Dollar Store Table Setting!
Rustic Farmhouse

I shouldda been a farmer.  If given the choice between living in a penthouse in New York City and a farm in the middle of Montana with a  herd of cattle and shotgun, I’d pick the shotgun every time.   Well, not necessarily the shotgun, but the farm setting.  Where sometimes you need a shotgun.  To shoot at cans and cityslickers and adults who wear clothing with pictures of Winnie the Pooh on it.

Luckily I’m not one to be deterred by things like legalities and location limitations.  I’ve created my own little farm in my own little farmhouse in the middle of town.  I’ve surrounded myself with a 160 year old or so house, a frog, a pond full of fish, a couple of cats, some rogue chipmunks and a few chickens.   All without breaking a sweat.  Just the law.  Occasionally I break a sweat  when the chickens are passing a particularly stubborn egg and are really loud and I’m worried someone’s going to complain about the noise. At which point I sweat like an old hooker at a church social.

So it would make sense that I’m drawn to rustic things more and more.  They make me feel closer to the farm life I dream of.   Even though I loved my contemporary table setting from the Dollar Store last week because I was so stunned I could get those things at my local Dollar Store, what I truly love is this table setting I came up with.  The Rustic Dollar Store table setting.



There are a couple of things in this setting that are mine.  Again, I’ve used my Rough Linen napkin instead of a polyester piece of guck from the Dollar Store.  The candlestick is mine, which I used because although the Dollar Store often has silver candlesticks, they didn’t on my last visit.  And finally, the tiny spoons are my antique salt spoons.   Everything else is all Dollar Store.

Rustic 4

This $1 placemat is one of my favourites.  Yes.  I have favourite placemats.  Which you may think is strange, but isn’t nearly as strange as having a favourite placenta.  Which I do not have any particular favourites of.

Rustic 1

Wrapped around the Dollar Store French Onion Soup Bowl ($1) is a Dollar Store dish towel ($2 for 2) tied with Dollar Store twine ($1)

Rustic 2

You think the soup looks delicious don’t you?  Here’s the recipe:

1 cup tepid water.

Squirt of gravy darkener.

Shove one mouldy hamburger bun into the bottom of  the bowl to hold the piece of toast up.

Add toast, mouldy or not … your choice.

Cover with mozzarella cheese and broil until it all looks edible.

Rustic 3


Spoon, $1.

Rustic 5

This enamel covered cast iron dish was actually an outrageously stinky candle.  Think cough syrup with a touch of poison. $2.

I dug the candle out, scraped, washed and scrubbed it to create an individual breadbasket.  Remember?  That’s that whole thinking of what things could be thing.  Instead of a vile candle, I now have the greatest breadbasket ever known to mankind.

Rustic 6

These little mason jars were in the storage aisle.  All I did was repurpose them as salt and pepper cellars and hung antique silver spoons off the ends.  The Dollar Store had small silver spoons that worked well, but I wanted the antique touch my spoons added.  You can create an entire Dollar Store table setting, and it’ll look pretty damn good, but if you add a couple of your own things it’ll be better.  You know how your husband was fine when you met him, but once you added a few of your touches he was better?  Same thing.

Rustic 7


Total cost of this Dollar Store table setting  (not including spoons, napkin, candlestick), $9.

The Rustic Dollar Store table setting.  The only thing missing is a view of the mountains and a 12 gauge.



  1. Gayla T says:

    Instead of the first two ingredients a can of Cambell’s French Onion soup would give the same impression and would actually be edible. I know cause I’ve done it. Gets a bit itchy when they want the recipe but I just tell them I’ll have to get back to you on that one. LOL I actually got a facebook message from one of my late husband’s neices showing off her new shotgun she got for an early Christmas present. Her hubby gave her a choice of diamonds or guns. She does live in the country and already used it on a rabid skunk that was after their dog. God does work in mysterious ways cause before the weekend it would have been toast for the dog. Real life is so much more interesting than any sci-fi writer can invent. When dollar stores fail check the thrift store. Now that is a ton of fun!

  2. Erin Hall {i can craft that} says:

    I was just in the dollar store looking for candle holders and they had buttkiss all. This location also didnt have half the stuff you have been featuring either. Nor did they have those delightful ugly candles. I need to check out another location.

  3. lori says:

    love the post!! you never seem to amaze me!
    the soup looks a lot like french onion soup. But then I read your recipe and well, I think I’ll pass on it this time. thanks for a good laugh.

