar Store), and a few bowls of icing and sprinkles. Let kids insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of a marshmallow and then frost the top, and dip in their favorite color of sprinkles – then eat away!

How to make the Fourth Of July Marshmallow Flag:

Ingredients – 

  • One bag of regular sized marshmallows (you could buy a bag of the red, white and blue marshmallows they sell this time of the year as a shortcut – but you may need two to make sure you have enough of each color).
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • A platter to display the flag on

Directions -
The flag pictured above uses 56 marshmallows.

6- Blue
24- Red
26 – White

  • To color the marshmallows you will want to use a bowl for the blue and a seperate bowl for the red. 
  • Next fill the bowls with enough water to submerge your marshmallows in (you can do this one at a time, like eggs at easter, or in batches if you have some disposable gloves you can use to make sure they all get submerged. 
  • Add Food coloring (the more you add the darker the color will be, so you can eye ball this part. Rule of thumb is one drop per tablespoon).
  • Dip your marshmallow in the colored water and make sure to get it completely submerged using gloves or a spoon.
  • Remove and let it dry on a cookie sheet (you can pat dry with paper towels too). 
  • Once they are dry arrange marshmallows on a platter in a design pattern as shown in photo above!

(note – food color can stain to be sure you are working on a covered surface)

You might also like this post on how to make a 4th of July Flag out of hand and footprints of your kids!


Thanks a Latte FREE Printable – Great for End of Year Teacher Gifts, Father’s Day gift & more!

Thanks a Latte Free Printable


Thanks a Latte FREE Printable – Perfect for Teacher Gifts, Father’s Day & more!

We’ve got a fun, FREE printable we created that you could use for a variety of different gifts for the coffee lover in your life! It’s a fun way to dress up a gift card in a creative way, or add it to a little gift you put together for a coffee lover! This would be great for an End of the Year teacher gift – instead of giving a traditional coffee mug, give a reusable water cup, so they can use it all summer long & in the classroom & fill it up with their favorite drinks.

This also makes a great gift for dad or grandpa for Father’s Day! Grab a Starbucks card or better yet, find their favorite coffee stand and buy a gift card (my husband prefer this as he can then earn his stamps towards free drinks). You can just give them the card with the gift card attached or give them a little gift set with the reusable drink as well!

Free “Thanks a LATTE” Printable Card:

Free Printable for Coffee Lovers

You could just print this out on cardstock at home for a quick, simple gift or if you have  time, you could upload the PDF  to a photo site & print it off at a place such as Costco, Walgreens, etc. so that it will be glossy & professional looking. I just printed mine on cardstock and I think it turned out great (I used cream cardstock since that’s what I had on hand).

How to Make the Card:

This card is so simple to make – if you want to make it really easy, just print off the FREE printable on cardstock or photo paper and then glue your coffee gift card right on there. That makes a unique card right there!

Or you can add a few more touches to it:

  • Add the cardboard to look like a sleeve holder for gift card (I just used the inside of a coffee sleeve cover from Starbucks & cut it to fit)
  • Add twine or baker’s twine
  • Punch a hole & add a ribbon to attach to the straw of your reusable drink cup

Coffee Lovers Gift Set:

For the gift set, I had a cute plastic, mason jar reusable cup that I got from a friend a few weeks ago & I thought it was the perfect cup! They sell similar ones at Costco in 3 packs in fun colors  – just $19.99 for 3 reusable mason jar cups (with 3 different colors). Perfect if you have several people to buy for or just keep one or two for yourself!  I also found out from a friend that Walmart carries these same type of mugs in various colors & they’re around $5 for the 16 oz cups & there are even some smaller ones in 4 packs, too.

I added in some Starbucks Via ($5.95 for a 5 pack of Iced Coffee or Refreshers; $6.95 for a 5 pack of Vanilla Latte or Caffe Mocha, $9.95 for a 12 pk of coffee or $10.95 for a 12 pk of Decaf coffee) as well as some yummy chocolates!

Free Printable Thanks a Latte for Coffee Lovers

You could also use a Starbucks reusable cup, which are $8.95 for the regular size (shown above) & $10.95 for the tall size.  These cups hold up so well – I love mine!

