By Carly Schramm
We’ve all seen the Project Runway innovation challenges where designers must craft a garment out of unconventional items with just a bit of cash—the corn husk dress à la Austin Scarlett, for example. Well, now’s your chance to whip up a wedding dress and headpiece with only tape, glue, thread, and—get ready—toilet paper. You won’t show your masterpiece at Fashion Week, but you will have a shot at winning $1,000 for the wedding of your dreams!
Roxie Radford, Laura Gawne, and Susan Bain are the DIY masterminds behind Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com as well as the creators of the Toilet Paper Dress Contest. The contest is based on the wedding shower game every bride-to-be loves, or loves to hate. Now in its seventh year, the contest is growing in popularity. In 2010, the judges sifted through about 1,100 unique toilet paper dress entries, some good and some downright bad.
“The craziest have been a few bridesmaids who sent in photos from bridal showers,” Bain says. “It was pretty obvious there was drinking involved.”
Still, there have been a few memorable dresses. “We really like our very first winner's dress,” Bain says. “She used colored toilet paper and made very nice working buttons.” The winning dress from 2008 is another favorite. “[The designer] formed beautiful flowers and details using water and toilet paper, and then applied them to the dress,” she says.
Radford, Gawne, Bain, and the occasional guest judge evaluate the designs based on creativity, originality, beauty, and overall use of toilet paper. The first-place winner claims the $1,000 prize, $500 goes to the second-place winner, and $250 for third place. If you'd love a little extra cash to spend on that custom gown, designer shoes, or the perfect clutch, here’s your chance to work your bridal magic and have some fun.
The competition has been steep in recent years, but Bain offers these tips:
1. Be original.
2. Pay attention to detail.
3. Take very clear, bright photos of the front, back, and side of the dress.
She notes that many contestants don’t start planning or designing until close to the deadline, so get a move on! The contest opened May 5 and runs through June 17 (which means there’s still time for all you procrastinators out there). “We have a lot of fun, and our fans definitely like to keep it going.”
Photos courtesy of Cheap-Chic-Weddings—From top: Ericka Andrade (2nd Place 2010), Ann Kagawa Lee (1st Place 2009), Katrina Chalifoux (1st Place 2008), Rebekah Shuman (1st Place 2005), and Galit Zeierman (1st Place 2010)