It’s Dollar Store Week!
The Pot

The time has come for the final Dollar store post. *sniff*  It’s one of those occasions that’s both sad and happy.  Like watching a child go off to school for the first time, or  eating a whole strawberry-rhubarb pie in one sitting.

Mostly though, this is an exciting moment.  The final Dollar store post is perhaps the most dramatic transformation ever to be recorded in history. Ever. If you don’t count some of the better drag queens.

So here we go …. deep breath … the final Dollar Store post.

Clay pot



Ta da!  An outdoor lantern.  I’m almost positive the other shoppers in Dollarama heard something in my head *pop* when I came up with this. I was actually looking at Dollarama’s Chinese paper lanterns thinking how I liked them, but how they’d get wrecked if they were left outside in the rain for one night. Not a good thing for someone who might not be exactly, completely on top of things like bringing stuff in from the rain. Ever. Also a poor trait for someone who has a sunroof in their car. Just sayin’.

To prove that you could do this with ONLY things bought at a Dollar store I bought everything at Dollarama.   You can improvise with stuff you already have at home, like chain or metal rods or whatever else you have in your basement or junk drawer.  The Led lights I bought are meant for outdoors and are thusly waterproof, so pay attention to that if you go shopping around to do this.

So here we go … it’s simple enough to do but here are the instructions just in case you need ’em:

Remove the chain from your really ugly cat plaque. It is now your choice as to whether you would like to display your really ugly cat plaque or throw it in the garbage.

Slip a thin metal rod through chain ends. I used a hex key I bought at Dollarama. Wind elastic band around ends to keep chain from slipping off. Hook LED light into middle.

Put light and rod inside pot. Pull chain through drain hole in pot. The rod acts as a brace to keep everything in place. this way you can also easily remove the light for when you need to change the batteries.


this is what it will look like inside the upside down pot.

This is what it will look like outside at night. I put mine on the fence outside my dining room window so I can see them when I’m inside at night.


And guess what?!! You can do this with just about anything! I used plastic pots, clay pots and woven baskets. With a little screwing around with your materials and technique whatever you want or find should work. For example:




This one is done a little differently:

Remove the chain from your still ugly cat plaque.

Turn your basket upside down, slip chain through weave and tie ends of chain together with fishing line.

cut a long thread of fishing line and loop through hooks on back of light

run fishing line that’s looped around light through weave in bottom of basket so it comes out other side.

grab ahold of your fishing line that you’ve run through what is now the top of your basket (shade).

pull the fishing line so it lifts the led light right up to the top of the basket. tie the fishing line into a tight knot, then cut the ends off.

see? the light is nice and snug against the top of the shade. i’m kindda shocked i just used the word “snug”. that’s an old person word.

Hang your fancy new basket lamp on the bracket.


or even better! hang 2 fancy basket lamps on brackets!


Ready for a party! that i’ll never have. which is o.k. this way i don’t have to clean up before or after the party. yet i still get to enjoy the lamps. And cheesies if I want. win, win really.


Total cost for each of these outdoor lanterns? About $5. I ate more money in snacks while making them. Curse you Smartfood.

This concludes my very first Dollar store series. If my brain doesn’t explode I’ll have another series for you in a while. If my brain doesn’t explode. Probably eating more Smartfood would help with preventing that.


  1. teri says:

    I love the lamps!!! I need to know where you found the lights to go in them. If you don’t mine. I want to make some. Tks

    • Karen says:

      Teri – Everything came from my local dollar store. If yours doesn’t have them hardware stores carry the same sort of thing. ~ karen!

  2. Christine Mason says:

    You are an inspiration!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Christine! But I’m not the inspiration … Dollarama is. O.K. …. I’m pretty inspiring too. LOL! Welcome to my site. ~ karen

  3. very creative, wish I had a Dollarama :)

  4. Anne says:

    Hi there – awesome idea. Did you use wireless LED lights? I imagine you did since I do not see cords but there was no mention of electricity. Thanks!

  5. Debbie says:

    Very clever!

  6. DeNacho says:

    very smart indeed!