  4. Katharine says:

    Why do adults wear pooh bear sweatshirts (it’s always a sweatshirt)? This has actually made me lose sleep. Please explore further!

  5. Shauna says:

    I am so with you on dreaming of being a farm girl and adding chickens to my urban backyard to make me feel closer to that lifestyle. As I sit here in the stark white law firm where I work, I long to be outside in the rain with my chickens and my chicken boots. Or, inside the warm house learning how to can things or make my own laundry soap, or some such thing – anything other than typing boring, stupid legal documents. But, alas, the firm will bring me closer to my retirement goal & I can dream every day by coming to your fun site;)

  6. Kate S. says:

    You are wicked good at this. Seriously. I go into dollar stores and break out in hives from the cheap, perfumey carcinogenic scents filling the air and puzzle over knick-knacks so ugly I can’t imagine what the poor Chinese children forced to paint them must think of American shoppers. I somehow never manage to see all these interesting, unique and inspiring items you find. Consider me awed.

  7. Lisa says:

    I have the same Dollarstore placemats in blue and I LOVE them!!
    You have them too, so you know how many compliments I get on them and the utter amazement on my guests faces when I tell them I got them at the Dollar Store.

    Love these Dollarstore posts. Keep ’em comin’! (could I say Dollarstore any more in this comment? lol!)

  8. Cathy says:

    Wow what you can do with treasures from the $ store.

  9. Nancy says:

    It was looking good until you told us what was in the soup nice..

  10. Lori says:

    It’s an avocado slicer!

    (Oh, wrong post.) :)

  11. Liz S. says:

    “You know how your husband was fine when you met him, but once you added a few of your touches he was better? Same thing.” Love it!!!

  12. Katie says:

    Must start thinking out of the box!! I love your tablesetting!

  13. Deb J. says:

    Love both table settings. And adore Dollarama. Imagine something in Canada better than they have in the States!?:). But Karen, have you ever been to the middle of Montana? Might want to check it out before you commit to moving there. I grew up in Saskatchewan so I HAVE been there.

  14. I LOOOOOVVVE the salt and pepper jars!!

  15. Barbara says:

    Yep!!! It would not be such a bargain at the Canadian Dollar Store after we spend the time and $$$ taking time off work and driving to Canada, hotel cost, etc. each time we needed/wanted something. But, I still love seeing your ideas and your great “finds”. We can always hope our stores will step up! Maybe we should lead them to Karen’s site?

    • Erin Hall {i can craft that} says:

      I have to agree with Barbara here, American Dollar stores are so sad. I live in Canada and love ours, but when I was down in the states looking they are so sad and full of real junk. I too try to find inspiration in what could be and not what is and down there all I could see was garbage. Sorry to all the americans. at least on a whole you usually have better stuff, just not in the dollar category. we have you spanked there.

  16. Rebecca says:

    I’m really stuck on the “sweat like an old hooker at a church social” statement.

  17. Babie Knoop says:

    I want / NEED that breadbasket BADLY!

    ALso, very true about the husband part and adding a few of your touches!

    LOVED this post. You inspire me.

  18. marilyn says:

    impressive karen! i too love the rustic look more than the contemporary..always went after country boys too when i was dating…ended up marrying one and didn’t have to change a damn thing!

  19. Debbie says:

    I don’t understand the recipe, but that’s not unusual. I do like the rustic farmhouse look.

  20. Nicole2 says:

    Yes, our dollar stores in Canada are fantastic. They have a cult following, even the great designers have been known to stop in and get fabulous stuff and make them even more fabulous, just like Karen.

  21. LOL at the husbands being ‘fine’ when you met, but ready for some improvement! Love the breadbasket. Hate stinky candles. You’re so clever.

  22. Marti says:

    Hamburger bun with gravy darkener squirt? AAACCKKK!!!! I feel so disillusioned! My whole life has been cheapened!

  23. Tricia Rose says:

    I love the dish cloth, but I think I’ll pass on the soup recipe.

  24. trinity says:

    Yea, the Dollar Tree used to be just great. Once I got a terracotta wine chiller! And they had really cool glass storage containers. Now, they have the mason jars but otherwise it’s mostly good for gift bags and random stuff you are only going to use once. No nice silverware for sure. Of course, I don’t have the imagination some people have…….

  25. Have you ever visited an American dollar store? I feel like you might be disappointed. . . the best thing I have found is tissue paper. . .

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