3 Ways to Stay on Budget with the Costume Party Zone

On Halloween I think it is very easy to go overboard!  Who’s with me?  Here’s how it always happens, you end up with multiple parties to attend, then there’s dressing up for work and purchasing candy to hand out on the actual day! The list never seems to end.

I wanted to discuss a few affordable options using the Salvation Army Thrift Stores Costume Party Zone.  I am very lucky to be working as  Creative Expert with the Salvation Army Thrift Store and before this I didn’t know they had a Costume Party Zone!  You can find anything you need for your Halloween festivities from décor to costumes to wigs and more!


* THE COSTUME| I recently went to the Costume Party Zone, as I have a Halloween party to attend and also wanted to find something to wear to work.  I am not a huge fan of going full out at work so wanted a piece I could wear over my every day clothes.  I was very excited to find both!  I spent a total of $15 for a full Halloween costume and a small piece to wear during my workday.  I will be posting my Halloween costumes later this month on the blog so keep an eye out for them!  All the items above and more were at the Costume Party Zone!

* THE DECOR | I was very surprised to find so many options at the Costume Party Zone.  I ended up buying some pumpkin lights, a full glow in the dark skeleton, a couple crows, a tombstone and a half dozen skulls all for $12.  We currently don’t have any Halloween décor so I am starting from scratch and was really happy to find all of these items at one store.  The lights were brand new and the other items were in very good condition. You have to remember with items such as these they are used for a couple weeks and then stored the rest of the year.

* THE DIY’s | Perhaps you are looking for a look that is more cohesive look, when shopping for secondhand items it’s a little harder so going the DIY route will help to create the look you are wanting.  A few options is using spray paint, which can transform your items in a matter of minutes.  Check out my DIY Skulls, it’s a really easy and affordable DIY to upcycle your Halloween décor with spray paint.  Or perhaps you want a theme with all ghosts, a really simple DIY would be to make ghosts out of sheets, a quick search resulted in 100’s of tutorials.

These are only a few ideas on how to use the Costume Party Zone at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  Remember to start with a plan.  Whether you are looking for décor or a new costume, make your dream list and stick with it!  Make a budget!  It’s easy to overspend at the Costume Party Zone!

Want a new costume for Halloween?  Comment below with your dream costume idea and you could win a $20 gift certificate to the Salvation Army Thrift Store!  Winner selected Friday, October 20.

See How This Boring Office Was Transformed On A Budget


Remember the all beige office? There was no ceiling light which was frustrating because as soon as it was dark I couldn’t work on any projects in the office, I didn’t have many extra pieces to set up the office, and had to start from scratch.  My plan was to bring in a combination of pattern and pops of color, I achieved this by purchasing the storage boxes, framed map and lamp from my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. I think it really came together!

With the move I didn’t have a huge budget to make this office makeover happen, but by selling a few items and purchasing a couple key pieces second hand from the Salvation Army Thrift Store, it all came together.  We recently found a sleeper sofa and this space will be changing again. Keep an eye out for the second office makeover. Lol

Let’s break down the cost!

Vintage Storage Cart – Already had this item and I absolutely love it.

Desk – $30 (Craigslist – bought before we moved but I will count it)

Ghost Chair – $70 (London Drugs  – on sale!)

Vintage Silver Lamp – $10 (Salvation Army Thrift Store)

Kate Spade Storage Boxes – $3  (Salvation Army Thrift Store)

Black Desk Storage – Already had this item.

Metal White Paper Storage – Already had this item.

Clock – $14 (Winners)

Pen Storage – $6 (Winners)

Metal Storage – $12 (Winners)

Knitted Pouf – Already had this item.

Patterned Rug – $100 (Walmart – this was the biggest splurge)

Framed Map – $5 (Salvation Army Thrift Store)

Floral Art – $30 (Craigslist)

Dreamcatcher – Already had this from a fundraiser.

