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Caitlin Eakins made this recycled newspaper dress for a high school competition and it helped her land first place in The JG's paper recycling contest.

Creative dress wins JG recycle contest

Entrant made duds out of paper for school competition

Our "Show us how you recycle The JG" contest came to an end last Sunday with two grand prize winners.

The contest challenged readers to recycle The Journal Gazette in a creative and environmentally friendly way. We had 16 fun (and green) contest contenders (see photo gallery), but of all the entries, an elaborate newspaper dress made by Caitlin Eakins of Churubusco stood out.

Eakins claimed first place and a $50 gift card to Carmike Cinemas for her dress, which she made for a contest during her high school senior year in 2011-2012.

"The dress took almost an entire Christmas break to finish and is very fragile," Eakins said.

She guesses that she used about 10 newspapers to make the dress with her team. Some of her team members helped her fold the small fans in the skirt, and her mom helped her sew the dress together using a sewing machine, she said.

"I was able to find a sample of how to make a newspaper dress online; however, I made my own little touches and designed it myself," Eakins said.

She made the dress almost entirely of newspaper, with one sheet of fabric for the skirt, some heavy-duty Velcro, thread and spray to help keep the newspaper from ripping.

Our second-place winner, Danna Walter of North Manchester, claimed a $50 gift card to Casa Restaurants for her long-term recycling habits.

Starting in the fall of 2001, Danna laid several layers of The Journal Gazette on top of wet grass near her garden. Then she covered the paper with compost and mulched leaves. The following spring, she was able to do light digging and tilling to triple the size of her original garden with much less effort than the traditional way, she said.

"I've continued to use old newspapers, either torn or shredded, in my compost pile which then turns into beautiful rich black soil," Walter said. "I also lay a few sheets of torn paper around the roots of vegetables, especially tomatoes, to help keep the roots cool and moist."

khackett@jg.net

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