Gum wrapper prom dress makes fashion statement

Young couple in gum wrapper prom dress and gum wrapper vest

Elizibeth Rasmuson in her gum wrapper prom dress and her boyfriend in his gum wrapper vest. Image from Flickr.

Wearing a gum wrapper prom dress to her annual high school soiree has garnered Elizibeth Rasmuson of Garner, Iowa, a lot of attention, and rightly so. Anyone creative and committed enough to fashion an elegant evening gown from gum wrappers, as well as have the discipline to collect them, deserves a little positive notoriety. It’s not known if she actually chewed all that gum, but if she did, her gum wrapper prom dress is even more impressive.

Gum wrapper prom dress: a lot to chew on

Rasmuson’s gum wrapper prom dress is a piece of fashion that could even impress the likes of Donna Karan. Rasmuson began collecting blue and white gum wrappers with her boyfriend Jordan Weaver in August of 2009. Weaver also made a gum wrapper vest for himself. As reported on, the idea started after making a jacket of wrappers last year and after that she decided to be unique with her dress for prom as well.

Gum wrapper prom dress: just the beginning?

A gum wrapper prom dress is a lot of work in itself, but next time perhaps Rasmuson will consider using gum wrappers to weave a chic fashion accessory, like a candy wrapper purse. Creative people make purses out of candy wrappers, wrapping paper, magazines, soft drink labels and even food wrappers. All it takes is a simple weaving technique that originated from Mexican paper weaving.

Gum wrapper prom dress a unique art form

Weaving a gum wrapper prom dress is an art form often referred to as Tramp Art, or sometimes Prison Art. In fact, on you can read about an ex-con named George Vargas, who learned how make picture frames by folding cigarette packages into chains of rectangles that could be threaded together. He did it to pass the time of his 60-day sentence for heroin possession. When he got out of the joint, he learned Mexican paper weaving and began using snack bags to make handbags for extra cash. By cutting the bags into rectangular strips, he figured out how to fold and hook them together in a way that created dizzying patterns out of bar codes. Puffy, cloud-like designs emerged from the popcorn pictures on Smartfood bags. Cheetos packages were bent into bright blazes of orange and yellow. Imagine a Vargas gum wrapper prom dress.

Gum wrapper prom dress: a big pay day?

Rasmuson’s gum wrapper prom dress could lead to a bright future in fashion. Vargas’ Prison Art creations include designer handbags that sell for as much as $200. He’s using the skills he learned in prison to establish a trust fund for his daughter and support substance abuse prevention programs in his hometown. With college tuition rising every year, Rasmuson’s gum wrapper prom dress could be a great way to make money now, or pay for higher education — unless she gets rich building a wrapper-weaving empire on her own.

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