Silver Garbage – $1 (Salvation Army Thrift Store)

Faux Sheepskin – $14 (Ikea)

Knick Knacks – Had all of these little guys

Light Shade – $40 (Ikea)

Cord for Light – Already had this and the bulb.


Ok you may be thinking that $335 is not a frugal makeover!  This is the total amount I spent.  Now keep in mind I sold some items to make this happen.  I made around $200 selling a couple chairs, throw pillows, a mirror, and a few other small items we no longer needed.  Now that brings the office makeover down to $135 which is definitely manageable.

I really think it is a great idea to sell items you no longer need in order to get something you really love.  I knew I wanted to makeover the office, but little items add up so I sold a few things I no longer needed in order to make it happen!

It’s also a great idea to think outside the box when looking for décor.  I was so happy to find the vintage map of North Vancouver at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store.  It was a great deal and added a nice pop of colour.  I also found the floral painting on Craigslist! It was made by the sweetest old lady and I feel it was a steal at $30.  Searching places like the Salvation Army Thrift Store is a great way to find unique items or even higher end pieces at a huge discount.

Here are a few close ups of the new office, I hope you enjoy the makeover! I love these little touches of the painting, light and dream catcher together!

Love the colours of this vintage map, it really added a nice touch to our new office space!  What a way to feature our new city.

All photos and words created by Tijana Popovic of A Plentiful Life.

A Stunning DIY White Pumpkin Centrepiece

DIY White Pumpkin and Succulent Centrepiece

When a friend asks you to be their witness at their elopement and have an amazing weekend adventure, you say HELL YES!  After the party and elopement there was a family dinner and I wanted to help out by creating a fall centerpiece.  I decided since this moment was so special, flowers wouldn’t work, I wanted something affordable with a  little more meaning.  I saw this large white pumpkin and the ideas started flowing.  I decided to use succulents on top of the pumpkin as the pumpkin and succulents would last longer than flowers and everyone could take a pumpkin home to plant their succulents.  The idea was that we were all part of this union, here to support, nurture and grow the love, and our succulents would be a nice reminder of this.

Not only were these centerpieces affordable, looked beautiful but they would continue to live.

Let’s look at the simple step by step so you can create this at home!

STEP 1: Find your materials


White Pumpkin Centerpieces

*  White pumpkin(s)
* Moss (you can get this at any craft store)
* Craft Bond Spray (craft store)
* Glue Gun
* Scissors
* Succulents (I had various sizes and styles)
* Dried Flowers (I bought a few from my florist, forage for a couple flowers and the pine cones)
STEP 2: Break off the pumpkin stem.
White Pumpkin
STEP 3: Spray the top of the pumpkin with adhesive spray.
White Pumpkin
Let it sit outside until the top is a little sticky and also that will allow the vapors from the spray to also lessen.
White Pumpkin

STEP 4: Attach the moss.

White Pumpkin with Moss
Once the top of the pumpkin has become tacky, then apply the moss.  I used gloves as I have heard moss can sometimes have fungus.  Better safe than sorry!  After you attached moss, trim around the edges.
White Pumpkin and Succulents
STEP 5: Separate the succulents from their dirt.
Succulents are like air plants and will only require a spray once a week.  I completed these centerpieces a week prior to the elopement and sprayed once in that time, the succulents held up really well.
STEP 6: Start attaching the succulents
Succulents and White Pumpkin
You may wonder why I used a hot glue gun, but I can assure you I looked it up and this type of glue was ok to use.  I also thought the hot glue would be easier to remove later on but adhere really well to the moss.
Succulent and White Pumpkin Centerpiece
Start with the larger succulents and work out from there.  After I had added all of the succulents I wanted to I then filled in the holes with the dried flowers.
Large White Pumpkin Centerpiece
Since I had extra succulents and flowers I decided to keep going!  I had a few white pumpkins outside so made mini versions of the large one, which worked out perfectly with everyone taking a pumpkin home to love.
Mini White Pumpkins
Mini White Pumpkin Centerpieces
Large Pumpkin: $4
Mini Pumpkins: $6
Succulents: $20
Moss: $3
Adhesive Spray: $8
Dried Flowers: $5
Pinecones and other flowers: Free
Glue Gun and Glue: Already had on had
This works out to be $6.50 per pumpkin.  If you used all mini pumpkins it would be even cheaper since the succulents would go further.
I would suggest using a local florist as I found their succulent prices were cheaper and the dried flowers were next to nothing.  Foraging in your neighborhood or yard is also a great way to find flowers or pine cones!


