Make a Poufy Skirt Out of Garbge Bags and Duct Tape

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Introduction: Make a Poufy Skirt Out of Garbge Bags and Duct Tape

About: I'm just a lady who likes making stuff. I got my degree in engineering but also enjoy cooking, sewing, knitting, gardening and backpacking, among other things.

When faced with the prospect of a party theme of "Anything But Clothes," instead of going for the naked look, I went for the pretty, poufy, princess look instead.  I have never felt prettier in a dress, even though it was made out of garbage bags and duct tape!

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Step 1: Collect Materials

For this project you will need:
-scissors
-duct tape
-roll of clear garbage bags
-clear scotch tape

Step 2: Make Waistband

Measure around your waist where you want the skirt to sit.  I made mine to sit at my natural waist but where ever you want is fine.  Take that measurement and add 4 inches and cut 3 pieces of duct tape to that length.
Lay the pieces of duct tape next to each other sticky side up.  Overlap them by about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and make sure they are securely stuck together.  You should now have a wider band of duct tape.  This is the waistband of the skirt.

Step 3: Attach the Plastic Bags

To make the poufy skirt, start with one clear plastic bag.  I used the kind that are for smaller garbage cans.  Cut the bottom off of the bag and open it up so you now have a plastic tube.  Hold it flattened out to the tube forms a rectangle with two open sides and two attached sides.  Start on one of the attached sides, stick the corner of the rectangle to the bottom 1/2 inch of the duct tape.  Continue to attach the side of the tube to the duct tape, gathering (making little folds to it gets scrunched up) as you go.  When you have the entire side of the bag attached to the duct tape, it should look like the 7th picture below.  The bottom of the skirt should be connected and the two open sides of the bag should be on either side.  Continue adding bags along the base of the duct tape until you get to the end.
When you have the first layer done, start again right above the first row of bags to add another layer to the skirt.  Continue adding layers of bags until you have a bout an inch and a half of sticky duct tape left and the top.  Cut another piece of duct tape the same length of the waistband and line it up with the top edge of the waistband with the bags attached to it.  Stick the two sticky sides of the duct tape together so that the duct tape wont stick to you when you wear the skirt!

Step 4: Finish Up the Skirt

Now its time to try it on!  Wrap the skirt around your waist and fasten it using another piece of duct tape in the same color.  Check for any spots that the bags are too open and use the clear scotch tape to hold them together so you don't show anything you don't want to show!  Fluff up the plastic bags to maximize the pouf factor.
Enjoy your night as a plastic bag princess!


I made the top by wrapping PVC tape around my torso.  It sticks to itself but nothing else, so it works well for making clothes.

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    45 Comments

    Any idea of how well this would work as a pannier, or underskirt? Would the fabric decrease the poofiness?

    4 replies

    It would probably work well with a lightweight fabric but anything heavy would probably decrease the poofiness. I was able to compress this skirt into a box about 1/8th of its size, just to give you an idea. The poofiness it all the air within the garbage bags and it can be easily squeezed out. Great for packing and storing, not as great for holding up heavy fabric, unfortunately. Please do experiment though! I'd love to see if you end up making one!

    A friend of mine always wanted to know if she could wear something like this under her satin maxi dress so she wouldn't get embarrassed easily?

    Yeah, of course heavy fabric would be a no-go. I was only wondering, since I'm a fan of the EGL look, and poofy skirts are fantastic.

    yes, poofy skirts are awesome :) You could totally add a layer of frilly, colored tulle or something and that would probably work. Hmm, I'm getting more ideas now! haha

    This looks very impressive, a friend of mine used to make plastic bag skirts and dresses. Unfortunately clear ones are hard to come by here in Australia so she used white, blue or yellow.

    I AM Going to add this and make this for my collection I MAKE GARBAGE BAG dresses and gowns I have 40 of these in total I ALSO SELL IT PRICES DEPENDS ON WHICH GARBAGE BAG GOWN OR DRESS OR THE STYLES THE PRICES I SELL THEM AT ARE €20-50€ each but for the whole collection €50-€300

    This is cool and easy to make thanks :D i would like to try and make it with strips of fabric
    I was the 100th like as well :0

    1 reply

    Well, I'm honored! If you do make it out of fabric, please post a picture or even make your own Instructable! I'd love to see how you do it!

    I'm making this for my 15 year old daughter, great Idea. I went to the dollar store and got some pink trash bags, and the duct tape too. Spent $4.00, will use velcro to make it easy for her to take it on and off.

    this was just what i needed to add some poof to my poodle skirt. i spent most of my budget making it and did not have the money left for a crinoline. perfect alternative. thanks

    Wow, this is FABulous!!! I am looking to make something for Halloween that is something like a Project Runway challenge. :-) How long did it take you to make both the skirt and top?

    How fun! I'm going to a zombie prom next weekend, and this looks like an ideal skirt/dress to wear. (Well, once I grunge it up. lol)
    Thanks for sharing! =)

    Is it wrong that I secretly want to use white tape and just get married in this? I NEED to do this project. :)

    1 reply

    Not at all! The tape for the top comes in white. Send me a message if you want a link for it! and post a picture if you end up doing it! Or just making it for fun, :)
    I secretly sort of want this to be my wedding dress too, haha