Introduction: High Quality Duct Tape Tote Bag
This is my newest creation, a 15" x 15" x 4" woven duct tape tote/purse bag. It's super sturdy and quite impressive!
Step 1: Items Needed
Approx 120 yards of duct tape (I used 3 different colors with 2 rolls being 60 yards each of black)
A razor blade
Ruler / Tape measure
Pen / Pencil / Marker
550 cord / Para cord (parachute cord)
Step 2: Getting Started Step 1: Tape Sheets
1) Using the color tape that you have the most of (mine was black 90mph tape) cut a strips of tape 15.5" long. Lay the 1st one down glue side up. and carefully line up the second strip over the first (glue side to glue side) overlapping the widths half way. Fold over the second half of the exposed glue side up strip to make a clean edge. (Pic 1-3)
2) Flip the now 2 combined strips over leaving glue side up. Lay next layer down over lapping tape layers about 1/4" - 1/2". (Pic 4)
3) Repeat step 2 until the sheet of tape is 15" exactly. (Pic 5-6)
**Note: Using a ruler (mine was 16" long) I measured a straight line on the table to align my final strip of tape so it was straight and measured the sheet so it would line up with the line i drew exactly 15" away.
4) Using your ruler and the razor, cut a straight edge on the uneven edges leaving a clean line. Repeat on the other side, measure to make sure it's 15" wide. You should now have a solid sheet of duct tape that is exactly 15" x 15". (Pic 7-11)
**Note: cut as close to the first uneven edge as possible so without leaving a jagged edge of tape. This should leave enough room on the other side to have some room to play with to make a clean cut.
5) Repeat steps 1- 4 again leaving you with 2 15" x 15" sheets.
6) Repeat steps 1-4 again, but this time make 2 sheets that are 4" long x 15" wide. (Pic 12)
**Note: set these sheets to side for late use.
Step 3: Getting Started Step 2: Woven Strips
The following steps will need to be repeated a LOT! You've been warned :P
1) Your will need to cut out a strip of tape that is 38" long. (Pic 1)
2) Fold the tape length wise into approx thirds (about 5/8" of an in folded over). (Pic 2)
3) Fold the tape over again makes one strip. (Pic 3)
4) Repeat steps 1-3 until you have 20 strips total of the 38" long strips... Yes 20 total.
5) Repeat steps 1-3 again making two strips totaling 5' (60") long. These will be your handles for the bag.
6) Depending on the patter you have planned on, you'll need to repeat steps 1-3 again until you have 48 strips total; all 15.25" long. (I have six 15.25" long strips of black, twelve 15.25" long strips of orange, and 30 15.25" long strips of white for this pattern) (Pic 4)
**Note: the strips are all slightly longer than need to be to accommodate the shortening of the strips through the weaving process to come.
Step 4: Getting Started Step 3: Purse Bottom
1st get your cardboard, the stiffer the better!
1) Cut out 2 rectangles measuring out 15" x 4" with the corrugation running length wise.
2) Cut out a rectangle measuring out 15" x 4" with the corrugation running width wise.
3) Stack the layers together so the corrugation is alternating with the width wise one in the middle.
4) Cover the entire stack in tape making a solid plank. Make sure to cover all the edges. (Pic 4)
Step 5: Assembly Part 1: Inner Bag
For my design I covered the top of the cardboard plank in white so it's easy to see into the bottom of the bag(but this will come later. (Pic 1)
Grab the two 15" x 15" sheets and two 15" x 4" sheets
1) We'll go with the 4" wide sheet 1st. With the strips of the sheets running vertically (the cut edges on top and bottom), align the bottom edge to the bottom edge of the plank. Using a 4" long strip of tape, lay it over the bottom edge of the sheet half way and fold the rest over the underside of the plank. (Pic 2)
2) With the sheet standing up (or hanging down depending how you look at it) apply another 4" strip to the inside edge. (Pic 3-4)
3) Repeat steps 1-2 for the remaining three sides. (This is when I applied the white tape to the plank) (Pic 5)
**Note: Now comes a little bit of a tricky part, if you have a second pair of hands that can help you... may be beneficial.
4) Using a strip of tape 15" long, tape up the seam of two sheets on the outer edge. Keep the edges tightly together. (Pic 6)
5) Using a strip of tape 15" long, tape up the seam of two sheets on the inner edge. Get the tape as far into the crease as you can (its tape and flexible, bend it flat if you can). You should notice about 1/2" of tape overhanging the top of the sheet. Trim it off flush with the sheet. (Pic 7)
6) Repeat steps 4-5 with the other 3 seams. Keep in mind that the closer you get to the final seam, the harder it will be to get the inside seam flat (this is where an extra set of hands comes in handy to help apply the tape).
**Note: Once the bag is finished, set aside for later.
Step 6: Assembly Part 2: Woven Sheet
Prepare to spend a LOT of time taping and weaving!
