She hoped to symbolise the fact that too many people rush into marriage and end up getting divorced.

But 15-year-old Demi Barnes’ GCSE art exam project wedding dress, which has more than 1,500 divorce papers lavishly cascading from the waistline, has become an internet sensation.

The student, from Crawley, who is predicted to get an A* in the subject, posted pictures on her Facebook profile page on Saturday to show her cousin in Italy.

She wrote: “My art GCSE final piece. Wedding dress made from divorce papers :) made it in a 10 hour exam. “Contact me if you want to know anything else – like and share please :))))) ?”

In less than a week she has had more than 46,000 likes and the picture has been commented on and shared by more than 2,000 people.

Demi created the dress during the exam last Thursday and Friday.

She wanted to create something ironic, eventually landing on the idea of the wedding dress.

She printed a divorce form from the internet, filled it in and photocopied it 1,500 times to create the dress.

After spending hours working out how best to fold the paper to go on to the dress she made a last-minute alteration, leaving some flat on a panel at the front so the forms were in full view.

She said: “I didn’t really know how to do it at first.

"It was quite a challenge.

“I only put pictures on Facebook so my cousin in Italy could see it, but when I woke up on Sunday morning I was shocked to see how many ‘likes’ it had got.

“Some people have copied the image and put it on Tumbler and there’s another 130,000 hits on there.”

The dress is currently in pride of place in independent Lingfield Notre Dame school’s corridors.

Head of Art Claire Davis said: “Demi became charged, like electricity, when she had the idea for the dress.

“This was an incredibly ambitious piece and it took courage, patience and tenacity to see this through from concept to final piece.”

Demi wants to work in the fashion industry and hopes the attention may land her a placement with a top designer.