A brew-tiful creation! Designer Erin Shannon Pennacchio came up with a one-of-a-kind wedding dress made from 500 Keurig K-Cups, and the dress has officially made its internet debut. In an exclusive interview with The Knot, the Los Angeles-based designer opens up about her nifty idea and the creative process.
This past May, Pennacchio, 54, requested that friends and family members save their used coffee pods for one of her upcoming projects. “Dear LA friends & family, if you have a #keurig machine please don’t throw away your used K cups,” she wrote at the time in a Facebook post. “I’m working on a HUGE decorating project and it will require many. I’ll make pick up arrangements with you! Stay tuned, it’s gunna be awesome!!!!”
Pennacchio took those seemingly useless old pods and turned them into an awe-inspiring wedding gown. She designed the intricate bodice using filters that are in some of the cups, according to ABC7 News — the news station where her husband, George Pennacchio, works as a reporter. The “entertainment guru” even asked his news station coworkers to donate their used pods for “a secret project” his talented wife was working on.
Before designing the “K-Cup Couture” wedding dress, Pennacchio’s coffee pod-inspired creations led to her becoming a finalist on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. She took boots from her own closet and transformed them into bookend planters, then filled them with handmade flowers created from… you guessed it… K-Cups!
“I was challenged by a friend who knows that I try to re-purpose and recycle as many things as I can,” she tells The Knot. “I did not win the Home & Family contest but decided to take the 100 days challenge 2016 on Instagram.” The project began on April 19 and ended last Wednesday, July 27.
After Home & Family, Pennacchio’s designing aspirations became much bigger – and required more pods! “I started working on my dress idea – a natural choice since I design custom dresses for clients here in LA,” she shares. “Within the 100 day challenge, I posted photos every day of easy ways to reuse and re-purpose things. I call them ‘SnapEtips’ (my friends call me E). I have a Facebook page called ‘SnapEtips.'”
Now that Pennacchio has designed her first “K-Cup Couture” gown, she has no desire to stop. After the unveiling of the dress, her proud husband posted on his Facebook page, “She’s already working on the next piece in her artistic collection! It’s coming soon…”
“The reaction has been so amazing!” the designer shares. “I can’t get over it! I think because so many people use K-Cups, they are happy to see someone using them. I will continue to collect many thousand and have some fun ideas to do a line I call ‘K-Cup Couture.’ Home & Family may have me come back to their show in the next couple weeks to do a fun recycled fashion segment.”
So far, there are no plans for the custom dress to make its appearance at a wedding, but Pennacchio is hopeful that will change. “The dress is completely wearable, and I hope to see a bride wear this one down the aisle. It’s a size four,” she tells The Knot.
Pennacchio – who uses the tagline, “Something donated, something green, something upcycled, you have never seen,” has yet to hear from Keurig about her K-Cup creation. “I have not spoken with anyone directly but have messaged the company and tagged them in every photo posted on Instagram, and they have ‘liked’ the photos,” she shares. ” Keurig Canada tweeted about it. As long as the plastic is not rated for recycling, I will keep designing. An estimated 20 billion will end up in trash this year. I believe that eventually they will make them more environmentally friendly.”