Dollar Store Gift Ideas That Don’t Look Cheap!

Stressing about gift-giving this year? Your Christmas budget may be tight, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip gifts altogether. Whether you need to grab a last-minute gift or want to put together something thoughtful on a tight budget, the dollar store is a great place to shop.

Despite the inexpensive price tag, dollar store gift ideas can be creative and cool without looking cheap. It’s my favorite go-to for when I just need something simple, thoughtful, yet super-affordable.

The cuteness and quality of so many items have gone way up in recent years, making it possible to put together something special for very little.

This post will give you some great ideas for putting together a quick, easy, and affordable Christmas gift for $10, $5, or even $1. You can buy many of these items and wrap them up right off the shelf, or add a little personal touch to make them extra special. Either way, these are great gifts for tight budgets!

Dollar Store Gift Ideas for Tight Budgets

Framed Photos

One of the best values for home decor at the dollar store are their photo frames. They offer a variety of sizes, styles, and colors, all for just a dollar!

Pick a few favorite photos, print them out, and place them in dollar store picture frames. It’s a gift that’s from the heart and will be truly appreciated by the recipient.

Another way to step up this simple gift is by painting the picture frame or jazzing it up with embellishments. Think things like glitter, beads, seashells, etc. A glue gun and creativity can go a long way to creating customized photo frames.

Candle with Decorative Holder

Simple but sweet, a candle in a decorative holder is a great easy gift for teachers, friends, teens, etc. The Dollar Tree has a variety of candle holders and candles in different sizes. You can find scented or unscented, votives, pillar, etc.

They sell seasonal designs as well as options that are suitable for everyday decor.

While many of the candle holders are stylish enough as-is, you can also customize them by getting creative and crafty. They also carry flameless candles, which are a great safe option.

Incense with Holder

Another cool gift for teens or anyone who appreciates nice scents in the home is fragrant incense with a holder. They sell both incense cones and sticks.

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Homemade Sweets

If you enjoy baking or want to give candy making a try, consider making homemade sweets for a gift. You could bake cookies, brownies, a cake, or even make homemade fudge.

One of the nice things about The Dollar Tree is that they carry brand-name baking products, including Better Crocker mixes for cakes, cookies, and muffins. They also sell cute tins and fresh storage containers so that you can gift baked goods in a cute and practical way.

Stationery Set/Planner Supplies

For planner enthusiasts, students, and well-organized professionals, a stationery set is a useful and thoughtful gift to give. The dollar store has a wide variety of nice pens, notepads, planner accessories, and calendars. For less than $5 you can make a stationery set that’s sure to get a lot of use.

Floral Display

Rather than buying a bouquet of real flowers that won’t last, create your own stylish arrangement with faux florals. Grab a vase for $1 and choose the colors and types of flowers you like best to design a one-of-a-kind floral display for the recipient.

Faux Succulents

In addition to faux flowers, the dollar store also sells realistic-looking faux succulents. Some come already in small plastic or ceramic container, while others are sold as stems that you can use for creating your own potted display.

Coordinating Kitchen Towels, Pot Holder, & Oven Mitt

For cooking lovers or really just anyone who appreciates a cute kitchen, these kitchen items make a great gift. Dollar Tree often sells oven mitts, towels, tea towels, and potholders in coordinating and matching designs.

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Dollar Store Gift Basket Ideas

If you have $5-$10 to spend on a gift, another excellent idea is to put together a fun gift basket. The dollar store sells all kinds of containers as well as basket filler. Here are a few creative gift basket ideas that you can make just with items that cost $1 each:

Movie Night

Make it a movie night at home with popcorn, candy, and salty snacks. Place the items in a reusable popcorn tub. Want to include a movie, too? The Dollar Tree carries Blu-Ray discs with popular titles.


Create a spa-day in a basket with manicure tools, nail polish, face masks, scented soaps, and bath accessories. Other ideas include hand lotion, lip balm, body lotion, facial exfoliator, body wash, etc.

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Holiday Themed

Head to the dollar store and pick out all of your favorite Christmas items. Things like ornaments, signs, Christmas mugs and dishes, and even holiday crafting supplies cane make a great affordable gift.

Place everything inside of a stocking- the dollar store carries so many cute options! Or go with one of their Christmas baskets or tins for a charming presentation.

Pet Set

Don’t forget about your furry friends! Give them a gift basket with treats, new toys, and a new food or water dish. This is a great gift for pet lovers.

The dollar store has many pet accessories and essentials, from collars to leashes to brand name pet food and treats. Look for quality items and put them together in a bin or basket.


A housewarming gift basket is perfect for new homeowners, neighbors, or anyone who is living on their own for the first time. There are so many things you can include, like kitchen towels, magnets, basic kitchen supplies, simple home decor, etc.

Place the items inside of a mixing bowl or an oven mitt and tie it with a ribbon.

Home Office

With so many working and learning from home today, home office accessories and essentials make for a great gift. With such a wide variety of supplies available, you can give this one to students or professionals.

From pens and pencils to notepads, planner stickers, washi tape, and so much more, you can create a home office gift basket. Add in a calendar for the new year and a cute desk decoration like a tabletop plaque or decor art.

Don’t think that a tight budget has to keep you from giving a great gift. These dollar store gift ideas don’t cost much, but they’re definitely going to be appreciated by the recipients. With a little thought and a few bucks, you can create a lovely gift to give anyone this holiday season.