Dance Team Transforms Goodwill Finds into Princess Gowns

Maddie and Catie sport upcycled dresses inspired by Frozen.

The Elk River Dance Team was planning their second annual Princess Tea fundraiser, and they were on a mission to create some of the most beautiful, realistic princess dresses possible. Where did they set out to get the job done? Goodwill of course.

"We chose Goodwill because it was affordable," says Denise Scott, a dance team parent and the mastermind behind the upcycled dresses idea. She was inspired by previous projects that she had completed with items sourced at Goodwill and knew it would be the perfect place to find what she needed. "I looked for wedding dresses or prom dresses that had some of the characteristics of each of the princess dresses I needed to make. I looked for a full skirt, the right color or material or a certain kind of sleeves."


Denise created this DIY Cinderella gown.

With many trips to various Goodwills — some up to 50 miles away — she compiled a collection of beautiful garments. After that, it was just a matter of adding some magic. That's when Denise's talents as a seamstress came into play.

"It was different with each one. My mother and I added trim or lace to some dresses. We added a lace-up back to a lot of them for sizing purposes. Some were even made from two or more dresses."

The talented duo even dyed the dresses to make the colors more closely match the fairytale versions. "Learning to dye wedding dresses was definitely trial and error," Denise explains. "I dyed the Cinderella dress outside on a propane turkey fryer in 20° weather. It was quite a sight!"

Their hard work paid off. The dance team hosted 42 young girls at their event, each with a big smile and a sparkle in their eyes as they met their favorite princesses. The team tried to include as many iconic Disney characters as they could.

"We made Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa, Jasmine, Tinkerbell and Elena of Avalor. Next year we plan to add Pocahontas, Mulan and Merida," Denise tells us. She adds, "I love shopping at Goodwill for all the possibilities and great prices. We had so much fun creating these dresses together, and seeing the dancers dressed as princesses was amazing. But my favorite part was watching the little girls' faces light up when they met the princesses."

Browse Elk River Star News' photos from the 2017 Princess Tea fundraiser.


Guest blog by Sarah Carlson, Real Housewives of Minnesota

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