Would you have ever thought a roll of duct tape could be so useful? Not MacGyver kind of useful, but design chic fashion kind of useful.
And, that’s not all. People are creating duct tape flowers, pens, wallets, shoes and even sports-themed posters.
This year, the Home & Away section launched its first Duct Tape contest. We received 100 designs, and of those, half of the entries were from kids and teens.
“Duct tape is like a magic wand,” says Richela Fabian Morgan of New York. Known as Crafty Richela, she may just be the queen of duct tape. The indie crafter specializes in duct tape, and she’s the author of three books: “Tape It and Make It,” “Tape It and Make More” and “Tape It and Wear It.”
“You can fix things with it, big or small, and you can make almost anything out of it,” adds Morgan. Duck Tape Brand now comes in hundreds of colors and designs.
Our readers voted and selected a winning dress, by Kaitlyn Rowbottom, 12, of University City.
She’s our grand prize winner and will walk away with the 2015 Post-Dispatch Duct Tape designer award. Kaitlyn will also receive a bucket filled of tape rolls from Duck Tape Brands and three books, courtesy of Morgan.
Newsroom staffers selected four other winning looks that deserved to be honored in this year’s competition.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Name • Kaitlyn Rowbottom, 12, University City
Design • Fit and Flare Dress. I always wanted to make a dress. I used a book by Richela Fabian Morgan titled “Tape it & Make More: 101 More Duct Tape Activities,” to get an idea for how to make a dress pattern. Then, I modified it for my design. I used the Post-Dispatch newspaper sections to make my custom pattern. Next, I created large duct tape sheets (like a piece of fabric), and trimmed them to the appropriate size and shape using my pattern. I used the Duck Tape brand of duct tape in aqua, silver sparkle and black. The dress took about five hours to complete including making the patterns. It took approximately two rolls of black tape, three rolls of silver sparkle and two rolls of aqua to complete my project. My dress is made entirely of duct tape. There were no additional materials used.
When did you find your calling for duct tape? • A few years ago at Christmas, my cousin made me a duct tape flower pen (regular pen as the stem, with a flower at the top made of tape), and I really liked it. I decided to make one of my own. Ever since then, I have been crafting everything from wallets to dresses out of duct tape.
Have you ever thought of starting a duct tape business? • I considered starting a YouTube channel, but then I got too busy with school and sports.
What’s your favorite tape design/color? • Zebra print.
What design would you create? • I would make a pattern using bottles of colored nail polish.
Name • Alexandra Coffey, 15, Laramie, Wyo.
Design • Sweet in Steampunk. I like to create and make clothing for my 4-H projects in fabric and fashion. To make this costume, I mixed materials with duct tape. I started with a costume pattern and chose purple, black, and silver duct tape, along with rayon lining, silver taffeta, lace and black felted wool. I used a very fine linen as a base for the duct tape and then rolled the duct tape onto the fabric to create a duct tape fabric. Then, I used the pattern pieces, laid them on the duct tape fabric and cut them. After they were cut, I followed the instructions of the pattern, with some alterations, and sewed it on a sewing machine. My costume is made with 85 percent duct tape, and it took me about one month to make, working on it eight hours a day. I used two rolls of purple, 10 rolls of black and six rolls of silver.
When did you find your calling for duct tape? • When I was 8 years old, I made purses, shoes, flowers and wallets.
Have you ever thought of starting a duct tape business? • No, but when I was 11 years old, I was asked to teach an elective class at my school on how to make things out of duct tape.
What’s your favorite tape design/color? • Silver.
What design would you create? • Glitter.
Name • Anna May, 16, St. Ann
Design • Flower Bouquet. My bouquet took about six hours to make. I have the finished product on my dresser. I used many colors and designs of duct tape to create this bouquet: pink, blue, white, purple, green, pink camouflage and zebra print.
When did you find your calling for duct tape? • About three years ago.
Have you ever thought of starting a duct tape business? • Yes. I sell at craft fairs and I have an Etsy site (Charmsandlace16). I’ve been selling on Etsy for a few months, and I make wallets and wristlets. In the future, I will be adding purses and maybe my flower bouquet.
What’s your favorite tape design/color? • Camo
What design would you create? • Pink and white plaid.
Name • Alex Buechert, 16, Florissant
Design • R2-D2. I made the R2-D2 last August as a birthday present for my uncle. I started with a plastic pretzel container for the body. Then, I made the legs out of cardboard and duct tape. I drilled holes in the pretzel container and put pencils through so I could attach the legs. I made the feet then attached them to the legs with pencils, so it would work like a hinge. The dome is made out of cardboard. After putting all the parts together, I covered the entire thing with white tape. Then, I added all the little details using the other colors of tape. The legs hinge so that R2-D2 can tilt back just like he does in the movies when he starts rolling. In total, I used about six rolls of tape: gray, white, black, blue, brown and a little red. I covered the entire R2-D2 in clear packing tape to make sure it would hold together. The entire project took me three days with a total of about 20 hours of work.
When did you find your calling for duct tape? • About four years ago, I started mowing lawns and decided to make a duct tape wallet to store my money. After my first wallet, I realized that making stuff out of tape was fun. Since then, I’ve made about 60 wallets, a replica of Busch Stadium, a Stan Musial statue and various other projects including posters. Basically, if you can think of it, I’ve probably made it out of tape.
Have you ever thought of starting a duct tape business? • Yes, I have sold about 20 wallets, and I am getting paid to make a NASCAR replica. After I finish the NASCAR, I have a couple of other jobs, including a scale circus full of miniature duct tape animals.
What’s your favorite tape design/color? • The original gray tape because it is the most useful.
What design would you create? • I’ve always preferred making my own projects from scratch with just the basic colors. I rarely use any of the printed design tapes.
Name • FeFe Mae Puertas, 14, Kirkwood
Design • Stylish dresses for American Girl Dolls. I made two dresses for my American Girl dolls. In order to make the dresses, I made patterns (similar to sewing patterns) out of construction paper. Next, I covered the paper with duct tape and secured them in the back. For the summer dress, I cut a flower out of the duct tape, placed it on paper, then hot-glued it onto the dress with a sequin accent. I incorporated a red ribbon around the waist for the winter dress. I used a half of a roll of duct tape for each dress and chose a vibrant floral color for the summer dress and a snowman pattern for the winter dress. It took about an hour to make one dress.
When did you find your calling for duct tape? • In 2010, pattern duct tape was all the rage. It’s been my favorite crafting material.
Have you ever thought of starting a duct tape business? • I currently have an Etsy shop, and my duct tape creations will be listed soon. My shop name is Glittabomb FeFe.
What’s your favorite tape design/color? • Flying Pigs.
What design would you create? • Monogrammed duct tape with letters.