Mom-Of-Three Overcomes Depression By Making Beautiful Wedding Dresses Out Of Toilet Paper
It's an unfortunate fact of life that there are some people who suffer debilitating health issues. Whether this means they endure excruciating chronic pain or some form of physical disability, it can be incredibly tough to deal with at the best of times.
What certainly adds to the distress is finding yourself in a situation where your declining health has taken such a toll on your body that you are unable to do basic, everyday things such as going to work. The idea that you have to rely heavily on your loved ones in order to deal with your condition can be particularly draining, and it is something that far too many people have to go through.
By the age of 31, Amber Mills from North Richland Hills, Texas was a stay-at-home mom with three kids, struggling with both multiple sclerosis and depression. Unable to work, the former marine veteran was desperate to find something productive to do in order to give her days a sense of purpose.
Take a look at the incredible project she dedicated months to working on:
"I couldn’t work anymore and I started to get, you know, really depressed," she explained to USA Today. "With the multiple sclerosis and all of the health issues I have, I had become, you know, emotionally defeated in life and just had a lot of issues."
Mills really wasn't in a great place at this time of her life but soon enough, discovering one pretty unconventional contest in 2014 ended up giving her the sense of accomplishment she had long been searching for.
What exactly was this unconventional contest? Well, as bizarre as it may sound, it was a competition in which contestants were expected to make the best wedding dress they could muster, made out of... toilet paper.
It's true! For the Cheap Chic Weddings 10th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest, participants were expected to present their best designs, consisting of nothing more than Charmin toilet paper, tape, glue, and thread.
Oh, and the dress had to actually be wearable, not just for show.
"My husband thought it was kind of silly and ridiculous at first, until he saw how much I enjoyed it," Mills explained. "I’m excited at the idea of being able to create [a wedding dress] out of material people don’t expect."
Settling on an old Hollywood glamour theme, Mills - who has absolutely no experience in fashion - set about making her dress using vintage 1970s toilet paper from eBay.
In order to ensure the toilet paper was as sturdy as any ordinary piece of fabric, Mills discovered the method of boiling the toilet roll with the cardboard removed and then blending the roll with a generous amount of glue.
The process in its entirety took her three months to complete which is phenomenal considering her condition.
"My veil was the hardest part by far. It took weeks!" Mill recalled. "I made a frame out of wooden rods and hand wove the entire thing out of heavy-duty sewing thread. Then I used white Mod Podge hot glue to make the tiny pearls that I applied one by one with tweezers. I wanted it to look real."
Once the dress was complete, it was sent off to Florida to be judged by Cheap Chich Wedding creators Laura Gawne and Susan Bain.
Afterwards, the dresses were sent to New York in preparation for the Sanctuary Hotel's runway event. It was there that the winners were announced.
There were a whopping 1,490 other contestants battling it out to win the coveted $10,000 first place prize, an honour that was ultimately awarded to Susann Brennan.
Mills' efforts certainly hadn't been overlooked, however, and she was awarded the third place price of $2,500.
If you're interested in taking a look at the designs in person, they are now on display at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in New York. Well done, to Mills and the other contestants for their sensational designs.