I have a problem paying more money. than I think I should have to for anything.

It’s a sickness, really.

Want proof?

Okey doke.

One time, somewhere in the midst of our house-building process, I took a little jaunt to Lowe’s to pick up some nails for my husband.

My good friend, Stef, accompanied me because she’s awesome like that.

I quickly found the brand my husband had described and reached for the box.

But then I froze.

Because right below it, for $6 less, was the exact same thing…I thought.

But I’m not a nail expert, and I was a little nervous that I would miss some sort of fine print that would render these seemingly identical nails utterly useless.

So, I stood, paralyzed by the prospect of a bargain, and debated with myself (and poor Stef who just had to stand there and listen) the pros and cons of buying the exact brand my husband had mentioned or saving him $6 by going with the alternative.

For 10. straight. minutes.

I’m pretty sure I tried calling Shaun but couldn’t reach him for some reason.

And the WHOLE TIME I stood there, hemming and hawing, shifting from one foot to the other, agonizing over this $6 difference, my sweet friend hardly said a word other than, “Yeah, that’s true,” or “Good point. That could work too,” every time I threw out a new reason why buying one or the other was better.

10 MINUTES OF OUR LIVES deciding on nails, folks!!!

Want to hear the best part?

I finally decided to go with the more expensive brand, and it was a hard, hard choice (obviously).

But when we checked out, and the price flashed on the screen, I said, “What? I thought it was way more than that!”

And Stef began to laugh and laugh.

Because, you see, my friends, I had been looking at the wrong price tag.

And there wasn’t a $6 price difference between the two brands.

In fact, the real difference was only 50 cents.

And Stef had known that all along (she thought I had too).

And the TRULY best part?

Even though my sweet friend thought I had officially jumped off the bargain-obsessed deep end by practically biting my fingernails to the quick over spending $0.50 extra, she never said a word about it until she realized that I hadn’t realized.

Because my love for a good deal is so well-known among my family/friends that it seemed possible to her that just maybe I really was insane enough to care about 50 cents in the grand scheme of life.

So, why am I telling you this?

So you’ll understand that, when I tell you that I have literally only ever ordered one thing from Anthropologie and that I actually searched Craigslist for good deals on Anthro gift cards so that I could get an even better deal on a small rug that was absolutely perfect for the space I wanted it for and which was already a surprisingly good deal…this is “normal” for me, folks. (I did manage to buy a $106 gift card for only $65, by the way, so I consider that worth the effort).

I also signed up for some sort of Anthro customer appreciation card (not a credit card), which saved me $15 in shipping.

And for all of my efforts, I got my beautiful rug and a neverending (so far) supply of Anthro catalogs, which, if you’ve seen them, you know are pretty much works of art. 

WHICH brings me (finally) to the real point of this post.

A month or so ago, I was paging idly through my newest Anthro book-of-pretty-things-that-I-will-gladly-accept-if-you-insist-on-sending-them-to-me (my birthday’s in October, in case you’re wondering) but-will-never-actually-buy-for- myself…

…and I saw these:

anthro candlesticks

Anthro’s Trinket and Treasure Candlesticks.

anthro candlesticks2

I can’t even tell you exactly why, but it was love at first sight.

Perhaps it was the touches of  whimsy, the contrasting textures and shapes, the bight colors…

Or the combination of all of the above, but I loved every bit of it.

Until I got to the price.


REALLY, Anthro?

I mean, I know you’re kind of known for your steep price-tags, but FOUR HUNDRED smackers?

The nerve.

And right then and there, in the midst of my indignation, I made a solemn vow to myself.

I would knock these candlesticks off.

Going to Goodwill once a week has to be good for something other than finding cute clothes in 30 minutes or less, right?

Yes. Right. Sure.

(Pictures, you crazy, talkative woman!)

For the last month I have popped into Goodwill every chance I got to comb the racks for Secondhand or Bare Bottom but also keeping an eye out for cute, kitschy pieces that would work for my candlesticks, and here is what I ended up with:


This little owl with the creepy glowy red eyes is my favorite:


I gave everybody a bath in warm water and dishwashing soap:


…and discovered when he started disintegrating, that my creepy-eyed owl was made of some sort of weird, grainy substance, rather than ceramic like I’d thought.

