Are You Up for the Challenge (Again)?

About this time last year, the economy was in the tank, and we were all looking for ways to add some Spring decor to our homes without breaking the bank. I wanted to prove that we could stretch $5 more than we thought. I challenged my readers to create new Spring decor for their homes using only $5 worth of products from the Dollar Store – the Five Dollar Challenge.

This year, things aren’t much different, are they? Sure, the economy has rebounded a bit, but we are all still more conscious of each dollar we spend than we were several years ago. Well, are you up for the challenge (again)?

I’m excited to announce the 2nd Annual Five Dollar Challenge! I was blown away at the creativity you guys displayed last year. My Mr. Linky from 2009 has expired (boo hiss!), but there were over 150 entries in last years challenge. And have I mentioned there are prizes?

This year the rules are largely the same:

– Create a new Spring decor item for your home using only $5 worth of items purchased at a dollar store
– i.e. Dollar Tree, Dollar Store, Everything’s $1.00, etc. The $5 does not include sales tax.

– You may use the following supplies *if* you already have them on-hand – paint, glue, paper, fabric, tools.

– On or before March 25th, post a tutorial for your new craft on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, please email me photos and a written tutorial to and I will find a way to display it for you.

On March 25th, come back to my blog and link up your tutorial to the Five Dollar Challenge post that will go up that morning. Any entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified (and I’ll feel like a big, honkin’ jerk).

– A panel of esteemed judges (JJ from the Blah Blah Blahger, Emily from Remodeling this Life and Gina from The Shabby Chic Cottage) will select five entries to put forth to the Living With Lindsay readership for voting.

– YOU guys will vote for your favorite of the entries. One winner and one runner-up will be selected to win the prizes (which are gonna rock, I must add).Got it?

If you have any questions, please post them below, and I’ll answer within the comments so everyone has the same information.

If you are up to the challenge, please announce it to your readers! Help me spread the word by posting the below button in your sidebar:

Woo hoo! I can’t wait!

Filed Under: Create Your Decor

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. How fun! :) I want to see if I'm up for the challenge. :)

  2. Oooh I'm so excited that you're doing this again, I can't wait to participate this year!

  3. Okay, let's see if I can answer some questions:

    1) Goodwill and thrift stores are out. In order to be fair, it really does need to be a store that carries Dollar Store-like products.

    2) If you live out of the country, try shopping at a general store-type of place.

    3) I'll allow stuff from the Target "One Spot," but not just general clearance items at other stores.

    Looks like Angie has totally thrown down the gauntlet, y'all. :)

  4. Omgosh I just know bloggers are going to kill this one hands down! I'm dying to see what they do (and what I may be able to do too :o) !)

  5. Ohh I missed the fun last year, but I'm up for the challenge for sure!!!

  6. Is Goodwill fair game?

  7. Marianne@Songbird says:

    I wanna play, I wanna play! But I don't have a dollarstore! Can I do it with a 5 euro challenge variation. Please?

  8. Jen@Notes From the Heartland says:

    Oh this sounds so fun! I'm off to the Dollar Store this weekend! :-)

  9. ♥Amber Filkins♥ says:

    So awesome! I'm up for the challenge again. I can't remember what I did last year, but I'm up for the challenge. :)

  10. MaryJanes and Galoshes says:

    I'm game! I just pinned my button on!

  11. The Oxford Family says:

    I am new to life on a budget…this is great!

  12. Thinking I'm going to do this! Already have something in mind. Can't wait to see what other come up with!

  13. SeriouslyAHomemaker says:

    lindsay, i am sooo up for the challenge, but i think you might be forgetting that anytime we go to the dollar store, we end up spending about $40– no matter what we came in for! Therefore, I am totally up for the $5 + $35 in toys, candles, froo-froo and kitsh challenge!

    i'm gonna win, too.


  14. This sound fun! What a great idea, I can't wait to see the entries.

  15. I need to run to that Dollar Tree and get the wheels turning. This challenge sounds like so much fun.


  16. Cap Creations says:

    Can it be the dollar and clearance items at target and walmart? Or strictly dollar stores?

  17. I am so excited! This is a great idea!

  18. When you say "on March 25 …link up…" what does that mean exactely?


  19. @Ang – By saying "linking up," I mean that I'll have an official Five Dollar Challenge post that I'll put up on March 25th. At the bottom, I'll post an area where you can post a link to your own project so that everyone can check it out!

  20. This sounds like fun. The Dollar Stores around here have to be the worst ones in the country so this might be a real challenge for me!

  21. Elizabeth @ Southern Comfort says:

    LOVE IT! I am SOO in it to win it! :)

  22. Ooh, so excited & all linked up!! I hope we can enter more than once, because I came out of Dollar Tree today with enough stuff for two different $5 projects.

  23. Molly @ The Creative Maven says:

    I am so, so excited!! Can't wait!

  24. W. Rohlfing says:

    As I am just finishing up my 28-day organizational challenge (home office), this will be a great way to add some really nice home made decor to my new beachy office. I also can't wait for this challenge to end for all the new and great decorating tutorials that we will have to check out! I am totally up for the challenge! Thanks Lindsay!

  25. Fun! Now I have to put my thinking cap on!

  26. Bring it on! I am so in. After all I gotta keep my crown since I won last year. Ok so picked me but I still won right? HAHA

  27. This challenge sounds like a lot of fun. I wasn't blogging last year so missed out on last year's event. Count me in this year!

  28. benchwarmer says:

    can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. this was a great idea. let's get started.

  29. Oooh I'm so glad you're up top in my sidebar b/c I found out about this tonight! To say I'm excited would be a dire understatement. I am STOKED. Dollar Tree here I come…. =)

  30. Miss Mustard Seed says:

    Very cool idea, Lindsay! I think I'll have to get in on that action. :)

  31. Designs by Jenean says:

    I'm up for the challenge. We have some good dollar stores here in Michigan.

  32. Sarah Robbins says:

    I'm in! Awesome idea! We will have just moved into our new house, too, so that makes it even better!

  33. TOTEally Posh! says:

    I'm in. Just blogged about it and grabbed the button!

  34. I can't wait!! I have several things already and I am sure I will have more by March 25th. We have a great Dollar tree close to my office. They know me by name !

  35. im so doing this!!! i just aw a dollar store walking distance… awesome!

  36. The Thriftress says:

    Lindsay I am so excited! I've been hunting for inspiration already. I'm going to post on my blog to invite more people to play. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

  37. Who won last year? I came to this blog when you had the last contest but never saw who won it and even emailed to ask who had been champ.

  38. I'm not very creative so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with! :-) I love crafty things and I can't wait to be inspired! :-)

    ~ Carrie ~

  39. says:

    I am so excited about this! What a great idea, especially when money is tight! Way to bring out the creativity in all of us!
    Your button is on my blog and I am all in – so watch out ladies!!!

  40. Future Emily Love says:

    I'm a new blogger, but I'm not new to crafting! I can't wait to get to my Dollar Tree and see what crazy things inspire me!

  41. I think that I shall do this!!!! FUN!

  42. i didn't do one last year, but i am going to try this year!

  43. You guys are welcome to enter more than one project. It must be a new project, though – no digging through your archives for submissions!

    @Annchan – Beckie of Infarrantly Creative won last year. I couldn't email you because there's not email address linked to your blogger account. :)

  44. I hope we can enter more than one project! I have already done some dollar store spring decor posts, but I want to make something new for this challenge too!

  45. Readily A Parent says:

    Okay but what if we have more than one idea? Can we Mclink more than one post?

  46. I'm excited. I have to browse through my inspiration folder for ideas. So a spring decor item. Does that mean "springy" or can it be a general decor item (ie for an ethnic travel inspired lounge or zen spa bathroom)?

  47. Sounds like fun! I love me some dollar stores!

  48. elliotrichardson says:

    Are items from Joann's that are regularly priced under or at $1 allowed?

  49. Oh snap I am excited about this one!

  50. This sounds like a lot of fun. I love a challenge.
    (I posted your button on my blog.)

  51. the momma says:

    Hey! I'm totally in! I have a brand new baby bloggie…only a month in. This is my first contest and I'm soooo up for the challenge!

  52. Woo hoo! Can't wait to see what everyone makes! I made my challenge entry yesterday.. it's totally awesome. lol

    Posted about the challenge on my blog! :)

  53. Ohhh, yeah, I love a challenge! I am heading to the dollar store tomorrow!! and posting about it on my blog tonight! I am relatively new to this style of blogging and I love it, it's so fun!

  54. spinndiva says:

    I did it! :) I went through my stash though… did not buy anything… hope that counts! :)

  55. spinndiva says:

    Sorry, I just now read all the requirements and stash apparently does not count, specially since I did buy the items at Goodwill originally (although you can get all of them at the dollar store too)
    Oh well! Maybe next year!

    Good luck to all participants though! 😀

  56. You said we can use some things we have already in our ‘creative stash’… can that include spackle??

  57. Always up for a challenge, and I already have a tutorial in posted! :)

  58. Ahh, I’m so sad I missed the chance to enter. Oh well, I got an idea from Everything Etsy yesterday and it just happens I was able to get the supplies from the Dollar Tree (flip flops for a DOLLAR!) Oh well I plan to post that very soon on my blog. Sew many plans!!



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