Anthropologie Knock Off: Pine Desk Caddy

26 Jun

Pine Desk Caddy -

I love the return to vintage that is so big right now – vintage clothing, vintage artwork, vintage decor, etc… ALL of it. So when I saw this little pine desk caddy at Anthropologie, I immediately added it to my “WANT! WANT! WANT!” list. I love the vintage bunny graphic and the warm, richly stained pine. But for $58 dollars, I was pretty sure I could get the look for WAY less.

Now, if I was power-tool-abled, I’m pretty sure I could have made this thing from scratch and made it virtually the same as the Anthropologie caddy . Using a six inch piece of pine two by four, drilling (or whatever it is you garage minded folk use to make holes of varying sizes) several holes and sanding the corners down would seem to give you the proper starting place. But for me? It was off to the clearance section of Joann’s, where I found this, a small pine trunk (sans lid) for $2.97.


This is slightly bigger, missing those neat holes, and has a base – but is actually pretty perfect for me. I don’t need a desk caddy for my pens, but I do need a container for my vanity/desk to contain my everyday makeup. So I decided to mimic the look of the original without attempting to copy it completely.

Now that I had my container, I wanted to find a good image for the front. For this, I went to two of my favorite resources for vintage graphics: The Graphics Fairy and Vintage Printable.  I’m a big fan of vintage graphics and have used these before in decorating as evidenced by the art decorating my walls right now:


I ended up picking a few, but for this, I decided to use a bunny scene that I thought was fairly similar to the original.


A little tweaking of the color, to make it more closely resemble the original image, and some cropping to make it fit the front of the trunk and I was ready to go.


But first, I had to stain that wood. Unfinished pine just wasn’t going to work, but I also wasn’t going to go out and buy stain. So, Pinterest to the rescue! I came across a method of using tea, steel wool, and vinegar to stain wood. As I had all of those on hand (no extra cost, yay!) I decided to give it go.


I followed the tutorial created by Craftaholics Anonymous and it was pretty simple. Put a chunk of steel wool in a jar, fill about 3/4 of the way with vinegar, let sit for at least twenty four hours. Then, brew some STRONG tea. Alternate coats of the tea and the vinegar mixture, letting it dry in between and keep going until you get the look you want. A few other sites suggested adding a few drops of food color to your tea if you’re not getting the color you want.


After a few coats of this, it was looking a little gray, so I added two drops of both red and yellow. It really warmed the color up and after a few more coats of the “dyed” tea, I was REALLY happy with the results.


The picture doesn’t quite show the actual color of the wood. It is a little darker and a bit richer. The next step was adding the graphic. IMG_1720x

Using what I like to refer to as “Crafters’ Duct Tape,” Mod Podge, I applied a thin even coat of Mod Podge to the front of the trunk.


I applied the graphic, centered it and used a gift card to smooth out the wrinkles. Start from the middle of the image and gently push out any air bubbles or extra Mod Podge. Next, apply a thin even coat over the graphic and let it dry before adding a second coat.


Once it was dry it looked like this:


The perfect size to store my “everyday” make up.


It fits perfectly on top of my desk/vanity.


So, here’s its little glamour shot:


When I was looking through the graphics trying to find a bunny one, I happened upon this adorable fox graphic that I decided to apply to the opposite side of the box. It was too cute not to use for something.


I’m so happy with the final result. I love (both) graphics and I was also really thrilled with how the stain turned out, it will definitely be something I try again. I spent less than $3 dollars on this. and after finding out how easy it was to replicate, I couldn’t imagine spending close to $60 dollars on it.



Pine Desk Caddy:


-Wood box ($3 for me) or a 6″ piece of wood if you’re tool friendly

-Tea Bags (on hand)

-Steel Wool (on hand)

-Vinegar (on hand)

-Mod Podge (on hand, $5-10 in craft stores for a large jar)


Anthropologie cost: $58

Total cost for me? $3






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