The first Dollarama Post in 2 YEARS!

There I was. Wandering the aisles of Dollarama like I do most weeks when a grin as wide as a photoshopped thigh gap spread across my face.

I had gone for a spray bottle, but left with 3 bags of artificial grass.  I’m sure you’ve seen them there before.  They’re just squares of fake grass or moss.  They’re pretty ugly really and I’d always wondered who would buy them and WHY.  Turns out the answer to that question is me and because it was exactly what I needed.

I had been looking for something for a specific area in my backyard for weeks and nothing was right.

This. Would. Be. Right.  Yup.  Ugly is apparently what I was looking for. Who knew.

I danced my way up to the cash thinking this day couldn’t get any better.  Then, while checking out with my favourite Dollarama cashier, she grabbed some clothing from under the counter and handed it to the manager saying she’d found it in the craft aisle.  Someone took their clothes off in the craft aisle?, I asked.  Oh yes, she said.  And this wasn’t the first time.  People do it all the time. She then went on to tell me all the stories about the Dollarama customers who disrobed and the one woman who left her coat and car keys in the store never to return for them.  To this day, no one knows how Chilly got home that night.

So clearly, the day got even better.  Plus I bought chips and was better dressed than everyone else in the store because I had my good pajamas on.  So …

For the rest of this week I’m going to show you the 3 projects I accomplished with my 3 bags of fake grass squares.

In fact the one was so good that Canadian Living was going to feature it in their May issue next year.  But then they ran out of time while they were shooting  here.  (Canadian Living was here shooting my kitchen for the October issue of the magazine)  At least they said they ran out of time.

The first project I’m going to show you is the one that I KNEW I was going to use the squares for.

My Ikea patio table outside is great. I love it with all of my heart.  It’s big and comfortable and feels more like a dining room table than a patio table.  But it was looking a little blank.

I tried a bunch of different things on it and it just wasn’t looking good.  Ferns were too high, the neighbour’s tricycle just looked stupid and  leaving it bare made the table look oh so lonely.  Like it was never going to have someone sit and eat at it ever.

Dressing it up like a real indoor table wasn’t working because well … this table was outside.  There had to be some sort of compromise or combination of inside meets outside.

And there was.

Grass Table Runner
Fake Grass Table Runner

A grass table runner.

I could have made a real grass table runner with a length of sod and it would have looked GREAT for a picture, but it would have looked like crap in about 3 days.  BUT if you’re having a party and you have a long table like this a roll or two of sod down the middle would be FANTASTIC.

The dollar store fake grass squares come with little nubs on the edges so you can actually attach them together so you don’t have to worry about them shifting or pulling apart.

The squares were $2 each which made this table runner $24 to make.  It works especially well in my contemporary backyard, especially because the other side of the yard has a large artificial turf rug.

Backyard Chairs Contemporary

Dollarama you’ve done it again.

Now where did my shorts get to?  I’m almost sure I was wearing some when I left the store.



  1. Jodi O says:

    Brilliant idea. I am so happy to hear that you love Dollarama as much as I do.
    Happy blogging!

  2. Barbie says:

    I really love this idea. However, do you find if it sits in the sun the “green” color of the plastic grass turns turquoise? This is what I have experienced with faux greenery sitting in the sun. Perhaps the fake grass is different material meant to be exposed to the sun and therefore does not do that.

  3. Becky says:

    So, I scrolled down through your post…and saw the photo.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t stop snickering. YOU are a total hoot, and a great source of inspiration!

    I don’t know how I got through my days “pre-Karen.”

  4. LazySusan says:

    I have to add mine to the joy of others that you’ve done another Dollarama craft post. You’re so clever!

  5. Feral Turtle says:

    So how long does it take you to mow?

  6. Cynthia Jones says:

    I go to a coffee shop that has tables like yours.

    The owner puts vintage plastic toy soldiers in one, Matchbox cars in another and marbles in yet another. So clever.

    If the squares are not really big you could put different lollies (candy) in each square and drive your friends’ kids nuts. That’s always fun.

  7. Debbie says:

    Wonderful column and terrific comments. Fun on a thunderstorm/flood warning filled evening. There is so much rain, I think even fake grass would grow.

  8. Cynthia says:

    I did this before for Easter dinner! I had bunnies, and eggs, and tree branches etc……you get the visual! Ugly yes!


