Frank Cazares of Cedar Park visited New York City last week to compete against finalists in the Cheap Chic Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest, appropriately sponsored by Charmin. 

The 27-year-old cruise ship entertainer competed against 1,501 others to make it in the top 10 finalists of the contest. This was Cazares’ third run in the contest.

“My dress this year was inspired by old Hollywood glamour,” Cazares said. “I wanted to create a really vintage look.”

Thankfully, the toilet paper he used wasn’t vintage. 

The Leander High School graduate created the gown out of 35 rolls of Charmin toilet paper, thread, tape and glue. These were the only items allowed to design the dress. It cost him $90 to assemble his creation. 

“I used 1,500 little balls of toilet paper covered with a glue glaze to create the top of the dress,” he said. “I rolled 7,000 sheets of toilet paper into long tubes to create the bottom of the dress.”

Cazares said using extra glaze on some of the paper balls gave them a beaded look. He managed to fashion a corset at the back that can be tightened with string.

“Although I didn’t win, the contest is very worldwide and gave me a lot of exposure,” he said. 

Cazares created the dress this spring while working as an entertainer singing and dancing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

“It was a challenge to make this while being on a ship that moves back and forth,” he said.

He spent two to four hours of work per day for about a month and a half to finalize his gown.

His design passion started with costume design when he was six years old. His Running Brushy Middle School theatre arts teacher, Alisa Mirabella, informed him about the contest and encouraged him to enter. 

“Years ago she told me about this,” he said. “I grew up very crafty.”

His dive into competition began with two first prize wins in the University Interscholastic League costume design leagues while in high school. After graduation, he spent six years as a craftsman at Disneyland. 

“I am an aspiring costume fashion designer,” Cazares said. 

His wedding dress will be displayed at a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. The location has not yet been announced.