DIY prom dress competitions offer thousands in college scholarships

Break out the duct tape, fire up the glue guns and get the sewing machine out of the closet, it's prom season! Crafty, college-bound prom goers can win serious scholarship dollars for designing dream dresses and tuxedos -- no fairy godmother required.

JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores is offering a $50,000 grand prize, $10,000 second prize and significant runner-up prizes for the winners of the Own Your Look Prom Contest 2010. Similarly, Duck Brand duct tape is celebrating the tenth year of its "Stuck at Prom" design competition to find clever couples with style and stick-to-it-tiveness in the US and Canada .

Part MacGyver, part Project Runway, entries for both contests will be judged by panels of experts looking at workmanship, originality and level of detail. For those whipping up a little something out of duct tape, contestants will also be judged on use of color (choose from pink, green, orange, yellow, silver, camouflage, aqua, red, blue, black and white, to name just a few), accessories and the quantity of duct tape used to create their attire.

In a reality-TV-style twist, Stuck at Prom's top ten finalist couples will be judged during online public voting (June 18-July 26) to determine the grand prize winners ($3,000 for each contestant and $3,000 for the school whose prom they attend). Staying in the competition could prove tricky however, since couples with the lowest votes will be eliminated a la American Idol if they don't get enough support from their fanbase.

Stuck at Prom participants are required to submit a photo of themselves attending their prom decked out in duct tape anytime from March 1 to June 7, 2010. Check out the website for complete rules, details and photos of past winners.

JoAnn's, Own Your Look Prom Contest began on January 15 and ends June 15, 2010. This contest requires an original prom dress (using a pattern is okay!) and accessory made with fabrics and other items from JoAnn's. The student/prom goer (aged 14-19) entering the contest must be the one making the entry. Photos of the contestant in the dress are required. For complete contest details check out the official rules here (PDF file).

Today prom queen, tomorrow 7th Avenue -- look out Ralph, Calvin and Donna. No matter what happens, dancing in duct tape will definitely be remembered at the 20th reunion.
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