  9. Ella says:


  10. Jan In Waterdown says:

    Speaking of customers who take their clothes off in a store, an employee at Costco told me that a customer got undressed down to her bra and panties to try on a bathing suit, RIGHT IN the freekin’ store!! I think everyone should have to work in retail at least once in their lives . . . it’s a really big life lesson!

  11. Cynthia Jones says:

    Here’s my link to my very favourite seller of all things weird in the world, including fake moss.

    I see one of the items is actually dried reindeer moss and there is every kind of mossy bunny and mushroom your heart could require.

    Some of the stuff has to be ordered in lots of 5 or 10 or 20, but if you scroll through you can always find one that can be bought as a single item.

    No postage, really reliable. My ‘go-to’ when I can’t find something I really want. This is my next purchase.

    Log cushions. Who could ask for more ?

    I can’t send a photo of the cloche as I packed it up yesterday along with a pair of purple sequined ballet slippers and sent it to my friend in Perth.

    Thank you for letting me put in the links. I love to share bargain finds of all things weird and wonderful with the weird and wonderful women who both make and read this blog. (the only blog I have ever found that makes me laugh and looks great) Now why can’t they make men like that!

    • LazySusan says:

      They do make men like that. It took me over 20 years to find one, but I did! So hang in there, if you’re still looking.

  12. Louise says:

    Yikes! Now I’m afraid to go into the craft aisle at Dollorama – I think there’s a MONSTER that rushes out and pulls people into his underground lair! Their clothes are left there because he doesn’t like the taste of buttons!

  13. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OK..Is Dollarama a one dollar for everything store like our Dollar Tree or a cheap store with dollar in it’s name like our Dollar General and Family Dollar..inquiring minds want to know..oh yeah..I think it looks great..but are quite brilliant my dear..

  14. Tracie says:

    Yay! I love your crafty posts soooo very much, thank you!!

  15. Liz says:

    this is bloody brilliant, and beautiful. I pinned it. So they just kinda clicked together? or did you have to do some sneaky sewing?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liz – Yup, they have little nubs on the ends and holes on the other end so you can just click them together. It’s GREAT! ~ karen

  16. toekneetoni says:

    very clever, very perfect!

  17. Scott says:

    You had me at “thigh gap”!


  18. Dagmar says:

    Hi Karen,
    I kind of figured the candle remark would come on back and bite me in the ass. Because I knew you would say that you used fake candles, BUT what about the citronella candles? You”ll probably have a bite-me-in-the-arse comment to that too. You’re just so smart Karen. That’s why we can’t live without you

  19. sue says:

    Thanks for the laughs, Karen and thank you to the others who took time to write…I’m talking to you, Cynthia Jones. Little lawn mower!

  20. julesie says:

    Oh my gosh.. I totally want more Dollarama stories! This is great. I had NO IDEA that people disrobed there. Interesting. Is that a local thing or something found at dollar stores across the board.? I totally love the grass table runner. I did something like that in the more moss looking stuff for an Easter runner once and it looked pretty funky. Another idea: I have one of those display coffee tables with little squares to decorate and make vignettes and a glass top… when I do my Easter or summer table I will cut those mossy or grass squares to use on the bottom instead of leaving the wood plain… then put in various ISPY like items to create a theme coffee table. It pops so much more than leaving it plain and believe me it’s easier to get out then the Xmas snow or the beach sand when those seasons roll around. It’s the most fun! And people LOVE to see what’s in the coffee table while sipping their latte or wine. Well, enjoy the summer decorating~ the outside dining area looks amazing!

  21. olequiltbat says:

    I love Dollar-rama and all the other dollar stores. I hit them all searching for silk flowers to put in my large
    urns as well as all my window boxes. I got tired of spending a fortune on real plants and having them die over each season even tho I watered them faithfully. With silk flowers I get to choose lots of beautiful ones and then
    they can be used over and over each year. I have silk flowers for each season, and once that particular season is over, I take a picture of how I arranged them, and then take each display and put them separately in a large plastic bag…one for the left urn…another for the right urn…one for the left window box, and another for the right window box and so on all around the house. Some arrangements just stay in their the pots when I put them away…and then the next year …pull them out and just place them around.
    I have each season stored in large plastic tubs….Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Then all I have to do is pull out the tub and all the flowers are in each of their respective bags for each urn or window box.
    Makes for easy decorating and I’m not outside watering these things 4 times a day like I use to do with real flowers. Don’t think tho that I don’t have real flowers…I have massive gardens that do supply me with lots
    of bouquets. Happy Dollar Store shopping everyone.\

  22. Jebber Jay says:

    Superb! Plus, if you sit at the head of the table, you get to loofah your kneecaps. Dining + spa alfresco!

