- Sponsorship -

And who are we wearing tonight? Duct tape, actually

Students stick to unusual prom apparel plan

Dancing and sitting down may have been out of the question on prom night, but, when things get sticky, juniors Baylee DeVos and Blake Johnson know just what to do. A little tape here, a little tape there, and they make sticky stylin’.

Baylee, a Caledonia High School student who spends her mornings in the Graphics Communications program at Kent Career Tech Center, recruited her friend and Tech Center classmate junior Blake Johnson to take on a major art project: create a dress, tuxedo and accessories including shoes, a purse, corsage, boutonniere and hat completely out of duct tape and wear them to prom. Hers was May 5, and his, for The Potter’s House where he is a student, was last Saturday, May 12.

Blake Johnson poses in his sticky suit

While a hoop skirt and yards of tape make dance steps nearly impossible for Baylee, Blake has another challenge. “My pants really can’t bend at all. To put them on I have to lie down,” Blake said.

Baylee worked on her designs in open studio art class at Caledonia, where she chose it as an independent project. Together, she and Blake spent 150 hours over four-and-a-half months and used 47 rolls of tape on the project. They showcased their work at the Caledonia High School Fine Arts Night.

The duo is entering their work into the Stuck at Prom competition, sponsored by the Duck Tape brand they used, with hopes of winning a $10,000 scholarship. They are entering in separate dress and tux categories. Finalists will be announced in June and the winner selected through online voting, and Baylee and Blake are asking for votes by reminding people to text @votebnb to 81010 if they become finalists. Materials were supplied by sponsors Contempo Salon and Day Spa, Caledonia Village Ace Hardware and Mullers Paint N Paper.

Baylee DeVos is adorned in duct tape for prom

Fulfilling a Dream

“It was something I always really wanted to do since middle school,” said Baylee, who learned how to turn tape into fashion through trial and error. “It was a really big blessing this year that everything aligned right. School stuff helped a lot out with that.”

She worked in her art class, creating panels of tape and using mannequins to create the form. Blake used an actual suit to trace the outline of the duct-tape form and match sizes.

At the Tech Center, they learned to pull designs together. The project merges graphic, fashion and 3-D design, said Kylie Dykema, layout and design instructor.

“We focus heavily on design, how colors play together, how different elements can attract target audiences,” Dykema said. “We focus on being creative and developing a creative audience and stepping outside of the box. I think a duct-tape dress and tux is definitely a step outside of the box.”

Baylee plans to major in graphic design, possibly at Ferris State University, and Blake hopes to become a video game designer or missionary.


Vote Baylee and Blake

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


Learning from a place full of living things

Rebecca Perry and her class of eager kindergartners spent their morning exploring the newly redone Living Lab at Zinser Elementary...

Mapping the road to learning

Elementary teachers Billie Freeland and Nicole Andreas are at the forefront of using a curriculum designed to further educational goals, regardless of whether students are in person or online...

‘Even though it is extra work, I don’t mind the changes’

Teachers of specialty subjects — art, music and physical education — share their experiences after the pandemic prompts changes to class procedures...

Bus drivers work as daytime cleaners during pandemic

It’s also a plus to have familiar faces around school...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Major factor in school closings: evidence of virus spread

While the Kent County Health Department is working hard with superintendents to keep schools open, sometimes closing is the best way to mitigate spread...

Sensory splendor

Dutton teachers worked together to prepare lessons with creative twists to accomodate the needs of the kids while following the safety requirements for the 2020 back-to-school plan...

Operation Face Shield: complete

The nine-week project resulted in 10,000 pieces of PPE that were distributed in West Michigan to more than 100 organizations...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU