9 DIY Hacks You Can Find At The Dollar Store

Making life more convenient doesn't always require planning an expensive remodel or making a niche purchase. With a little innovative thinking, you'll find that common objects and tools can have a multitude of purposes. Dollar stores sell inexpensive items — such as common housewares, supplies, toys, food, and more — while using simple pricing methods to sell their stock. While not everything is actually sold for a price of a single dollar, it's still in that price range. 

If you want to make changes around your home that allow day-to-day life to be easier and more convenient, you should know the following dollar store hacks. Since the United States' largest chain is a dollar store, it'll be easy to find one nearby that carries what you need for the following DIY projects and tips. Don't pass up on these frugal, money-saving hacks that will help you stay within your budget while allowing you to indulge in your home life.

Dryer sheets for various household chores

Dryer sheets are a staple household item, primarily used for making laundry static-free, fresh-smelling, and soft to the touch. However, these thin pieces of a polyester-paper blend are useful for more than most people realize — you can use them to clean miscellaneous objects, shine up screens, and remove deodorant marks. They tend to come in packs of 100 or more, making it easy to stock up on this multi-purpose item.

The dryer sheet trick closest to its intended purpose is layering them at the bottom of your clothing drawers and between stacks of garments to maintain a fresh smell, even when you don't touch the items for months. It prevents a musty odor from settling in, replacing it with the scent of your sheet of choice. This is a great way to keep seasonal outfits smelling new when you finally pull them out again, and it adds a pleasant fragrance to your dresser or closet. You can also wet a dryer sheet in your sink to make a handy scrubbing tool that is excellent for clearing dried wax, food residue, and soap scum from home surfaces. Their rough texture pulls up dust and small particles, making them also apt for removing dust from electronic screens and powdered deodorant stains from clothing.

Foam blocks for storage and tidiness

Within the arts and crafts or artificial floral section at the dollar store, you'll find assorted foam blocks in different shapes. These blocks are designed for holding fake flower stems in planters, pots, and baskets, but they can also be used for non-floral items. The texture of the foam is perfect for holding sharp objects by sticking the pointy side directly into the polyurethane material. You can store garage tools, office writing utensils, sewing supplies, and other tapered items in these blocks to keep your belongings organized and secure, with less risk of injuring other family members or roommates. If you choose the right size and shape of block, you can use it in any room and in any location. Many people lay them out on countertops, place them in drawers, or fasten them to walls using a reliable fastener, like double-sided butyl tape.

Aside from storing sharp objects, you can also use rectangular and cylindrical foam pieces to improve the tidiness of your home and car. Cut through this material with a sharpened kitchen knife, trimming it to the proper dimensions to fit in gaps where food and small items can slip and fall between. Place these foam inserts in the empty space between your countertop and kitchen appliances, or between car seats, to prevent food crumbs from toppling into unreachable crevices.

Tennis balls for random life hacks

You can find tennis balls in the toy section at the dollar store, but this unassuming object is handy for far more than a competitive round of tennis. With a little DIY, they can protect your furniture, assist in opening bottles and jars, hide your valuables, and serve as guide markers for your garage. A serrated kitchen knife should cut through the rubber and wool cloth without much issue, allowing you to use tennis balls in multiple ways around your home.

Cut an "X" on one side of a clean tennis ball and slide the opening over the feet on your tables, chairs, and couches. When you re-arrange your furniture or slide your chairs back, it won't scuff the floor and instead rub on the inside of the attached tennis ball. You can also cut a clean line on one side of the ball to reveal the hollow center. Be careful not to cut too far around, so you can easily close the tennis ball back up like it's an ordinary piece of sports equipment. This creates an excellent place to hide money, expensive jewelry, and other small items you want to keep safe from potential thieves. A tennis ball's handiness doesn't end there; you can also dangle it from your garage ceiling to show how far forward you can pull your car without hitting the wall or other items. If you cut a tennis ball in half you can also use it as a grip for opening stubborn bottles and jars.

Silicone baking cups for various kitchen tasks

Silicone baking cups are niche products from the dollar store that can surprisingly serve many cooking interests. Aside from using them to hold your finished recipe as you bake it in the oven, you can use these liners for other tasks throughout your kitchen venture. One clever method is to use them while prepping food to hold small amounts of ingredients that you'll need later in your recipes. You can also use an individual liner as a spoon rest to help keep your countertops clean.

