How To Make A Dollar Tree Lent Display

I love having a home altar in our house and switching it up for the liturgical seasons. Lent is one of my favorite seasons to observe in the home, and I love putting together a Lenten home altar each year! I decided to see how affordably I could put together a Lenten home altar and I am super happy with how this “Lentscape” came together with just $10 worth of stuff from the Dollar Tree! Let me walk you through how to make a Dollar Tree Lent display for your home.

I have seen so many truly beautiful home Lenten displays, and many of these include a lot of expensive elements. If you have the money to spend on beautiful items from Etsy, that is awesome. However, if you’re on a budget and you would still like to have a beautiful home display for Lent, I got you!!! 

You can see a video of me shopping and putting this altar together here! Now let’s take a look at your shopping list. 

What To Get From The Dollar Tree

  • Purple felt: $1- I found this on a roll in the craft section. Score! It was called “Crafter’s Square Felt Roll”, and there was actually more on the roll than I needed! This was a great find. You could also use a purple “fat quarter” from a craft store, which are usually also around $1, or a piece of scrap fabric, a pillow case, a place mat… anythin gpurple because purple is the liturgical color of Lent.
  • Plastic succulent: $1- Can you believe you can get these at the Dollar Tree?! There are a lot of options. 
  • Purple lavender tea candles, 8 pack: $1- There are several sizes of candles but this is your cheapest option. To make a Lenten candle display you will need 6 candles.
  • Plastic rectangular tray: $1- I found this in the party section near all the plastic table cloths and paper plates. There are glass versions you could get in the dish aisle but I hate having glass in my home, honestly. It always ends up breaking.
  • Bag of dry beans: $1- I got pinto beans because I liked the brown color. You can find these in the grocery section. 
  • Empty vase: $1- I found one in the garden section that was silver with twine already glued to the top. They also have several clear glass vases you could choose from in the candle aisle. 
  • Certificate frame: $1- I love these because they’re so cheap and they hold exactly the size of a piece of standard paper. 
  • Lenten altar printables: $3- My new set of these printables comes with 10 different pages that all print on a full piece of paper that will fit into your certification frame! You can use the designs you like, and switch out the pictures in your frame weekly to keep your Lenten table fresh. It also comes with a “pray, fast, give” triptych to set on your Lenten altar. 
  • Sticks, rocks, vines, etc. from outside: free!- Anything that looks dead like empty brown branches are perfect for displaying on your Lenten home altar! Be sure to find at least 2 straight sticks for assembling your cross, and some flexible vine like twigs or branches to weave your crown of thorns. You will also need some kind of string or twine to tie your sticks together, so if you don’t already have something you can use, you can find twine at the Dollar Tree as well. 

These things will bring you to a grand total of $10!!! Now you are ready to put together a super beautiful Lenten display for you home. Let’s do it! 

Build Your Lenten Candle Display

You can read all about building this Lenten candle display here, but I will explain the basics. This works a lot like an Advent wreath, adding one candle each Sunday, counting down the days until Lent. 

Lighting the candles: You just light them during dinner when you say the dinner prayer, and blow them out when you’re finished eating. You light candle number 1 on Ash Wednesday, but you don’t add another the first Sunday of lent. Candle number 2 gets lit the second Sunday of Lent along with candle number 1. On the third Sunday of Lent, you light candles number 1, 2, and 3 and so on. On Palm Sunday, all the candles will be lit. If you want to invest in multiple colors of candles, candle number 4 can be pink (for Laetare Sunday), and candle number 6 can be red (for Palm Sunday). But using all purple candles isn’t a problem. 

I have a full post about how to put together and use your Lenten candles here, but basically you want to put your beans in the rectangular tray and line 6 of the candles up- 1 for each Sunday of Lent.

Vase Of Branches

Empty brown branches are perfect for a Lenten display and totally free! Just collect some stick from the ground or trim them from your trees. I arranged my branches in the vase from the Dollar Tree, and then held them in place by tearing and crumpling brown paper sacs and stuffing it around the branches. This actually held them in place very well! No trouble with the vase tipping either because the branches aren’t heavy at all.

DIY Crown Of Thorns And Cross

It is so easy to make a crown of thorns out of flexible twigs or vines! They’re beautiful and they last for years- I have one that I made about a decade ago that I pull out of the attic every Lent. You’ll need about 5 long flexible vines. I cut mine from the edge of our yard. Make the vine into a circle and you can tie this with a little bit of twine to hold the initial circle shape for you. 

Take the vine that’s left and wrap it around and around the vine circle. Add another vine, doing the same, twisting it around and around the circle. Keep adding vines until you reach your desired thickness.

Videos for making a crown of thorns from green vines/branches:

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Monthly Liturgical Membership

Catholic Liturgical Monthly Membership

Perfect for families! Each month you gain access to printable activity pages, crafts, home altar pieces, and more.
Never has living the liturgical year been so easy and affordable!

These are so easy to make and you can use them year after year! I love these. You can do this!

To make your own cross for your Lenten table display, you will need 2 straight sticks. One needs to be shorter than the other. You can just break them to achieve the right length and leave the edges raged- this is the look we are going for. Arrange the sticks in the shape of a cross. Then use twine and wrap it around and around the middle of the sticks in an “x” shape. Wrap the twine until the sticks are sturdily in a cross shape, and tie the twine off in the back. Now you have an adorable cross for your Lenten home altar that didn’t cose you anything!

Print Your Lenten Table Display Pieces

Now it’s time to print quotes for your Lenten home altar. You can get my download here for just $3. This is a 13 page pdf with enough printables to switch out weekly during the Lenten season. These cost less than many downloads I find on Etsy for just 1 page! I hope you find this pack to be a great value.

Print your pages and put it into your Dollar Tree certification frame. I love how these frames hold 1 normal sized piece of paper perfectly! No cutting or trimming is needed!

My printable Lenten home altar pack does include the little “pray, fast, give” stand up triptych as well!

Put Your Lenten Home Altar Together 

You’re ready to put together your beautiful and affordable home altar display! Arrange it all and step back to oogle your beautiful and meaningful Lentscape. What a great way to observe Lent in your home this year.

I love how much the little succulent adds to the home altar display, and reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. I also love having both the large and small crown of thorns out of vines. You can see that I also added a cool stick I found and a few rocks to our altar. Again, I love utilizing free stuff!

You can find more tips on putting together a Lenten home altar here, and you can find all of my resources for celebrating Lent with your family here


  1. I love this!

  2. Wow! This is beautiful. I love finding cute stuff at the dollar store and decorating with it. Do you have more tablescape ideas for different seasons?

  3. Hi Lacy,
    This is so beautiful. I am having trouble printing my Lenten printables. Do you have any hints? The area around all the images comes out black. I have tried different settings, different browsers, etc. I’m sure it is probably me doing something wrong, but I can’t figure it out! 🙂

    Also, an idea that popped into my head with the candles. Instead of lighting one for each Sunday of Lent adding up to having them all lit, we could light them all and go backwards. The opposite of Advent since The Light of the World will be taken from us while he is in the tomb.