Anthropologie Chandelier Fail


Last week my daughter and I saw a chandelier in Anthropologie (Retail: only $4800!!), the really hip clothing, homegoods, “lifestyle” store. The light fixture, which looked like it was the result of an explosion in a recycling factory, consisted of mismatched beads, flowers made out of pop bottles, bottle tops and various unidentifiable flotsam and jetsam. ‘That looks like the kind of stuff you make,’ observed my daughter  “I could do that!” – the thought which preceeds so many craft fails, crossed my mind. So last weekend I took the shade off an old lamp, stripped off all the material, hung the top halo on a floor lamp, strung beads randomly on florist wire and connected the two hoops of the shade with the beaded wire. Then I made plastic flowers out of Crystal Light mini-tubs by cutting petals, folding them inside out, painting with acrylic and hot-gluing them onto the top and bottom rims of the shade. Then I hot-glued the little metallic pinwheels from cocktail picks onto the inside of the “flowers.” Then I raided the Xmas boxes in the basement for some broken bead strings and Xmas bulbs and glued them on. Those little cocktail umbrellas called out to be included (no, I was not drinking the cocktails at the time – never drink while armed with a hot glue gun; that’s just asking for trouble) and stuck those on too. Pretty soon, almost every random shiny bauble and bit of broken jewelry in the house plus a few crystal pendants were added to the creation, and voila! Chandelier Fail!

After Googling “chandeliers Anthropologie” I found that President Obama purchased a similar one from a collective called Magpie in South Africa.  How bad could this thing be if  the President and I have similar tastes in home furnishing? or maybe it’s the First Lady who found the Magpie chandelier. Either way, I feel validated, but my redone shade just wasn’t quite as nice as the one in the store, so I took another lampshade, stripped it down and tried again. Here are the results. They were fun to make, but my son’s reaction was not encouraging, “weird, Mom, what is it?” It’s what you do while you are waiting for trick of treaters to ring the doorbell, I answered.

Chandelier #2

24 Responses to Anthropologie Chandelier Fail

  1. Leslie says:

    I dunno, not a fail in my book, just fun. Thanks for sharing it and it’s story

  2. I think it’s pretty cool! My new favorite CraftFail quote (in your article) ‘”I could do that!” – the thought which precedes so many craft fails, crossed my mind.’

    I want to see more of your projects now!! :)

  3. Hillary says:

    They recently covered that chandelier in an episode of Man Shops Globe (reality show about an Anthro buyer who travels around looking for stuff to furnish stores). It’s made by the South African art collective you mention…they make everything out of what is essentially garbage. The Obamas purchased the chandelier that the Anthro buyer commissioned from Magpie and it’s in the children’s room at the White House.

  4. Anne says:

    I like it, I want to make your version now!

  5. Amanda says:

    I think the only thing that needs to happen to fix it is to make it more uniform. the beads seem to be on the loose side and I bet that would make it 100x better.

  6. Dryerlintdog says:

    thanks all for your supportive comments, that’s what makes posting here fun. and thanks for the nice tidying up (editing job) Heather, I knew the pics were in the wrong place … Amanda, yes, the droopy bead problem. Now that it’s done, it’s almost easier to start a new one rather than adjust the old ones, but first I have to aquire more pony beads and ask my daughter if I can use her cache of Mardi Gras beads. I try to keep a “hands off” policy on using my kid’s junk in my projects, but I meant it when I said that these two things really used up a lot of my accumulated bits and bobs. Never thought that would happen. Friends and co-workers know to give me odd cast-offs though. The Magpie company intrigues me because, you probably know, those birds make nests of stolen stuff, my kind of bird!

  7. Tammy says:

    Omg. I love it. I love Anthropologie & I always bookmark pages in their catalog for “I can do it”s !!!

    And actually, I like the second one.
    So, what are you going to do with these now?

  8. rac says:

    I like them all!!!
    and better yet you didn’t have to pay $250 for s&h and wait 4 to 6 weeks!!!!!

  9. val says:

    I still like them. Very ephereal and pretty… just put it on ebay and sell it for 2500 bucks!

  10. Love the humorous post. I’, still giggling over the ending bit as a catchall reply. “It’s what you do while you are waiting for trick-or-treaters to ring the doorbell.” May I use that line someday? It’s class. And, by the way, I think the lampshades are quite fun. Seeing all the variety and color and shiny beads makes me want to go dig out my kaleidoscope pattern and hurry and make some. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. malmow says:

    I thought the first one was the inspiration picture, meaning: I like it! Very well done in my book. I wish I could achieve that kind of aesthetically pleasing organized chaos.

  12. fail says:

    i thoguht it looked pretty cool actually!

  13. JR Nuerge says:

    I like yours better than the one at Anthropologie!
    JR Nuerge

  14. Sara says:

    Hi, I don’t think it’s a total throw away; looking at the original one from Antro, it looks like their main architectural element was a unified white base of beads, with some accents of colour and then the flashy rim that was holding all of the candle bulbs. If you rejigg your design so that there is one main colour forming the shape of your lamp and then embelish the top and the bottom it would come off a lot better. Maybe try a string of twinkle lights wrapped in tulle glued around the bottom of the lamp instead of a single bare bulb?

  15. Sara’s right about rejiggering the colors.

    The people in the collective that makes Magpie Chandeliers are making lots of chandeliers out of lots of recycled materials. Two implications: first, they’ve gotten a lot of practice at doing this. Second, they have a lot more materials on hand to choose from, and they know what’s worked in the past, so it’s easier for them to pick out coordinated colors and get the balance just right.

    I think the understructure of the chandelier shown at Anthropologie is done in very pale pastel shades of the same colors used in the garlands of artificial flowers. The color intensity in the garlands is tightly controlled and balanced — all well-coordinated off-shades that never go darker than “medium.”

    Forgive yourself. Cheer up. Anyone who could duplicate an effect like that using stuff they’ve got lying around the house has way, way too much stuff lying around the house.

  16. Dryerlintdog says:

    “way too much stuff lying around the house…”
    not any more…:-)

  17. Danielle says:

    I also like yours better than the one at Anthropologie, though neither is to my taste. I personally think theirs is the bigger CraftFail, especially when you consider the major pricing difference.

  18. Adrian says:

    Actually, I really like yours! Maybe just add some fabric so that you cant see all the way through?

  19. Carolina says:

    I liked the pictures I saw from that store in England. Although I really like different things, the recicled light thing is not my favorite… And you could manage to make something quite better ^^
    .-= Carolina´s last blog ..Idéias, por favor! =-.

  20. Deena says:

    Funny, I frequently think that when I look at Anthropologie home products – this looks like it should be a craft project! I love the store, but sometimes I wonder if they are “stealing” our creativity by doing it better! :)

    Thanks for sharing. This made for a fun read!

  21. Amy says:

    I personally think yours looks better than the one you were trying to copy :)

  22. Pingback: Visitando a Anthropologie em Londres | SuperZiper

  23. Lisa says:

    I like the look of both, but was wondering if it would look better just spray painted white?

  24. dryerlintdog says:

    sounds like a good idea, it would kind of unify it. I disassembled one recently and made another – been meaning to post on CraftFail. thanks for the comment.

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