January 21, 2013

How To Make Cheap Look Classy

Valentine decorating

To get the classiest looks from dollar-type store items,
chose ones that are not overly embellished...the
"less is more" look...simple elegance.  This is true 
for items from any type of low-cost store.

Putting the inexpensive items with nicer things that you
already have also elevates the look of the cheaper products. 
Make cheap items look expensive

All of the Valentine products that you see in this hutch display
came from the Dollar Tree.  They were joined with silver and
"snowy" items that were still in the hutch when they were
used for a Christmas vignette.  To see how make the silvered
and snow-covered bottles click here. 

 Also, literally "elevating" items makes them seem more
important.  To make the package of small glittered hearts
seem like mounds of hearts, they were hot-glued onto a
 paper-covered half ball of foam.  Lots of hot glue in
this project to aid in quickness of  "gittn' 'er done". 
how to make a mound of hearts

For the hearts in the back of the mound, they were even
further elevated onto toothpicks first. 
make a mound of hearts

For a smaller goblet, a smaller piece of foam was
 wrapped in paper then mounded up in a similar 
fashion with glitter hearts also.

The goblets elevate the mounds of hearts and then some
of the goblets are then made even higher with the help
of Valentine boxes used as risers to give the elements
in the vignette varying heights. 

Even the little silver pitcher got a bouquet of glitter
hearts on toothpicks.  Cupcake paper liners were 
fashioned into fillers to cover the foam. 

You don't have to have foam blocks to stick the
hearts in/on.  Here is an upside down foam cup
with the top half cut off used as a base.

If the base is going to be above eye-level in a display, 
I don't worry about covering it with paper or frills.

Another lazy "out of sight, out of mind" prop
that was used was a stick out of the yard to make a
line of hearts to put in a re-purposed  reed scent bottle.

The heart "bottle stoppers" were either a "toothpicked" 
glitter heart stuck into a wine cork or attached (for now)
to a nicer bottle stopper.

My favorite Dollar Tree find this Valentine season is
a pack of five different-sized glittered cardboard hearts.
Not only are they an impressive size, but they have a
cute and quirky shape that makes them seem classy.

For the largest heart I attempted to just hot glue it onto
a snowy bottle but it didn't stick.  I had to add a piece 
or ribbon on the back and tie it on to the bottle.

A couple of the boxes (with unnecessary and not classy 
ribbons pulled off) were simply elevated on silver goblets. 

To add some whimsy (and a quick way to take up
 visual space in the vignette) Dollar Tree handmade 
(by someone other than me) cards were added. 

When I painted the antique bookcase this past summer
and used blue for the backboards, I thought that I 
would probably need to cover it for other seasons
of the year but I'm liking the "red, pink and blue"
color combination for this Valentine vignette.
Another plus is that the heart shaped items only 
cost a total of  $8 to transition the hutch from
 Christmas into Valentine's Day.


  1. Gayle- That looks really great- Nice display job- xo Diana

  2. Love the use of goblets with mounds of hearts.

  3. What great and fun design tips! Thanks for the smart and colorful ideas.

  4. How cute and fun is this. What a great way to transform the red of Christmas straight into Valentine's. I love it. Super ideas and suggestions for creating an expensive look too. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  5. Made my heart sing! How cute. Lovely and to think from the dollar tree how things can look like a million!

  6. You've done a lovely job with your hearts! I am really having a hard time getting anything related to Valentines up. I worked on a wreath today but it looks awful. Hopefully tomorrow will being more inspiration! Happy Friday...Ann


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