  7. Mimi says:

    Those orbs are yours!!??? I have had those pinned on my outdoor board forever! You are quickly becoming my bff!

  8. Alicia says:

    In a very NOT Stalker way, I would love to go to the Dollar store with you! Great job!!!

  9. Mimi says:

    Are you a mind reader too? Last night the H and I sat on the patio trying to figure out how to light it up and all we came up with were Christmas lights. This morning I log on to Pinterest and there are your amazing lights!! I’ve already made myself presentable, driven an hour round trip to my dollar store, and am going to have two of these made before the H gets home from golf! He’s going to love you!

  10. Lex says:

    Please tell me this isn’t your last ever dollar store post! You’re such an inspiration when it comes to turning cheap crap into something pretty and cheap!! MORE PLEASE!

    • Karen says:

      Lex – Lord no. I’ve done a bunch of Dollar Store posts since then. The pot was just the last in a week long series of Dollar Store posts. If you click on “I heart Dollar Stores” on the right sidebar of my page, you’ll see alllll the dollar store posts. The 2 most recent I can think of are a pillow and windowsill decoration. ~ karen!

  11. Michelle Witt says:

    This is an amazing idea! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Linda says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I’m wondering if you could rig the solar powered landscaping lights to go inside. then there would be no need to turn them on & off. they would go on all by themselves at dusk! Any suggestions, let me know :)

    • Karen says:

      Hey Linda! That’s a good idea! I’ll look into it. It would take some finagling. The only problem I have, is those solar lights aren’t usually very bright. They’re not quite living up to their potential yet! ~ karen

  13. Pinky says:

    I found you on Pinterest! Someone esle has a category of BLOGS and yours sounded great. This is genius and I plan to make these! Thanks. I will be your newest follower. XO, Pinky

    • Karen says:

      Hey Pinky! Thanks! I’m glad you found the site. Welcome aboard. I think you’ll find my commenters are as entertaining as the site. ~ karen!

  14. Inga says:

    Yeah, checked there at two locations (another one today near work). The one today had the lights but not the kind with a hook on the back. Ah well, getting closer. Thanks though! Looking forward to getting rid of my fire hazard backyard lights in the spring and replacing them with these bad boys.

    • Karen says:

      Inga – If there’s a plug handy, you could also fill them with outdoor Christmas twinkle lights. Then you would plug them into a timer and they’d come on and off whenever you like. ~ karen

  15. Inga says:

    Hi Karen – I went out to Dollarama last night on a mission. It may have been just the location I went to or because it’s seasonal, but I couldn’t find the items except for the ugly cat plaques, of which I now possess five :) Maybe this is something that needs to wait until spring? The LED lights with the hooks are key!

    • Karen says:

      Inga – The LED lights are in the aisle with the lightbulbs. In case you didn’t look there. And they always have regular clay pots, but the fancier ridged ones I found may be seasonal. I saw them there this summer, but it makes sense for them to pare down their pot selection for the winter. :( Super-fantastic you got a bunch of ugly cat plaques though, LOL. Oh dear. I’ll try to get to Dollarama next week to come up with a winter Dollarama craft. ~ karen!

  16. Barb says:

    Wow! Happened upon this site from TipJunkie. You are amazing. I unfortunately did not find any of the stuff to make these in my dollar store. Love the idea and I am now on a mission to find the stuff to make these.
    Thanks again!

    • Karen says:

      Barb – Thanks! The Dollar Store I use in Canada is Dollarama. You could probably find similar stuff at Walmart! ~ karen

  17. Colette says:

    What a clever idea and great tip!
    Can’t wait to try it!

  18. This is awesome & soooooo clever!!!! I love the pot but the baskets with the light showing through looks fabulous! Great job :) Visiting from tipjunkie

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jessica! Yup. Tipjunkie’s been good to me. :) She’s featured several of my projects. Glad you dropped by AND left a comment! ~ karen

  19. Elisa says:

    i love Dollar Store! and this is a great idea! im going to try to do my own lamp, hope that it look as good as yours :S

  20. Cortney says:

    This is such a great idea! I have so many left over pots and such from years of gardening misadventures, now I know what to do with them!

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