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Teens create prom dresses using just duct tape to win scholarship

These high schoolers tossed dozens of duct tape tolls in their carts and spent hundreds of hours making unique dresses.

Teens create prom dresses using just duct tape to win scholarship
Cover Image Source: Stuck At Prom

A roll of duct tape comes in handy when someone needs to create a tic-tac box, seal a jam jar, create crafts, seal boxes, or patch holes. But the utility of duct tape goes way beyond an artist’s studio or a student’s workbench. Take these high school teenagers for example. Interlacing rolls and rolls of duct tape, these boys and girls are known to weave spectacular dresses for their school prom. They usually participate in this craftwork with the intent of winning prize money up to $15,000 as a part of the “Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest.”

Image Source: Duck Tape
Image Source: Stuck at Prom

The contest is organized every year by Duck Brand. Students are challenged to create their prom dresses entirely out of their brand’s duct tape. Using duct tape, these students come with their own artistic versions of colorful gowns, tuxedos, and tunics. In the 2023 contest, a girl named Karla Tejeda grabbed the title of “Best Dress.”

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Her dress, as she described on the contest website, was inspired by 18th-century French art she came across at the Getty Museum. She created a gorgeous off-shoulder gown in white and rose pink colors, embellished with pastel floral detailing, bell-style cuffs, and gold trimmings. She completed her look with a white choker necklace and a hair clip that matched the pink color of the dress. She also drew her inspiration from the Rococo fashion. “I am fascinated by clothes and how they have evolved through the course of history. Although we are in the 21st century, it doesn’t stop us from dressing up from any time period. I wanted to showcase a dress that reflects a glamorous era of fashion,” she said.

Image Source: Duck Tape
Image Source: Stuck at Prom

Apart from Karla, Ian Rojas won the prize for “Best Tux” in 2023’s contest. Rojas crafted a Mayan-inspired tux with a glossy black suit, a mammoth bow, and accents of gold everywhere. While his suit represented an elegant blend of gold and black, the pop of bright colors like parrot green and cherry red added to the outfit’s overall ethnic appeal.

On the website, he revealed his inspiration, “I was inspired by the Mayan Gods, Kinich Ahau, the God of the Sun, and Kukulkan, the God of weather and life. I was also inspired by ancient Mayan clothing and motifs. I wanted to fuse the culture of the Mayans and the elegance and formality of promwear, without coming off as a costume. During quarantine, I started learning how to sew by making stuffed animals so I made one of the Kukulkan.”

Image Source: Duck Tape
Image Source: Stuck at Prom

Before the 2023 contest, another participating candidate that made headlines was Erika Avallaneda. Erika, who won the prize for “Dress Runner-up,” designed a stunning high-low off-shoulder gown with details of eye motifs appearing in blue and gold. She accentuated her looks by smudging electric blue eye shadow in her make-up. Sharing how she got the idea, she said, “I was inspired by the style and colors that you would find in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. A big part of the dress’s inspiration was the colors of ancient Egypt like gold, white, black, and turquoise/blue. Once I realized that a lot of the colors I was already using were similar to those of the evil eye I knew I had to add it in. The evil eye can symbolize multiple means depending on what cultures you ask.”

Image Source: Duck Tape
Image Source: Stuck at Prom

Erika told CTV News that she dedicated a total of 143 hours to spinning the dress from 17 rolls of duct tape which was worth approximately $100. When asked what excited her most about the contest, she said, “It’s not like your average scholarship where you have to write essays, so I thought it would be super fun.”

The first scholarship contest by the brand was held in 2001 and since then, it has inspired countless young people to explore the horizons of aesthetics, fashion, and style. 

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