Knock it Off! The Orimono Pillow

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.

Anthropologie Orimono Pillow

The Orimono Pillow from Anthropologie: price tag $88 smackaroos.

mad mim knock off_ the anthropologie Orimono Pillow

mad mim knock off_ the anthropologie Orimono Pillow

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!

mad mim knock off_ the anthropologie Orimono Pillow

*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 Thanks and good wishes!

See my other Anthropologie Knockoffs: the Hue Pyramid Earrings, the Vaqunnon Earrings



  1. Posted February 23, 2011 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I love the original, but I think I love your knock off more! Great work.

  2. Posted February 23, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    WOWEE WOW WOW! Incredibly colorful, funky and unique pillow – nice job! And I really love how it goes with that beautiful art print on the wall, too.

  3. Posted February 23, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    That certainly knocks my socks off. Let me reinstate, knock offs aren’t for sale, only for your fam, and your sister’s happy housewarming gifties. :) lol, just kiddin sis.

  4. Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Ahh! I love it! I don’t even browse/online shop {almost ever} for the sake of budget and sanity, so I don’t even give myself much chance to be inspired and recreate. This is adorable and I want one but don’t know if I can muster up the patience:) good job!

  5. Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    How beautiful!!

  6. Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Sooo amazing. As always. I’m so bummed my sewing machine is all packed! I wish this move was over so I could just sew my heart out. Also, LOVE the idea of this series. Can’t wait to see more!

  7. YAM B Fan
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of this! Great job and how perfect the serendipity of the cushion and the picture.

  8. Posted February 24, 2011 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    LOVE IT!
    sooo cute!
    i want to make one!

  9. Posted February 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Love, love, love this, just found your blog through pinterest. Loving your work lady!

  10. Posted February 25, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    This is amazing! I am definitely going to knock off the knock off of the knock off. :) Can you tell me how many different fabrics you used? Or at least how many petals there are?


    • Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Melissa, I think I used 35 different fabrics, and I used each fabric twice, so I’m guessing there are around 70 petals give or take a few.
      I just looked at your blog, and you’ve got some amazing meals cooking over there! I’ll have to mosy on over there while i’m menu planning this week!

  11. Posted February 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


    Thanks for the info. I haven’t updated my blog in months, but I have oodles of pictures ready to go for when I get motivated again. Just FYI, your truly wonderful aunt Sylvia was the one that clued me in to your blog. I’m an avid fan and just starting to branch into the world of sewing (having a little girl to sew for makes it more fun). My sisters/mother-in-law are fans as well and have been making your t-shirts like crazy. This is saying something since my MIL is Nancy Halvorsen of Art to Heart fame–that will only mean something to quilty people. :)

    • Posted February 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Wow, that’s totally flattering!! Thanks for telling me, it makes my day!

  12. Posted April 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    That is SO adorable! I love it! I just had to make one! So I did and It looks a little different but thats alright!
    You are so creative!! Thanks for the great idea!

  13. Posted June 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh my – yours is so much better – not just because it was $85 less than the Anthropologie (sp?) one. I wish I had the patience to do something like this. Will be blogging about this on my Saturday Stumbles post on my blog. Everyone needs to see this (not that ‘everyone’ reads my blog of course!)

  14. Posted November 3, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Great job! I for one have always been really confused on the mark up people put on prices for things like this. Seriously $3 bucks to $88? And your’s is even better looking. Much more vibrant and the colors are much softer.

  15. Regina
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely stunning! I would never have known that your pillow was not the original! Amazing… just amazing!

  16. nancy
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Like your version much better.

  17. Clozelle Harris
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get how you cut the shapes or what you mean by t-t-f?

    • Posted May 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      T-T-F was just from the quote I was quoting:)..totally unrelated to cutting. I cut the fabric into squares in order to make it easier to iron them side-by-side onto a large section of heat n bond. Once backed with the interfacing, you simply cut the petals out into a zinnia petal shape, arrange on your pillow and iron in place. Let me know if you have other questions, and good luck!

  18. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks to your inspiration, I have just made my very own Orimono cushion cover! Thank you! See it here:

    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      That is so awesome, it looks amazing! I love that pillow, I’m thinking about making another! And ps, my sister made one as well around the same time I did, and she used a hand embroidered blanket stitch, and I think that it held up better than mine, so you might be just fine!

  19. Posted October 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I understand the whole whole thing that some else had this idea but I don’t see anything wrong in doing something like this with your own creation and selling it! I think there’s enough out their for everyone. That’s like telling someone, well don’t shoot that scenery Ansel Adam did, because he’s been selling it. As an artist and photographer, other artist inspire me to re-create an idea they had. I take that idea and turn it into my own creation. Not trying to be nasty about your post at all and I think yours look so much better than Anthropologie!…

  20. Posted June 6, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Love this design! You pillow turned out amazingly. Although, I do think that figuring out how to copycat other design does take creativity, just in a different way.

  21. Jeannette
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I think we draw creative inspiration from all over. Make it for you or sell it, all good. It is a simple and lovely pillow. Better to support a crafty entrepreneur than an obnoxious corporation.

    • Posted December 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      This is so creative. I have to make this. Much better than the original.

  22. Maureen
    Posted March 24, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    That would look wonderful with assorted Bali fabrics!

    • Posted March 24, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Yes, it really would! I think that would be spectacular!

  23. Synthia
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I would buy yours before I would buy the other one, even if yours was more expensive. To me it looks homier and somehow more approachable (if that makes sense), yet just as much colorful as the Anthro one. Well done. One day I will conquer sewing. I got the gluing down perfectly, and the stitching by hand as well. :)

    • Posted July 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Synthia! And I agree, sometimes homemade is just better!

  24. Renee
    Posted November 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    First off yours is absolutely stunning!! I love it so much more than the oh so expensive anthroplogy version! And it’s so cool how it accidentally matches the art print that your boyfriend gave you! That being said I do wish you better showed us how to make it. I was hoping for maybe a step by step guide with pictures for people like me who are novices at the whole sewing thing! I sew by hand since I don’t have a machine, and it would probably be a lot easier and faster if I did have a machine. Does anyone know if there is a more detailed guide anywhere online on how to do something like this? One more thing I want to add… I disagree on the resell thing. I’ve been on and off in the flea market circuit, and find NOTHING wrong with selling a “one of a kind” item that is homemade even if it looks like something you can buy in a store. Obviously mass producing something and selling it for boat loads of profit is inappropriate, but to make one thing and sell it for a few bucks is totally fine in my opinion. I’m not currently involved in any flea markets at the moment, and all my crafts have been added to my own collection or given as gifts to my family and friends, but if I wanted to sell something I made that may or may not resemble some one else’s design is totally fine! Anyway, great job! I love love love your pillow, and look forward to seeing more of your stuff in the future!

    • Renee
      Posted November 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      And ONE more thing!! I just watched Multiplicity for the first time just yesterday so it’s so funny to me that you referenced it here! :) I totally get the “tuck tuck fold” joke. 😉 And then you mention Elizabeth Taylor! Ah You are a girl after my own heart!

    • Posted December 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for commenting! I wish I had done a better tutorial here, but it’s one of those projects I probably won’t do again. I think there are other tutorials out there, I would just google Orimono pillow DIY. Good luck! And as for hand sewing, although it takes longer, the results can’t be beat! Especially with this project, it would be stunning. Cheers!

  25. Posted September 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I love the opening of your post on the difference of creativity and craftiness, raw talent and the legitimacy of being an inspired copy-cat (for private use only, of course). You hit a spot there and I would wholeheartedly underwrite that for myself. Keep creating =)

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