A few years ago, my son made repeated requests for me to bring duct tape to his three-week academic camp. I was curious, but he was supervised in a dorm, so I figured there was no harm in it. I made trip after trip to the hardware store. It turns out he was making a suit of armor.
Not only did he make a suit of armor, but he then also made a specialized duct tape glove, a duct tape sword, and a duct tape shield. Why use duct tape? For one thing, there are now dozens of colors and patterns to choose from. You could make an entire outfit, unique in all the world, including dress, purse, hat, gloves, and shoes, from duct tape. And then wear it out to dinner. There is an incredible amount of potential in a roll (or ten) of tape. Here are just a few cool examples.
Duct Tape Shoes! For some reason, I find the idea of being able to wear shoes entirely made of duct tape a real hoot. I have seen duct tape wrapped around shoes to make them into boots, duct tape sandals, and duct tape sneakers.
There seem to be a couple of schools of thought about duct tape crafting: Some people will use an old pair of shoes and add the duct tape to snazz them up. Scuffed shoes with holes in them could be salvaged as a pair of kick around shoes, boat shoes, or house slippers. The other main way of duct tape crafting is to use only tape to provide both the frame and the covering of the shoe, like in this video.
The key to using only duct tape is to use two strips, sticky-sides facing, to make a single non-sticky piece. You can then lay duct tape on the edges of this, again, sticky sides facing and attach the strips to each other to make longer, flat pieces.
You can also weave the strips or braid them to make cool designs. Another thing you could do, and for me this would serve as a crafting compromise, is to cut out cardboard into the soles and sides of the shoes and cover them with duct tape. This might result in a more endurable, wearable shoe.
No, you did not read that wrong. This idea comes from Duck Tape. This fox back pack is absolutely adorable. Wow, what a way to make a one-of-a-kind backpack for your child! (Or, let’s face it, yourself!). And don’t limit yourself to making a fox– with the many duct tape colors available, you could make a bear, a raggedy ann doll, a lego– anything you want. This is perfect if you have a child who loves a character you can’t readily find on a pack.
If you are really serious about your duct taping, you can buy sheets of duck tape. These can save you the time of making the strips I described above, while preserving the sanctity of working only with tape. Though, I confess, with a backpack, I would probably consider using a cardboard box as its back to make it sturdier, and also to provide a barrier between sharp book edges and my child’s back.
It would be fun to use multiple colors of duct tape, like a white base and zebra stripes for the flap. And it will be even more fun if you include your child in the process, from the planning to the assembly.
Even though I included a backpack, I wanted to include this beach bag too, because it uses something slightly different from the materials we’ve mentioned before (old shoes, cardboard) that you can use with duct tape. The waterproof beach bag duct tape craft starts with a large garbage bag. You could use fabric, too. You could also make strips and weave duct tape, or use duck tape sheets. It really depends on how long you want to spend on the project and what you want the overall effect to look like. But one of the things I want to emphasize is that you are limited only by your own imagination (or what you can get your hands on) when you are making craft projects. Duct tape really gives you a lot of wiggle room with regard to what you can use.
In the case of this bag, the garbage bag is cut to make a large sheet, and then covered with duct tape before re-assembled into a bag. And of course, the finished project is great as either a water-proof beach bag, a diaper bag, a colorful tote, and/or a reusable grocery bag. It has the added bonus of being somewhat disposable and cheap and easy to replace.
One thing that I never seem to think of until the minute I am racing to the airport is luggage tags. Luggage tags seem boring only until you have been standing at a baggage claim for twenty minutes after a long flight, staring at fifty other black bags exactly like yours. duct tape luggage tags are a perfect solution.
With duct tape luggage tags, you aren’t limited to the small, nearly invisible, standard size tag you can buy. You can make larger, more colorful badges for your luggage. You can make matching tags for multiple pieces of luggage to keep track of them more easily. Original luggage tags also make disputes about luggage ownership pretty rare (provided they stay properly attached). I would use the brightest colors I can find– neon yellows and pinks. However, if you are a business traveler, you may want to choose something visible and tasteful, like a design that shows up against your bag.
You’re not limited to shape or size, either, with your own luggage tag. You can make duct tape cut out doll-shaped tags for everyone in the family. You can make one in the shape of a Tardis or a Dalek, if you are a Dr. Who fan. Have fun reflecting your personality so your bag stands out to you quickly when you are tired and in a crowd.
Duct tape shower curtains are a great idea. The designs and colors you can choose in ready-made shower curtains are pretty limited. You can really specialize and harmonize your shower curtain to your bathroom designs, and maybe save some money too. Although, I will say that the point of using duct tape is not to save money. In fact, with some larger projects like this, you are not likely to save. Using duct tape is partly about being resourceful and learning to use materials on hand, and it is partly to use the tape creatively as expression and art.
Again, there are a number of options you could pursue. I really want my shower curtain to be waterproof, even more than my beach bag. So, I would use several garbage bags, cut into sheets and then assembled. Or, an old shower curtain, and recover it. You could also find a large piece of plastic, like you’d use to cover a floor when painting walls. And, finally, you could use the duct-tape only option successfully with the right amount of tape.
It would be amazing to cut duct tape into small squares and make a mosaic on the shower curtain, like some people did with duct tape on a glass door one Christmas.
A simple and easy way to personalize your table at the holidays or when hosting a dinner party is to make your own duct tape placemats. You can also take stickers, pictures, or other two-dimensional images and add them to the placemat, sealing the whole thing with laminating sheets. That protects the placemats from food and spills or crumbs getting caught in woven corners. This turns the placemats into mementos and keepsakes that your guests can take home or that you can use again.
A smaller version of this idea is name cards you can put at people’s plates. The duct tape name card is ideal for picnics, outdoor weddings, barbecues– they are heavy enough not to fly away. They can be wiped off easily, and they can also double as name badges if you fasten magnets to the back of them– one side for the back of the badge, and one side to go under your shirt and keep the badge in place. For that matter, they could be used with magnets to save places on the backs of metal chairs, or to identify lockers in schools or workplaces.
Once you start thinking about duct tape crafting ideas, it’s easy to get carried away. The second best thing about using duct tape for your materials is that it is easily available, cheaper than heavy, cotton weight paper, and sort of indestructible. The best thing about using duct tape is that you get to make your own mold in a cookie-cutter, department store, brand-driven world.