RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- The big dance is still a week-and-a-half away, but Tara Frey is pretty sure she'll have the sweetest dress at her high school prom. Her mom made it - out of Starburst candy wrappers.
"It's going to be a little bit too much attention, but hey, she worked hard on it," said Tara, a River Falls High School senior.
Kerrin Frey, Tara's mom, started work on the dress six years ago when she saw another mom weaving gum wrappers as they watched their kids play hockey.
After five failed attempts, she finally came up with a practical design that fit both her tastes and her daughter's.
She can't even tell you how many Starbursts she's burned through; only that she was purchasing 20 pounds at a time. "We even called Starburst to see if we could just buy the wrappers from them without the candy in them." The answer, "No, can't do that."
Instead Kerrin asked folks all over town to save wrappers, and even gave out 14 ounce bags of Starburst candy for Halloween, "and say, 'could you just bring back the wrappers - and try not to rip them."
To make a tight weave Kerrin and a few of her friends folded each wrapper eight times, before squeezing it with a tweezers. "That's why we call it a community project."
To accessorize her daughter's dress, Kerrin also made Starburst shoes, flowers, a purse and a vest for Karrin's date.
"Do I like it?, repeated a slightly sheepish Zane Heinselman when asked to share his feelings about the Starburst vest. "I don't really have a choice."
The dress took years of tedious work, but there was a little luck involved too. "Our theme for the prom is 'Candyland,'" said Tara, "so kind of lucked out on that one."
Persistence has yielded prom's sweetest couple.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)