In this day and age, we always find ourselves learning about awesome inventions. However, everyone can agree that nothing holds things together as well as duct tape. It’s such a versatile tape that you can find in every crafter’s, engineer’s, builder’s and household’s quick-fix kit! Then, a trend of creating wearable fashion using duct tape began. It became so popular that Duck Brand began hosting a scholarship contest every year. The contest rewards creative students who can make a prom outfit using duct tape with a $10,000 scholarship. And this year, 18-year-old Peyton Manker from Sparta, Illinois was a standout with her gorgeous and timely DIY prom dress!
Prom is a pretty big deal for teenagers. So it’s only natural that many would prefer to create the design of their outfit. Take for example Kymeh McEntyre, who transformed herself into an African queen through her own design! But the difference between McEntyre’s and Peyton Manker’s prom dresses is that Peyton did everything on her own. From coming up with the concept, putting the materials (in this case, duct tape) together, Peyton’s DIY prom dress was definitely a labor of love. And while others may opt for whimsical styles, Peyton opted for a more relevant theme for her Stuck At Prom entry.
Duck Brand has a DIY prom costume contest every year
Duck Brand describes their Stuck At Prom as “the coolest scholarship contest around”. Students vie for scholarship cash worth $10,000 by wearing a DIY prom dress or tuxedo made entirely out of duct tape to their prom event. Every year, thousands of students from all over the United States and six Canadian provinces join and show off their stylishly sticky style. This year, Peyton Manker and 110 other students joined the contest. But Peyton’s dress definitely stands out from the crowd for more than just its elegant style.
Prom and graduation may have been cancelled, but that didn’t stop Peyton Manker from making her DIY prom dress
At first, Peyton thought her prom dress would be dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, who was one of her favorite artists. However, things took an unexpected turn when the pandemic prevented Peyton and her batchmates from attending prom or their graduation. Many find this unfortunate, but Peyton used it to her advantage instead. So, her tribute became a COVID-19-themed dress! According to Peyton, she went for it because she thought nobody else would.
“If you saw me crafting my dress, you’d usually see me sitting on the floor in athletic shorts, an old t-shirt, and a very messy ponytail hunched over a cutting board and trying to cut tiny pieces of tape with a very tiny knife,” Peyton recalled.
A lot of things went into her COVID-19-themed prom dress
Once she figured out what her dress would be about, Peyton began turning her concept into a reality. She ended up dedicating nearly 400 hours or approximately 16.6 days to transform 41 rolls of duct tape into a COVID-19-themed prom dress! This translates to roughly 280 yards or 750 meters of duct tape. And the result is a stunning dress that accurately showcases every notable detail that we will always remember about this pandemic situation.
“The biggest challenge in crafting my dress was actually making the structure of my dress itself. Like I mentioned before, I have never sewed or designed a piece of clothing, so, of course, I had no idea what I was doing! I went through a lot of trial and error making sure the dress fit, etc., but it finally came together!”
Peyton’s blue, off-shoulder duct tape prom dress features gold trims and a menagerie of imagery related to the pandemic. On the bodice of her dress, you can see silhouettes of people with masks practicing social distancing. Then, on her large panel skirt, you will see a variety of other pandemic-related images like a collage honoring essential and front-line workers. On the other panels of her skirt, you’ll find a group of people fleeing from a giant coronavirus, a COVID-19-infected person sneezing and another protecting himself from the virus by wearing a mask. Each panel of her skirt features colorful yet very meaningful images that we’ll all remember long after this pandemic passes.
This teen spent over 400 hours cutting duct tape into tiny pieces so she can include images of essential and front-line workers in her duct tape prom dress
She also paid tribute to her batchmates with this colorful virtual graduation detail
Peyton really went all out on her creative depiction of the times
Her dress was so heavy that she actually struggled while wearing it
The first-time dressmaker also made accessories out of duct tape to complete her DIY prom outfit
Peyton also created matching accessories to complete her coronavirus-themed duct tape prom getup. Her mask, jewelry, hair accessories, purse, corsage and even shoes all match her dress’s motif. And if we were to estimate the overall cost of her creation, Peyton’s amazing COVID-19-themed prom dress set her back around $150 to $245, depending on where she purchased the tape. But the dress’s challenge didn’t end after Peyton finished it.
Since her DIY prom dress is made out of duct tape, it was clearly not going to be as comfortable compared to a fabric dress. Wearing the duct tape dress was a both a challenge and sacrifice in itself!
Despite its brilliant appearance, the prom dress was relatively heavy and stiff, due to the fact that it’s made entirely of duct tape. And since the material of her dress isn’t actually made to be worn and is lauded for being waterproof, Peyton definitely felt the heat while wearing her masterpiece. She was constantly sweating during her photoshoot. And supporting all that weight definitely took a toll on her ankles as well!
Even her bouquet and corsage are made from duct tape
She’s currently in the running as one of Stuck At Prom’s finalists
Shortly after Peyton donned her DIY prom dress, her proud mom Suzy shared the photos on Facebook. Peyton’s eye-catching creation almost instantly captivated casual timeline scrollers and racked up 148,000 reactions and 50,000 comments. It has also been shared over 254,000 times!
“I was extremely surprised to see my dress go viral. I didn’t know how to feel, it was surreal,” Peyton shared. “I only expected my hometown to see my dress and that was it. But then I began receiving messages from people all over the world! It was an insane feeling that I can’t describe!”
Is dressmaking in this crafty 18-year-old’s future?
Since Peyton’s dress is so visually stunning, people are wondering if she will continue to make more. In response to this, the 18-year-old said that she hasn’t made plans on making any other dresses. But she hasn’t absolutely closed the door on the idea.
“I am not sure if this is a calling for me to design dresses or craft but, I have always loved art. So I believe it may be in my future!”
The voting period for the best duct tape prom outfits began on June 29th and will end on July 10th. After that, the contest’s final winners will be announced on July 21st. So if you love Peyton’s creation, show her your support by casting your vote on her dress! Who knew you could such a beautiful costume with just duct tape? Check out all the awesome duct tape prom outfits (including Peyton’s!) here.
Everyone’s got something nice to say about Peyton’s dress