Knocked-Off: West Elm Feather Ball Ornament
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM
AHPCH in Christmas, Craft Ideas, DIY ornament ideas, Holidays, Knock-Offs, Seasonal Decor, Stuff I Made, West Elm Feather Ball Ornament, West Elm Knock-Off, homemade christmas decorations, how to make a feather ornament

A few days ago, I mentioned another West Elm knock-off was on it's way -- and though it's not another faux capiz chandelier, it made me smile nonetheless!

Ever since West Elm rolled out their new holiday product line last year, I've been ooohing and aaaahing over these fluffy feather ball ornaments ...

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But (as usual) the price on the tag was just a smidge too high for me to justify the splurge.  I mean, $9.00 isn't bad if you're just buying one for a gift -- but to get enough fluffiness on my tree, I knew one lonely ornament just wouldn't do the trick.  Nope ... I needed at least 6 ... which meant a grand total of $54.00 (plus shipping, or a drive out to Scottsdale).  Ugh!

So, I decided to make my own version of this fluffy charmer, using the clear plastic ornaments from my holiday backdrop ... 

To create the fluffy, textured look, I first thought of using a feather boa, but two things caused me to change my mind.  First, they were $8.00 each ... and second, they were pretty stiff, which made me wonder if they would bend easily around the ornament.

So ... as an alternate, I went with three of these fluffy boas that were $5.00 each.  

To make the ornament, I simply used my hot glue gun to wrap the boa around the ornament ...

Because of the length of each boa, and the size of each ornament, I was only able to get two ornaments out of each boa.  I was hoping they would go further ... but at the end of this post I'll share some ideas on how I think you could get more bang for your buck with this project.

Here's the finished knock-off:

I'm absolutely in love with these fuzzy creatures, and I don't think the pictures do them justice.  But, in an effort to keep things real ... I am a little disappointed that my materials didn't stretch as far as I thought they would.  Considering I was hoping to get about 9-10 ornaments out of this, this project fell a little short (in my opinion).  

Here's how everything tallied up ...

While it's still better than $9.00 each, had I been able to get even nine ornaments out of these materials, my cost per ornament could have been lowered to $2.33.  It may seem like it's not that big of a price gap, but imagine my disappointment today when I discovered West Elm had discounted the ornament down to $4.00 each!  

Double ugh!  That means I spent the time and the gas money to gather the supplies all for a mere $.50 savings.  

I tried to make myself feel better by acknowledging I at least saved on shipping costs, but West Elm had to be all haughty-taughty and offer free shipping this week.  And to top it all off, they're offering an additional 20% off of discounted items with promo code XTRAXMAS.  

Blast them for being so amazing!

So ... to get over my disappointment, I decided to just seize the opportunity, and I ordered myself six of the original ornaments I've always loved.  Now I can't wait until next Christmas when my tree will have both the fuzzy boa ornaments, and the feather ornaments in all their fluffy wonder!  

Talk about turning lemons to lemonade, right?  Ha!  Plus, this allowed me to cross off another of my 30 by 30 items (man, I've got to get crackin on this list ... only 11 more months to go!).

What's the moral of this story?  Well, now I'm not exactly sure ... but I did come up with a few money saving ideas to pass along to you, should you ever try this project yourself.

Here they are:

  1. Find your ornaments in an after Christmas sale, yard sale, or even just cover old ornaments you already own.  The only reason I felt good about spending $.97 for each of my ornaments was because I knew they would be able to survive the torments of my cat Zach.  But, imagine if you found six ornaments at a yard sale for $2.00 ... that would be a huge savings just right there!
  2. Use ornaments that are average in size.  The smaller the ornament, the less fuzzy boa you'll need to cover it.  The boa itself will make the ornaments look big and poufy, so you don't really need a larger-sized ornament.  I think if I would have used smaller ornaments I could have gotten seven, or maybe even eight ornaments out of my three boas.
  3. Lastly, collect your boas one at a time, and use a coupon with each purchase.  During my Hobby Lobby shopping spree I did have a coupon in hand for 60% off one item; but it went to another (higher priced) item, which meant I missed out on the discounts for the boas themselves.

Combine all three of those tips, and you could make these knock-off feather ornaments for pennies on the dollar!  You see ... that's what I'm here for.  I'll find all of the pitfalls of a project, so that you can avoid them when you give it a go!

One thing I could mention to hopefully regain a smidge of my thrift & DIY credibility ... with the leftover portion of the boa I was able to make 14 of these snow globe ornaments:

To make them, I simply cut of 1.5" segments of the boa and stuffed them inside the ornament.  I'm not really sure how that could factor into my total cost calculations though.  I'll let you be the judge of that ...

Anyone else got a good knock-off to share?  Tell us the details!

PS ... I've got another 30 X 30 item to cross off the list.  Can you guess which one it is?  Leave me a comment to take a guess.  I'll be sharing the answer on Saturday.


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