All words and phots by Tijana Popovic of A Plentiful Life

See How One Change Made a Difference in This Kitchen Makeover

We love our new home but we also really like to cook and our kitchen can be a little frustrating at times.  We dream of the day when we get to tear down all the walls and make the space even bigger.  (Why did they have to create breakfast nooks in the 80’s!)  We are not at a time where we can renovate, I guess the wedding plans come first at the moment.

We started to brainstorm little ways we could make our kitchen more enjoyable with a small investment of time and money.  The final decision was to change the sink.  We had a very small sink that made dishes a nightmare.  If you washed dishes you looked like you had come out of the shower.

After doing some online research we decided on the Westinghouse sink, which we found at Costco.  It was a large sink but also had the inserts of a second sink, strainer and cutting board, so not only are we gaining a larger sink but a better prep area. We paid $399, but it is on sale at Costco right now for $319.  Although that was an investment for a small upgrade, we chose this sink because when we do renovate this sink can be under mounted as well, which means it will also work in the future.

It took Mark a couple hours to install, I was on clean up duty! And at the end of it the kitchen looked like a different space.  It is amazing how one small change can revamp a whole space.  We can’t wait to entertain, cook and clean in the new kitchen.

It’s so nice to have a new space. I even cleaned off the counters, found a vintage rug on Craigslist for $40, and now our space is refreshed for under $500.  Look at all the details on this vintage rug!  Such a great find.

Here are the three ways you can use the sink!  It’s perfect for dinner parties and big cooking days.


All words and photos by Tijana Popovic of A Plentiful Life

Blooms & Banners Workshop

I am beyond excited to announce I will be teaching my first workshop alongside Il Floraio at the Juice Truck in Vancouver next month!  How exciting.  I love to DIY and feel so grateful for the chance to work with you on one!  This DIY will be stunning but the steps will be fairly simple.  Also by using the faux florals you can keep it up all year or save it!

Join myself and Jaqueline from Il Floraio for a fun DIY Workshop where you will create a felt door banner with lettering and then learn to work with faux florals to create a beautiful fall door.

Fabric, flowers, tools, materials, treats, cocktails and swag bag are included.

Get your ticket soon, space is very limited.

Maximum 15 guests * workshops are non-refundable ages 19+

Wednesday, September 13th

7pm – 9pm

Held at the Juice Truck, 28 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver

DIY Picnic Basket

I love summertime!  Connecting with friends, eating great food and enjoying the weather.  One thing we didn’t have was a picnic basket.  We kept trying to pack up our food into a backpack, which didn’t work at all! I decided it was time to up our picnic game.  Do you know how expensive a picnic basket is?  I didn’t!  They start at $50 and go up from there.  Way out of my budget.  I decided to head to my local Salvation Army Thrift Store  to see if I could find a basket, although I didn’t find a picnic basket, there were a lot of different baskets to choose from.  I ended up with a basic basket, but it was sturdy and actually fit quite a few items.

Now for the upcycle!  I wanted to make the basket look old, so I used a grey stain I had leftover from another project, bought some items from the fabric store, and got to work.

MATERIALS: Basket, stain, pompom and tassel trim.

DIY: Paint the basket, and glue on the trim, easy as that!

Final product.  I am so happy with how this basket turned out.  It looks great for an outdoor picnic or party and has room enough for food, wine and glasses!  Really all you need for a day in the park.


Basket (Salvation Army Thrift Store) – $2

Trim (Dressew) – $4

Stain and Hot Glue Gun – Already had this in my stash

Upcycled Picnic Basket Cost – $6

This basket only took about 5 minutes total to make, the real time was waiting for the stain to dry overnight.  In the future I think I would sand the basket a bit it help it absorb the stain a little bit better.  Ready to make your own Upcycled Picnic Basket?  Head to your nearest Salvation Army Thrift Store and I bet you will have a lot to choose from!

Want to win $20 to spend at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store?  Comment below on what DIY you would create and you will be entered to win.


DIY Ottoman

Nate Berkus Tassel Stool HackWhen I decided to make over our front door area I wanted a small stool.  I saw this Nate Berkus Fringe Stool and fell in love.  It was only $25, perfect! Only problem was it couldn’t ship to Canada and was sold out in every store close to me.  Then inspiration hit, I figured I could create something similar.  I would simply need to find a secondhand stool.  I didn’t find one right away and it looked different than how I imagined it would, but I found a lovely storage ottoman for $4 at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

DIY Stool Before

This had a hideous material on the seat, but I was so excited to get started I ripped it off right away.  The material underneath was moldy and stained, gross!  Ok let’s get started.

DIY Ottoman Materials

MATERIALS:  Black paint, paint brush, stapler, yarn and material for the seat.

DIY Ottoman Seat Cover

First I cut the piece of material slightly larger than the seat, as I knew I would most likely have to trim it later anyway.

DIY Ottoman Stapling Material

First step is to staple the sides to make the material tight across the middle, but not too tight, you don’t want it to appear it is pulling.

DIY Ottoman First Step Stapling Side

Once you have both sides completed you want to work on the corners.  I simply folded the piece of material up and tried to create a nice fold, almost like you would for a present.

DIY Ottoman Stapling the corners

I folded the material and made sure the back side (top was not creased) then I simply added a couple staples to hold it all in place.

DIY Ottoman Finishing Stapling

There was excess material, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but the storage ottoman seat needed to sit just inside.  I simply trimmed back the extra material so it fell below the line.

DIY Ottoman Final on Material

As you can see this did not turn out the prettiest!  Lol.  I tried!  But I had a solution.

DIY Ottoman Felt Cover

I had extra felt from my Window Seat Makeover and figured this would cover the staples.

DIY Ottoman Final Seat-Cover

Turned out great!  And it really brought the seat together.  Now when I take it on and off there aren’t any staples to catch on and it has a clean look.

DIY Ottoman Tassels

Next step was to make the tassels. I wound them around my arm 50 times each, tied at the top and cut the bottom.  Since I knew I would be trimming them later I didn’t worry about making the end perfect.

DIY Ottoman Adding Tassels

To add the tassels I used a tape measure and pencil to mark out where each one should go.  As luck would have it, this storage stool had a removable liner which helped the tassels stay in one place.

DIY Ottoman Stapling Tassels

I tied a not in the end of the string and then stapled them under the lip so they were not visible.

DIY Ottoman Tassels Before

After the tassels were added you can see being the same length did not work, it was too heavy and messy.  We are trying for classy here!  Also I painted the ottoman and didn’t take any photos!  It’s black now.  The black really brings out the little details.

DIY Ottoman Cutting Tassels

To trim the tassels I measured a starting point on each side and knew which tassel was the middle so angled towards that point.  It took a few passes to get an even look, plus I kept taking off a little bit more, I eventually had to walk away!  I could spend hours trying to make something perfect, but when it comes to a DIY there is no perfect.

DIY Ottoman After

Voila!  Here we are.  DIY Fringe Storage Ottoman.  I love coming home and having a place for my purse and laptop bag.  Before they would end up on the floor and be in the away, now they have a spot and it really helps to keep the front door area organized!

DIY Ottoman After Inside

Lots of storage for those day to day items!  We even keep our coin jar in there.

