Mistakes: Knocking Off a Pottery Barn Mia Faceted-Crystal Pendant

Forgive me, Blogland, for I have sinned.  It has been exactly 15 days since my last blog post.

Being pregnant is the greatest miracle I’ve experienced in my life.  I do my best not to complain.  But you can safely assume that when I go significant amounts of times without writing, it’s because things are a little rough.

But I’m writing today!  So that means things are okay.

Except… I’m in a funk.  Do you ever get in a DIY funk where everything you do seems wrong?  And all I have to say about it is this:
I’m so grateful my blog isn’t big enough to be on GOMI, because they’d for sure be hatin’ on this junk-fest.

I used to not share my major failures on my blog.  1- I was too embarrassed.  2- I didn’t think most people cared.

But at Haven, I was in a class taught by Mandi of VR, Lindsay of Makely School for Girls, and Ashley from The Handmade Home.  They each shared their worst DIY failure stories, and then had the room go around and share theirs.  Hearing some of my big blog idols talk about things not going as they planned made me feel SO much better.  It happens.  Things suck sometimes.  But we were all in tears laughing with each other.  Because it happens to everyone.  DIY bloggers are risk takers.  Sometimes it’s more amazing than you can imagine.  And sometimes it’s poo.

Here’s my poo.

I fell in love with this light fixture from Pottery Barn.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendent Pottery Barn Knock Off


The price is $250.  Which isn’t horribly unrealistic for a light fixture.  In fact, I bought a more expensive light to hang over our Restoration Hardware table.  (It hasn’t been hung up yet though, so you don’t know what it is!)  But I like to play the high/low game.  I feel like at times it’s worth being spendy on the things that need to last, and things in high traffic areas.  But… this was just for a nursery.  So I wasn’t really keen on the price tag.

I had every intention to knock it off and make my own version.  I scored this beauty at Habitat for Humanity for $1.  ONE DOLLAR.  I spray painted it “Antiqued Brass” (which I am positive will be the new ORB… just wait and see!).  I had the highest of hopes.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendant Pottery Barn Knock Off

I started hot gluing some beads to the fixture… and it quickly turned into a tacky mardi gras necklace holder.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendant Pottery Barn Knock Off

And then, all the tears happened.  Because I was sad.  And frustrated.  And bummed.  Honestly, if it wasn’t such a weird shape, I would have drop kicked it in my back yard… like I’ve been known to do with other failures.  In my head, this was going to be the PERFECT knock off.  Just like the glorious wingback rocker.  The good news is, I was only out a few dollars.  The bad news: we still needed a light fixture and I didn’t want to pay $250.

I ended up finding this light at Home Depot for $60 (it’s cheaper in store than online), and thought it was close enough to the same style without breaking the bank.  And flush mount really was a better option for this room.  Keep in mind that Aaron and I are VERY tall people.

Mia Faceted Crystal Pendant Pottery Barn Knock Off

Here it is, on the ceiling… proud and appealing.  (Look out Dr. Seuss)

Still pretty.  Definitely not as lush and divine as the Pottery Barn light.  But I don’t think Evelyn will mind.

Pottery Barn knock off mia faceted crytal flush mount

And if you think I’m done sharing my mistakes, you’re wrong.  There is a part 2, which will be the next post I write.  Lucky you!  I get to make you feel better about yourself 2 posts in a row!

Now, would anyone like to step forward and tell me about a DIY flop?

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  • andrea @ mykindaperfect

    gah! talk about frustrating. i, too, would’ve thought i hit the jackpot with the habitat light to re-make the pottery barn one…but i can see how challenging it could be. i think the new light is a great alternate! =)

    • Kenz

      Thanks Miss Andrea! I like it too 🙂

  • Emma (Broke Ass Home)

    I stil don’t think that light was going to be as bad as you think it was, but at the same time I didn’t see it in person so who knows.

    I fail all the time.


    • Kenz

      Oh, it was bad. It looked so tacky. I feel like we just have to be prepared, as DIYers, to fail. But it’s okay. Because when we succeed it’s so much better!

  • Ember1

    I think the problem is scale– you need the crystals to be more substantial/larger to get that look. Which is harder to find reasonably priced. If you are still going to try to do something with it, maybe keep your eyes open through the upcoming holidays. You may be able to find either something interesting to mix with the smaller crystals or larger crystals in the stuff for trimming. It is still a very interesting base shape to play with!

    • Kenz

      Oh definitely. I’ve just kind of resigned the project. But the problem was definitely the scale with the crystals. Each strand needed to have smaller ones at the top, and larger crystals toward the bottom.

  • Ember1

    Tangent… I like the new light, but agree it isn’t as lush. I’d be tempted to do something like see if I could add beads in-between the crystals. Something contrasting (like brass colored, or colored crystal or resin roses or something) just to fill in a little. And I would probably make a hash of it. But it would be a temptation hard to resist. 🙂

    • Kenz

      If I weren’t 8 months pregnant I might feel tempted to hack the light… but I’m just too lazy right now!

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

    I really like both lights, but what a bummer. I consistently fail. Like how I accidentally stained a shelf in my kitchen when this weekend when it was too cold out to open the windows and then got everyone in my house affixiated… oops. make room for one more in your peyote tent, because apparently that’s how I roll…

    • Kenz

      Peyote tent buddies 4 lyf!

  • Katie

    You’ll find this amusing! I tried making Evelyn & Molly each a beautiful frame i saw on pinterest. And it’s laughable, the results.

    • Kenz

      Ohhhh! I bet it’s not laughable 🙂 You are cute.

  • The new light is great and at least you’re only out a couple bucks for the one that failed! We’re still working on a project that keeps failing. Well, I am mentally haha I just want it to work so. dang. bad but we don’t have the tools or the know-how to make it work right now. Maybe one day!

  • Ainhoa

    I don’t think it looks bad (really). Maybe it’s a you had to see it in person kind of thing.
    I’ve looked at old pics of our home and thought “what the heck were we thinking” a ton of times!!

    • Kenz

      That’s how I feel about our old dining room! I always wonder what I was thinking!

  • Bethany Kline

    I think it might have been alright!! I definitely have made some poor DIY choices, and now I am so embarrassed that I EVER shared them on my blog. at the time I thought they were wonderful, and then I delved deeper into blogland and realize it was a-poopy. oh well. We cant win them all. Love you girl!

    • Kenz

      hahahaha! I feel the same way about some of my old projects. I am tempted to even delete some of my earliest blog posts.

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    Be of good cheer… I’m confident at least 57% of our projects go seriously awry, so you are most definitely not alone!

    • Kenz

      hahaha! That’s good to know! Please post one of your funny awry projects 🙂

  • thediynurse

    I think it looks fantastic! I’m always amazed at how things always take longer. We were replacing a light fixture one day and were having lots of issues. I got so upset and my husband just didn’t understand. This was supposed to be easy and that’s why I was so upset. This WAS the easy project. Needless to say, we still have many more light fixtures that I haven’t gotten up yet. I’m not feelin it.

    • Kenz

      Oh girl! I totally get you! My “easy” projects are always the longest ones.

  • Anu

    The new light looks great! Too bad the DIY didn’t work out the way you had hoped. Maybe another solution will come to you with that fixture – even for another space? Evelyn’s nursery is looking so pretty already!

    • Kenz

      I think so too! The light fixture from habitat had such great bones… just not meant for beads 🙂

  • Cassie Bustamante

    the home depot light is perfect! and i am all about failure… it builds character!

    • Kenz

      haha, it totes builds character!!!

  • Evelyn will LOVE it! I am sure she will stare at it (fyi…all kids totally stare at lights). Sorry about your failure, but I think it’s important to have the. I currently have a giant canvas sitting in our garbage in the driveway, if it makes you feel better.

    • Kenz

      I’m so excited to see her stare at it! It definitely looks pretty with the gold wall.
      Sorry about the canvas! haha, these things happen… 🙂 We should start a support group for our project fails

  • I really like your new light! And I’m with you on the bronze. The 70s are coming back, baby–and that means Antique Bronze. 🙂

    Used to have a cheesy inspirational poster in my classroom that said “the only shots you won’t miss are the ones you don’t take.” Failure is an essential part of success. Keep on showing us how to succeed!

    • Kenz

      Yay for the 70’S! I love this trend very much!
      And I LOVE that cheesy inspiration quote. Sometimes you just gotta keep taking shots 🙂

  • Tara @ Surburble

    Oh, DIY failures are my M.O. And often times, I just keep on working on them until my hubby has to pry my glue-spattered hands off of them.

    Honestly – the light didn’t look that bad. I think that your beads were too small when you compare it to the original… but it wasn’t a “fail”, really!

    The new light is super cute, though! I think it’s great – and for $60!?!? What a steal! Can’t wait to see more nursery projects!

    • Kenz

      Oh yeah, the beads were definitely the issue. I just couldn’t find any good beads for the project. But I was happy with the price on the new light. Oh, and I feel you on the glue-spattered hands for sure 🙂

  • I have so many failures! It’s all part of it and how could anyone do anything perfect if they are attempting it for their first time, right? xo Kristin

    • Kenz

      haha YES! Failures are a big part of what we do as bloggers. But at least we can learn from them!

  • Michelle

    Sorry on the fail. DIY life is rough. I do, however, dig the light you ended up choosing. I like it a loty.

    • Kenz

      Why thanks! It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it looks good all the same!

  • Julia @cuckoo4design

    Oh I’m having a rough failure week myself. This made me laugh and I don’t feel alone. I like the light you ended up with a lot.

