Creative Sunnyside Teen Makes Prom Dress out of Duct Tape, Wins $10,000 Duck Brand Scholarship

By Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
July 30, 2021 Updated: September 12, 2021

One creative Sunnyside 17-year-old rolled out an eye-catching colorful folkloric-inspired dress for prom this year—made entirely out of duct tape.

The festive endeavor by Larissa Leon showcased her heritage, portraying the beauty of Chiapas couture, and won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest held by Duck Brand.

“I wanted to make something more meaningful than just a dress,” Larissa told The Epoch Times. “I wanted the dress to represent a part of me. I wanted to showcase the beauty of my culture.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Larissa LeonDuck Brand)

The teen has been crafting ever since she was very young, amazing her family members with what she could make. She started using duct tape in the 2010s when it became popular.

“I remember when duct tape became popular,” she said. “I was making wallets, backpacks, mermaid fins, flowers, and phone cases out of duct tape.”

Settling on the dress design, she began by forming a base sheet from black duct tape—but it didn’t go off without a hitch.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Larissa LeonDuck Brand)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Larissa LeonDuck Brand)

“It doesn’t act like fabric,” she said. “So making sure the corset fit me was pretty hard.”

The intricate lace trim, ribboning, leaves, and flowers are all made of duct tape.

“I felt proud of myself because it was such a big accomplishment, my biggest craft ever, and definitely the lengthiest,” she added.

Larissa plans to attend UCLA after graduating high school in 2022 and plans to go on to medical school and study dermatology.

“I never really expected anything to come from it, especially winning,” she said. “I’m overall grateful for the outcome.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Larissa LeonDuck Brand)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Larissa LeonDuck Brand)

This story was last updated in July 2021.

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Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.