Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Dollar Tree DIY: Making A $5 Glass Cloche For Halloween

I've fallen down the rabbit hole of Dollar Tree DIYs on Youtube, y'all, and I am never coming back. My favorites are the ones that re-purpose and combine unrelated items into clever home decor. Watch a couple of those and you, too, will see everything as potential craft fodder. Pizza pan? Wall art. Wire dish rack? Book ends. By this point John has learned to just nod thoughtfully while I wave some random plastic toy in front of him and demand, "Ok, imagine this as a wall shelf support."

It's a fun hobby, trust me.

Which brings me to my new favorite Dollar Tree DIY: my skinny glass cloche!

... filled with cheery pumpkins to fit the season. :D

Of course I'm not the first person to turn a vase upside down and call it a cloche, but what really makes this DIY is that wrought iron finial on top. And yes, it's from Dollar Tree! Can you guess what it's made from?

I'll give you a hint: it's in the Halloween section, so you'll want to stock up on these now while you can.

Ready to see?

Here 'tis:

Yep, it's from the top of those plastic yard stakes, which you get two for $1. You'll also need that skinny vase, but the mirror base is optional. (So really, you could make a cloche for $2. AW YEAH.)

The yard stakes are one-sided, so they're flat on the back. That means to make our finial, we need to glue the two halves together. Here's how you do that:

First you'll need some snips (or scissors), a few toothpicks, and hot glue.

Snip your toothpicks into tiny sections, and glue them inside the edges of one side of the finial, like this:

The toothpicks will help the two halves snap together perfectly when you glue them. This was John's idea, and it totally works! 

We used 5-minute epoxy to glue our halves together, but I think superglue might work better, since it dries faster. As it was we had to tape ours while it cured:

Once cured, you'll have your very own 3D finial, ready to glue on any upside down vase you like. Woohoo! Just be careful you never pick up the cloche by the finial. The glue *might* hold, but why tempt fate?

To make the plastic finial less shiny, I added a wash of watered down brown craft paint, which makes it look like old wrought iron. If you want a more durable finish, though, spray prime it black first.

We used superglue to stick the finial to the bottom of our glass vase, then added the Dollar Tree mirror as a base, which fits perfectly.

Next I painted up my $1 pack of styrofoam pumpkins:

...and used hot glue to stack them together all fun and wonky:

I added a strand of LED wire lights I already had for sparkle, but you can buy a new strand for $3 at Wal-Mart.

At this point I decided the cloche needed more height, so we went back to Dollar Tree and grabbed this $1 glass candle stick:

After spray-priming it black, I added the same wash of watered-down brown craft paint:

I really love this painting, trick, y'all. Doesn't it look like old metal now?

Finally we used hot glue to secure the candlestick to the mirror base. You should really use E-6000 or epoxy though; the hot glue could pop right off.

And that's it!

See how well this mirror fits? If you're worried about it sliding around, add a bead of hot glue around the edge. The glue will hold it steady, then peel off later when you want to change it out.

I bought the plastic skeleton from DT, too, because I originally planned to put IT inside the cloche. That ended up being a little too creepy for me, but it does look kinda cool:

John said this looked like we were doing some kind of cult ritual in the dining room, lol. But hey,  I know a lot of people aiming for a "cult ritual in the dining room" aesthetic, so... ?

What's fun is the glare off the glass and lights actually makes the skeleton looks translucent from a distance, so it's extra ghostly:


Plus the pile of bones underneath makes me laugh. Like, "Eh, these won't fit - guess I'll just chuck 'em down here."

Those bones helped Eva discover her Goth side, btw:

There was a time when I couldn't remember where I'd put the bone pile, and Eva kept leaving a new one in the water bowl each morning. So helpful. Now my goal is to get a picture of her carrying one of the bigger bones in her mouth, 'cuz that's gotta be hilarious.

But wait, there's more.

I turned the cloche into a Halloween DIY to fit the season, but my original version is something we'll be displaying year-round, and something much more special.

See, I've been looking for a proper way to display these:

These pocket watches belonged to my two grandfathers, and were passed down to me from my parents last year. I've wanted to display them together, but custom displays can cost a small fortune, and I didn't really like any of the options I've seen.

My solution isn't quite finished yet, but here's what I have so far:


Yes, I'm flailing over my own DIY, what. I just love how perfectly this fits the watches, and how you can view them from all sides. Plus it's nice finally having these out where I can see them everyday!

The watches are quite heavy, so I wanted something larger and sturdier for the base. This one is too small - see how the glass doesn't sit inside the rim? - so I'm still looking for something better.

Turning the cloche into a watch display is easy: just glue a metal hook or ring to the top inside. I used this ring, scavenged off an electrical mount going in the trash at one of our volunteer jobs:

Once I epoxied the ring inside and let it cure overnight, I was able to feed the watch chain of one watch through the ring, then hook the second watch onto the chain with a small S hook, so the two balance each other.

