Wedding Dress Cleaning, Preservation & Restoration Blog

Huh? A Chic Wedding Dress Made From Toilet Paper?

Huh? A Chic Wedding Dress Made From Toilet Paper?

With a Little Creativity, (OK, a LOT of Creativity) You may have $10,000 Hiding Underneath Your Bathroom Sink

Toilet paper wedding dress making is a long-favorite of brides-to-be and their bridal shower hostesses. It’s a simple concept; you split everyone up into a few different teams with three or four women on each team, provide them with an abundance of toilet paper and turn them into Project Runway wannabes. As women, we all fancy ourselves as designers, but it’s just not as easy as you’d think to create a masterpiece using nothing but toilet paper. And while our homemade creations and spur-of-the-moment shower game dresses are anything but chic, they’re fun. Of course, they’re not worth $10,000, as the Charmin dress of the year is.

No, really. Imagine a wedding dress made out of nothing but toilet paper that turns from a labor of love to a $10,000 check. That’s exactly what happened to Susan Brennan, designer and one-time Detroit Pistons cheerleader. She spent approximately a month creating and 17 rolls of Charmin toilet paper (Ultra Soft 2-ply, to be exact) to make a dress worthy of an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. This gorgeous gown features a detachable skirt, a highly detail-oriented top a fringed skirt beneath her ball gown – for a night of dancing after the ceremony.

She’s not wearing this dress for her own wedding. She is the winner of the 10th annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress competition hosted by and sponsored by (whom else?) Charmin. Runners up received $5,000 and $2,500 respectively for their bridal designs.

A Publicity Stunt Goes Viral

The contest, so ingenious, was started a decade ago by Susan Bain and Laura Gawne. The duo wanted to create a unique way to bring attention to their website ( and make it one of the most popular wedding websites in the world. Well, it worked. Despite a slow start to the contest, today there are nearly 1,500 contestants participating each year in an effort to win $10k and create a dream gown out of toilet tissue.

This year the competition was held rooftop at the Sanctuary Hotel in New York City and the guest judge this year was former Project Runway contestant and bridal shop owner Kate Pankoke. If anyone knows anything about creating haute couture out of strange items, it’s Pankoke, who said, “It’s really impressive what they can get toilet paper to do,” when asked about the contest.

A Lesson in not Taking Things Too Seriously and Have Fun on Your Wedding Day

With so many different contests happening at any given time (prettiest baby contests and American Idol and America’s Next Top Model and all those) it’s kind of fun to see a bridal shower game turned design competition using nothing but toilet paper. While I don’t know any brides that would personally wed the man of their dreams wearing nothing but toilet paper, I can’t think of a more fun use for toilet paper (really, its intended use just isn’t that much fun) or a more creative way to show off your design talents.

Here’s to seeing bridal shower games taking a major change in the months to come. From now on, this particular game takes on a whole new meaning. Instead of wrapping brides in toilet paper and trying to have the cleanest looking dress, shower guests are going to forget about food, cocktails and gifts when they’re designing their own masterpieces.

After checking out some of the dresses from this year’s competition, most of us will never wipe the same way again!