bundled up birds and paper mache teacups at anthropologie

I’ve been wanting to tell you about this for ages. I began working with Anthopologie last fall on a couple projects for this holiday season – paper mache teacups and bundled up little fabric birds.

ann wood anthropologie birds

They are both items that are near and dear to me and I have a particularly long history with the little birds – it began more than ten years ago. I walked into Anthropologie on Fifth Avenue today and there they were – lots and lots of familiar little birds looking back at me. It was a little disorienting and it’s kind of a funny thing to think about – how many little birds and teacups there are in the world now.  I am not someone who thinks in quantity.  I think its a good thing though  – a good thing that there is a place in the bigness and busyness of the world for paper mache teacups and earnest little fabric birds.

ann wood anthropologie teacups

There are two birds and two  teacups – one a souvenir of Paris and the other New York City. The insides have festive stripes and dots and are sparkly.

ann wood anthropologie teacups

I had fun making them – loved painting the illustrations for the cups.  You can find the birds and teacups online and in stores – you can find Anthro’s entire ornament assortment for this year here (there is lots of fun stuff – including an oyster by Tamar Mogendorff).

Or if you like you can make your own. Find the pattern for the teacups here and the little bird sewing pattern here.


  1. These are absolutely wonderful! I want every one of them!

    After sending your pieces to the vendors, re artists contracted to make copies of your precious pieces?

    I love everything you make.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks so much and yes- I created and painted the teacups and Anthropologie handled all the manufacturing etc.

  2. Please please tell us where these were made and if the workers were treated and paid fairly. This is such an important issue to many of us and I hope to you and your readers as well.

    • Hi Debbie – Based on my inquiries the manufacturer has a good reputation – you would need inquire with Anthroplogie directly for details.

      I agree it’s an important issue and I’m curious – do you investigate everything you buy? It’s quite a daunting task.

      • You’re right, it’s a nearly impossible task. My best solution is to buy handmade directly from the artist particularly for home decor and gifts. Second best and most often done is to buy something used, including artwork and home decor, as a kind of re/up-cycling method. Part B of the “second best” is to buy an artists pattern and attempt to make the item myself – and I’ve happily bought most if not all of your patterns so far, though have many yet to try my hand at.

        Mostly I try to buy items I will treasure, or practice items I expect to use to shreds, mend and repair what I can do myself or hire done …. etc.

        I’m happy you answered. It’s a hard thing to grapple with for artists and admirers, and at the very least it is a good conversation among us all to consider.

        • Elizabeth

          It’s also very ethnocentric because many workers in third world countries need to make a living and they depend on this work to feed and shelter their families. Living in developing countries I have seen the need first hand. Yes, I do understand some retailers do pay very low wages by our standards but these jobs are crucial to the citizens of poorer nations where there is high unemployment and huge amounts of unskilled workers. It’s not logical to think wages should be comparable with developed nations where the cost of living is astronomical compared to in developing nations.

  3. Congratulations! What a coup!
    I don’t remember how long ago it was that I saw your teacup and thought, “I LOVE IT. I WANT TO MAKE IT.” Did one, and really enjoyed making it. I gave it to a friend. Now, I think I’ll make another one for myself.

    • Some one has quite a special birthday coming up don’t they……………

  4. I ordered them though I have made my own tea cups and even bought and made your bird. Are these licensed products? I hope so. I hope you were able to profit from them!

    • Hi Helen – Thanks so much and yes – I licensed the designs to Anthropologie.

    • Thanks so much Cynthia – loved that part and hope to do more.

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