It was fiddly work, hooking the second watch while John held the glass sideways, but thankfully my wee Hobbit hands were able to manage it.

You could also use this to display jewelry, a string of origami cranes, or anything that hangs, really.

And finally, because it pained me to only use the tops of those plastic yard stakes, here come a few ideas to use the bats, too:

Cut out the bat with scissors or snips, paint it solid black, then add gold or silver Rub n' Buff:

Boom. Now you have an all-purpose decor piece! Add it to a decorative box or spell book, tuck it in a wreath, or how about sticking it to your curtain tie-backs?

This would also look great hanging on the wall as-is, or you can hot glue it to this Dollar Tree mirror for some ultra Gothic Glam vibes:

This would be perfect in a foyer or small guest bath year-round. Not bad for $2 at Dollar Tree, right?

K, that's it for me! I hope this inspires some new cloche-crafting out there, and gets you to look at cheap glass vases in a whole new light - or at least upside down. :D

Sending you all ghost hugs this week, btw, because I know this Halloween isn't what most of us wanted it to be. I'm so incredibly proud of this community, though, and inspired by the posts I'm seeing over on Fans of Epbot as y'all find new ways to celebrate safely. It's easy to say 2020 is a wasted year, but the fact is, it's not. We're still here. We still need each other, and we still have this time to spread love and encouragement to one another. So please don't give up on these last few months of 2020; show up. Wear the costumes. Eat the candy. Decorate or DIY or do the things that fill your soul, and remember to check in on your friends. It's not the year we wanted, but we can still make sure we get through it together.

::squeezy ghost hugs::


P.S. I know it's a little late in the month to be linking Halloween things, but LOOK HOW CUTE THIS SNOOPY IS:


K, that is all.


  1. Oh my gosh, that's a gorgeous way to display those pocket watches! What a brilliant idea!

  2. I loooove this!!! Dollar Tree also sells small strings of battery-op lights in purple and orange, one of those might look cool in there as well!! I'm scoping out my place right now for a spot to put one of these, thanks for the inspo!!

  3. So clever. This kind of cloche would be perfect for displaying my Cracker Box beaded Christmas ornaments, which have lots of pretty dangling pieces, and keeping them dust-free. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Looking forward to seeing the final watch display (even though it's already looking darned good!) And I love how y'all use every bit. The ability to see the possibilities of an item is amazing!

  5. Im so impressed. I love how much you did with these dollar store items. I cant wait to see more like this. I wonder what christmas ideas you'll come up with. Thanks for the cheap inspiration!

  6. I love the watch display! I'm now looking at all my vases in a whole different light.

  7. Love your genius! I might have to pick up those bat yard stakes, just so I can use the bats in my house! Also, in my experience, black girl kitties don't need to "discover" their goth side so much as "find an excuse to demonstrate it". Though that might be just my bratty goddess. :D

  8. Ah, those squeezy ghost hugs helped me feel better. Thanks Jen. I like the watch display and think the current stand looks okay but looking forward to what you come up with next. :)

  9. I know someone who repairs watches, if they need to be fixed.

  10. It's wonderful that you have the watches, and your display is looking excellent; the Halloween versions are quite good as well. You are, as always, an inspiration. We don't have Dollar Tree, but maybe that's a good thing for me. :p

    So, is there a way to convert those battery-powered mini lights to run off wall current?

    1. There is a way, yes, and at some point I'll probably explore that! Too many battery-powered lights that I want on a timer to switch on every night. :D

    2. Good to know, thanks. I'll look forward to seeing that, eventually. :)

      In the meantime I'll just keep enjoying all the lovely stuff you share with us.

  11. Oh my gosh I am making a bat cage out of a DT wire trash can and needed a finial. The best part is I already have the bat stakes. I also have two watches from my Grandfathers cannot wait to make a display like yours. Thanks for always for sharing your ideas.

  12. I would follow "Eva's bone discoveries" on Instagram! lol

  13. Really excellent DIY ideas! I particularly like the pocket watches display - attractive, and meaningful, too. I think the finial for the pocket watches display would look good in gold, to match the base.

  14. I love the way the watches look in that display!

  15. I'll go ahead and say it.....if you went with a corroded copper/bronze look on that bat, it'd be a great decorative touch for a Haunted Mansion theme look.

  16. I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has fallen down the DT upcycle rabbit hole. I had to stop watching before I spent thousands on dollar items. HA! I love all your projects, so now I'm itching to try this. Of course, most of our DTs are almost out of Halloween decor. But, you've definitely got me wanting to look at everything a little differently now. Thanks for the inspiration!


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