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DOLLAR STORE THANKSGIVING CHALLENGE | feat. Alexandra Gater

Updated: Apr 12, 2019

Unconventional Thanksgiving Tablescape

Holidays are so much fun to decorate but can rack up some serious dough if you go all in with decorations! This thanksgiving, save some money by decorating with a little DIY magic...on a budget.



Check out the companion Video Alexandra made on her channel!



Today, Alexandra Gater joins our DIY guru Dani Berger to create stunning DIY decor pieces for a thanksgiving tablescape using only materials sourced from a local dollar store! Total cost - $80.00.


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Pumpkins (https://amzn.to/2OeyiAQ)

Acorns (https://amzn.to/2OeywIc)

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Gold Spray Paint (https://amzn.to/2OmDzWS)

Hot plate (https://amzn.to/2QcfkIw)

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Mini Mason Jar (https://amzn.to/2Ohh2L5)

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Wooden Tray (https://amzn.to/2QchkAw)

Leaves (https://amzn.to/2Oh7BLT)

Cake Tray (https://amzn.to/2ImduC3)


Pastel Ombre Pumpkins Centrepiece




Painting pumpkins has never been so fun. Using fun pastel colours allowed the table to be a little more modern + unconventional. By using pastel styling options, your diy decor can be kept around the house longer than the holiday asks for. It’s so cute, you could keep it out all year long!


Most pumpkins sourced at your local dollar store will have a waxy, plastic top. To ensure the pastel paint colours would show up bright, the pumpkins were covered in white spray paint ahead of time. Now, the spray paint wasn’t sourced at the dollar store, but we already had this in the studio, which means it didn’t affect our small budget. So technically, this wasn’t cheating but hopefully your dollar store carries some!



Step 1: Spray paint all pumpkins white to create a base coat and let dry.

Step 2: Create 6 colours using your acrylic paints (teal, teal + white mixed, yellow, yellow + white mixed, pink, pink + white mixed)

Step 3: Set up your various pumpkins in the style + design you wish to present it on your table. Divide your styled pumpkins into three sections and decide which pumpkins are going to be teal, yellow and pink.

Step 4: Using your sponge brushed, cover your pumpkins using both shades in each colour to give it a varied ombre look. Let Dry!

Step 5: As a final step, use gold paint (or spray paint if that’s what you have lying around the house) and paint the stems of your pumpkins in gold.


Guest “Take-Away” Candles



When celebrating a fun holiday, give your guests a small take away table gift as a way to show your thanks. When utilizing dollar store finds, you need to get crafty. We found the most adorable mini mason jar shot glasses that we wanted to turn into candles. Of course, they don’t sell mini mason jar shot glass candles or candle making kits...so we improvised a bit and turns out it was so easy, you could do it too!

Step 1: Take your large white candles and cut through it two inches from the top. To easily cut through the wax, run your knife under hot water first. This makes the blade move through the harden wax easily! Once cut, cut the head of your candle in half, being careful not to harm the wick in the middle. Pull the wick out and place this aside for later. Take the chunks from the white candles and place into your measuring cup.

Step 2: Take your large pot and fill it halfway with water. Bring your water to a boil then place your measuring cup with wax in the middle. Let the water heat up the wax. Stir until completely melted. This should take about 20 minutes.

Step 3: Add in your small coloured tea-lights to help give your candles some colour. We wanted a light peach colour, so the white candle and orange mix worked out perfectly! Phew!

Step 4: Once your candles are completely melted, carefully take out your measuring cup from the pot and pour the liquid into your miniature shot glasses. Before the wax begins to harden, take your lose wicks from step 1 and set them into your shot glass. Secure the wick with a clothespin, centering the wick in the middle of the candle. Let harden.

Step 5: If you want your candle to have a nice smell, you can always add some essential oils to your melted wax mix. Our dollar store didn’t carry this, so we went for a scentless mix.

Step 6: As a fun final decorative element, we wrapped the candles with a bright coloured string and tied a small match around the neck.

Transform a cake tray into a decorative food tray on your table using gold spray paint to give it new life.




Create your own DIY serving tray using a wood canvas board and two spoons. It’s adorable, unique and will add a great conversation piece to any tablescape. Looking for a great way to hack coloured stains? Here’s how!


Step 1: Create a white wood stain on your tray by mixing acrylic paint and water together - 1 part paint, 1 part water. By adding water, it’s creating a DIY wash which is a great way to reveal the natural wood of the board without completely covering it with a paint. Let Dry.

Step 2: Let’s create the handles on our serving tray. Take your two spoons and sand down the surface of the spoon with a sandpaper. The idea is to scratch the metal so that any paint will stick to the surface. Spray paint your spoons with a gold paint and let dry.

Step 3: Turn your wood canvas upside down so that the lip is facing upwards. Take your spoons and use a glue gun to adhere the spoon to the sides. Note! These spoons are completely decorative and should not be used to carry heavy objects.

Step 4: Take your cake tray and sand the metal surface. Spray paint the surface and let dry.





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