by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
CANTON, Ga. - Sequoyah High School student Caden Kluge's prom story is like most others in many regards. Kluge spent a number of hours seeking out the perfect dress and spent a few hundred dollars on it.
The only real difference is the fact the Kluge's outfit was made of duct tape.
Duck Brand Duct Tape sponsors a Stuck at Prom scholarship contest each year. To participate, high school students have to make their prom attire from duct tape.
"The idea came from a scholarship page at my school that had the Stuck at Prom contest on it," Kluge told wsbtv.com's Nelson Hicks. "My school requires us to do one big project for our senior year and I thought it would be something fun to do."
Kluge needed a partner to participate, so she called on Ashton Woolen. He immediately joined in on the project.
"The design came from a lot of brainstorming, but we settled on a modern-Victorian theme, with the laced bodice, full skirt and gentlemanly accessories," Kluge said. "We spent about a month just researching, looking up similar styles and experimenting with different ways of constructing duct tape. I had to learn how to draw just to get my designs finalized."
Kluge and Woolen began working on the outfits in January and completed them at 3 a.m. the night before prom. Kluge cut back on her sleep about three weeks before prom in order to spend more time working on the outfits.
Kluge estimated that she spent 250 hours, 120 rolls of duct tape and $200 on the attire, and that's with the bulk of the duct tape being donated. Total Building Supplies gave the couple $600 worth of duct tape. The duct tape in their outfits is sewn together like fabric.
For their hard work and design, Duck Brand selected Kluge and Woolen as one of the 10 finalists in the contest. Each of them earn $500 for making the finals. They could earn much more. The winning couple takes home $5,000 each, second place nets $3,000 each and third place is worth $2,000 for each participant. Duck Brand matches the prize money for the school of the winning participants, too, so, Sequoyah High School will win the same amount of money that the students win.
Kluge wants to use the money to fund her education. She plans to attend Emory. Woolen wants to use his take to fund his filmography dreams and to help him attend Chattahoochee Tech. Kluge said some of Woolen's winnings will go towards his skydiving, too.
"Wearing it to prom was fun, because it was really cool to see all the reactions," Kluge said. "Some of the scholarship money goes to the school so we got special treatment - extra pictures and an announcement from the DJ. People kept coming up to us and touching us to see if it was real."
Between all the extra attention and the fact that their attire was made of duct tape, Kluge recounts that they were both really hot that night, but worth it.
"It was still great - the attention and actually getting all of it finally complete. Wearing the dress actually gave me the confidence to dance, something I'm laughably bad at," she said.
To vote for Kluge and Woolen, click here for the Duct Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom contest.