Don’t worry, his edges are a bit less defined than before, but we managed to salvage his basic shape and, with it, a modicum of his dignity.

My biggest conundrum were those metallic “spacers (for lack of a better term) in the Anthro versions.

anthro candlesticks2

I racked my brain (and my husband’s…poor man) but never came up with anything affordable that would serve as a comparable substitute.


Until…I remembered these wooden napkin rings (8 for $1, by the way) that I used to hold our “napkins” for our special Christmas breakfast.

Are they as cool as the metal versions?


But I figured I could make them work.

So, I bought some craft paint…


…did a bit of custom-mixing…


…and gave my napkin rings a coat of paint.


I wiped off any excess, then highlighted the grooves with my metallic gold paint:


Somewhere in all of this mess (pretty paint-hands, right?), the kids and I ate some of these:


Finally, it was time for Glenda the glue-gun to make an appearance


That’s right, folks. My brilliant plan for knocking off an Anthro masterpiece hinged on a hot glue gun. (Please tell me you’re not surprised). 

I did a fair amount of fiddling and consulting with the hubs until I found a configuration I liked, and then I started gluing. And gluing. And gluing.


And then, it was time for dinner, so Shaun glued and glued and glued, and I cooked.

(All this gluing produced zero burns, amazingly enough, and only one broken owl).

Gotta love a man who not only puts up with but actually participates in his wife’s **harebrained schemes!

**You need to make sure that you’re using a high-heat glue gun (with the setting on high…duh). Also, we learned the hard way that you really do need to rough up your smoother surfaces (like the glass and ceramics) with a little sandpaper before gluing or else it won’t adhere as well as you’d like…hence the broken owl…poor Frederico). 

After all that fun with glue, here’s what we ended up with:


And inside my breakfast nook, where they’ll live, at least for now.



Can I just say it?


Do I like how they came out?

Um, yes.

But do you know what I LOVE? (Because we’re coming all the way back around to that bargain-obsessed bit that we started out with).


I love that this was the average price of every item that I bought.

So, let’s just take a gander at the price difference, shall we?

anthro candlesticks2IMG_1208-2

So, doing the math—since 3 from Anthro would cost $1,292.50 with tax—I saved myself $1,277.50 (that I was never going to spend, anyway, but that’s hardly the point).

Wanna hear the kicker?

The Treasure and Trinket Candlestick collection is sold out on Anthro’s website.

Makes me wonder what I could get for mine.

Hmmmm…. : )

P.S. Thrifted or Grifted is baaaaaack tomorrow for Wardrobe Wednesday!

P.P.S. Don’t forget that this week’s getting to know you theme is:

are you for real


This is your chance to tell me anything quirky, unusual, unbelievable or unexpected about little ‘ol you.


Monday ~ The DIY Showoff Project Parade ~ Made by You Mondays ~ Embellishing Life Everyday ~ Just Something I whipped up Monday  ~ The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T.  ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon  ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia  ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest  ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride  ~ Lolly Jane

Sundays ~ Homemaker on a Dime ~ Sunday’s Best


    I wonder what it would look like if you painted everything one color like a gold or sliver spray paint to get more of a cohesive look

    1. I’ve seen them in a store at Ohare Airport, painted snow white from head to toe, LOVED them. I’m on my 3rd stick, these are SO fun to make.

  2. For the spacers in the originals you could’ve used brass washers from the hardware store…they come in all sizes…. But yours have more character! I love them! Also for anyone else who wants to do this…go to garage sales….they often have trinkets for a quarter or less….especially ones where they’re moving an elderly lady. 🙂

  3. Your candlesticks (including spacers and Frederico) are *much* more cool looking. Theirs looks thrift store! (I remember the one in the catalog and thought it was total crap. Later I saw yours and it’s delightful!) I’m pinning, and hoping to find the perfect kitch to reflect my style next week. Bravo you and Thanks!