Starbucks Chalkboard Mug

Another fun idea for a Father’s Day Coffee Gift is to pick up this Starbucks Chalkboard mug – not the most frugal at $14.95, but you can all sign it with the special pen (or just have the kids sign/decorate the mug) & then you bake it so that it sets it & what a unique Father’s Day gift. Add our fun FREE printable card along with a gift card & some chocolates for a unique, personalized gift for Dad!

There are some many fun uses for this FREE “Thanks a Latte” printable, so make sure to pin it now so you don’t forget about this fun gift printable for those coffee lovers in your life!

If you’re looking for more End of the Year teacher gifts, make sure to check out all of these Teacher Gift Ideas we have.

Flower Bed in a Wagon – ReUsing Found Items as Planters!

planting flowers in a wagon

Planting Flowers in a Wagon!

Here is a fun little planter box that we made for a recent auction at my kids school. We had an old wagon that we reinforced and filled with dirt and some flowers. We then added a few pieces of garden art (an onion head guy, glass flower and bird house). The idea here is that you can make a fun planter for your garden, that will really stand out from many items. I have seen these done with the radio flyer wagons, old sinks, chairs and even bathtubs and bed frames as garden art. As a matter of fact we have an old bathtub we put in the ground in our backyard that we use to plant strawberries in. The kids love it!

For something smaller think about using old watering cans, or coffee cans as planters for smaller plants. You can even use washed out tin cans (from your soup or canned vegetables) to plant herbs for your use this summer.

As garage selling season starts, its a great time to look for fun items you can add a flower or plant to, that will cost much less then traditional planters, and add more fun to your garden!

More inspiration on making garden art from found items:


DIY Dollhouse That Fits In Your Kids Lap (Road Trip Ready)!

This is the time of the year that we head out on a number of road trips with the kids, and we are always looking for ways to keep them entertained in the car, so we wanted to share this idea we used last year again with all of you. We came up with this portable doll house for the girls to play with their Polly Pockets (and other animals (like Little Pet Shop) and dolls that size) in the car. We had all of the materials on hand, so it was a freebie for us, but here is how you can make one for anywhere from $1 to $5 – depending on what you have on hand.

Cost: $1 – $5 (Depending on what you add)


  • Used 12 pack soda can box
  • Paint
  • Fabric
  • $1 store furniture (or what you have around the house)

How To Assemble:

#1 – We took a box that a 12 pack of soda came in and cut off the top of it.

#2 – I had a can of spray paint on hand that we used to spray the box with (you can get a can for $1 at Walmart or Home Depot), so we just sprayed the box to make it all one color and let that dry.

#3 – We then used a paper dollhouse we had gotten at from the Dollar store (Dollar Tree), and cut out roof lines and windows to staple on the box for added dimension. You could use barbie packaging, or just add magazine photos to the inside and outside of your house. If you are really creative, you could draw things like windows and doors yourself.

#4 – Next we cut out a rug from a piece of fabric that we had on hand (you could draw a rug on, use stickers or fabric from an old sweater, etc.).

#5 – Lastly we used a few pieces of furniture that we had picked up at the dollar store to decorate the house and it is ready to use.

We now throw some of their small dolls (Polly Pocket size) and animals (Littlest Pet Shop) into a basket or zip lock bag and the girls have an easy to use dollhouse for road trips.

The house is made of cardboard, so its not going to last forever, but it was a fun project that the kids helped with and they have really enjoyed it on the last couple of trips! Definitely worth it for us. Besides the drying time of the paint, it only took around 15 minutes for us to put together.

Other articles you might be interested in:


Teacher Appreciation Week – DIY Gift Idea Round Up

Teacher Appreciation Week: Gift Roundup

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to let all of those hard working teachers out there know that they are appreciated!! Here are some frugal gift ideas to help you honor the teacher/s in your life:

This would be my husband’s favorite  as a high school teacher (if your teacher loves coffee):


As an educator myself for over 6 years, I know that teachers most of all would love a handwritten card letting them know that you appreciate them for the work they are doing with your child! It’s just a little token to show them that you remember them! And don’t forget those specialists – music, PE, Art teachers & if your child works with specialists like Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists & Physical therapists  – they would love a simple card if you can’t do something for everyone!

Here are some more ideas for Teacher Appreciation week::

{If you’re not a teacher, make sure to let your child’s teacher know about these discount & free offers so they can take advantage of them & feel appreciated! }


Using Recycled Glass To Make Flowers – DIY Glass Flowers!

