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10 Dollar Store Items You Can Embroider and Flip for a Profit

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"The dollar store is the perfect place to start if you are a new embroiderer on a tight budget."
 

With just a little creativity and an embroidery machine, you can turn almost any item into a uniquely beautiful piece and it doesn’t have to cost you much to begin with.

How much exactly?

Well, how does $1 per item sound?

We’re here to give you 10 dollar store items you can pick up at your nearest Dollar Tree (or buy in bulk online) that you can transform into a product that’s worth 10x the price!

Some of our favorites in this blog include:

Now, let’s turn your one-dollar bill into 10!

 

#1: Small Towels

1_Hand Towels

Probably one of the most popular items customers look to get embroidered are hand towels for the bathroom.

Monogrammed towels are definitely in style. Since it is such a classy way to make a statement at home and a great gift to give newlyweds, most embroiderers try to offer this to their clients.

While you can charge more for client customization, you can still make a killing with generic His and Hers designs you can use over and over again!

If you are embroidering a towel (or any textured fabric) for a client, make sure you follow these tips:

  • Make sure to use a 75/11 sharp point needle
  • Use cutaway backing for more stabilization
  • Use water soluble stabilizer as a topping
  • Embroider designs that mainly use satin stitches, so that it properly shows

To find out more about more which type of materials to use on textured fabrics, click here to download a copy of our ultimate 50 fabrics cheat sheet!

 

#2: Bath Mats

2_Bath Mats

Keeping with the bathroom theme, the Dollar Tree also offers bath mat options that are perfect for flipping!

For these more textured and thicker items, there are a lot of methods to create a final, clean design.

We suggest using Mighty Hoops, which will hold down the garment with a strong magnetic force and automatically adjusts to the material's thickness.

Since bath mats tend to be textured, make sure to either incorporate a knock down stitch in the digitized design or use a water-soluble stabilizer on top to help lay down the fuzzy material.

Click here for more information on how to embroider on textured fabrics!

 

#3: Accent Pillows

3_Accent Pillows

Small accent pillows are a great find for embroiderers at the dollar store.

Considering decorative pillows can go for up to $30 at home décor stores, this is a chance to make a large profit!

If you can’t find just plain pillows, ones with minimal designs on them can be a great opportunity to add a simple monogram or a name. If the pillow does not come with a slip cover that you can easily take off and embroider, DIY it and create your own!

The extra labor may be worth the pillow’s final price tag!

To learn more about pricing and being profitable, click here for a FREE pricing webinar!

 

#4: Kitchen Accessories

4_Kitchen Accessories

From kitchen towels to oven mitts, you can find plenty of kitchen items you can flip for 10x the original value!

We suggest creating bundles by finding matching sets of oven mitts and pot holders and embroidering generic designs that can be used more than once.

By upselling as a bundle as opposed to just individual items, you stand to increase your profit potential!

Pro tip: When embroidering thicker, oddly-shaped items like an oven mitt, you can use slimline clamps to gain more support and pressure on the hold.

Interested in how our take at the 10x Dollar Store challenge went for us? In this video, Laura creates an adorable bundle from the dollar store and shares how much she can flip it for!

 

#5: Head Bands

5_Head Bands

There aren’t that many fashion accessories to choose from at the dollar store, but you can definitely find headbands and bandanas!

Adding names, initials or small designs to headbands are a great way to customize these inexpensive items and make them unique.

We must advise...

You want to be careful when embroidering on those stretchy polyester materials!

In order to avoid pinching and puckering of the fabric around the embroidered design, make sure you are not hooping the material too tightly and stretching it out too much.

If you do, the material will bounce right back and cause puckering.

Pro tip: We recommend using two sheets of cutaway backing for these kinds of fabrics!

 

#6: Baby Items

                                  6_Baby garments                                     

New parents are always looking to buy personalized baby items! So if you can find good blanks to work with at the dollar store, you should grab them for your inventory.

The best part? Most of these items are simple and easy to embroider.

Some examples of baby items that you can purchase and flip from the dollar store are:

  • Baby wash cloths
  • Baby towels
  • Pacifier lanyards 
  • Baby bibs

Since these items can be on the smaller end, make sure to increase stabilization for small design projects like these.