  4. I’m so happy that I happened to discover your blog because I also saw these candlesticks in the Anthropologie catalog, fell in love with them & then almost fell off my chair when I saw the price -$399!!!! My first thought was OMG who would pay that much for those….then being the crafter and DIY’er my next thought was I can make these for a lot cheaper. I have been collecting salt & pepper shakers for almost a year now but what had me stumped were the round spacers…..I tried buying door knobs, round wood balls & napkin rings but I haven’t been able to get the aged metallic look….also what do you think the round pancake spacers are made of? Well I also tried glueing them together but I used E6000 and they ended up lopsided. I can’t wait to get started using your ideas, I’m so excited!!!

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  6. I love these…and your fun blog! I will be back 🙂 (fair warning, I am thinking)
    Just a suggestion: When gluing things together, instead of a glue gun, I use one of two fab products and both are clear: Silicone II adhesive (OK, it may be a caulking product, but works wonders as a glue…in a real tube, not a caulking gun one!) Or Hard as Nails, clear. Both work great and will work on outdoor projects really well! You might get fumes with the Hard as Nails. Silicone II is my most favorite!

  7. You clever clever girl! I love the way you think! Anthro prices are insane! You know they have funky knobs at Hobby Lobby now just like the pricey ones at Anthro, they might work in the candlesticks too~

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  9. OMH! I really enjoyed reading your making of the candlesticks! I giggled a lot! I too have a husband the participates….I’m currently stalking goodwill for sweaters for leg warmers…now I have a second mission! Craft on!

  10. Amazing!!! Thank you so much! As a fellow thrift-shopper, I am definitely going to try to make these for my ”anthro” style house. You are so creative!

  11. I am obsessed with bargains too! I love, love, love your project! I’ll bet you can’t stop looking at it! 🙂

  12. I love it that you are obsessed with bargains, your funny and your sense of humor comes through in your posts!! Great job on the candle sticks I LOVE THEM !!

  13. I absolutely love what you’ve created. I’ve seen these done elsewhere, but your take the cake. I’m so inspired to take all that wonderful stuff I already have and make some myself. I’ll have to make mine a bit shorter so I can store them when I’m tired of seeing them. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Wow, I find these things cool but odd at the same time…kind of like a modern take on the Totem Pole….you did a great job on the knockoff!

  15. Wow, I totally love this post & this project! Saw it on Knock-Off Decor & had to pop over to read how you did it & Pin your beautiful results! I think yours are FAR prettier than the Anthro ones! I’m going to start a little trinket collection now (actually, probably already have quite a bit sitting in a ‘donate’ box in the garage!) Thanks for the lovely inspiration! And also for the info that you can purchase gift cards on Craig’s List, who knew?!!

  16. BTW…did the hot glue gun do the trick? Are all the pieces still hanging together? Have you ever used Gorilla Glue? Just experimenting with different adhesives.

  17. So cool. I love your friend that knowing you might be such a strict budget shopper…still volunteered to go with you. She did volunteer didn’t she? I drug my husband last week to a 50% off sale one evening at the Goodwill. I told him he wouldn’t see anyone he knew…wrong. It was funny. But hey…whilst I was shopping…I did see him checking out some bargains too. There’s sort of a challenge in thrifting and bargains…that’s kind of akin to legally stealing. Anyone can pay full price.

  18. So happy I stumbled upon this post. I too loved these candlesticks at first sight… and said “ugh” when I saw the price, so I pulled the photo and set it aside thinking I’d figure out a way to make some of my own… and now… you’ve shown me the way… I love the ones you’ve made and had to tell you that you’ve inspired me to make some of my own… soon… hopefully!

  19. Super cute – If you don’t mind, i am going to share this on my blog Friday morning – thanks so much!

  20. A very long post, but worth the read…. this is the sort of thing I’d do too…in fact, maybe i will give it a go.

  21. I swear – Anthro robbed my mother’s horrid, beyond cheesy, Salt & Pepper shaker collection to make theirs!!!

  22. I knew. I knew one day I would come across the inspiration to make something with collection of
    *I have to have it, what are you going to do with THAT* things. I’ve got it all….now all I have to do is fire up the gunk gun. Thanks Anthro and thank YOU!