Glass Flowers

How to Make DIY Glass Flowers

 With all of the Seattle rain, your flowers may be taking a little longer to bloom then you had hoped for. How about adding a little floral art to your garden or house using recycled glass (keep an eye out for it at those garage sales!).

glass flowers

The photo below is my front yard in the summer with my glass flowers. Most of my flowers are growing but not blooming yet, so I use glass flowers made from recycled dishes, to brighten it up during all seasons. The photo at the top of the page is my moms garden, and she uses bouquets (three similar looking flowers grouped together), to create statements in her gardens.

glass plate flowers

I am very fortunate in that my mom (Debi) owns Misty Meadow Gardens (the maker of all of the glass flowers art work you see in these pictures).  She drills her glass flowers with a diamond drill bit, and creates stems out of custom made iron work they create on site. These flowers are pricey. They can cost upwards of $100.  The good news though, is that she has shared some tips with us on how you can make your own version of this glasswork on a dime (a $5 version, and a $10 version)!

The flowers are all made from recycled glass. They are dishes, bowls, ash trays, chargers and plates that are mostly found at local garage sales and thrift stores. We simply look for pieces that we thing will make a beautiful floral look. Vases can be used it you want a more three dimensional look (like the orange flower in my garden, shown in photo above).

I have had the pleasure of making a few of these glass art beauties with my mom and here is the basic process:

  • We start by playing around with all of the glass, nesting one piece into the next until we find a look we like.
  • They use a diamond bit (and wear protective glasses) to carefully drill a hole in the center of each dish.
  • The pieces are then held together with a basic nut and bolt system.
  • They make their own iron stems, but we have some other DIY options below.

Here are some more examples of flowers she has made from reclaimed dishes!

recycled glass flowers

 Glue butterfly’s, lady bugs, dragon flies, or whatever other creatures you can find to the side of your plate for extra drama.

glass flowers

And one we made from a silver charger in my front yard (shown below). I have seen these go on sale for around $1 before – so its a fun option too. They get great reflection from the sun!

glass plate flowers

Here is how you can make your own version of these beautiful glass flowers from items you may have at home, find at a garage or thrift sale, or barter with your friends for. Display them in your house, use them as gifts, or hang them on walls in your garden. However you choose to display them, they are likely to be a big hit with visitors.

To display in a garden, you can either add a picture hanging piece on the back and hang on a fence, or put a nice solid wooden stake in the ground and mount on that.

Cost: Under $5 for flower shown above, cost will depend on what you pay for your plates.

Supply List:

  • Plates
  • Glue (epoxy glue or Gorilla glue)
  • Plate stand or plate hanger

The most important part of this project is finding the glassware. We found ours at a local second hand store.  The largest size plate for this flower was a salad plate.  That plate and the two yellow plates where $.97 ea. The small flower in the middle was a tealight candle holder we paid $.50 for and the decorative button in the middle was a piece we pulled off a pull knob (another $.50).  The cost of our plates was $3.91.  The plate holder was one we found at the dollar store for you guessed it, $1.  I used glue left over from a cake stand project I did, but you will pay anywhere from $1 – $4 for glue (my dollar store sometimes carries epoxy glue for $1).

The first thing to keep in mind when shopping for glass is to think of the big picture. Each of these pieces on their own might be considered a bit tacky. Take the gold plated cat plate pictured above, that we used for the back of our flower. This is actually 14 carat gold, so a special plate, but because it looked a little dated on its own we got it for a great price. You also want to think about dimensions. Things that fit inside each other, and give a more traditional flower look to them work well. You can use bowls if you want a more dimensional piece (a vase was used for the orange horn style flower pictured above).

Get your plates all set out and design your flower before you start glueing. Once you know what you want your finished flower to look like start with the bottom piece and glue them on in layers, working up to the final center of your flower.   We used the quick set epoxy glue. You will need to follow the instructions on the back of your glue, but essentially you mix a small amounts of a two part glue in a discardable dish and then you are ready to use it. It dries in about 5 minutes, so you will need to go to work right after mixing. You can also use Gorilla Glue for this, but it dries more yellow.


We started by putting a bead of glue around the bottom of the second largest plate and gluing it to the center of the gold cat plate pictured above. If using the epoxy glue method, allow to dry 5 minutes before starting next layer for best results.

