CLOSE

11 Household Items Made Into Prom Dresses

Industrious ladies have always taken to designing and creating their own prom dresses, but generally that just means sewing a few pieces of fabric together. For the truly crafty and clever, though, the materials for a one-of-a-kind dress can be found around the house.

1. Duct Tape

The most common oddball material for prom dresses and tuxes has to be duct tape. And there’s good reason for the material’s popularity—every year Duck Brand Tapes offers $30,000 worth of scholarships to students who can make the best duct tape prom outfits. The winning couple gets a $5,000 prize per person -not bad for being sticky and sweaty for one night. The contest galleries are worth a look.

2. Newspapers

This year, the Detroit Free Press decided to try their hand at prom dress construction contests, offering a $500 prize to the best dress made out of old newspapers.

3. Skittles Wrappers

You’d think someone who made their entire dress from Skittles would be a serious fan of the candy, but as it turns out, Molly Burt-Westvig just really loves rainbows and thought the packaging would make the perfect fabric for her unconventional prom gown. It only took 101 wrappers to create this fringe-covered dress.

4. Starburst Wrappers

Without a contest to incentivize them, two different students wore dresses made out of Starburst Wrappers. The first was Tara Frey, whose mother spent six years constructing a dress, a purse, shoes and jewelry, and a matching vest for Tara’s date. By the time all was said and done, no one could even estimate how much candy they had to go through to make the dress. It must have been a ton though, considering that Diane McNease required about 18,000 wrappers just to make the corset of her prom dress this year—a feat that took the high school senior five months.

5. Coffee Filters

Sometimes prom dresses are most certainly inspired by things the girls love. For example, Aimee Kick is known around town as “the girl with a coffee cup" as the aspiring fashion designer spends a lot of time at her local coffee shops. Embracing her love of the caffeinated bean, Aimee went ahead and created an entire dress out of coffee filters and accessorized the look with a coffee bean necklace.

6. Gum Wrappers

Elizabeth Rasmuson and boyfriend Jordan Weaver’s friends must have had great breath this year. That’s because the couple bought enough gum to create a corset top and a vest out of the wrappers. But to get to the wrappers, they had to pass out "5" gum to all of their friends first.

7. Doritos Bags

When it comes to crafting prom dresses from unconventional materials, perhaps no one is as famous as Maura Pozek. While I have no idea how she’s managed to go to prom four years in a row, she has certainly come up with impressive looks for every event, starting with the homemade Gothic Lolita dress she wore freshman year. The next year though, she decided to make it more of a challenge, and created this delightful dress from Doritos bags.

8. Soda Tabs

For her junior year, Maura decided to make something a little classier and began investing over 100 hours into this dress made with over 4,000 pull tabs and lots of ribbon. Surprisingly, of all of her gowns, she claims that this was the most comfortable.

9. Cardboard

For her final prom dress, this year Maura really dove into the recycling bin, pulling out cardboard and paper bags. Impressively, she even managed to construct a lovely corset backing with her corrugated top.

10. Bubble Wrap

It’s hard to tell if Reddit user jnizeti was inspired by the duct tape prom dress contest or by a package delivered to her house. Either way, it’s certainly unique.

11. A Parachute

This may be the only dress on this list made out of actual fabric, and it isn't technically something most people would find around the house, but it's certainly not ordinary. The dress, made from a parachute by Crafter user Obudha, can actually be turned into a tent. It’s like the Swiss army knife version of prom dresses.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
USPS
arrow
Art
USPS Is Issuing Its First Scratch-and-Sniff Stamps This Summer
USPS
USPS

Summertime smells like sunscreen, barbecues, and—starting June 20, 2018—postage stamps. That's when the United States Postal Service debuts its first line of scratch-and-sniff stamps in Austin, Texas with perfumes meant to evoke "the sweet scent of summer."

The 10 stamps in the collection feature playful watercolor illustrations of popsicles by artist Margaret Berg. If the designs alone don't immediately transport you back to hot summer days spent chasing ice cream trucks, a few scratches and a whiff of the stamp should do the trick. If you're patient, you can also refrain from scratching and use them to mail a bit of summer nostalgia to your loved ones.

Since it was invented in the 1960s, scratch-and-sniff technology has been incorporated into photographs, posters, picture books, and countless kids' stickers.

The first-class mail "forever" stamps will be available in booklets of 20 for $10. You can preorder yours online before they're unveiled at the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony at Austin's Thinkery children's museum next month.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
Art
15 Things You Didn't Know About The Persistence Of Memory

Salvador Dalì's The Persistence of Memory is the eccentric Spanish painter's most recognizable work. You have probably committed its melting clocks to memory—but you may not know all that went into its making.

1. THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY WAS PAINTED IN THE MIDST OF A HALLUCINATION.

Around the time of the painting’s 1931 creation, Dalì perfected his "paranoiac-critical method." The artist would attempt to enter a meditative state of self-induced psychotic hallucinations so that he could make what he called "hand-painted dream photographs."

“I am the first to be surprised and often terrified by the images I see appear upon my canvas," Dalì wrote, referring to his unusual routine. "I register without choice and with all possible exactitude the dictates of my subconscious, my dreams.”

