Sunday, May 27, 2012

Keep Red Pleather out of Landfills! A Story of Sustainable Fabulousness...

Have you been to Scrap DC in the basement of  52 O Street, NW?   ( 

It's a community resource for creative re-users and a great place to browse for odd bits like wallpaper sample books, pompons, origami papers and many, many other cast-offs that might be of interest to artists, crafters and tinkerers.  On my first visit there my heart leapt with delight to see a bolt of shiny lipstick-red patent pleather. ($1.50 per yard)  Now this is not an eco-fabric.  It's plastic.  But it's somebody's cast off, so I can buy it.  (Cue Madonna singing "Material Girl"...)  Scrap DC founders, Karen Klein and Heather Bouley, could not be more helpful in brainstorming the possibilities of their supplies.  Below is Karen in a possible bustle use:

And Heather and I remembered Angelina Jolie's strange leg pose at the Oscars...

Anyway, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the red pleather, but my gal pal, Jodi, said affirmatively, "You need that!"  And I knew she was right.  Sure enough, just days later I chose an Artomatic site that's a dull, depressing,  defense contractor's office.  I needed to turn it into an inviting boudoir.  What's more "inviting" than red  pleather? 
Earlier that week I had read an article in Elle Decor and one in In Style about  boudoirs.  (Read "closet" for the rest of us.)  Most boudoirs seemed to center on an upholstered ottoman. 
Fashion Designer Nanette Lepore's closet/dressing room as seen in Elle Decor
So I popped in at Miss Pixie's ( and nearly tripped over a gently-used round tufted ottoman near the front door.  ($55)  And thank you Miss Pixie's for the referral to D'Carlo's Upholstery on Georgia Ave. (, where they did an expert job applying the red pleather.  ($400.)  That is a lot for me, but I will always have the ottoman, and this was NOT an easy job.  You start by sewing eight pleather diamonds into a star....)  Next craigslist brought me together with a great 7' by 9' thick white shag rug. ($45)  Will the serendipity never stop?  Well,  I dropped by my friend Sara's, and she just happened to have 4 mirrored bi-fold doors in her driveway.  They were removed during a home renovation, and she was waiting for a chance to call Community Forklift ( for a pick-up.  Could I repurpose them first?  Well, yes!  So now I have the perfect thing to soften the corners in my cubicle space.  I am well on my way to a sustainable fashion installation that will require me to buy nothing new.  I may need to pick up a couple more things from Value Village(  and Fixtures Plus (  Then I'll use up some of the leftover Benjamin Moore Eco-Spec  paint in our basement, but that ought to do it.  We truly have some great re-use resources in this area.  Peruse Scrap DC's list of other re-use resources at:
And check out my boudoir installation on the 8th Floor at Artomatic 2012 May 18 to June 23.  Come see the naughty red ottoman.  

No comments:

Post a Comment