I kind of cringe when people tell me I’m creative, because deep down I don’t feel I am a truly creative person. Crafty, yes. But creative? I wish. To me, legit creativity is pretty rare, and most of us–me included–are just pretty good copycats. I have to really stretch my brain to come up with original design. There are those times when I do have a stroke of brilliance, but most of the time I am seeing and admiring, and then just recreating–with a few modifications. But when I discover a truly creative person, I sort of just slobber and drool, because there’s nothing so dazzling as raw talent.
So I openly admit to being (most of the time) nothing more than a copy-cat. I’m okay with that, because there’s still a lot of satisfaction in making something beautiful, whether it was your idea or Anthropologie’s. And on that note, I’m going to introduce a new series on mad mim called Knock it Off! I’ll be featuring projects that are my crafty-budget version of something commercial–because who doesn’t like a good knock-off?!
My first official Knock it off! project is, in a way, a knock-off of a knock-off. My sister Renie just made this pillow (which she knocked-off from Anthropologie), and once I saw it I couldn’t stop myself from immediately knocking it off myself. So I knocked it off Rene, who knocked it off Anthro–just so you understand clearly this vibrant pillow’s roots.
The Orimono Pillow from Anthropologie: price tag $88 smackaroos.
My knock off total price: $3.
$0 for the scrap fabric, $2 for 3 yards of heavy white linen, and $1 for a throw pillow, both thrifted (and I obviously didn’t use all 3 yards of the linen…)
I recreated it with lots of my scrap fabric and heatbond (double sided interfacing), which made it a relatively quick project (surprisingly!) It may remind you of my Christmas stocking, and that’s because my stocking is also an Anthropologie knock-off. What can I say? It’s just one of my favorite stores that I almost never buy things from!
Here’s how I did it: I chose which scraps I wanted to use, trying as best I could to choose patterns that were fairly solid in color, and also jewel-toned. I just used what I had, so as you can see there’s a lot that don’t fit those criterion. Second I cut them into uniform 4″X3″ rectangles, and then I ironed them side by side onto almost a yard of heatbond, creating a large sheet of my scrap blocks. I peeled off the heatbond paper backing of the entire sheet, and then cut the blocks out. At this point I began cutting out the little individual zinnia petals and arranging and ironing them on one-by-one onto my white linen square cut out the size I wanted my pillow to end up. This took me as long as it took to watch the movie Multiplicity, which I thought was pretty funny. “Tuck, tuck, fold. T-T-F. Tuck, tuck, fold, or two tucks and a fold; agh, I just always think of Elizabeth Taylor then I think, tuck here fold there. It’s simple.!”
Once it was all heat bonded on there, I zipped around each petal with a really small zig-zag stitch, and assembled the pillow normally from that point. All in all it was about a three hour project, I’d say, which considering Anthropologie’s hefty price tag, is not too shabby.
One more little fun note: when I finished the pillow and set it on our couch I was delighted to see that it matches perfectly an art print that my hubby got me for my birthday last year, that sits directly behind the couch. It’s as if the picture is jumping out at you now, which is cool in a kind of 3-D movie kind of way. My livingroom! (jazz hands) In 3-D!
*important knocking-off note: I want to make it clear that I don’t believe in selling other people’s ideas–especially handmade goods. If I ever recreate or knock something off, it will be for my home, family, or friends, and NOT for sale.
**additional IMPORTANT NOTE: Out of respect for the original designer, I ask that this tutorial ONLY BE USED FOR PERSONAL USE, and that it not be used to make items for commercial sales, even on a small scale. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and good wishes!