    Hey and guess what I’ve drop kicked things into my back and front yard as well.

    • Kenz

      We can be drop-kick buddies! We should probably start a blogger kick ball team 🙂

      • Julia @cuckoo4design

        haha, yes we should. I wonder what my neighbors think when they see random things fly out, because I usually tend to do it out the front door. To hard to open the sliding glass door in a rage 😉

  • Susan Simko

    Oh yeah. I’m a big fan of 3m painters tape (this was befor frog tape was available) and one day, while shopping, the local store was out of the 3m blue tape so I bought the store brand. Big mistake, gold paint bled under the tape and onto the ceiling. This then got complicated when the paint the builders left for me to touch up the ceiling really wasn’t the same colour as the ceiling. *argH* Still need to repaint the entire ceiling in the office….

    • Kenz

      OH NOOOOOO!!! That sounds terrible! Ug, I hate when tape fails. It’s the very worst. I can’t believe the builder left the wrong color. Jerks!

  • anne @ wit wisdom and food

    I am not so against the light you made and I am impressed that you shared it. I am not that brave yet. I am more drawn to the scallop wall every time I see it.

    • Kenz

      Thank you! The scallops really speak to my soul 🙂

  • John @ Our Home from Scratch

    Love the act of contrition reference!! And I don’t think this fail even looked that bad… maybe it looked worse in person, but honestly, it looks fine from here. Good outlook, failure is part of the process.

    • Kenz

      haha thanks! I’ve just learned to embrace failure!

  • Amber @ Wills Casa

    I’m so glad we could have this little confessional today. I should probably say my hail Marys or whatever you do when you blogland sin. We need to get that all sorted out for Karma’s sake…wait is Karma connected to blog religion? I do think we are exempted because of the baby thing. (Note how I seamlessly added myself to that.) Alright I’m done figure out my blog soul issues, let’s talk about that flush mount. I think it’s a great choice for the nursery! Similar style and you’re right the functionality of it is probably better.

    • Kenz

      haha, is Hail Marys what you do in confession? Haha, I wouldn’t know anything about that 🙂 I’m glad we’ve got the baby excuse. How long do I get to use it after she’s born? I mean, your house is still being built too, so you are good! You are allowed all the time you want! We are in the middle of a renovation, so I feel like all I do is slack 🙂

  • Ashley

    Oh my gosh. Yep, I’m totally right there with you. When I fist began making flowers a few years ago, I was so psyched about them and all the projects I was working on then. My taste has changed a TON since though and now I look back and shake my head. Yikes.

    Also, this summer, I was in craft lake city for said flowers. And I wanted some blue ombré curtains. I bought some white polyester ones from ikea and decided to dye them. I read up on it and saw you can’t dye polyester, but for some reason, I decided that rule didn’t apply to me. Holy nightmare of nightmares, batman!!! It was awful. And then I realized that if it rained during CLC and got on my curtains, they’d drip and bleed onto EvERytHING and stain like a mother.

    Life ruiner.

    Not really, but sort of. And dyeing them was suuuuuch a pain. And such a mess. I had blue handprints and footprints (my own!) everywhere. I may have said some choice swears when I realized my townhouse looked like Tobias funke had been over x10.

    • Kenz

      hahahahaa! Oh man. You had me at Tobias 🙂 That sounds like such a major ordeal. I would have been so upset. I’ve never dyed anything, but I sure have thought about it. I’m sure I’d have the same exact result as you! I’m so happy you shared this with me! You are fantastic.

  • Ashley

    AND we had to try to find renters because we had to get out of our lease early. I was dying. But after much blue dye, much bleach and much heartache, they turned out a lovely antique white.

    But I wouldn’t do it again. Probably.

    BTW, I think the light you were working on wasn’t so bad! But I love the one you picked in the end. You go girl.

    • Kenz

      I feel like I need to see a picture of these curtains! I’m surprised the bleach didn’t eat away at the fabric. I’ve had horrific things happen with bleach lol.

      • Ashley

        There’s a pic on my instagram from craft lake city in August… they’re in the corner of the picture… ha! I don’t think I ever really posted one of them. They’re nothing special, which is why it’s so WEIRD I was so, so obsessed with them. I think I’m just an obsessive person though. So there you go.

  • PersiaLou

    Love this post! And I really like the light you ended up with too.

    • Kenz

      Thanks PersiaLou! I feel like it’s really important to be able to laugh at oneself… otherwise, I’d just hide in a corner!

  • I just plain love you. So glad you shared your fail – and your mardi gras necklace-slash-chandy. Your new light fixture is lovely!

    • Kenz

      haha, I love YOU! Sometimes you just gotta share the bad 😉

  • Lia

    If you’d used larger crystals and added one or two more crystals to each length you would have gotten the curved effect and probably nailed it. It just looks like you pulled the strands a little too tight that’s all 🙂