Introduction: Duct Tape Reinforced Zipper Bag

Picture of Duct Tape Reinforced Zipper Bag

A while back, I bought a folding canopy because I have very little shade in my backyard. I don't want to leave it out all the time, so it is usually folded in my shed. The extra hardware has nowhere to go once you remove it from its original packaging. I grabbed a zipper bag from the kitchen to store the stakes and hex key, but the flimsy plastic felt like it would tear easily.

I like zipper bags because they can't spill and if the little pieces need to be stored inside the canopy's storage bag, I want to make sure I don't lose any pieces. I knew I could find heavier zipper bags somewhere online, but I decided to reinforce the one I had with duct tape.

Step 1: Materials

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All you need is a plastic zipper bag, some duct tape and a pair of scissors.

Step 2: Starting Off

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The corners need to be reinforced more than anything else since there will be 4 stakes inside. The first layer covers the bottom edge and wraps around the corners. The cleanest way I could imagine to do this was to cut the tape at a 45° angle before folding it over to the back. This leaves the adhesive exposed so it can be wrapped around the side.

Next tear off a piece of tape that is about 2 inches longer than twice the width of the bag. This way you can cover both sides and have a 2 inch overlap. Center the tape across one side of the bag so that it is straight and will wrap around neatly to the other side. Flip the bag over and apply one end, then overlap it with the other end of the tape.

Step 3: Continue Evenly Spaced Bands...

Picture of Continue Evenly Spaced Bands...

Just like the first band, keep tearing off pieces 2 inches longer than double the width of the bag. Overlap the previous layer by about a 1/4 inch and alternate the joints from one side to the other. When you get within one band from the zipper, go on to the next step.

Step 4: Finishing Up

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I chose to finish the top with a little overlapped piece of duct tape. This prevents the zipper from getting hung up on anything if you pull it across something.

To make this a more finished edge, I decided to skip 1 row and finish the zipper flap. I didn't want to leave the last seam on the outer edge in case it started to unravel.

Tear off another piece of tape that is about 2 inches longer than double the width of a side. Hold the tape up to the bag to approximate where the tape will overlap. Make a cut about 1/4 of the way across the tape and fold over the top 1/4 on everything but the 2 inch overlap. Apply the tape to the top of the bag so that there is room for the zipper to move freely. When you get to the end, fold over the upper section of the 2 inch overlap. Finish the last band layer and you are all done.

Step 5: Finished Bag

Picture of Finished Bag
I first made this for my tent stakes, but I had to make another one to make this Instructable.  Since then, I have found a few more situations where I could use a stronger bag that could seal:
  • Vehicle document storage bag for your glove compartment
  • Weather / water resistant camping storage
  • Loose drill bit storage
  • Hold crayons or markers for your kids on trips
  • Fill it with sand and use it to weigh down napkins or tablecloths outdoors
  • Fill it with road salt and keep it in your trunk during the winter.

Comments

DShill78 (author)2015-12-13

Excellent idea I just started playing with duct tape bags and wondered how to do a zipper top thanks!!

tjosephcarter (author)2010-11-15

Someone suggested this before on another forum. He makes them for outdoor use, so recommends the press-to-seal variety since they're more waterproof than the slide-zipper type. His other advice was to deliberately stagger the ends of the tape randomly to avoid any single point of weakness in the reinforced bags because of multiple layers of tape in only a few spots.

A little bit of duct tape greatly extends the life, strength, and utility of common ziploc bags. Great idea for an Instructable!

mowdish (author)2010-11-13

Useful and simple. Thanks.

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