Grab yourself a 15.5" long strip and a 36" long strip. Throughout the rest of this stage and pretty much the rest of the Instructable you will be using literally 1000+ pieces of tape that are about 1" x .5"! (lets call these small pieces of tape tacks) (Pic 1)
**Note: MAKE SURE from here on out, all the strips of tape have the exposed folded edge all facing the same side! this will make a cleaner looking finished product.Also I will be describing in generality for the pattern. But if you care to repeat it (even with different colors, the pattern will go (length wise from top to bottom) 6 white, 3 orange, 6 white, 3 orange, 3 white, 6 black, 3 white, 3 orange, 6 white, 3 orange, 6 white.
1) At the end of the 36" long strip, tape half of of the tack to it. Align the long strip perpendicular to the 15.25" strip. Fold the other half of the tack underneath the 15.25" strip. (Pic 2)
2) Repeat step one directly next to the first 36" strip, making sure that the long strips are touching edge to edge. But this time put the long strip under the 15.25" strip and fold the tack over instead of under. (Pic 2)
3) Repeat step 1-2 until you have the 1st seven columns of 36" strips taped.
4) For the 8th column of long strips, grab one of the two 60" long strips. Measure 17.25" from the tape end down on the 7th column strip and note where the mark is. This is where the end of the 60 strip should start. Following the over under pattern, tack the 8th column to the 15.25" strip and gentle lay the excess strip to the side.
5) Using the 36" strips again, repeat steps 1-2 again until you have 6 more columns applied.
6) For the 15th column, grab the other end of the 60" strip and measure out 17.25" like you did in step 4. tack the handle in place (still using the over / under weaving pattern).
**Note: make sure the strip isn't twisted up and that the folded exposed edge of the strip curves around so it's the underside of the strap.
7) Using the 36" strips again, repeat steps 1-2 again until you have 7 more columns applied. This should bring you to the end of the 15.25" strip. Tack the ends down and if a slight bit of strip overhangs past the last 36" strip, trim it off (It's why we mad it a touch longer). (Pic 3)
8) Grab your next 15.25" strip, and as stated... start weaving. over and under opposite to the previous row. I find it easier to tuck the row under one column at a time.
**Note: MAKE SURE you pull the rows together as tight as you can without bending or creasing the two of them WHILE simultaneously keeping the columns straight and as tight to gether as you can without bending or creasing them. A nice tight weave!
9) Repeat step 8 for the next 8 rows (9 in total). (Pic 4-9)
10) Set aside for a bit, now were going to get a little more creative!
Step 7: Assembly Part 2a: Woven Pockets
Just like the woven outer sheet, we'll be weaving pockets in the same manner.
1) We need to cut 8 strips at 8.75" long (For my design, these are the 6 white and 2 orange horizontal strips). (Pic 1)
2) Next we we need to cut 10 strips at 7" long (the black vertical strips). (Pic 1)
3) Fold the strips into thirds again like back in step 3 (the 36", 60" and 15.25" long strips)
4) Grab your 1st horizontal strips (orange). Fold it in half and note where the center mark is. In the over / under styling of the previous step, tack the 10 vertical strips (Black) to the 1st horizontal strip.
**Note: Keep in mind you need to keep the strips perpendicular to each other.
5) Grab the next horizontal 8.75" strip. Keeping the ends lined up, weave the strips together tacking the new row to the previous row like in step 6 (Assembly Part 2a: Woven sheet)
6) Repeat step 5 until all 8 rows are woven together. (Pic 1)
7) Cut a strip of tape to go edge to edge from the 1st to last vertical strip. Lay the edge of the tape directly over the 1st row, sealing the woven strips together. Fold the rest of the tape over to the back side. Press firmly
8) With the finished pocket now looking like Pic 1 (colors varying on your pattern), flip the whole thing over. Cut strips long enough to go edge to edge from the 1st to last vertical strips.
9) Now overlay these cut strips over the back of the pocket covering all the tacks, each layer of these strips will overlap about .5". This will give it a clean and finished look, especially when you open the pocket. (Pic 2)
Set this woven pocket to the side for a few minutes, we'll get back to it shortly.
Next we'll be assembling two side pockets that we'll be attaching later.
10) You'll need to cut strips out at the following lengths: 6 horizontal strips 6" long and 7 vertical strips 5" long.
11) Repeat step 3 for all the strips you just cut.
12) This time when you fold the 1st row in half, note where the center mark is. This is where the center of the 7 vertical strips will be placed for proper spacing.
13) Repeat steps 5-9 until you have finished the side pocket.
14) Trim all the loose ends flush, make them the length of one for vertical row past the 1st and last vertical row. (Pic 3, pocket on the right)
15) Repeat steps 10-14 again to make a second pocket. (Pic 3)
Set these 2 smaller pockets aside for now.
