Ballard Pear Knockoffs

Have you seen these deliciously rustic pears from Ballard Designs?

They are really adorable until you see the price tag: $49 each! What?! Obviously I’m not the only one who thinks that price is outrageous, because when I googled “Ballard Pear” to find the above photo for you, I stumbled across Thrifty Decor Chic’s own version of the pear.

As fate would have it, I happened to come across a pear that I found at my local Goodwill a few weeks ago. I bought this pear and gourd. They were quite an ugly pair (hee, hee.)

But, the price was irresistible at $2.49 a piece.

I started by sanding the surface of the pear and gourd lightly.

Then I sprayed them with white primer.

And finished them off with Rustoleum’s Heirloom White Satin finish.

And that is how they sat for several weeks while I tried to decide what to do to them next. Until I happened upon those adorable pears in the recent Ballard Designs catalog. Then I knew exactly what to do with my pear and gourd.

Starting with the gourd, I mixed some acrylic paint, using raw sienna (dark brown), burnt sienna (red brown) and yellow ochre until I had a nice golden brown antiquing color. After pouring out a small circle of acrylic matte medium (you can use glazing medium or modge podge if you like), I used a coarse fan brush to dip my brush in the medium and the paint, creating instant custom tinted glaze!

Working in small areas, I began painting on the glaze dry brush style (wipe off almost all the paint so you see streaks). My strokes were in random directions and brushing back and forth a few times to blend the color out (being careful to leave the brush strokes for visual interest.)

I also used a rag to dab around the gourd until I liked the results. Once the gourd was painted I used some raw sienna on a smaller brush to paint the stem.

For the pear, I squeezed out some acrylic paint in dark green, off white, and a creamy yellow. I mixed them until I got a nice apple green color. I purposely wanted a vibrant color because I knew they would lose some punch after adding the brown antiquing glaze.


To paint the pear’s leaf, I used a dark brown (raw sienna) and a yellow ochre for the highlights. Acrylic paint is really forgiving because if you don’t like it you can paint over it. The leaf consists of about four layers of playing and blending before I got the look I liked.

After the green had dried, I used the same technique with the fan brush in the brown glaze until the whole pear was covered.

I couldn’t be happier with the results! $5 was my total cost. I saved myself about $95 for two decor items (not to mention shipping costs.) Luckily, I already had the paints and brushes on hand.

Did you see that ladder above? Yes, it is the other half of this ladder! It underwent a little transformation. You’ll want to see it now!


  1. Katie @ Not Just Decorating says:

    Those are so cute. I love frugal projects that look expensive!

    I just repurposed an old window into a menu board on my blog if you want to check it out.

    Ps- I'm your newest follower.

  2. They turned out awesome! Love it!

  3. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal says:

    I love the way those turned out! The colors are perfect. Much better then Ballards!

  4. They are adorable! I saw the ballard ones, and with the price thought that they would be huge… but they're not, just the price is huge :) Love yours!

  5. The Penny Parlor says:

    Very cute! i love thrifty finds like that!

  6. Lois@frugaldecormom says:

    They look great! Way better than the original Ballard Design I think. So cute. Great job.

  7. cindy @ cottage instincts says:

    Beautfiful! You definitely have an eye for mixing colors…they look real :)

    Great job!

  8. I can not even tell the difference of which one is yours and which one is Ballards! Darn girlfriend, you are talented. Why do they think people want to spend that kind of money on an accessory? Blows my mind. Great job.

  9. says:

    Oh man…LOVE it!!! Great job!!

  10. Christa @ Stories of a House says:

    Gorgeous knock off!

  11. Beautiful harvest. 😉

    Nice savings and great refashion.

  12. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says:

    They look fabulous. I really like them. Your colors and antiqueing are perfect. Good for you. Very creative. Hugs, Marty

  13. Stephanie at Buttermilk Hill says:

    Wow, great job! I think I like them better than the one from the catalog, and the price is fantastic! :) Thanks for the dose of inspiration. ~Stephanie at Buttermilk Hill

  14. Love the Decor! says:


  15. How cool and very clever. You did a great job, without that hefty ballard price tag. Thanks for your opinion on my hairy situation lol!

  16. Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek says:

    Gorgeous! You did a great job blending the paints!

  17. Those are super cute! Thanks for sharing. Love the final outcome!

  18. K@The Thrifty Teacher says:

    Very cute!!! I love how it turned out =) Patience paid off!

  19. These are beautiful. I'm diggin' the ladder too.

  20. justkiddingaroundatlanta says:

    They look beautiful,and you've gotta love savings like that!! I'm your newest follower, too!

    Aimee @ Justkiddingaroundatlanta

  21. Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea says:

    Love your pears – beautiful! I'm a new follower from Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

    Have a great week!

    Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea

    A blog for those who love everything about the coastal lifestyle…Shopping. Decorating. Crafts. Travel.

  22. Michelle@Somedaycrafts says:

    That is beautiful! Wish I could find some treasures like that at the thrift store!!!

  23. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Wonderful job! They look great!

  24. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House says:

    I'm LOVING these! What a great redo! You did a great job, as always! :)

  25. acrylic paint will take you far….for so much less…I swoon over Ballard's stuff too but not their prices!

  26. Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) says:

    Greetings! I haven't visited in a while. You did a FANTASTIC job here! Plus, saved a fortune. Good for you!
    Best regards,

  27. Wow – those are fabulous!

  28. They are gorgeous! Even better than Ballard! Nice score on the goodwill find!

  29. These turned out great!

  30. Love them!! Wish I could find a pair like that… LOL You did a great job!! :O)

  31. Kristy @ Next to Heaven says:

    Wow- at first I thought… LUCKEEE! But now I see more talent than luck! You did a great job on these… plus I am on a pear fix right now… my new kitchen will be full of them! nHave you seen the basic grey paper?

  32. Awesome!

  33. You did a great job. I would never know what colors to choose like you did. They look wonderful.

  34. RACKS and Mooby says:

    Those are great! Looks store-bought! Nice job.

  35. ★All Thingz Related★ says:

    They look terrific! Thanks so much for sharing your project with us at Anything Related!

  36. AshTreeCottage says:

    I am so impressed! Wonderful job and a great tutorial too. Watch out Ballard's!!

    Susan and Bentley

  37. This was a great project to link up and share…so glad you did. It really gives us gals the foresight to think outside the box! Thank you. Debbie

  38. You did a fantastic job transforming the everyday to "awesome"! So cool!

  39. Ms. Bake-it says:

    They look fabulous! Your choice of colors and antiqueing were perfect. You did a great job!

    ~ Tracy

  40. Much, much nicer you did a wonderful job rescuing that homely pair. :)

  41. Erin@likegrandmas says:

    Wow!! I can't believe the transformation. So glad you did something with color!!! These look fabtastic!

  42. Oooh, love them both!! Now I need to be looking for a pear!

    ~ The Speckled Dog

  43. Vintagesouthernlife says:

    They look fabulous! You did a great job of selecting the colors.Just think of all the money you saved! Annette

  44. I love them! I saw them in the catalog and would NEVER pay that price for them. Great job.

  45. Funky Junk Interiors says:

    Wow, perfect! The glazing really took it to the next level. Outstanding outcome!

    And you are so right on. You need to paint brighter if you plan to use glaze, otherwise you loose alot of colour. Nice call!


  46. Those are amazing!!! I can't believe that they are that much either at Ballard Design!! Yours are actually better! Found you at Funky Junk Interiors!!!

  47. Colleen @ MuralMaker&More says:

    Okay, so now I have to search high and low for some pears in the thrift stores! Seriously though, they turned out spectacular!

    I really love how you blended the colors too. I think you got a better result because of it. Sometimes acrylics can be a little too 'true to color', you know? The blending makes it look more high end.

    Would love for you to stop by tomorrow and link up to Passion for Paint!

  48. This project turned out wonderfully! Thanks for sharing! Hopped over from Debbiedoos…

  49. Suzanne@thriftstoredecorjunky says:

    You did a great job on those pears, Girlfriend!
    Love them, and their price tags!

  50. OH HOW very AWESOME! GREAT job! They both look fabulous on that incredible ladder! BTW, I'm have a fun CSN gift certificate on my blog, I'd love for you to stop by if you have a moment. 😉

  51. Sailing Simply says:

    Beautiful makeover on those! I really need to get some of this Heirloom White! LOL! You really did a fantastic job!

  52. Good for you! They look great!

  53. I am a little envious of that pear. . .I want it :)

  54. This was one of my favorite projects from last week's Mad Skills party, and I will be featuring it on my blog this morning!

  55. WOW….those look better than your inspiration!!

  56. Petit Design Co. says:

    I love the finish on the pear

  57. Blessed Mommy of 2 says:

    Better than the original. Great job!

  58. Beautiful! I love the finish!

  59. impressive! i’ve always liked the pear!

  60. Those look great! Many years ago my mom used to do ceramics as a hobby.. I remember how she’d stain patina on the items. I’ve never done it, only the times I watched her. I wonder if I could pull it off. They are so lovely!

  61. Lovely. We’re these ceramic or that foamy stuff?

  62. I’ve seen those in Ballards & Yes can’t agree more, outrageously priced! These are wonderful, great job on the painting…now to just find something like this! Great Post Brittany & thank you!


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