Lucky for you, you can watch a whole video on best tips for embroidering on a baby bib, and how fusible stabilizer plays a huge role in creating a beautiful design! Click here to learn all about the purpose of the fusible stabilizer.

 

#7: Socks

7_Socks

Going on a family trip? Have a big sleepover planned?

Customizing matching socks makes for a great family photo and an awesome Instagram picture.

At the dollar store, you can find basic socks and flip them into anything but basic. If you’re wondering how to embroider a sock without accidentally embroidering the other side...

The answer is the 8-in-1 device! The smallest attachment that comes in the 8-in-1 device is the perfect tool for completing this project.

The 8-in-1 device is a specialty bracket that comes with eight different-sized frames that helps you work on irregularly shaped items.

To see the specialty hoop in action, check out this video to make sure you're using it correctly!

 

#8: Pencil Pouches

8_Pencil pouches

Back-to-school is here! That means kids are going to need school supplies. Pencil pouches are one of the first things on their list and you can find pencil pouches at your local Dollar Tree.

They give you just enough embroidery space to add a name or a cute school-themed design.

There are many school items, like draw string bags, at the dollar store that can also become a profitable buy!

If you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you, these specific items can also be purchased through wholesalers or you can find a similar item to flip.

You can find a wholesaler for all of your blank needs by checking out this blog where we share 10 of our favorite suppliers!

 

#9: Pet Accessories

9_Pet Accessories

Let’s face it, people love their pets and would spend decent money on making sure their pet is happy and looking good on their Instagram feed.

With an embroidery machine, you can turn collars, harnesses and leashes into accessories dog and cat owners alike will roll over for.

For this kind of project, a belt hoop would usually be the go-to tool to get the job done right. While leashes would certainly be long enough to fit on a belt hoop, dog and cat collars may be too small.

Click here for a step by step video on embroidering pet collars without a belt hoop!

Pro tip: Due to the thicker collar material, use one sheet of a light tear way instead of cutaway. That way you can hoop the collar on a regular, smaller hoop!

 

#10: Greeting Cards

10_Greeting cards (1)

Finally, our last flip suggestion may sound almost impossible at first: greeting cards!

Yes, you can embroider on cardstock and yes, you can take simple greeting cards and turn them into event invitations or special occasion cards! You can also find plain sheets of cardstock and create your own from scratch.

To help you out on this project, you're going to want to use the following:

  • Use a sharp point needle sized either 70/10 or 75/11
  • Avoid ballpoint needles as you don’t want your paper to shred
  • Use temporary adhesive spray and a medium-weight cutaway stabilizer

If you want to watch how it’s done, you can watch this episode of Embroidery Hub or give us a call and try it for yourself on your very own embroidery machine!

 

Bottom Line

With a little creativity and plenty of vision, you can take lots of everyday items and turn them into beautiful artwork!

The dollar store is the perfect place to start if you are a new embroiderer on a tight budget.

Spend $1, profit 10x or more!

Have you ever flipped something from the dollar store and made a good profit? Let us know in the comments below!

For even more dollar store ideas, follow Laura around the Dollar Tree as she fills a cart with tons of future embroidery projects!

For more embroidery tips and machine embroidery projects, be sure to watch our machine embroidery tutorials on YouTube and join our Facebook community, Embroidery and Custom Apparel Mastery.

Ultimate Embroidery Cheat Sheet: 50 Popular Fabrics & How-To Embroider Them for Best Quality

Did you know that you can improve the quality of your embroidery no matter which fabric you're embroidering on?

To guarantee your embroidery success, we've put together a cheat sheet of 50 of the most popular fabrics used for embroidery and the combination of materials that you'll need to give you the best possible results for your projects.

Click here to download our free guide.

About the Author
Aliana Zamorano is the content specialist at Ricoma Embroidery Machines. Ricoma engineers, manufactures, and distributes embroidery equipment worldwide. To support both the industry and its customers, Ricoma regularly creates blog and video content to give both beginners and experts the confidence to start or grow their custom apparel business with embroidery. For more information regarding Ricoma, visit www.ricoma.us/contactus. To contact Aliana directly, email aliana@ricoma.com.