Handcrafted in USA, my A$$!
November 13, 2010 4:30 PM   Subscribe

I can't afford $500 for this awesome tree topper from Anthropologie. Help me craft one myself!

While I find it ridiculous to pay $500 for Anthropologie's Teeming Forest Tree Topper (even though, I support Etsy and artisans and local shopping, etc.) I still love it and its similar incarnation here. I want to make one myself. I've found dried grapevine, some fake flowers, and a few fake birds that aren't corny at Michael's.

What else can I add, and where can I get it? I'm especially interested in adding the toadstools and mushrooms, but I couldn't find any at Michael's. Where can I find these?
posted by santojulieta to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Make them out of Fimo or Sculpey?
posted by The otter lady at 4:34 PM on November 13, 2010

My original thought was that the foam in the middle and the tree branches and birds can be found at a florist supply store, or an online one. You can find all that glitter at Michael's I'm sure.

Then I was wondering if you would want to just farm it out to esty?

Actually, that is a lie. My original thought was that price must be a typo.
posted by cestmoi15 at 4:37 PM on November 13, 2010 [6 favorites]

It looks like the base is just a styrofoam wreath form. I've seen them with a totally round shape, or with a flat shape (obviously both are circular).
posted by wwartorff at 4:42 PM on November 13, 2010

These linen mushrooms would be really neat, and you could either buy them or try to make something like it yourself. You could also put in a few of these felted acorns. Some air plants would look really amazing. You could also find some unusual dried mushrooms at an asian grocery store and glue them into the scene.
posted by belau at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2010

Print out a picture and take it into a floral shop with on staff designers. You could have one easily made for $60.
posted by msbutah at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Florist supply houses have most of those things, including mushrooms (which have been very popular for a few years around here, for some reason.)

There are a couple of nurseries around here who sell Christmas ornaments and other tchochkas, and they usually have some good mushrooms, too.

Also, here in Berkeley there's a store that carries a lot things that would go well, too, though they're expensive. If you can't find a comparable local store, you can fill in the missing bits with them, I'm sure.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2010

I used to work for a major craft store, but it was awhile ago so this might be outdated advice.

Take a big, color picture of that (outrageously expensive) topper down to a big craft store like JoAnn's or Michael's and ask to speak to the floral designer (call ahead to make sure they're in if you want.) Either tell them you want to make it yourself or ask them how much it would cost for them to make it for you. If you go the DIY route they will be able to tell you which supplies you need. Even if they make it for you it will cost significantly less than $500.
posted by TooFewShoes at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2010

The category you want for the mushrooms at that store I linked to is "Spun Cotton."
posted by small_ruminant at 4:50 PM on November 13, 2010

The birds and branches made me think a little bit of this Etsy shop; she has a tutorial for a DIY wreath that might help some.

If you want to try making your own mushrooms, I'd recommend either Hearty Clay if you can find it, or Crayola Model Magic. Both are lightweight, air-drying clays, so they're less likely to weigh down the finished piece or throw it off balance. You could probably paint them after drying, or cover them with scraps of fabric.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:22 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nth Etsy Alchemy

...though, for THAT price there MUST be something magical hiding behind those little mushrooms and twigs--perhaps a miniature unicorn, waiting to grant you three wishes...or an elf ready to spread Christmas cheer!

So, while I'm pretty sure you can have a custom topper made that will look very similar and cost much less, it might not be quite the same. :)
posted by sprezzy at 5:24 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here are some craft mushrooms that I think might work for you!
posted by misha at 6:14 PM on November 13, 2010

Here is the website of the producer of that topper for Anthropologie. I didn't see the topper there but they did have some mushrooms for sale there. It's indicated that they are made from crepe paper.

Interestingly, you can find some stuff the Antropologie sells from producers on etsy. I think the letterpress recipe cards are currently available on both.
posted by buttercup at 5:40 AM on November 14, 2010

Spun cotton mushrooms were the first things that came to my mind too - here are some not grossly expensive ones.

And, I'm glad for this post. I want this as a centrepiece, though - not a tree topper. With a real bunny in it too. Okay, probably not. But I'm going to steal some of my daughter's Schleich animals. And you've got me googling "vintage millinery" over at Etsy, and realizing that I, too, will have no peace until I create one.
posted by peagood at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2010

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