Step 8: Assembly Part 2: Woven Sheet Cont.
Alright now comes the fun part... attaching the front pocket to the woven sheet.
Now that the front pocket is pre-made and we have our woven sheet with the 1st 9 rows woven, its time to combined the two into one.
1) Take you pocket and lay it over the woven sheet. In my pattern, you'll notice the pocket will span from the last orange strip across the six white strips and end on the 1st orange strip of the 3 in the pattern. If you'll also notice, the spacing of the handles is 8 columns from handle strip to handle strip. While the pocket you made spans 10 columns. (Pic 1)
2) You'll need 4 strips measuring 5/8" x 2" strips plus one tack strip per row for all the rows of the pocket to adhere it.
3) With you pocket laying over the woven sheet, locate where the last column is and move one more to the right. You'll see where the loose end of the 1st row lays over the last row of the sheet. Tuck the 2" long strip behind the last row of the sheet, making sure the edge of the strip is flush with the bottom edge of the row. This will help conceal any unsightly seam lines. wrap the 2" strip over the top of the pockets 1st row loose end and tuck it under the back side of the last row of the sheet. (Pic 1-2)
4) Weave the rest of this loose end under the next column and over the following one. repeat the tucking of the 2" strip behind the back row, over the pocket row and underneath the back row. again. There should be just enough loose en left that you can just lay it under the following column. It'll be covered when you continue the weaving process.
5) Repeat steps 3-4 for the left side of the pocket on the first row. The only difference is with the weave, when you weave the loose end under the 3rd column, snip off any excess and just tack the loose end under the column.
**Note: Any time the loose ends go over a column when weaving, you'll use the 2" strip to hold it, and any time it ends under the column, you just need to use a tack.
Now that the top row of the pocket is woven into the sheet, we need to continue not only the pockets but the rest of the sheet.
6) Flip the sheet with the now attached pocket upside down. grab your next 15.25" strip and weave/tack it into place on the woven sheet as you did for the 1st 9 rows. (My pattern, the next color was white, which matches the next row of the pocket). Once finished, flip the entire thing over again. (Pic 3)
7) Repeat steps 3-5 with the second row of the pocket. Keep in mind to follow the pattern of the weave. It will be opposite of the previous row. Using the three 5/8" x 2" strips and the 1 tack on this 2nd row to adhere this row of the pocket.
8) Continue to do steps 6-7 for the rest of rows of the pocket. (Pic 4)
9) With the pocket now fully attached/woven in, we can continue with the simpler process of weaving just the sheet. Continue your pattern in guidance with steps from Step 6: Assembly Part 2: Woven Sheet. (Pic 5-6)
10) When you finally reach the half way mark, you'll see you have come to the end of the handle strips. Take the 2nd 60" strip and tape the ends of of the strips to one another. And continue the weaving process. (Pic 6)
11) With ALL the rows finally finished, you should have some loose ends hanging out at the ends of the 36" strips. Trim these ends flush with the final row of the sheet and tack ALL the ends to the final row. (Pic 7)
Now that all loose ends are trimmed and tacked in place, it's time to finish off the sheet. (Pic 8-9)
12) Like when making the pockets, were going to seal up the backside. You'll need to cut strips 15" long and line the back of the sheet, covering all the tack strips. Overlay each strip about .5". (Pic 10-11)
13) Just like the top edges of the pockets, we need to lay tap the exact length and widths of the sheet over the outer rows and columns and fold it over to the back side. Now you have a finished woven sheet with ALL edges sealed up. For the edges with with the handles, you'll need to make a few cuts so you can wrap the around the handle. I cut a slit at the very base of the handle (in the tape to be folded over) the width of the handle. Then on the inner edge of the handle i cut at 90 degrees from the slit i just made to the edge of the tape to be wrapped over. This will allow the tape to wrap over and around the handle and seal everything up nicely. (Pic 12)
To strengthen the handle straps I went with 10 feet of 550 cord / para cord/ parachute cord.The sheath has a breaking point of about 305 lbs. I fully understand that this may seem like a slight overkill for the weight ratio but it's easily flatten and certainly strong enough. The inner strands hold about 35 lbs a strand, but I didn't want the thin strands potentially cutting their way through the tape of the straps over time.
14) Remove all the inner strands from the outer sheath.
15) Laying the sheath approx 1/4 of way down the length of the woven sheet (in line with the handle straps), tape the sheath to back edge of the woven sheet. (Pic 13)
This next step is a little trouble some
16) Cut a strip of tape about 25" long. Lining the end of the tape to the edge of the sheet. tape the strip along the entire length of the handle (center the strap in the middle of the tape strip even while it curves around the handle). (Pic 14)
**Note: be careful not to let the tape fold in on its self to get stuck to anything else.
17) Lay the sheath on the underside of the handle strap and carefully fold over one edge the tape over the sheath and the other side. PRESS FIRMLY on the seam you just created. (Pic 15)
18) Route the sheath across the length of the woven sheet and repeat steps16-17 again.
