Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Random Project: How TO Create Awesome Duct Tape art!

1-Duct Tape ArtI adore duct tape, I have loved it since I discovered it's ability to stick to almost anything when I was in middle school.  That’s when it became my go-to preferred tape for anything except paper!  I used duct tape to repair a belt once and then decided I would wrap the whole belt with the tape.  It looked awesome, so I thought what else could I do with this?

I used it for all kinds of different things, covering notebooks, decorating my backpack and so many other things!  But, it wasn't until about two years ago that I started using different colors and patterns of duct tape to create 2 dimensional art. 

The photo below is of two small boxes that I duct taped and then decorated with duct tape cut outs and of a metal door plaque I decorated with duct tape.

Supplies/Tools Needed:

  • 3 or 4 Rolls of Duct tape in different colors or patterns
  • Roll of quality clear packing tape
  • Set of precision knives
  • Flat cutting surface
  • Something to decorate (a small box, wooden or metal plaque, backpack)

The flat surface should be something that the tape will stick to, that is sturdy (you don’t want to use sharp knives to cut on a flimsy surface, that’s just begging for a stab wound) to cut tape on.  But you want something that is scratched already or you don’t plan on using for anything else because you will be slicing all over it and you want the tape to peel off of it relatively easily.  I use a scrap piece of metal (like the one pictured that I used for the door plaque) and I keep it with my duct tape art supplies so I don’t use it for anything else.

The above pictured door plaque with "Cadee" spelled out in duct tape was done for my friend's daughter.  It was very time consuming!!!!  I keep all my duct tape art supplies in a bag in my truck and whenever I had some time where I was sitting and waiting or something I would pull it out and work on it.  All in all I worked on that on and off for a couple of months but never more than an hour or so in a sitting.

The Basics of How To Do Duct Tape Art:

English: Duct Tape
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.  Find something you want to decorate!

2.  Find duct tape colors and/or designs you want to use to decorate!

3.  Sketch out your basic design on a sheet of paper to plan your layers.  Duct tape is expensive!  I always try to fit shapes/letters together when cutting so I waste as little tape as possible.  Sometimes you can skip this step if it is a simple design but I don’t recommend skipping the sketch if you are planning a layered design as you will need to plan those out well.

4.  I then place strips of the first tape color/design on the cutting surface and cut out my shapes or letters for that color. Other times I just cut straight strips of the duct tape and then use that to outline on whatever I am decorating.

5.  Then carefully peel up each shape/letter and place on your target item.  I use either a straight razor or this “Peel-ie-Up-ie” attachment for my precision knife.

6.  Repeat steps 4 & 5 for each color/design of tape and/or each layer.

7.  When complete cover with clear packing tape, lamination or possibly clear contact paper.

For a layered design like the big star pictured above:

I would cut the base shape out, then cut the next layer, peel that and stick it on top of the base layer, then cut the next, until it was like a stacked sticker of duct tape shapes.  Obviously some of the shapes required two strips of tape laid next to each other because the object was wider than one strip of tape. 

1-100_3161 (2)

Random Note:

I found that some brands of duct tape wouldn't peel off the "cutting board" very well after it had been on there more than a day or so.  So sometimes I would wind up cutting the same shape out twice because I had left it too long and couldn't peel it back up without tearing it.

The brands I prefer to use for 2D Duct Tape art are “DUCK” and “IPG” (Carried by SEBOs) stands for Intertape Polymer Group.

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