  23. The knock offs you made were amazing!!! However, while I do agree that $398 is a great deal of money, what we only see is the finished product. Who had to go out and search for the items to make these? Who did Anthro pay to drill and assemble the candlesticks? We forget the time it takes to manufacture items like this. Please let me say again that I think $398 is a great deal of money but I think the finished product is most likely worthy of the sum they were charging. I admire you for taking it upon yourself to find and make a great duplicate. KUDO’S

  24. Can I just say–the Anthropologie ones are ugly. Yours aren’t. Yours are graceful and kitschy. I’m sure part of the reason I say this is because I also feel the same about Anthro’s overpriciness.

  25. I love your creativity and your sweet compassionate heart when sharing your gift of thrift and caring about others. You are able to touch the heart of women everywhere that need to see the real person with feelings about their needs as well as others. Thank you so much for sharing! I was blessed by your sharing about the bubble baths for you and the concern for Asia and others on the mission field. I love thrift shops and a good bargain and have lots of miniatures that I have collected but dont know if I want to glue them all together. Love the idea and its so FUNKY and FUN. I will start looking for things again at the thrift shops to make some candles of my own or for sale. Found you through pinterest and am now following and PS…you are just so darn cute and have a small face so the smaller glasses are best for you Enjoy being a mother of small children as the years pass quickly and you will wonder where they went.

  26. I just happened upon you and all your super cool stuff and ideas.. btw you rock !!! love it all 🙂


  27. That is very cute! I love a bargain myself and even when someone makes it for less I’ll always try to make for less than that! I will be trying this with maybe a rustic theme. Thanks for sharing BRILLIANT!!

  28. These are fab-u-lous! So creative!!! I love the way you think! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!


  29. Ha! That’s awesome! Loved the story behind it… 🙂 Totally reminds me of me who goes thrifting for a good deal and leaves because the thrift store is too expensive…

    I’ve just started a link party devoted to projects inspired by pinterest.
    Very Pinteresting Party

    I’d love for you to come by and check it out!

  30. These are just too cute and you, well you are so creative! Thank you for sharing your project at Potpourri Friday!

  31. I’m featuring these tonight on Tell it to Me Tuesday! Come on by and grab a button!

    @ Creatively Living

  32. You really did a great job on these knock offs. I wonder who really pays almost $400 for the Anthro ones. Thanks for sharing this at Wow.

  33. Hi Abbie, I’m featuring this great project over at Etcetorize this week. Come on by and grab a featured button from the sidebar if you like. Thanks so much for sharing last week~

  34. Did I tell you how much I LOVE these!? They are so fun…and cool! I’m scanning my house trying to find random this and that’s to make some of these!

    Nice work!


  35. Absolutely love them! Going to share with readers over at Blue Velvet Chair…we eat up repurposed and recycled creations! Fabulous.

  36. This was the most unusual craft I’ve seen in a while, and a darn entertaining post! I need to know one thing though…. where does the candle go in the one little ladies head?


  37. I saw this as well in the Anthro catalog and fell in love also. I have a box of little items to some how make these. But I got stuck on those spacers too. I even when to a lamps part site but they were pretty pricey, like 4 to 5 dollars per. And I was going to try a drill through the trinkets, but then I got paralyzed wondering if it would turn out straight, so I still have a box of cute little trinkets and now you have shared your wonderful spacer stand in, napkin rings! You are brilliant and thanks for sharing. Your knock offs look fantastic!!!

  38. Wow! I love Anthro, but i think they’ve fallen off the deep end if they think those are worth that much! I think yours are fabulous! What a genius idea! Thanks for sharing! I’m featuring these today on my site!

    Scissors & SPatulas

  39. a little gluing secret that I use is: use a combination of hot glue and e6000 the hot glue holds fast but the e6000 is a MUCH stronger glue when it dries! I put a dab of the e600 in the center and surround it with a ring of hot glue pure genius if i do say so myself!

