Have you ever tried to make a pattern for something you need to wear that was form fitting???
I have tried all manner of pinning paper pieces, cutting up outfits to make patterns to no avail. When it came down to it, I needed me, a body to work on. With no money for a body form, not to mention a shape that I doubt exists for one, I needed a solution. I found it, from other Fur Suiters, I needed a duct tape double!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
The materials and tools
list is short, and not super expensive
DUCT TAPE, 1-12 rolls
Ok this is by far the most expensive part. you may want a roll of basic, but you will definitely want several rolls of better than basic, and for long term use I recommend outdoor duct tape. I wish I had. How many rolls depends on how much you want to cover, I made two different ones, one is a bodice and head, it goes from between my legs, up and over my head. Initially I used 3 rolls, then I added to it, after, adding up to another 3 rolls of the colored tapes… For a single head one roll will do. For a full body, IDK….
Tights: If you are doing a head, you want tights, they fit to the head nicely, are form fitting, and cheap. For the full body, you will want cheap snug fitting cloths.
EMT shears: YOU NEED THESE or other safety shears designed to cut cloth from humans or animals.
Willing Victim: This is the model, and if you are going for shape, size etc, this needs to be that person, so you might need a willing duct tape artist instead…
Step 2: Duct Taping the Head, Important Safety Issues
1) Have your EMT shears ready. You never know how someone will react, or
what emergency may come up. You might need to get this off fast.
2) Cover head or body sections in cloth that will be cut. We will focus on the head.
Cover head in stocking or nylon, you will want two layers and not too tight that it will warp the shape too much. If you want strong facial features, this is not the right method for you. I needed basic head shape.
Using 2 layers reduces the amount of hair that will make its way out to the duct tape. I did it in one layer one my first victim, and um sorry Gene but thank you again and your hair did not look that bad at all…
3) CUT a hole below the tip of the nose over the nostril openings, and a slit at the mouth. You need to cut actual holes here because as this continues those will get moist making it hard to breath.
Note, I was missing images of this stage so I snapped a few of how I want to do the next one. With glasses for making leather masks for people who wear glasses.
Step 3: Taping Up the Head
4) Add the duct tape in pieces no longer than 12 inches at a time, usually smaller. For narrow area’s tear tape in half down the center. Add tape from the back toward the front. Cover mouth and around nose LAST. Again this is for safety. If there is any worry about claustrophobia, you will want to know ahead of time, and make the face part as short as possible.
DO NOT cover both mouth and nose. If victim is confident and comfortable, and you are prepped with your shears handy, you can cover one of these. Do add some duct tape underneath the nose opening and above the mouth to hold the head shape correctly. Bring duct tape forward to just under the chin, and down the back of the neck. Do not duct tape around the throat, it is very easy to make this too tight.
5) Once you have duct taped it as you want it, slowly cut a slit up the back side till you can open it enough for the victims head to come out.
Step 4: Head Full of Stuffing...
The last picture is looking from the bottom, with the chin pointing up.
6) Stuff the head, wadded up newspaper works really well for stiffness which you will want. I had stuffing but no newspaper this time, so I used it, but it takes a LOT of stuffing to make it really firm.
7) After stuffing the front part of the face, pull the flaps on the back of the head closed. add duct tape.
8) Finish stuffing the head.
9) finish how you choose. I have yet to figure out how I want to mount my head, I made it to have a different size for making top hats. So I will probably want a base that is a bit raised??? not sure yet. On my full bodice, I found a cheap bodice stand for selling jewelry on, which was much to small for me, but I put my bodice one over it, filled it, closed it, and I am able to put it up on a stand because of this.
10) The rest of the body, works in a similar fashion. Most people will need to do the head separate from the body, as it can be very scary to be trapped in that way. You can do this in parts like, Head, Body, R Arm, L Arm, Legs together or separate. Then duct tape those parts together. It is helpful to make markings with a sharpie to help put it together right. If you are just doing a body or you want that waist, make sure you duct tape between the legs like a bathing-suit. go between the legs, if you are doing legs separate from the body, you want to do this too. other wise do Body and legs together so that you get they lined up correctly.
NOTE: I just added duct tape to the bottom bringing the hole down so that I could stuff it more. I did NOT have duct tape that far in under my friends chin.
Step 5: Uses
There are many uses for your Duct Tape Doppelgänger...
Make patterns using it, I have used mine for leather masks, top hats, my Agatha Hetrodyne costume, wings and more....
I do recommend heavy duty pins, one flaw to this body form, is that pinning into duct ape is not easy and leaves a residue on the pins.
A mannequin for selling stuff... I have dressed up mine in many ways, to help sell at my booth.
A perfect way to freak out friends, a dress up body form hanging in the living room, everyone does a double take even if they have seen in several times already...
and many other useful things...
Please if you make one, be it a head, a bodice, or the whole body, please post pics...