  23. SuzyMcQ says:

    Nice runner, yada yada….but, what I really want to know is why people leave their clothing in a dollar store?

  24. Hope says:

    Cruising through my Facebook posts I saw the link to your post today….my heart actually skipped a beat!!!!
    I actually have missed your dollar store ideas! When I wander through from time to time I look at things and think….what on earth would Karen do with this stuff?
    My daughter cut the squares in half and used them to line her mantel at Easter time…then put her 3 little flocked bunnies on top (also dollar store). Too cute. (no chickens though)

  25. Laura N. says:

    I love our Dollarama posts!

  26. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Very entertaining! Love your wall planters. I’m thinking our Dollar Tree here in the US is similar to your Dollarama. That’s where I get my doggie poop bags.

  27. kate-v says:

    Great! Table grass! I didn’t realize how much I’ve been missing those dollar-rama posts –

  28. Patti says:

    That is pretty fantastic! how the heck do you come up with this stuff? Oh my those plants on the fence are gorgeous!
    P.S. I have to tell you the hot water and microfiber cloth cleaning method is life changing. My stove top isn’t stainless or glass (maybe fiberglass?) but it used to be cloudy and streaky no matter what I used on it. Same with my stainless kitchen garbage pail. Now a wipedown with the hot cloth and it just shines. I’ve since tried it on pretty much everything else and it is amazing. Thanks for the tip!

  29. jf says:

    ACK! brilliant, I love it!

    now please, put your pants back on so I don’t have to continue staring off in the distance!

  30. Sandy says:

    Dollarama is my go-to for doggie poop bags. Maybe I should buy some fake grass and see if she’ll go on that . . . I wonder???

  31. Sally says:

    I love reading your blog. The best.

  32. Kari says:

    I wish we had dollarama in the US. So jealous!

  33. Dagmar says:

    I betcha any money some loon comes to the dollar store and changes into some new clothes they like better there, and hence-forth leaves their old clothes behind. That way, they think they can get away without paying $5 for new clothes. But really, does that make any fashion sense to anyone? I can’t imagine buying clothes at a dollar store. Maybe my dad was right, I’m a fashion snob. Oh well, I could be called worse things, I suppose.

    P.S. love the table runner. Although the second I saw it my first thought was you having a nice get-together, with candles and lots of people chatting, enjoying your awesome backyard oasis, and them *swoosh* the table runner goes up in flames. I hope that never happens.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dagmar – Well, they’re fake candles and I’m pretty sure the funner would just melt like the Wicked Witch of the West anyway. :) ~ karen!

  34. jainegayer says:

    Yay!!!! A Dollarama post!!!!

  35. Su says:

    :) fake grass table runner… how chic!

  36. jane says:

    Karen, you remind me of my Grandmother. No! Wait! Hear me out!
    World traveler, amazing adventures: things happened to her. Her house looked like it fell out of a magazine. Things had a story, and she was a suburb story-teller, so people would ask. Oh that?
    That knick-knack was given to me as a hostess gift by the King of So-and-So when we had tea last month: belonged to his great grandfather. That one? That was on sale at K-mart.
    I have both knick-knacks on my bookshelf now: reminder to me that I can choose carefully, but it needn’t be expensive to be perfect for the space.

  37. Suanne says:

    I saw the heading of your post, and I must admit….my pulse quickened a bit. AT LAST!!!!! A Dollarama post!! I love all your quirky and helpful ideas, but the Dollarama ones are absolutely, without a doubt, my favorites. Thanks for a good start to my day. Can’t wait to see the other two projects. Wish ther was a whole week….or two. :)

  38. Tigersmom says:

    ” a photoshopped thigh gap” Can I get that at Dollarama? Our dollar stores here in the US suck.

  39. Chilly says:

    That’s where I left my keys! Thanks!

