Anthropologie for Less: 5 Decorating Craft Ideas

Craft Ideas Books, Furniture Ideas, INTERIOR DESIGN, Photography

Anthropologie Bedroom Furniture

Apartment Therapy is starting to be ‘like me’ once and a while. Today, I looked at the Anthropologie January 2010 Catalog through their eyes, and this is what I found: 5 contemporary craft projects to make your home Parisian & splendid! (

For those of you who are not fortunate to live near an Anthropologie store, here is their online catalog. However, I have to admit that going through an actual Anthropologie store with its myriad of interesting displays is a real treat! It’s kind of a mixture of walking through the house of an artist friend, of going to a really good flea market and of visiting a contemporary design house’s display store.  You get the picture, it’s wonderful, unique*, and you feel you somehow belong there. 

* Yes, I know, there might be stores just like or very similar to Anthropologie. However, for me looking at a closed Anthropologie shop window display is often more inspiring than going over to a neighborhood department store that’s actually open.  Anyhow, you get my drift. To me, Anthropologie stores are quite unique/. I heard they even have outlet stores with discounts, coupons and all, so if you are really not handy yourself, you can ‘buy’ Anthropologie for less.    However, for the rest of us:

let’s be inspired by Anthropology’s latest catalog and make some lovely home decor craft.

Spot the 5 Craft Ideas from Anthropology


Stacked Suitcase Side-tables: These are pretty simple to recreate with a stack of artistic & vintage suitcases.

Depending on how stable they are to begin with, we suggest you have something handy to tie them together when need be: rope, zip ties or, bungy cords.

I actually has these in my home, so let me add: They make fantastic storage as well as a pleasing display. Put the heaviest ones at the bottom and fill them with things you need to have the least access to. I suggest to put the bungy cords around the bottom two or three, and to leave the top one separate, to allow for more easy access to your belongings. As well, I admit cheating and mixed in some faux finished boxes with the suitcase stacks for a more even look and additional storage.

2. Folding Chairs with Bohemian Upholstery

anthropologieAnd we don’t mean ‘simply upholstered’, but applying patchwork ~ mix-matched upholstery for a truly bohemian, yet sophisticated home decor effect. Ready-made they cost $200 a chair.

  • Love these as much as we do?  Good. Apartment Therapy  features a step-by-step tutorial for making such bohemian-styled upholstered folding chairs. I’m putting this project in my personal file-folder, as I really like this idea for summer.
  • Meanwhile, I get to work out a style & color scheme and  collect swatches of fabric. And of course shop at Spring flee markets for a set of outdoor folding chairs, or if need be, whiz over to IKEA for some inexpensive summer finds.
  • With a staple gun this project is said to take only 1 hour per chair once supplies are assembled. Sounds good to me. The free craft tutorial is here:
image credit : apartment therapy

3) Make Your Own Cool Wall Art with Over-sized Photos and Framed Fabric.   Framing fabric is easy, and you can find tutorials for them all over the web.

To make your own fabric panels, you buy 4 stretcher bars at any craft shop or a ready-made inexpensive canvas, stretching the fabric over the canvas, stapled at the back. Easy as pie.

swatch portraits

If you want something a little bit more original, you can use Purl Bee’s tutorial on how to use embroidery hoops to make swatch portraits. It’s her picture on the right here. You’d think she’d work for Anthropologie looking at this.

OK.  While framed fabric is a low-tech craft, wall-sized photos is a completely other thing. 

You may need an online service like Rasterbator that divides up your photo into a grid of PDFs that you can then print and piece together.  

Or, you can quite easily do this by yourself on the computer, if you are a Photoshop whiz.  Perhaps I could write you a tutorial on how to do this in the near future…

anthropologie4. Dresser with Stencilled Numbered Drawers

If you like this numbered dresser but not it’s nearly $1000 price-tag … gag…., well then it’s time to do some serious garage sale shopping and make your own.

  • It’s fairly easy to stencil letters & numbers onto furniture, a little craft project that can modernize your entire room. 
  • Find our own tutorial on how to make your own stencils here. It’s not only easy, but also real fast.  The effects are amazing.  For this project, you could probably use these alphabet stencil sets.

    Helix Standard Font, 4 Piece Set, Blue Tint (08401)
    This is a set with the alphabet in 4 sizes in common fonts. Pick the ones you want. Note however, that if you want really over-sized letters, you will probably need to make your own. Lucky for you that larger stencils are easier to detail.

  • 05anthropologie5) Indoor Clotheslines. Any mom knows that indoor clotheslines hung against the wall with an abundance of pins are a must-have to deal with the abundance of school crafts. 
  • However, they are not just for kids.  Actually traditionalist photographers have been using them ‘for ever’ to hang-dry their pics,  Hip teens and tweens can whip up a changed decor by rotating their gallery of inspirational magazine pages, photos.   Seamstresses and other artisans have used clothespins & lines to sort & store fabric swatches.  Naturally, we all could just use them to show off our latest Anthropologie nighties.
  • When hung with fancy stuff, clotheslines are called ‘garlands’. And I’ve just featured a tutorial for tiny lettering garland to hang inspiring quotes around the house.  

What’s Next?

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