Friday, January 28, 2011

Duct Tape

When I was a kid, I always enjoyed a roll of duct tape, or any type of tape for that matter. And now that duct tape comes in all colors and styles, I'm in heaven! I was constantly getting in trouble as a kid for using up all the tape. I just love it! I was blessed with a daughter who shares my love, and she received her first roll of tape for Christmas this year. I can now sympathize with my mom from years ago, as I go to look for MY ROLL of tape and find it hidden in my daughters room being used for her latest art project.

colors of duct tape
One of my newest hobbies has been making purses out of duct tape. I received my very first duct tape purse from my niece, Mikaela, a few years ago. She actually had made it with Ariel in mind, but my daughter thought it seemed silly to have a purse made out of tape. Little did she know that a couple years later she would be begging me to make one for herself.

I loved my first duct tape purse. As you can see, it's very special and was made with love. I'm certain I will keep it for always.

I've made a few purses since receiving that first one, and I thought I would share a short tutorial on how I did it. You can look on YouTube and find tons of videos to explain the process step by step.

First you have to determine how large you want your purse. I make mine about 8 inches tall. I start by cutting several 8 or 9 inch strips in 1 color, and then fold each of them in half lengthwise.


I choose an alternating color and cut the same amount of strips in the same length. This will end up making a square purse, but you can choose different lengths for different shapes.


After my strips are all folded in half, I lay down all of one color, and then start weaving the opposite color through them. It helps to tape one side down to the table to hold it in place, or go ahead and seal the side.

how to make duct tape woven purseFinish weaving all of your strips until you end up with the dimensions of purse you want.

how to make duct tape woven purse
I trim all my edges, and seal them. You don't have to actually seal them yet, but I find it makes them much easier to work with later.

how to make duct tape woven purse

You have now finished the front piece of fabric for your purse. Go ahead and make an exact duplicate for the back of your purse.


Next you are going to work on the sides and bottom. Depending on how large you want it, will determine how many strips you need. I make my purses rather skinny, and only use 2 strips wide.


Seal all the edges. Make sure when you're making them you match the same dimensions as the front and back of your purse. If you don't make it tall enough, it will end up looking bad. You make three of these, one for each side, and then one for the bottom of the purse.


I lay all my pieces out on the table, and duct tape them all to the bottom of the purse.

how to make duct tape woven purse
After you've attached all the sides to the bottom, you can continue taping all the sides together to form your purse. When I've gotten all the insides of my purse taped, I go ahead and tape the outside edges too. I think it gives it a stronger hold, and it looks better.

how to make duct tape woven purse
Once all my sides have been taped, I work on the top lip of the purse. If my sides are not all even, I cut them down to the right size, then I finish it off by adding a long strip of duct tape all the way around. I normally tear the piece in half lengthwise before I attach it to the purse. Otherwise it covers too much of the checkered pattern.


The next step is working on the strap of your purse. I've done a couple different types. My daughter's favorite is a braided handle. On this purse, I made it simple and just cut two different color long strips of duct tape to make the handle. You want to make sure to secure your handle very tightly so it doesn't come lose.


With the larger checkered purse, I use a long piece of tape and attach it completely down the side of the purse. I've also seen it recommended, as you attach your handle, to use a long enough piece of tape that will stick all the way down the side and onto the bottom of the purse. I have used grommets on my purse handles too. They make a more professional look. However, it can be a little difficult to cut the hole when you're going through several layers of duct tape. Most of the purses I make are small enough that duct tape will hold the handle on. And I've often made the joke to the friends I've given these to, "If it breaks, just duct tape it back together. Duct tape fixes everything!"
The last step is adding your embellishments. My personal favorite is a small bow, placed off center on the top edge. Ariel really likes to add a duct tape rose to her purse. If you have an X-Acto knife you can cut different pictures out to add. I haven't quite mastered using my knife yet. Duct tape is so sticky, it's really tricky!

In order to make my simple bow, you cut two of the same size pieces of duct tape, and stick them back to back. If you want your bow to stand out, use two different colors!


You just gather it in the center, and tie it off with a small piece of duct tape. Then simply duct tape it where you want it to go.


Here is our completed purse!

how to make duct tape woven purse
I've made a couple of these purses to be used as gifts for Ariel's friends. I always like to add some more duct tape things for inside. For this purse, I made a matching pink and purple wallet and a pretty duct tape rose that we sprayed with perfume to make it appear even more real. Be creative!


I found tutorial videos for making wallets and roses out of duct tape on YouTube.

how to make duct tape woven purse

This was my very first duct tape purse I made myself. I put several hours into it, and a couple rolls of duct tape. I started making my purses smaller now.
This one I put pleats in to make it a little fancier, and I added a pocket.


A couple more samples of my purses!

how to make duct tape woven purse
This was my first "man-bag". Gabriel loves it and carries it to school every day. He's even offered my services to all the little girls in his class!

how to make duct tape woven spider-man bag
Be careful when you make your first purse. They can be very addicting!

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