2. IT'S SMALLER THAN YOU MIGHT EXPECT.

The Persistence of Memory is one of Dalì's philosophical triumphs, but the actual oil-on-canvas painting measures only 9.5 inches by 13 inches.

3. THE PAINTING MADE THE 28-YEAR-OLD ARTIST FAMOUS.

Dalì began painting when he was 6 years old. As a young man, he flirted with fame, working with Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel on his groundbreaking shorts Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or. But Dalì’s big break didn’t come until he created his signature surrealist work. The press and the public went mad for him when The Persistence of Memory was shown at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York City in 1932.

4. THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY STAYED IN NEW YORK THANKS TO AN ANONYMOUS DONOR.

After its gallery show, a patron bought the piece and donated it to the Museum of Modern Art in 1934. It’s been a highlight of MoMA's collection for more than 80 years.

5. OTHER SURREALISTS PUT HIM ON TRIAL.

Though Dalì had become the most famous surrealist painter in the world, André Breton, the founder of surrealism, gave him the boot over concerns about Dalì’s alleged support of fascism. At his ousting from the Bureau for Surrealist Research, the loose network of surrealist artists and philosophers headed by Breton, Dalì declared, "I myself am surrealism."

6. EINSTEIN'S THEORIES MAY HAVE INFLUENCED DALÌ.

The Persistence of Memory has sparked considerable academic debate as scholars interpret the painting. Some critics believe the melting watches in the piece are a response to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. In her book Dalì and Surrealism, critic Dawn Ades writes, "the soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time."

7. DALÌ'S EXPLANATION WAS CHEESIER.

Dalì declared that his true muse for the deformed clocks was a wheel of Camembert cheese that had melted in the sun. As Dalì considered himself and his persona an extension of his work, the truthfulness of his response is also up for debate.

8. ITS LANDSCAPE COMES FROM DALÌ'S CHILDHOOD.

Dalì's native Catalonia had a major influence on his works. His family's summer house in the shade of Mount Pani (also known as Mount Panelo) inspired him to integrate its likeness into his paintings again and again, like in View of Cadaqués with Shadow of Mount Pani. In The Persistence of Memory, the shadow of Mount Pani drapes the foreground, while Cape Creus and its craggy coast lie in the background.

9. THE PAINTING HAS A SEQUEL (SORT OF).

In 1954, Dalì revisited the composition of The Persistence of Memory for a new work, The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory. Alternately known as The Chromosome of a Highly-coloured Fish's Eye Starting the Harmonious Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory, the oil-on-canvas piece is believed to represent Dalì's prior work being broken down to its atomic elements.

10. BETWEEN PAINTING THESE TWO WORKS, DALÌ'S OBSESSIONS SHIFTED.

Though the subjects of The Persistence of Memory and The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory are the same, their differences illustrated the shifts that took place between periods of Dalì's career. The first painting was created in the midst of his Freudian phase, when Dalì was fascinated by the dream analysis pioneered by Sigmund Freud. By the 1950s, when the latter was painted, Dalì's dark muse had become the science of the atomic age.

"In the surrealist period, I wanted to create the iconography of the interior world—the world of the marvelous, of my father Freud," Dalì explained. "I succeeded in doing it. Today the exterior world—that of physics—has transcended the one of psychology. My father today is [theoretical physicist] Dr. Heisenberg."

11. FREUD RECIPROCATED DALÌ'S ADMIRATION.

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was not a fan of the surrealists, whom he felt were too conscious of the art they were making and didn't understand his theories. Dalì was the exception. When the two met in 1938, Dalì was giddily sketching a portrait of his 82-year-old idol when Freud whispered, "That boy looks like a fanatic." The comment delighted Dalì, as did Freud's suggestion that his The Metamorphosis of Narcissus would be of value to the study of psychoanalysis. Freud later said, "I have been inclined to regard the surrealists as complete fools, but that young Spaniard with his candid, fanatical eyes and his undeniable technical mastery, has changed my estimate."

12.THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY MAY BE A SELF-PORTRAIT.

The floppy profile at the painting's center might be meant to represent Dalì himself, as the artist was fond of self-portraits. Previously painted self-portraits include Self-Portrait in the Studio, Cubist Self-Portrait, Self-Portrait with "L' Humanité" and Self-Portrait (Figueres).

13. THERE WERE MORE MELTING CLOCKS TO COME.

In the 1970s, Dalì revisited his squishy timepieces in sculptures like Dance of Time I, II, & III; Nobility of Time, and Profile of Time. He also included them in lithographs.

14. THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY HAS ALIASES.

The masterpiece is also known as Soft Watches, Droopy Watches, The Persistence of Time, and Melting Clocks.

15. THE PAINTING HAS BECOME INGRAINED IN POP CULTURE.

The Persistence of Memory has been referenced on television in The Simpsons, Futurama, Hey Arnold, Doctor Who, and Sesame Street. Likewise, it's been alluded to in the animated movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, in the comic strip The Far Side, and in videogames like EarthBound and Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced. It was even parodied to mock the NFL’s DeflateGate scandal.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios