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Candy Enthusiast Fashions Stylish Dress from 10,000 Starburst Wrappers

Upcycled Art

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.

It took artist Emily Seilhamer over four years to collect 10,000 Starburst wrappers. But, it was worth the effort. From them, she created a stunning candy dress.

Upcycled Art Upcycled Art

To construct the dress, she started by organizing the wrappers according to color.

Upcycled Art

She then ironed and folded them. Afterwards, Seilhamer used elastic thread to stitch them into a sheet of fabric.

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It was then assembled like a conventional garment.

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The woven dress is a fantastic form of wearable art.

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Emily Seilhamer: Facebook
h/t: [Bored Panda, Laughing Squid]

All images via Emily Seilhamer.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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