Duct tape!

Okay, there’s a story here: I had a piece accepted into Beadwork’s The Beaded Figure, their 2005 juried show. I was lamenting that none of the show’s touring locations were near where I lived, and good friends in Manhattan invited me to stay with them so I could see my piece in the show, in January 2005 at its opening location at the Museum of Art and Design. As a thank you present to Bruno, I made a duct tape wallet; Marya got jewelry. While I stood there, he emptied out his wallet and filled his new duct tape wallet, and he’s been using it ever since.

Fast forward more than 3 years, and the wallet’s bottom has finally torn, and he requested another. So, here’s a brief outline on how to make a duct tape wallet:

First, make the “fabric” for the wallet. This is where you can lose a lot of tape fast — sticky side to sticky side is a bit tricky at first, you can’t peel it up and start over. If you want to play with duct tape and make something, I recommend starting with the less expensive gray tape rather than the colored tape.

It’s a good idea to have a leather wallet on hand to check construction details. For example, the inside layer needs to be shorter than the outside layer so that it will close and stay flat. Bruno’s wallet is the black one, I made the blue one a while ago, and it’s on hand for a fun last-minute gift. To get to this point, I’ve cut the fabric with scissors, and taped the bottoms together, inside and out. At this open spot, I’ve encased the edge with more duct tape.

A view of the inside — the right side has been taped on the inside, the left has not. This is both for strength and so your money doesn’t stick inside.

All cut edges enclosed — working on the top now. I’ll carefully trim off the overhang after I fold it. These encasing pieces are half-width of the tape, which is a pain to cut. People who do a lot of duct tape things buy tape in different widths. I make do. So, I put the machine-cut edge on the outside, and my scissors-chewed edge on the inside.

The inside of the blue wallet, and Bruno’s wallet done except for the pockets, which are ready to go. I’ve encased the top edge with another color, both for fun and so you can see the edge of the pocket easily. His last wallet was black with hot pink edges.

Top pockets on. Pockets are attached inside and out with half-widths of tape. This can get awkward.

One bottom pocket attached on the inside and outside. Then I attach it on the inside of the sides, both sides at the same time.

Attaching the outside of the side of the pocket, again wrapping the edge of the wallet for the height of the pocket.

Done! Inside view of black wallet, and outside of blue…

…and inside of blue wallet and outside of Bruno’s.

Now, back to contemplating the loom.

10 Replies to “Duct tape!”

  1. OOOooohhh My!
    Bruno is simply drooling. He’s so excited! I had him come in from the kitchen to see how his new wallet was being made. (He LOVES the blue one, too! He wants to know who is the lucky duck to get that one!)

  2. Yay, I’m glad he likes it! The blue one has been hanging around for a while, I might have even made it when I made Bruno’s old one — I just don’t remember. Does Bruno need a blue wallet too? I think I can make the post office tomorrow.

  3. What a great creation, Dulcey! My DH would get a kick out of this project. I bet you have or have seen the Duct Tape project book, huh? Duct tape is an all time favorite at our house. So many uses.

  4. Thank you! There’s great fun in making something out of an inexpensive, colorful supply you can get from a craft store. Especially if you have a coupon. 🙂

    Yes, I’ve seen that book — I was on a duct tape kick a few years ago, and bought several rolls of colored duct tape. In fact, used some yellow duct tape tonight to label some things. 🙂

  5. Wallet Fever!!! Those duct tape wallets are cool!! I posted some wallets I made today on my blog too and linked to you so people will come check out your wallets!

  6. Wild, it must be wallet season (and cold season and mud season and…)! I’m slow at them because I don’t make them often. Plenty more tape on hand for when Bruno needs another! Thanks for the link!

  7. @Melissa, thanks! for the compliment. Also, thanks for the link, it was cool to see a homemade loom. It does essentially what this heddled Mirrix does – the only thing that is really different is the spring at the top for the spacer for the beads. And this is adjustable. I think I remember reading that Virginia Blakelock just makes simple wooden frames to suit each project (traditional beadweaving), but not heddled.

    As far as why your comment didn’t come through, it’s because there was a link in it, and the Spam catcher wanted me to check it. It doesn’t notify me though — I’m going to see if I can change a setting to allow one link (I thought it was set to allow 2). Sorry!

  8. Thanks, Sonya! We’ve had duct tape pencil holders (flat ones for inside binders), duct tape wallets, duct tape purses — and the handle of the broken car door duct taped from the inside. Duct tape is good! lol

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