As soon as I got my Glowforge Pro, I knew I had to take a trip to The Dollar Tree to see what kind of goodies I could find to engrave there.
Since I’ve been a long-time fan of The Dollar Tree for Cricut crafts – and just crafts in general, it only makes sense that we’d try to make use of our favorite store for the Glowforge as well.
A Glowforge is expensive, and while I certainly don’t recommend getting poor-quality materials, there are actually some real treasures to be found at The Dollar Tree.
In this post, I’ll share some different materials and supplies that you can use with your Glowforge, as well as share a few of the projects we’ve done.
Are you ready to take your Glowforge to the next level? Make sure you signup for “Grow with Glowforge: Project Jumpstart Guide“. It’s the ultimate resource for going from feeling overwhelmed by your project creation to confident and making $$$! We even have a couple design tutorials!
Are Dollar Tree products safe to use with the Glowforge?
One thing about Dollar Tree is that the products aren’t always made from top-notch materials. Since you are working with a high-power laser, you want to make sure you aren’t going to be creating some kind of toxic mess in your craft room.
Another issue is that you can rarely find what some of the materials are made of. However, in my experience, you are usually pretty safe with untreated wood and most glass products should be fine.
When in doubt, you should definitely use your best judgment. Facebook groups are always a good place to ask for other people’s opinions on what to use and what not to use.
Are Dollar Tree products good quality?
Honestly, it depends on what you buy. The wood products are pine, which is generally not the highest quality wood. I would definitely test different things for longevity before you add them to the list of products you are selling.
Here is what a few people said in a Facebook group I am in:
“My experience with craft store wood is that It burns well, however, if you stain it the glue they use shows through and looks terrible”
“I used the blank shapes to practice with and they burned nicely! I may even go get some more.”
“They are good to practice on. However, make sure you don’t get the ones that are too thick. Also, if you price out the actual material, it’s better to just get the material in the gf sheet size from whatever vendor you would normally use, because you’ll ultimately be overpaying for 7×7 or 8×8 at best from the dollar store. When you do the math per square inch, it’s more cost-effective to get it in a sheet that’s like 20×11 and way better quality of wood.”
I agree with the above quote – definitely good materials to practice on at the very minimum. When you are first getting started with Glowforge, you don’t want to have any mess-ups or practice be on expensive materials!
Dollar Tree Plus
I have mixed feelings about Dollar Tree Plus stores, but we DID find some really awesome materials in that section at one of the stores we went to. Everything was between $3-8, and they seemed like good quality.
So if you happen to have a Dollar Tree Plus, make sure to check out their selection.
Shop Online or In Store?
Both! I definitely recommend going to your local store and seeing what they have in stock. You never know what you’ll be able to find!
However, if you are planning to buy materials in bulk, definitely go through the Dollar Tree website. You can buy items in bulk, and they usually have most things in stock.
We haven’t done a ton of Dollar Tree projects yet (though our basement is full of supplies to make them with!) but here are a few things we’ve done using Dollar Tree materials.
Not all of this one was from the Dollar Tree, but we got the hanging sign from a Dollar Tree Plus store.
There are a lot of wood items at the Dollar Tree, as I’ve already mentioned. I really can’t mention all of them, just because they change so quickly, and there is such a huge variety. You’ll find most of the wood in the crafting section, though you can probably find items all over the store, especially if they are seasonal.
Here are a few that you can always keep an eye out for:
- Mini pallets
- Bamboo cutting board
- Wooden spoons
- Wooden Trays
- Wooden rounds – these are really popular for making signs. We found some really great ones at the Dollar Tree plus!
- Animal Cut Outs
- Wood Blocks – these are tiny but could be really fun to make some projects with
- Wood Planks
- Wooden shape cut outs
- Wood Plaques
- Wooden picture frames (just make sure they are unfinished)
The Dollar Tree has a lot of glass materials in stock. One thing to keep in mind (since these are often curved) is that you can cut curved materials with your Glowforge, but it needs to be a 1/2″ curve. It also needs to be under 2″ when you cut it.
Keep in mind that not all glass materials engrave very well (and you definitely can’t cut them with your Glowforge). Make sure you research how to engrave glass successfully before doing so. Here is a great place to start!
- Plates of various sizes
- Shot glasses
- Glass cutting board – this is very popular
- Glass lid of candy jar – we did this recently, and it turned out great! The jar was way too big for the Glowforge, but the lid was the perfect size.
- Tea light holders
- Glass from picture frames
- Mini glass containers
Here are a few other items that people have said they have gotten from the Dollar Tree:
- Cork coasters
- LED items
- Rocks – Forrest used these!
- Gift bags
- Cork Sheets
- Metal signs – you do need to be careful when engraving with metal and use certain masking materials to ensure it comes out well. But we have had success!
- Foam board – not totally sure about this. Someone warned to make sure it is not made from PVC, as that could put of poisonous fumes.
- Paint and paint brushes
- Embellishments (glitter, buttons, beads, fake flowers, etc)
- Mod Podge
The Dollar Tree is also a great place to go to get materials to stage the photos of your projects. As I talked about in my post about how to make money with Glowforge, pictures can make a HUGE difference when it comes to your sales. Take a look at your store to see what you can find. Here are a few things you could try:
- Foam board – great for a simple floor drop as well as for bouncing light off of when taking photos
- Craft Foam
- Fake Fruit
- Fake tile
These items are just tipping the scale when it comes to what you can make at Dollar Tree! I highly encourage you to peruse their website or check a store out. in-person to see what you can find. I would love to hear what you’ve had success with!
More Glowforge Posts You Might Enjoy:
- The 8 Best Glowforge Design Programs for All Skill Levels
- Glowforge vs Cricut: The Ultimate Comparison Guide
- 101+ Glowforge Projects to Make (and Sell)(2021)
- Glowforge for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
- Glowforge Pro, Plus or Basic: An In-Depth Comparison (2021)
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.