Introduction: Duct Tape Giraffe - Tall and Self Supported (22")
So this stems from my large amounts of spare time and random thought process. I make a lot of stuff out of other random things. Why I haven't added them on here...I don't exactly know. Anyways, this guide will teach you how to make a large giraffe out of only duct tape and sweat (preferably not on the poor creature itself). It will turn heads and score big when it comes to presents.
Step 1: Gather the Forces
For this you will need:
1) 2-3 rolls of ductape
-One color for the base
-One for the spots
-And one that can be used as backing for the sheets (explanation later)
2) Xacto knife/Box cutter (I find Xacto knife works best) and scissors
3) Ruler ( I use a 18" ruler because of the mat size)
4) Cutting mat (I use a 36x20 but a 12"x16" will do too. Or anysize for that matter)
5) An Old Magazine
6) 1/2" piece of dowel or a drill bit
Step 2: Duct Tape Sheets
The duct tape sheet is the basis for any duct tape project and is indeed important here. Duct tape is composed of threads dipped in an adhesive rubbers. Basically, you will be making the "fabric" for this grand project.
1) To make the " fabric" for the legs. You'll want to make a 16x10 sheet. Lay strips of the base color tape down color side up, overlapping the left edge of the tape about centimeter over the right edge of of the adjacent tape.
2) This is the tricky part, peel from the bottom left corner. Once you have this side completed, slowly, as to not wrinkle the tape too much (and yes, it does wrinkle. Also be sure not to have the tape stick to itself. It could cause havoc for you), flip over on mat with the sticky side now facing up.
3) Take your 3rd roll (or if you decide you have enough the same color), cut strips 12" long, and begin to add the second side. The edges should now all be facing left and you should begin laying the strips down beginning on the left. This will make a strong seam. Also, be sure of your placement. The time it takes to peel ductape off it itself is quite long and could end in you restarting and wasting tape. Put your finished sheet aside.
4) Repeat steps 1 through 3, but make a 10x4 sheet for the neck and a 6x5 for the body.
Step 3: The Cuts and Rolls
Now that you have all of the necessary sheets, snip snip!
Prior to step 1, lay down a strip of your base color that you will use as your "pins" or tape you use to keep things in place. Cutting it down the center length wise and a cut every 1/2" or so usually does the trick
1) Cut the 16x10 sheet into four 4x10 sections
-Each one will be one leg. Roll the sheet around your 1/2" dowel or bit and put a pin on it at the base, one at the other end, and one in the center. Remove the piece from the dowel.
-Do this for the other three also.
2)Take four of your pins and connect the two ends of the body pieces together.
3) With the same process used for the legs, do the same thing with the neck cloth.
Step 4: Closing the Seams
The trick to having a standing giraffe is to add stuffing inside the all the body parts. And the trick to making people take this large creation seriously is not making it look like duct tape, which means covering all your edges. But that's why you're reading this.
1) Roll out three 10" strips and cut them in half. Place one strip on the seam of each leg. Also, with the left over strip, place it on the seam of the body and cut off the extra.
Step 5: Stuffing the Legs + Necks
Even though a pure giraffe would be fun, it couldn't hold it's own weight.
Tear out pages from your magazine and proceed to stuff each limb to a logical point. You want it firm, but not too full. It's a discreet stuffing. Use the other side of your xacto knife to force the paper down to fill the leg. Two pages per leg should do. Also, fill the neck.
Step 6: Filling the Body
The body is a little more fun to fill. A rule to keep in mind for anything tape related that you don't want wrinkles in is to just make a little cut where ever you think it might stick to itself. That way, instead of sticking to itself and making the dreaded crease, it simply overlaps. This will be relevant shortly.
1) Lay down a 4x4 square of tape, then flip it over
2) Stick one end of the open body on it
3) Fill the body with magazine pages until full.
4) After you've filled the body, make slits in the tape like you were cutting the rays of sunshine around a sun.
5) Fold each piece up until the end is completely closed. Be sure to cut enough to avoid any wrinkles, sticky sides, and sticking together.
6) Make another 4x4 square and put the unfinished side down and do the same thing.