  40. Visiting from Whipperberry link party, but also a follower. You did an UH-MAAA-ZING job recreating those candle sticks! You for sure captured the look and feel of the Anthro inspiration. So, so impressive. I’m delighted for you that you get to have what you wanted at a million times lower than the original price! Love your story too.


  41. Love love love it! I like your version much better. I think they are more your personality as you picked out the pieces you liked or spoke to you. Great job!!

  42. So… I’ll be honest, I’m truly not a fan of the Anthro version. However, I think yours are pretty cool. I really like the clear elements of yours.

  43. I am digging’ your version way more than Anthro’s!!!! I saw similar items at market two years ago. It sometimes takes a while for things to get into the retail mainstream. But Anthro is really ripping people off w/their pricing on many things, IMHO!
    🙂 Sue

  44. How stinkin’ cute are these?? I pinned them. I’m not sure which part of the project would be more fun.. the treasure hunt to find all the components or the actual assembly! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  45. LOVE THESE!!! I love anthropologie but their items are way to expensive for me too. I’ve made my own antro inspired place mats and EAT letters and am getting ready to try a lamp shade and now have your candlesticks on my to do list. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing

  46. OMG awesomeness! I love just about everything at Anthro, but I am a terrible cheapy person. I am trying to convince my husband to buy me one of their owl cookie jars. I even sent him the “cheaper” one at $68 and still no luck…too bad I not good at making ceramics…

  47. I LOVE them!! Great job!! I use household goop when I glue glass, but you have to use masking tape to hold it until dry, so not sure it would work for this?

  48. I just found you thru Becky at Organizing Made Fun & I’m so glad I did. One, I’m loving your blog, your projects and your writing. As I was reading this post, I began thinking Oh. My. Stars. this girl is one after my own heart, she’s a bargain hunter & she’s talking right to me. LOL!. You’ve got yourself a new follower. Heading over to your other blog now to check it out. Have a marvelous Tuesday.

    Sapphire @ Life with My Pollitos

  49. OMG, My sister and I fell in serious love with these Anthro candlesticks, couldnt believe the price though, we went ahead and have made one of our own too. I will try to send it to you, but it is drying at our mothers house. so excited to find this. We did buy some sort of long metal dowel-type thingy and drilled holes in our crazy trinkets. I love yours, the rest of our family doesnt appreciate our taste, but it is great to see someone else out there who loved them as much as we did…..

  50. Oh, Abbie, I love them!! What a great knock-off!! I think my favorite trinket is the victorian shoe. I love the shape!

  51. I didn’t know you could get gift cards off craigslist!! That is awesome! I’m going to start looking. : ) I consider myself pretty cheap! : )

  52. OMG! I LOVE IT! I am a huge bargain hunter, too. I obsess about finding a better price for stuff including vacations (there is always a way to save). I don’t buy kids clothes at full price since I know they will go on sale at some point. I have even done my share of ebaying. I don’t have time to go to thrift store, plus I live in the ‘hood so we have slim pickings. I donate a lot, though. I like entering giveaways, too. I don’t know why I am like this….. maybe because I grew up without having much. Anyway…I love your version of the candlesticks more!

  53. Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE them…. Now you got me wanting to make some Really CUTE candlesticks…. 🙂
    I LOVE shopping Anthro… But I typically keep down to the Double Digit items… Occasionally (VERY RARE) Triple Digits… 🙂 Great Job!!!

  54. luv them! so gonna make these with all my trinkets that i have but dont have a place to display. and the owl is made out of alabaster, water will absolutely disinigrate (sp?) it. my momma found that out years old when she got two dove birds from home interiors and washed them in the dishwasher to clean them and they werent there when she opened it after the cycle. her rep told her what they were made of and what happens when water is introduced.

  55. Aren’t you just smart and crafty AND thrifty! Your candlesticks are so fun and whimsical. I would be very proud of those. Who knows how much you could get!? Maybe you could start your own line of whimsical candlesticks and accessories. My first time her and I’m a new follower…love your post!

  56. oh yes please! I too saw those candlesticks and swooned. Now, I knew there was a way to knock them off but couldn’t figure out how. Soooo glad you did! Pinning this and featuring these on Saturday. You rock!

I love hearing from you guys!