Artist Emily Seilhamer is a diligent candy eater, and as it also turns out, packaging collector. While most people would simply throw away empty Starburst wrappers, she gathered more than 10,000 of them over the course of four years—all in pursuit of making a candy dress. Once Seilhamer had saved enough of the colorful casings, she fused the thousands of tiny papers into a unique sheet of fabric and then fashioned it into a stylish off-the-shoulder garment.
If you didn’t know that Seilhamer’s dress was created from candy, you might never realize it all. From afar, the iconic Starburst logo is obscured thanks to her meticulous process. To produce this awe-inspiring ensemble, Seilhamer started by separating and organizing the wrappers by colors. Then, she ironed them and creased them in a way that can only be described as tedious. “Each wrapper needed folded about 6 times to make a single link,” she says, “so it was definitely time consuming!” After working her folding magic, she interlocked them into “wrapper chains.” Once that bond was formed, she sewed the links into a fabric and finally constructed it in the same way as a conventional garment.
Starbursts have a special meaning to Seilhamer. “My husband and I met when he offered me a pack of Starburst a few years before the project started,” she explains. “As his favorite candy, he began to save grocery bags full of wrappers for me.” The dress was completed before their wedding almost two years ago, where it made a special appearance as an unique token of love and affection.