DIY Ottoman Front Hall

Remember not to take items you find at the thrift store for face value.  With a little paint or material it is easy to give any piece a makeover.  If I am looking for a new piece of furniture or a DIY project I always check my local Salvation Army Thrift Store first!  There are so many amazing things to find in store.

Patio Makeover

As I was sitting down to put this blog post together I realized I never took a before photo of our patio space!  Sometimes I get too excited to start a project and forget important steps, like before photos, this isn’t the first time.  I can tell you I had to get rid of a few plants, weeds, a rotting wine barrel with ivy wrapped around and it took all day! Before this little nook off our back door wasn’t really useable, now it’s a little dining oasis.  I cannot wait to start hosting summer dinner parties here.

I have wanted an outdoor dining space since last year but it was not in the budget after moving.  This year I was determine to create a little dining space in a small nook off our back door.  Since this project was still not in the budget, I needed to get creative!  I actually book a day on set to make extra money, the whole time thinking, this is my patio set!  Funny how motivation works.

I also included thrifted items to save money.  I bought the gold pots above and gold candlesticks from my local Salvation Army Thrift Store as well as the lantern, which I painted. You can check out the DIY here.  These items were still in my colour scheme, looked great and were affordable.  The lantern was $8 and most I saw in store that were this big were $50 plus.

The outdoor rugs were a challenge.  It was difficult to find an affordable outdoor rug.  I ended up buying two to create a large space and define the dining area.  I was lucky enough to find these rugs at Superstore.  They were $29 each, so $68 total.  Maybe that is not a deal, but I covered a large area and they fit within my nautical theme.

I wasn’t going to buy anything for the tabletop but then I found these plastic wine glasses above at HomeSense $9.99 for 4 and I couldn’t resist!  HomeSense, you get me every time!  They look really good and are plastic, so no need to worry about any breaking this summer.

We already had the patio lights up from last year.  Honestly THE BEST INVESTMENT!  I ended up finding these patio lights on Craigslist a couple years ago, and we keep them up year round.  I had to replace a few bulbs this year, but they still look great.  They really set a great mood once the sun starts to go down.

Let’s break down the cost of this patio makeover and see if it’s possible for you!

Applaro Bench – $65 X 2

Applaro Table – $160 (was 20% off when I bought it)

Vintage Gold Candlesticks – $2.99 X 6

Vintage Gold Pots – $6

Striped Outdoor Rug – $29 X 2

Plastic Wine Glasses – $9.99 (for 4)

Everything else on the table we already owned.

TOTAL:  $381.93

EXTRA WORK: $250 – I worked as an extra on set for a day

Real Total (minus the extra day of work) – $131.93

For around $130 I was able to create a useable patio space.  It is easily converted for more people, as the table expands, and we can move it out of the way when it is not in use.  It is great to feel like our space has expanded for the summer.  Dinner al fresco here we come!

One more thing!  Styling your outdoor dining table!  Get creative.  Sometimes seeing styled shoots online can make me feel inadequate.  Seriously!  Then I have to remind myself these posts are most likely sponsored and the blogger has a huge prop inventory.  I am all about looking at what we have on hand to create a table setting.  For example, I had these white napkins, so I found some string and cut rosemary from our bush to create the setting.  The greenery in the middle, I am pretty sure is a weed, and I was cutting it down anyway so decided to use it. Voila!  A beautiful tablescape.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your patio, or tips on how to creatively decorate your space.




Lantern DIY

I realized as I was editing the photos for this DIY, that maybe, I might, just a little, have a thing for black lately.  Wanted to admit I recognized it, but probably won’t stop.  I really like to use what I have on hand for DIY’s, and I happened to have leftover black paint.  I am also loving black as a feature colour and think it can really make the design pop.

I found the lantern above at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store for $8, the glass was in great shape and for the size that is a steal of a deal!  I was going to keep the lantern as is since it still looked great, but when I decided to makeover my patio I thought this piece would be a great addition. Remember the patio inspiration?  I have a gold, red, and black colour palette.  See  below.