  40. mimiindublin says:

    Epic post!
    and the comments are almost as entertaining as the post itself.
    This is something I would never do, cos I love pristine, but sooo enjoyed reading it. Your backyard looks superb Karen!
    Friends of ours covered their entire backyard in fake grass, and made a putting green. I though it a mad idea, but, as Penley says, after a bad winter…..

  41. Penley says:

    Oh I am just so glad you’ve bought back the Dollarama posts. Probably my favourite, because it doesn’t matter how much money I’ll ever have in my life, I’ll always be a cheapskate at heart who loves a bargain. And I love hanging out in the pound stores (or here in Oz, ‘Chicken Feed’ and ‘Ship Loads’) and I love finding treasures where others only see junk. So it’s YAYs all around!

    Friends of ours put fake grass in their whole backyard in London, with the reasoning that it wouldn’t get torn up by their kids playing soccer there in the winter. I thought it was the height of hideousness, but I did have to admit after one particularly long and grim (and the English really do long and grim) winter their lawn was almost neon in its relentless green. Not like their neighbours’. Plus their kids get amazing gravel rash from it, and they’re the sort that probably deserve it :)

  42. Cynthia Jones says:

    Love the grass runner. Also love the fir tree? in the background. Are we allowed to post links to other sources for things like fake moss, for you?

    I’ll bet you vacuum the fake grass. I only say this because I think you are as bat-shit eccentric as I am, and I vacuum my concrete outside. (with my head down so the neighbours can’t see me).

    You could find a little toy lawn mower and use some clippers to make some a track in the fake grass. Put the mower at the end of the track, glue a pile of leaves on and stick a pair of doll’s legs hanging out of the pile of leaves. Just for fun.

    On Halloween you could make a special effects slaughtered Barbie doll to place strategically and at Christmas you could spray the whole thing brown with some globs of dry ice sitting on top to represent snow.

    Aren’t you glad your readers share their great ideas with you?

    PS You opened my eyes to the delights of the cloche. I spent $25 on real live moss at the flower shop and added
    some dodda vine, some grandfather’s beard, a real piece of funghi on a bit of bark and a fake stalky mushroom, along with a piece of pretend gold nugget and some real raw amethyst stones, a little hollow log with a gold coin in it. This was a DIY Assembly Happy Birthday present for my friend across the other side of Australia.

    Sprinkle with water once a week.

    I loove cloches. Thank you for the introduction to another source of joy.

    PPS I got two 8 ounce bottles from the Dollar Shop. One to take my supplyof one glass of my favourite wine out with me and one for my shampoo. The one earmarked to carry the wine has a vintage style label which reads.

    Ayer’s Sarsparilla Purifies the blood. Quickens the Appetite. Makes the weak Strong. Cures others, will cure You. Sounds good enough for me.

    • Stephanie Hobson says:

      I love that the comments on Karen’s site are as entertaining as her posts. “Bat-shit eccentric” ftw.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. THat’s quite a claim. And yes, you can include a link in your comments but only up to 2. Any more than that and my spam blocker thinks you’re spam and doesn’t allow the comment. So link away! ~ karen!

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      Oh dear Cynthia..please don’t give her any gruesome icky ideas for Halloween..she is quite scary on her own..If you don’t believe me check out past Halloween posts..The doll baby still gives me nightmares..

  43. Liesl Joubert says:

    I dare you to throw some feed on the runner and let the chicks loose. Think how cute the photos will be!

  44. Stephanie says:

    Love the fake grass outdoor-table runner soooooo much! Fabulous idea.

  45. Robin C. says:

    Love the table runner – it is perfect! And thanks for the laugh – it was much needed!


  46. deirdre says:

    Love the grass. Really love the wall planters!

  47. Edith says:

    Looks great! Very clever!

  48. Deb says:

    We bought that exact table from Ikea – love it – it is truly gorgeous and huge! we never did manage to get the black stain for it – every time we went back they only had the white…

    I am sure in a few years it will need refinishing but it is a gorgeous table.

    LOVE the grass runner idea – I think I might have a trip to Dollarama in my future (smile)

  49. caryl hodgdon says:

    Oh yes, you do make my day’ Thanks for always allowing me the privilege of knowing a little insane is a good and wonderful thing. I’m so happy to live somewhat vicariously through your humor and creativity.xoxo

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