Step 7: Closing the Legs
Use the same sunshine beam technique, but with a more suitable size piece of tape. You only need to close one side, which will then turn into the feet. I would give a dimension, but I know that no two duct tape projects turn out exactly the same so use your best judgement. Close one side on every leg. But you will leave the neck piece open on both ends
Step 8: Attaching the Legs
1) Cut a 1x1 piece of tape, just like the picture shows.
2) Attach the piece to the top of the leg, just like the picture shows.
3) Then put it so the top of the leg is flat against the bottom edge of the giraffe and attach the the tape. It should fold over because of the slit.
4) Cut another square, but this time do the mirror image cuts because the the edge is now on the other side. Just make sure that the flap is pointing out.
5) Reinforce the inside crack of the leg to prevent them from detaching and continue to do the other set of legs the same way.
Step 9: Attaching the Neck and Head
1) Pick up the uncapped neck and cut a V out of it.
2) Cut a 3" piece of tape in half and place one strip on the top and bottom of the neck.
3) Place the neck on the giraffe as shown. Push down the tape strips firmly then add another 3" piece perpendicular to at the base where the neck meets the body for reinforcement.
4) Start rolling the end of your tape role on itself until it's about as big as the 1/2" peice you have. Cut the ends so you have a nice flush surface and make 2 more sunshine pieces to cover the the end. You roll the tape much like you would a cigarette. Make sure the tape is tightly rolled.
5) Attach the head with a piece of tape on each side and one on the back, making the back of the head flush with the neck
Step 10: Covering Your Work
Covering all of the gross seams and folds is the very important part. I've worked hard to make my stuff and this project look the best it can.
1) Make a piece of tape long enough to cover each leg. Make sure some of it attaches to the body and it will add stability.
2)The cut points are key to avoid any wrinkles that we are trying to cover up. The pictures will be the most helpful at this point. Any place where it could fold in on itself or where it there will be a gap under the tape. Like I said pictures.
3) After the legs are covered, make strips to lay horizontally on the body. Pictures for the cut points is probably most helpful.
5) Cut a round piece in the shape of the front and back to cover up the overlapping pieces.
4) In summary, short jagged pieces hurt the eyes, creases and wrinkles are hard to cut off, any pieces that have space under them aren't good. Try to make it look as clean and neat as possible.
Step 11: Adding the Spots
For those of you who ventured this far, you still have a journey ahead. For me this part takes as much time, if not longer, than every step before this. The only thing that turns this long legged, tall necked horse into a giraff are the spots. Now these will fit together like one big sticky puzzle. I have pictures to demonstrate. You can also free lance if you like, your creativity can do what it pleases. Whatever you choose to do has to fit together, it gives it the "giraffe" look.
1) Put down a 16x12 sheet of the second the role of tape you got for the spots. Start from the center and start cutting out this elaborate puzzle. Take it out piece by piece and start attaching it, beginning at the most central point so it spreads out from the top and center of the body.
Step 12: Finishing Details
Finally, now that you've made it through the woods, we just need to add a mane, eyes, tail, and those antler horn things.
1) The mane consists of cutting a 10" piece of tape in half hot dog style and folding it over with some open tape still showing. Cut little lines all the way down the thing, being careful only to cut the folded part and not the sticky stuff.
2) Add the antlers, which is more of just taking random scraps and folding them over enough, leaving some sticky like you did with the mane. You could even just cut off 2 pieces from the mane.
3) The tail is just a rolled sheet of duct tape like you did with the head but much smaller. Stick that to tail end (pun) of the giraffe with a small piece of tape that matches the spot you are placing it on or if you're sticking it to the body, use the base color.
4) The eyes are just small squares of the base color.
Step 13: The Finished Product
After a couple hours of work your girafe will be completed. I know for me my first ones were not the same quality that they are today. So if it didn't turn out how you hoped, don't even worry about it. And if it turned out better than you hoped or mine, you've got the knack (odd word) for tape. you can change the dimensions, change the size, change colors do what ever. I've made on the the size of a 9 volt battery. So have fun with it, it's tape!