There you go, a statement lantern for my new patio, it’s a perfect fit, and a total bargain.  Here is how I made over this lantern.  This is a really simple DIY, and you could apply the steps to any new thrift store find!

STEP 1: Materials – black paint, gold spray paint, roller, tape, sandpaper (all leftover items from previous projects) Missing: the paint brush I eventually used and the garbage bag that helped protect the lantern from the gold spray paint.

STEP 2: Tape and cover the outside.  Since this DIY needed to happen in stages, I cover the lantern body and wood underneath first in order to spray the gold spray paint.  (Note:  If spraying inside I would advise wearing a mask and opening all windows for ventilation.)

STEP 3: Spray – This spray paint goes on so easily and looks really even.  I never get any bubbles or little holes like I can with other brands.

STEP 4: Tape again.  Once the gold has dried tape off the edges so you can paint the  body of the lantern without worrying about ruining the first step.  I usually wait a day or two in between so the tape does not peel off the spray paint.  Once you’ve done that you can paint.  I recommend two coats for an even finish.

STEP 5: Once dry, you can style however you like.  The reason I really liked this lantern was because the bottom is open so there are so many different ways to style this piece.

I found a set of three vintage gold pots for $6 from my local Salvation Army Thrift Store and added some red and white flowers for the patio makeover.  The little details on these vintage pots are gorgeous.

If you are looking for flowers, you can easily try a local garden centre, or I found my local florist had a great selection of plants for spring at an affordable price.

The black and gold together look so great!  I don’t know if I will keep the candle votives or try large candles?  I didn’t want to get wax on my newly painted lantern! What do you think?  Votives or large candles?

The reason I love shopping at thrift stores is because there are so many amazing finds you can easily update on a budget.  Something might look old and outdated but with a little paint it can look like a modern piece.  Remember to always have an inspiration piece, as you can see in my patio makeover collage I have large black lanterns.  I knew I wanted lanterns to add a nice soft light, and it was simple to paint an existing lantern black.

Next week in my patio series I will be exploring a few ways to bring the party outside.  During the summer months whether you have a large backyard or a small patio, you have more living space, so let’s take advantage!  I am going to be sharing some tips on how to get your outdoor space ready for summer, oh, and of course a few parties!



DIY PomPoms

I know, I know, it’s been a lot of pompoms lately!  I was so excited to partner with the Fall for Local Market this past weekend!  We made some great pompoms.  I am not going to lie, I cheated!  I ended up buying the pompom makers from Michael’s craft store as I figured it would be easier for people to use and I was right!  It also made fluffier pompoms.

Here’s what I learned, yarn with wool makes a better pompom and a pompom maker is worth the investment (it’s only $9 at Michael’s and once you use your 40% off coupon it’ll be even cheaper!)

If you have some leftover yarn and want an easy craft, here is the step by step for pompom making with nothing but your hand!

Step 1: Get your supplies – Yarn and Scissors

Step 2: Wrap – The more fingers you use, the bigger the pompom!  Wrap around about 50 times or more, if you want it fluffier.

Step 3: String – cut a small piece of yarn to tie around the yarn once you have finished wrapping.

Step 4: Tie – Make a knot as tight as you can, this is what is holding the pompom together!

Step 5: Cut – Take your scissors and cut on either side.

Step 6: Your pompom will be uneven, don’t worry that is normal, it’s a little less with the pompom maker, but your pompom will still need a haircut.

Step 7: Trim – this is the best part!

Step 8: Braid – Make a small braid with three strands of yarn.

Step 9: Tie the pompoms to the braid using the little tails from your tie.

Step 10: wrap it around your favorite bag!  The best part is that you can use this bag charm on different bags since we are not attaching in anyway, simply wrapping.

This pompom DIY is so easy and only takes twenty minutes!  A great afternoon craft with the ladies for summer!