This is the first of many Anthro I. Y. columns that will point out great stuff from Anthropologie that you could easily, and cheaply, make yourself.
Anthropologie sells more than cute and elegant bits and baubles. To sell their beautiful and overpriced merchandise, they sell you on an entire lifestyle. If you’ve ever been in their store you know that they have this down to an art. Walking through their wooden double-doors feels like you could be walking into your home, if only you were awesome, creative, had great taste and also a summer home in Maine. Everything they sell fits into an ethos of creative and artistic faux-crafty or faux-antique. They market to people who love the DIY aesthetic but don’t actually have the time or inclination to do it themselves. But you, dear audience, you do things yourself all the time. Why lust after the (admittedly well conceived) fake-DIY of Anthropologie when we could easily replicate the look ourselves? Here are a few of the projects I saw on their online catalog that could be easily replicated for a fraction of the price.
1. The Dahlia Fascinator
I start with this one because it has the MOST outrageous price of any of the accessories I found. Lets take it apart. Dahlia Fascinator =
+ big: 3.99, huge: 12.99 + Silk Dahlia
+ 1.49 + Purple Netting
+ 1 for 4.99 or 5 for 8.99 + Black/green cock feathers
+ 5 for 4.99 or 1 silk for 4.99 + A headband
+ 0.06 + half a stick of hot glue, maybe
= between 8.33 and 24.52 = the “quirky, artsy-girl” look
2. The Fay Feathered Headband
This one isn’t sooooo ridiculously priced. Granted, you could still make it for a fraction of the cost, but materials would probably take more work and more money to round up than the materials for the Dahlia Fascinator. The Fay Feather Headband is made of:
black head band
+ 6.99 + brown ostrich feather (trimmed to a point)
+ 7.99 + some glass beads or an old brooch, possibly from a thrift store
+ 0.06 + half of a hot glue stick
+ 5 for 4.99 + a headband
= = probably a more interesting headband, especially if the brooch has a story.
3. Dock Line bracelet
Step one: Find some old string or leave some hemp or cotton out in the rain and mud for a little while. You could also just soak it in coffee or black tea for a bit. Step two: Gather about ten chords around two inches long, and twist them haphazardly. Step three: Tie on both ends of the bundle with two other pieces of string. Tie a knot on the end of those, and tie them together in a tight slipknot. If you want to get fancy, you could tie a macrame knot instead, as Anthro does. And if you want your rope bracelet to be legitimately awesome, way cooler than anything from Anthropologie, check out this book of sailor’s knotwork and skip on down to chapter 7.
4. Mint Chill Earrings
Here you have a few options. You’ll want to find metal drops and gold plated hooks (5.99/4 pairs), which are available at any craft or bead store (and here is a kit for 5.99). You will also need green and blue glass beads (1.99), turquoise chips (4.99), and glitter (2.49 for the whole thing, but you’ll only use a few cents worth). The options are how to attach the beads to the metal. I would recommend applying a thin coat of two-part epoxy and then using a toothpick to apply the individual beads. Another option is with wax, which you could easily melt with a hair drier to soften. The biggest problem with this option is: how often do you get hot? How hot is your climate? I’m sure you can see why that is an issue. Total cost to make: 16.25, with some beads left over.
5. Chunky knit/crochet hats: Mathilde and Trapper
As a knitter, I always scoff a little when I see a string this chunky The needles used to knit this are so large that a beginner, brand spanking new to knitting or crocheting, could finish this in a few hours. Here is some yarn that would work well (5.49; 7.99, get at least two skeins), a pair of size 13 or 14 of needles (4.99), and some patterns: for knitters, or for crocheters.
6. Nightingale Fringed Cowl
Here is another fantastic knitting project for a beginner. If you just learned how to knit and pear, this cowl is just a 30″ x 11.75″ rectangle, two rows knit, two rows pearl, two rows knit, two rows pearl, etc. Use a thinner yarn and a finer needle (8 or 9?), and I recommend getting at least three skeins. Don’t forget some nice buttons. On the edge, tie a fringe using a slipped square knot:
7. Vera iPhone Cover
I think it looks a little tacky, but if this is your cup of tea, it is quite easy to replicate.
Vera Jeweled iPhone Case=
2.82 Blank white iPhone case
3.99 x 2 +Adhesive rhinestones (or non-adhesive, in which case you also need epoxy or hot glue.) You could even one-up Anthro and use real Swarovski crystals.
Total, we would have spent $676.00 at Anthropology. Making it ourselves, we spent $105.00. Plus, our stuff is actually cooler, and it all has a real personal creative touch instead of Anthropologie’s trademark faux-personal faux-creative touch.