Small town librarian discusses crafts, books, comics, media, teens, and more.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Duct Tape

Duct Tape is one of my favorite crafts to do with me teens, and one of their favorites as well. We usually do it 2-3 times a in year. This past summer one of the tweens in the group started up a business selling purses after learning how to make them at a program. Other teens have found duct tape items are a good gift. My teens seem to like it best if I leave it up to them what to make.

Supplies needed:
-Duct tape in a variety of colors. I usually get at least three or four rolls of the standard silver-grey and half a dozen in other colors. I encourage them to use the silver-grey as the base, and add decorations with the others.
-Some good scissors. Duct tape isn't hard to cut, but if they are using things like cardboard you'll need strong scissors. And yes, you can tear duct tape, but some teens have trouble with that, and cutting it leaves a cleaner edge.
-Patterns and directions. I use ones from the Duck Tape Club and books, such as Got Tape? Many of the teens are fine to figure out what they are making on their own, but the first time they usually want directions. Make extra copies of the basic ones.

Optional supplies:
-Paper punches of various shapes and sizes.
-Cardboard, to use as support in some projects
-Waxpaper. If you put a piece of duct tape on wax paper, it can then be cut into shape or put in a paper punch, and then peeled off to be stuck to something else.
-Add-ons, i.e. fake flowers, gems, fringe
-Hot glue gun

To start with, I give the teens a quick lesson in making duct tape fabric, show them the patterns, and mention a few words of caution about being patient and not taping themselves or each other to things. And then it is basically up to them, and walking around helping them.

Some things my teens have made: wallets, purses, roses, sculptures, hats, gloves, shirts, skirts, flip-flops, wings, and my personal favorite: a Guitar Hero style duct tape banjo.

Overall it is a decent priced craft to do. Duct tape is somewhat expensive, but it lasts awhile and is useful to have around.
Price: ~$25-$50 for 2-3 programs
Age range: 11 and up
Time: 1 hour or more

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