We repeated that step for the rest of the layers as well, allowing to dry between layers.

Once you are finished with your flower you could use the same glue method to attach a plate hanger to the back of your flower, or get a plate stand to use to display it in. Its that easy, but makes a gift people will be talking about for a very long time. They are great dining room display, you could use pastel colors for a nursery gift, or do something in green and red to use as a host/hostess gift for a Christmas party. I will be putting this one in my office, just for something pretty to look at.

Want to dress it up as a $10 version?  They sell gold charger plates at my local dollar store, or there were some very nice gold plated chargers I found at Ross for $2 each. That would make a very fancy backing if you wanted to turn it into a more grand display.  Your still well under $10 if you use an affordable charger. I have this rustic Italian style charger lying around my house (my little ones broke the matching ones….so I am stuck with nothing to do with this one). You could use it as a backing for a nice eclectic piece of art. When all was said and done, I liked the small flower, so I did not end up glueing it to the larger charger plate, but its an option.

Do you plan on trying your hand at the glass flowers? Be sure to share a photo with us on Facebook to see what you create!



DIY & Homemade Item Round Up – Homemade Cleaners, DIY Lattes & More!

Here is a recap of some of our more popular DIY and Homemade item / project posts – in case you are looking to get the house organized for the Spring, or just want some down time creating! You can find this posts, and more of our top DIY or Frugal Living posts on our DIY / Frugal Living Page and be sure to check out more frugal organization posts on our How To Organize Your Home On A Budget page!

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

DIY Coffee & Sauce Posts

DIY Craft Posts/Ideas


St Patrick’s Day – Watercolor Gift Idea + FREE Printable Gift Tag!

Free St Patricks Day Printable Tag

If you’re looking for a fun gift idea to hand out to your children’s teachers or maybe a fun little gift for your child to give to a few friends for St Patrick’s Day, then this is the perfect idea for you -a St Patrick’s Day Watercolor Gift! It’s so simple & easy that your child can make it with you!

It’s very affordable, too, as you can find the kids watercolor sets at the dollar store or around $1 at many stores. I had to resort to buying a Crayola set at Target as the Up & Up brand was wiped out after a mobile coupon made them only $.08 last week. The Crayola watercolor set was $1.99, plus a bag of candies.

Free Printable St Patricks Day Pot of Gold Tag

We’ve now updated this to include a FREE St Patrick’s Day printable tag as well that says “You are the Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow”- so that this will literally just take you five minutes to put together once you have your supplies. This is a very versatile tag as you can not only use this with this St Patty’s Day Watercolor gift, but you could also attach it to green lollipops, a bag of chocolate gold coins, a bag of rainbow licorice & some Rolos & more! {Don’t forget that Winco has some great options for bulk candy – I found the chocolate gold coins there around Valentine’s Day}

St Patricks Day Watercolor Gift:

Items Needed:

Supplies for St Patricks Day Watercolor gift

  • Watercolor Paint Set (find these at the Dollar store, Target Up & Up brand for $1 & more)
  • Candy of your choice - Rolos, Chocolate Gold Coins, Hershey’s kiss, Reese’s peanut butter cup, Hershey’s Nuggets (shaped like little treasure boxes)- whatever you think the recipient would enjoy the most. Just make sure your candies are individually wrapped (I made that mistake by buying a roll of Rolos at first)
  • Cardstock for your printable St Patrick’s Day tag
  • Adhesive for attaching everything (tape, glue dots, glue, etc) – I just used regular tape


St Patricks Day Watercolor Gift

  1. Print off the FREE St Patrick’s Day printable  “You are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” gift tag  – cut on the dotted lines to make it into a flag shape
  2. Take out the inside label for the watercolor set (this is just preference, but I thought it made it look cleaner with just the white background)
  3. Attach a Rolo, chocolate gold coin (or candy of your choice) to the tag – you could use a glue dot or regular glue/tape or a piece of scrapbook adhesive, or double-sided tape
  4.  Attach the tag with candy to the paint set using double-sided tape or a glue-dot.

See how simple that is! Perfect little gift to give or for you to make for your kiddos to give them on St Patrick’s Day!

What are some fun ideas you’ve done for St Patrick’s Day?

St Patricks Day watercolor gift

Thanks to Chickie Momma Crafts‘ inspiration for this fun gift idea!