19) You'll have several inches of rope overlapping each other, this is fine and tape the rope down and press firmly all along the seams.
For the purpose of my pattern, I later added a 5/8" x ~25" strip of orange to the underside of the handle straps. For one it gave it accent coloring, and two it covered up and help seal the seams of tape holding in the rope.
Step 9: Assembly Part 3: Side Pockets
Attaching the side pockets to the inner bag.
First thing you may notice is that the side pockets are just a tad wider than the width of the 4" inner bag we made back in Step 1: Assembly Part 1: Inner Bag. This is fine, if we made it just 4" the pocket would be to tight to use it for anything useful. This will give t a slight bowing out. The front pocket didn't need this since the sidewall is flexible.
Before I got started with this step, for my design I covered both 4" wide side walls of the bag in orange
1) Grab the two side pockets you created earlier and the inner bag. (Pic 1)
2) Cut two strips of tape 4"-4.5" long. align one strip to each side of the pocket. It should completely cover the loose ends (Black strips in Pic 1 but not covering the orange ones)
3) Align the one edge of the outer vertical strip to edge of the bag (Make sure the edge of the bottom of the last horizontal row if flush with the bottom edge of the bag). Tape the pocket to the back with the already attached to the pocket. (Pic 2-3)
4) Wrap the pocket around to the other edge of the 4" wall and tape it down in the same manner. (Pic 2-3)
5) Cut yourself seven strips of .5" x 2" tape. Starting with the center vertical row loose end. Tack the loose end down to the underside of the bag. do so with the other loose ends working from the center outwards.
**Note: to make it look better, as I moved outwards taping the loos ends down, i taped them on an increasing angle to help keep the bowing shape of the pocket. (Pic 4-5)
6) TO help seal it all in place, Cut a strip of tape about 13" long and wrap it from one sidewall, down underneath (Over the 2" long tacks) and back up the other side wall. Press firmly.
7) Repeat steps 2-6 for pocket on the other side of the bag.
Step 10: Assembly Part 4: Finalizing
As a last moment idea, I had decided to put some magnets in this tote bag. Now since this is pretty thick with layers of duct tape, I needed something pretty strong. Being resourceful, I dismantled a broken portable hard drive and stripped it of the 2 rare earth magnets that lay inside. Just the perfect strength and size for what i needed. I simple taped them on the outside of the inner bag with a square of tape. And they wont be visible when the woven sheet is fixed to the inner bag. (Pic 3)
Depending on how well and straight you wove the outer sheet will depend on how easy it will be to put the two pieces together. I found it easier to lay the top edge of the inner bag to the top edge of the woven sheet.
1) Just like back in Step 8: Assembly Part 2: Woven Sheet Cont., cut a strip of tape 15"long and lay it over the end of the sheet (only covering the 1st woven row. Cut the same notches in the tape as you did before to allow you to wrap the tape over and around the handles. Fold the tape over the sheet and onto the inside of the inner bag.
**Note: To keep it all together a little better, I rolled long strips of tape back over itself like I was making double sided tape. I laid a few across the length of the woven sheet and on the center where the bottom of the plank would sit. (Pic 2)
2) Wrap the rest of the woven sheet down and around to the other side of the inner bag and repeat step 1.
3) To seal the 4 edges of the tote, you'll need four strips of tape 16" long. Trim the strip so they are only .75" wide (this will make it only overlap the outer strips of the woven bag and the outer strips of the side pockets, matching the rest of the project.
4) Align the edge of the strip you just made to the outer row of the woven sheet and fold it over the sidewall of the inner bag. (make sure you cover the outer row of the pouch on the side. Neatly tuck and fold the excess tape hanging off the bottom edge over and under making a nice corner.
**Note: that the tape you just folded over partial covers the opening to the side wall pocket, Carefully a slit for the pocket opening and lay the rest of the tape flat.
5) Repeat steps 2-5 again for the other 3 remaining edges.
6) Cut 2 strips of tape about .75" x 4.5" long and repeat step 4 for the bottom edges of the pocket/woven sheet.
7) To finalize the tote, Cut 2 strips of tape at 5"-5.5" long. Align the tape to the top edge of the purse where the 1st strip is and fold it over to the inside of the inner bag.
Congrats you now have a stylish hand woven High Quality Duct Tape Tote Bag!
Step 11: FINISHED!
Congrats once again on a job well done! Now go out there and show off your newest creation and prepare yourself for all the comments and questions you'll receive. I've already had several people ask me where I bought the bag I made. Feel free to post you comments and photos of you bags as well.