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Local girls aim to enter record books for largest duct tape flower

Sunnyside Elementary students Michayla Zaborowski, left, and Shelby Felthoven hold up their jointly constructed duct tape flower, which reached a diameter of 61 inches earlier this year. - Kirk Boxleitner
Sunnyside Elementary students Michayla Zaborowski, left, and Shelby Felthoven hold up their jointly constructed duct tape flower, which reached a diameter of 61 inches earlier this year.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Two Sunnyside Elementary students learned a little about long-term goal-setting through a unique project that also allowed their artistic sides to blossom.

Michayla Zaborowski, 11, and Shelby Felthoven, 10, had made a handful of small duct tape flowers at school when they decided to see how big they could go last fall.

“We looked up the record on the Internet for the biggest duct tape flower, and it was 56 inches according to the Guinness and amateur world record sites,” Zaborowski said.

Zaborowski and Felthoven set out to beat this record on Oct. 15 of last year, and by Jan. 29 of this year, after using up close to 100 rolls of duct tape, the two girls had created a duct tape flower that was 61 inches in diameter, weighed roughy 20 pounds and made up of a dazzling array of different colors and patterns of duct tape.

“We must have spent almost $500 on duct tape,” said Felthoven, who noted that they used money from their birthdays and Christmas to help fund the project. “If we were to start it again now, though, we’d be better at it, because we’re more experienced.”

“We made the middle layers tighter than they needed to be,” said Michayla Zaborowski, who credited her 7-year-old sister Camryn, also a Sunnyside Elementary student, with adding the pink zebra layer of duct tape. “We didn’t think we’d actually beat the record at first.”

The Zaborowski and Felthoven households share joint custody of the duct tape flower, which is continuing to grow even as the girls have set about contacting Guinness about getting it officially entered into the record books.

“We’re hoping to make it 100 inches by this summer,” said Felthoven, who explained that they’re only able to devote an hour or so at a time to their project. “It’s nice when people are impressed by it.”

“We’re all so used to it by now that it’s a pleasant reminder of what these girls have accomplished when other people see it,” said Jessica Zaborowski, Michayla’s mom. “Anybody who sees it is pretty wowed by it. This has definitely been these girls’ project all the way. They’ve saved up their money for it and everything.”

The two girls acknowledged that they could add another 20 inches to the diameter simply by taking the duct tape flower apart and reapplying those layers, but they’re hesitant to undo work that they’ve already done, just as they’re loath to cut it into two pieces after it’s been entered into the record books.

Neither the Zaborowskis nor the Felthovens have heard back from Guinness yet.

 

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