Teenage friends Meghan Lancaster and Aila Emtage enjoy arts and crafts.
For the past year, the two Monterey middle school students have been making hair clips, coin purses, wallets, even sandals, but not out of conventional fabrics and materials. They use what Canadian comedian, Red Green refers to as “the handyman’s secret weapon:” duct tape.
“It’s so much fun,” Lancaster said. “There is so much variety. … I’m going to make a dress out of it and wear it to prom.”
Lancaster was exposed to duct tape crafts by a friend last year, and she and Emtage noticed dresses made of duct tape at the Saanich Fair. They loved the concept and were soon online, learning about the many different things that can be made from the product.
Lancaster then purchased a book on the topic and has been busy using it to make crafts with Emtage. The two also learned that Henkel, a company that manufactures Duck brand duct tape, annually offers a scholarship for the most stylish prom formal wear made from its brand of duct tape. Both girls are interested in participating.
“I want to make a prom dress too,” Emtage said. “But I also want to make some sort of clothing.”
The girls get together once a week to make items from duct tape. It can take a few minutes to make a bookmark or three hours to create a pair of sandals with the sticky product.
They have made 10 different items, which they have either given away as gifts or have sold to friends and family. Prices range from 25 cents for a mini-bookmark to $7 for a wallet.
This year, they are hoping to sell a large number of their works at the Monterey middle school Christmas market, which is on Sunday (Dec. 15).
“Last year at the Monterey (market) we each made $30,” Emtage said.
“This year it’s going to be better.”
The girls plan to use the proceeds to help pay for a two-day school band trip to Vancouver next year. Emtage plays flute and Lancaster plays saxophone.
This is the school’s second annual Christmas market, put on by the parent advisory committee. Proceeds generated go towards things that are not financially supported by the school district, such as uniforms for team sports, learning assistance equipment such as refurbished iPads and laptops, items for the gardening club and the playground, said PAC co-chair Margaret Case.
“It’s support so the school can do the extras,” Case said about monies raised.
The PAC is hoping to raise $3,000 through the $25 table fee and a silent auction. There will be more than 30 artisans selling various items such as cards, jewelry and art, and there are six students that will be selling items as well. Table fees are waived for the teens. Auction items up for bids include a breakfast made by Oak Bay firefighters, Uplands Golf Club passes and a number of gift certificates. There will also be a bake sale and live music.
“We’ve had tremendous community support,” Case said. “We have a number of parents who volunteered to bake and donate their products.”
The event is the PAC’s largest fundraising event of the year. Monterey middle school is located at 851 Monterey Ave. The market runs from 1 to 5 p.m.