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Thunder Bay teen’s duct tape prom dress makes finals in international contest

Prom is known for glitz and glam, poofy dresses and the best formal wear possible.

But student Monica Walsh’s prom dress is a bit unconventional; it’s made of duct tape.

She’s one of five finalists in the Duck Tape Stuck at Prom scholarship contest, an international contest.

The contest challenges students to craft and showcase their own prom wear entirely made from Duck Tape, offering participants the chance to win scholarships.

Walsh has a shot at $15,000 in post-secondary scholarships and is the only Canadian finalist selected. 

Monica Walsh poses in her duct tape prom dress. (Submitted by Monica Walsh)

Walsh said she is a creative person and likes to do different projects here and there.

She saw the contest online and thought she wouldn’t have enough time to make the dress until her mom brought it up to her too.

“I was like, ‘That’s a great idea, but I don’t think I have enough time. And then I went to bed, slept on it, and I was like, yeah, I should make a duct tape dress,'” said Walsh.

From start to finish, it took her 126 hours and 13 rolls of duct tape to create the dress, which was inspired by art from artist Romero Britto.

“It’s part, like, bright pop art, and it has black outlines on it, a very colourful bottom of the dress, and it has like a white top separating it and then it goes back to colourful again,” said Walsh.

Monica Walsh poses in her duct tape prom dress, filled with vivid colours like bright blue, orange, yellow, with designs and some duct tape accessories
Monica Walsh poses in her duct tape prom dress, showing the back of the dress. (Submitted by Monica Walsh)

“I had a couple of designs in my mind, and I wanted to do something different and unique so I narrowed it down to that one. I had like three design ideas, and then I didn’t actually sketch it out or anything. I kind of had it in my head, and I started laying duct tape on pieces of fabric.”

Walsh said the reaction from people has been really good, and a lot of people find it to be very creative.

While it is a creative garment, Walsh said it’s not the most comfortable as it’s made of duct tape, and storing it has created a unique challenge.

“I tried to hang it up, but it started peeling away the duct tape. So, it kind of has its own place on the floor of my living room to keep all the duct tape flat.”

The Duck Tape Stuck at Prom contest is ongoing until July 10, and Walsh said she needs people to vote for her for a chance at the $15,000 scholarship prize for school.

“It would mean a lot to me,” she said. “I mean, it would pay for a lot of my schooling cause $15,000 American … is a lot.”

People are able to vote for their favourite creations until July 10.

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