Teens make prom dress and tux out of duct tape, win $10K in scholarship prize money

Teens make prom dress and tux out of duct tape, win K in scholarship prize money

Many teens around the country spent hours picking out the perfect prom outfit this year. 

A few teens, however, spent much more time than that making their prom outfits themselves — using duct tape. 

The Duck Tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest announced the 2023 winners of the two $10,000 scholarship prizes — one for best tux and one for best dress. 

Karla Tejeda, with the best dress, and Ian Rojas, with the best tux, are among the 10 finalists announced in late June. 

Tejeda, from Los Angeles, California, told Fox News Digital that creating her dress was “very challenging.”

She said she’d “never created a dress before.”

The 18-year-old’s pink-and-white French-inspired gown took 120 hours to make and included over 14 rolls of Duck Tape. 

Tejeda said she only had about a week to create the gown — noting she didn’t start the process until late May. 

“It was a lot of trial and error, as tape isn’t the easiest thing to work with,” she said. 

Tejeda said she sketched out the design and got to cutting — trying to put the pieces together by adding intricate designs to the dress. 

The Duck Tape prom dress winner.
The Duck Tape prom dress winner.
Duck brand

Tejeda also said she couldn’t have done it without the support of her family and friends. 

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This fall, she’ll be enrolling in college — and said the scholarship prize money will be put toward her education. 

Ian Rojas, of Taylorsville, Utah, used 11 roles of Duck Tape and spend over 57 hours creating his unique suit. 

The sketch for the Duck Tape prom dress.
The sketch for the Duck Tape prom dress.
Karla Tejeda

The 17-year-old told Fox News Digital that the creation was difficult to make — but it became easier as he went on, he said. 

“At first, it seemed so difficult to make the suit, but as I went on, it became more familiar to me,” he said. 

The teen said his suit paid homage to the Aztecs and Mayans that settled near his homeland of El Salvador in ancient times. 

He told Duck Tape that he wanted to make something as a tribute to that. 

Another Duck Tape outfit created entirely out of tape.
Another Duck Tape outfit created entirely out of tape.
Duck brand

“I wanted to fuse the culture of the Mayans and the elegance and formality of prom wear without [it] coming off as a costume,” he said. 

He expressed to Fox News Digital how it felt to win the scholarship contest.

“When I found out [I won], I was so overwhelmed with joy,” he said.  

Rojas is still thinking of how he will spend his $10,000 prize — leaning toward traveling to Italy for a mentorship program.

A snake accessory that compliments the tape outfit.
A snake accessory that compliments the tape outfit.
Duck brand

The 10 contest finalists were located in 10 different states — Washington, Mississippi, Minnesota, Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas, California, Utah and North Carolina. 

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The eight runner-up contestants received $500 scholarships for their efforts and a Duck brand prize pack worth $100. 

A panel of judges picked the 10 finalists based on a percentage breakdown of workmanship, originality, colors, accessories and the use of Duck Tape. 

The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest began in 2001. 

The idea has been to reward teens for their creative ideas and execution in creating a prom outfit out of Duck Tape. 

Since then, roughly 8,000 students have submitted prom outfits, and the Duck brand has given away more than half a million dollars in scholarship money, according to Duck Tape. 

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