Once you finish prepping and cooking, you can also use silicone liners to pad your fingers when grabbing a hot pot or skillet handle. Just remember that although potholders and oven mitts are made of similar silicone material, they tend to be thicker than baking cups. Be careful when grasping hot objects in the kitchen, and make sure your vinyl protector inhibits the heat before you lift a steaming pot or pan. As a final note, you should know that, like tennis balls, silicone baking liners can help you grip certain bottle caps and twist them free when your bare hands can't do the job.

Craft glue to fix up walls and furniture

Craft glue is an essential tool for children, arts and crafts aficionados, and aspiring DIY-ers alike. Although it has a reputation for being weaker than its industrial counterpart, craft glue is useful for aesthetic home repairs. Most dollar stores carry water-based adhesive glue, and you can use small amounts to fill nail and screw holes in your wall

You can use a Q-tip, which is also available at local dollar stores, to have more control over how much glue you're applying to a spot. Once the glue hardens, you can chip off any excess pieces and repaint — repainting might be necessary if you do not have white or off-white walls. This method also applies to furniture, such as shelves and tables with nail holes, chips, and punctures. If you want to make your DIY repair job look more professional, you may want to invest in a putty knife or a paint scraper and sandpaper. These items are useful for detailing a craft glue repair job, helping you finesse the final look.

Scrub sponges for daily tasks

Pick up a set of ordinary scrub sponges for more than just scrubbing your dishes and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. To make ice packs, leave the sponges in a bowl of water and let them soak for a few minutes before sealing them in a sandwich-sized plastic bag. Make sure the bag is well-sealed before placing it in your freezer, and you'll have reusable ice packs in a flash.

Additionally, you can also use these extra sponges as "paintbrushes" to dab paint on walls and furniture. This may come in handy if you just used craft glue for some DIY repairs and need to cover the discoloration. You can also place these sponges at the bottom of planting pots and vases to serve as a reservoir for excess water. The sponge will soak up extra water, keeping you from accidentally drowning your plants. Just make sure you repot your plant occasionally, swapping out the sponge as needed to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Coffee filters for protecting housewares and cleaning

Coffee filters are another common dollar store find, traditionally coming in packs of 50, 100, and 150. In addition to using these paper and textile blended sheets for brewing coffee, you can also use them for various household tasks. If you have a valuable set of plates or other dishware you want to keep safe in your cabinets, place coffee filters between them to prevent scuffing. This is also a clever tip to keep in mind when packing your belongings for storage or a move.

In addition to utilizing coffee filters for protective purposes, use them to dust and clean glass without leaving lint behind. Wipe your glass furniture, windows, mirrors, and electronic screens with a fresh filter to remove obstructive dust buildup without fear of scratching their surfaces. You can even spray it with a light cleaning solution to improve the results, however, you should avoid using cleaning solutions on electronic items.

Paper clips for fixing household nuisances

Paper clips are a common office supply, most often found in the "junk drawer" of people's homes. Although the traditional purpose of a paper clip is to group papers together for organizational purposes, you'll find that it's excellent for fixing many household nuisances. The long metal wire that makes up this tool can be repurposed simply by bending it into another shape. 

The next time you accidentally rip the zipper from a beloved jacket or pair of pants, thread a paper clip in its place until you can re-attach the original contraption. If you have a clogged spray bottle, unwind the metal fastener to make a long thin piece you can jab into the bottle nozzle. It may take some maneuvering, but you should be able to poke through the sticky residue causing the clog. You can even use paper clips to adjust eyeglasses by sticking one of the sharp metal ends into the screws to tighten or loosen them as needed.

Adhesive push lights for dark areas without lighting fixtures

If you've ever encountered adhesive push lights while perusing discount shops and dollar stores, you may have wondered what use people have for tiny one-dollar bulbs. These handy little gadgets are convenient for improving visibility in places that other lighting fixtures can't reach or where natural sunlight fails to illuminate properly. These light bulbs are battery-operated or rechargeable, and feature a sticky back so you can place them in closets, cabinets, drawers, safe boxes, and other dark areas for proper lighting.

Those who are feeling extra creative can attach them to the space next to a webcam, being careful not to obstruct the camera lens. Whether you use your computer to communicate with family, friends, coworkers, or simply to make online content, the additional lighting can improve the quality of your video recordings. You can also place these lights around a vanity or bathroom mirror to enhance the lighting as you prepare for your day or important events.