Upcycled Glam winners announced

Gorgeous. Incredibly creative. Awesome!

That’s what judges called a dress made from Kool-Aid-dyed book pages and a hand-me-down shirt. Sarah Hansen, 16, won the grand prize in the Fond du Lac Public Library’s Upcycled Glam contest with a dress she said was an “adventure” to make.

Hansen made her dress by first soaking book pages in Tropical Punch Kool-Aid. She constructed a flouncy skirt out of crumpled pages and sewed flattened pages together with an old lace T-shirt to create a tight-fitting bodice, embellished with a removable origami bow. The result, contest judge Susan Fiebig said, was “pleasing to the eye, constructed proportionately, contemporary and very creative.”

For her ingenuity, Hansen will take home a new iPad. She was tops among the 18 entrants in the library’s new contest that challenged teens in high school and middle school to make a special-occasion outfit out of upcycled book or magazine pages and upcycled clothing. The entries were scored on overall design, use of upcycled materials, cost and creativity.

Hansen said her dress cost just $1.05, for three packets of Kool-Aid. For the rest, she used materials found around the house, including the shirt, double-sided tape and Velcro.

The four-judge panel included Fiebig, local author, artist and library gallery curator; Archie Barribeau, instructional technology integration specialist for FDL School District; Cheryl DuBrava, teacher and costumer for local theater and school productions; and Sarah Newton, youth services coordinator for the library.

Second place was awarded to Phoebe Batura, 18, for her Dragon Princess Dress, a multilayered strapless creation using newspaper pages, white computer paper punched with holes and embellishments made from upcycled iced tea cans. Her design cost a total of $2.75, primarily for ribbon.

The dress, DuBrava said, is “extremely creative and striking. Love the idea of making flowers with the cans.”

Barribeau said, “Awesome attention to detail in creating an authentic design.”

“The use of a hole punch to create the lacy look to the bodice is brilliant,” Fiebig said.

Third place went to Madeline Baitinger, 12, who created a Pink Party Dress from a thrift store black dress, book pages and pink paper. She created tiers of layers of contrasting colors for a flapper-style skirt. Her creation cost a total of $3.39, for the dress.

“Great pattern,” Barribeau said.

“Good choice of colors,” DuBrava said. “Nice job to keep the rows at the bottom even.”

“It reminded me of ‘Mad Men,’ ” Fiebig said. “The checkerboard-look is stunning and well-constructed.”

The contest was kicked off in the fall and was inspired by the library’s popular monthly Crafternoon programs.

“There’s such a DIY and maker craze among teens these days,” Newton said. “We thought they’d enjoy an opportunity to plan out something special. We’re thrilled with the results.”

All the teens have been invited to display their creations in the library’s Langdon Divers Gallery in a special Upcycled Glam exhibit May 7 to June 3. The public is invited to a reception in the gallery from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 16. Refreshments will be served.

Photo above: From left, Sarah Hansen and her first-place-winning pink cocktail dress; library Director Jon Mark Bolthouse; Phoebe Batura and her second-place Dragon Princess Dress; and Madeline Baitinger and her third-place pink party dress. 

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