Girl wins duct tape prom dress competition with stunning gown

Southern California girl who spent 120 hours on duct tape gown wins national prom dress competition

  • Karla Torres duct tape prom dress won the national Stuck at Prom competition
  • The dress used 14 rolls of duct tape and took over 100 hours to complete 
  • Torres, by coming in first, won a $10,000 scholarship to a school of her choice 

A Southern California teenager has won Duct Tape’s national Stuck at Prom competition after spending over 100 hours to complete a stunning gown. 

Karla Torres, 18, used just over a dozen rolls of tape to craft a masterpiece prom dress that was inspired by French art at Los Angeles’ Getty Museum. 

‘I was very inspired by like the French paintings that I saw, very elegant dress. So I knew I wanted to create an elegant dress as well,’ the teenager told KTLA. 

In winning the nationwide competition, Torres is taking home a $10,000 scholarship to a school of her choice where she plans to study business administration. 

The dress will be displayed at Duck Brand headquarters in Avon, Ohio alongside previous winners with just as much talent and ambition as Torres. 

Karla Torres, 18, used just over a dozen rolls of tape to craft a masterpiece prom dress that was inspired by French art at the Getty Museum. The dress won her a $10,000 scholarship

Torres stands along the dress she made while making an appearance on KTLA 

Just days after winning the competition by beating out hundreds of other entrants, Torres spoke with the Southern California outlet about the process. 

‘Well, it took a lot of trial and error,’ Torres said, laughing. 

She said she was lucky to also have the help of her mom and her crafting hobby.  

‘My mom has a lot of like crafting machines, so maybe that gave us an advantage,’ Torres said, describing how they put the dress together. 

The pair used a press machine and metal stencils to make the cuts. 

‘We weren’t sure if it was actually going to work. It’s supposed to cut paper,’ Torres said. ‘And it actually did work and it’s what helped us make the trim, the necklace and other flowers. So this discovery helped us a lot with the design.’ 

The dress was made in pieces including a petticoat and a deconstructed bra. 

‘Most of the part is using wax paper and then putting duct tape on top of it, which helped us with creating the whole gown,’ Torres said.

She heavily pulled from French art with its pastel colors and gold highlights. 

‘It was a time period of luxurious gowns full of lace, floral prints, ribbons, and ruffles. So I wanted to incorporate some of these elements into my dress,’ she said. 

The dress took 120 hours to make and the pair used just over a dozen rolls of tape

The teenager also made a clutch purse out of duct tape to accompany the dress

The stunning dress

In total, they put in just about 120 hours and purchased 14 rolls for the dress. 

With each roll costing anywhere from $5 to $8, they spent around $100 total. 

Even after the dress was done being made, however, the job was not over.  

Torres’ mom had to tape her into the dress to make it a finished product. 

‘For the top part, I actually had to get it taped on,’ Torres said. ‘So my mom would help me tape it on. And then to take it off, she’d have to rip it off or cut it.’

The hard work paid off when she received the call that she had won – even though she almost missed the message.  

‘They actually called me and I was sleeping,’ Torres said. ‘So I was like. “Hello?” And then when they told me I was the winner, I was so excited and I just had to tell my mom.’

The dress – like other incredible winners of past years – will now stay at the company’s headquarters on display for visitors to see. 

Ian H, the first place tuxedo winner who also won a $10,000 scholarship

The competition began in 2019 and has seen thousands of submissions. 

Each creation is judged on a number of factors ranging from workmanship to use of color to originality. 

The submitted dresses are then judged by a panel who determine the winners and runners-up.  

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