The other day I was checking out Cargoh, a newish online “social marketplace" and amidst the usual suspects for sale — wall decals, greeting cards and jewelry — the wares of a seller named Giddy Spinster (she also maintains an Etsy storefront) caught my eye. You see, she’s a designer working with a most unusual medium: reclaimed stiletto heels.

I’m not sure where Giddy Spinster sources her footwear — a used stripper shoe outlet? Jenny Farley’s reject pile? I mean really, where does one find a used, size 8 dominatrix shoe? — but her handiwork is quite remarkable. She removes the top of each shoe, sands it, drills holes for drainage, and places succulents or cacti in the makeshift planter using organic soil/fertilizer and plants from a certified organic grower in Berkeley. Each reclaimed stiletto planter, sold individually, costs in the ballpark of $55 to $80. For international customers who are barred from receiving plants through the mail, Giddy Spinster will create a sculptural DIY “unplanted” shoe for $60.

In addition to the planters, Giddy Spinster also offers a set of heavy-duty (they weigh two pounds each) reclaimed stiletto bookends that are drilled with epoxy to steel plates. She writes: “These upcycled stiletto heels are a visual reminder of the increasingly artificial representations of femininity in American culture.”

Eh. I’m not sure if that’s what I’m taking away from a pair of stripper shoe bookends but whatever … they’re still pretty fun and a great gift for that, umm, skanky horticulturalist in your life. And with the right tools, I’m thinking this could turn into an interesting DIY upcycling project. That is, if Giddy Spinster hasn’t already claimed your local supply of previously worn Lucite stripper heels. 


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

If the stripper shoe fits, green it
Not sure what to do with your old (pole) dancing shoes? Take a cue from Giddy Spinster and upcycle them into cacti planters or a pair of bookends for your colle