(ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa.) — This woman’s dress sure is one sweet fashion statement.
Emily Seilhamer, of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, made the colorful dress entirely out of Starburst candy wrappers.
She said she used more than 10,000 wrappers in total.
“In just one row, there’s about 300 wrappers to wrap it around my whole body,” Seilhamer, 24, told ABC News. “Because it took so long, the Starburst company kept discontinuing some of the colors I was using, so I had to revise the design a couple times. But that’s OK. I actually like this design better.”
It took her five years to complete, with her primarily working on it while in college.
“I would sit for hours folding wrappers while studying for college classes or watching TV,” she recalled. “It also became somewhat therapeutic.”
Her husband’s sweet tooth inspired the project — his favorite candy is Starburst.
“The first time I met him he offered me a pack of Starburst,” she said of her husband, Malachi Seilhamer. “He gave me a pack and once he broke the ice, he kept bringing me packs of Starburst. We were in drama together and I said, ‘Hey, I’d like to make something out of these. Do you mind saving them?’ He would eat them and bring me grocery bags full [of the wrappers]. I was like, ‘Wow, I can do something pretty big from this.’”
“Thank goodness nobody got any cavities,” she said with a laugh.
Emily Seilhamer said she finished the dress a few months before her husband proposed, which was perfect timing so she could focus her efforts on making her wedding dress instead. But the Starburst dress still holds the most sentimental value to the couple.
“Because we met through the candies, the dress had a spot at our wedding reception for everyone to see,” said Emily Seilhamer.
The artist said she now plans to work on at least one upcycled outfit a year.
“This dress was the start of my hobby doing upcycled dresses,” she said. “I’ve done one of men’s neckties, and just recently a spring dress out of my grandmother’s kitchen wallpaper.”
And although her friends thought she was “a little nutty” at first, they’ve since “gotten used to it.”
“Funny thing is, I don’t know how to sew,” said Emily Seilhamer. “I know how to use a sewing machine yet I’ve never actually learned how to follow a pattern. But I am a crafter so I if I can picture something in my head, I can usually figure it out.”
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