Introduction: Duct Tape Skull

About: I just like to make things. I dabble in a lot of mediums and usually don't like to spend money on parts, so most of my work is made with leftover materials. I love different forms of storytelling, and have a g…
Halloween shopping? Why should I spend even a dollar on decorations when I can make my own from fifteen cents worth of tape from a roll I already have?

Step 1: Materials

     For the most part all you really need is a pair of scissors and a roll of duct tape. A dull pencil or something of a similar shape will come in handy in later steps.

Step 2: The Eye Sockets

     To begin we will make two small tubes which will later become the eye sockets. First rip out a short length of tape and fold in about the first half inch on itself. Next make a second, identical piece.
     On each of these pieces, bend down the outer most edge of the doubled over section. Bring this edge down on the opposite edge where the sticky part begins. Once those two edges meet you should have a small tube. Wrap the excess tape around the tube to secure and thicken its shape.

Step 3: The Nasal Cavity

     For the nasal cavity, start working on a third tube, similar to the ones you made for the eyes. This time, when you bring those two edges together to first form a cylinder, push that junction in to the center of the tube. Pinch the tube wall opposite that seam to make a crease. This should shape the tube into a kind of "V" shape. Now you may wrap the extra tape around it to hold its shape
     Arrange the three tubes to form the two eyes and nose. Bind them together with a thin strip of tape a little forward from the middle. Place the back edge of this piece of tape about where you want the back of the skull to end.

Step 4: The Dome

     Now to work on the top of the head. The idea for this piece is simply wadding up a ball of tape that is flat on one side. There is no wrong way to do this, so long as you wind up with the desired shape. Make sure its length measures from the front of the eyes to the back of the strip of tape holding the three tubes together.
     To attach the dome to the rest of the skull, take the excess of the eye tubes in the back and fold them in. Place the dome up against the bent section and wrap a strip of tape around them. Now the dome will want to spring up and away from the front of the eyes. Simply push it down and tape it in place.
     Now what's left of the nose pipe is sticking conspicuously out the back. Go ahead and bend that up and tape it to the body of the skull.

Step 5: The Cheek Bones

     The cheek bones start with a full strip of tape. Start at one side and roll it up, lengthwise, as tightly as possible. It may help to fold in a thin section of your starting side first. When you finish, you should have a rod of tape.
    Go to one end of this rod and bend it in. Tape it in place to form a small knob. Place this knob below one of the eyes, aligned with the nose cavity, and tape it in place. Bend the rest of the pipe around the back of the skull and form a second knob on the other end to rest under the other eye.

Step 6: The Teeth

    Start rolling up another rod like you did with the cheek bones. This time, make the rod extra thin by only rolling up the tape part way and cutting of the rest. Take this thin rod and cut it up into short sections. These sections will be the individual teeth.
     Rip out an extra thin strip of tape and fold it in half, lengthwise, with the sticky side out. This will make a crease down the center. Take several "teeth" and set them down, aligned with this center line. Once you have a good number of teeth, fold in the other side of the tape strip and sandwich in the roots of the teeth.

Step 7: Bringing the Pieces Together

    Compare teeth to the skull to find out approximately where the row must bend to form a "U" shape under the cheeks. Tear out a strip of tape and place it on the back side of the row of teeth. The full width of tape will probably bee to wide for this part. Cut two slits down the un-stuck part of the tape where the line of teeth must bend. This will create three tabs. Bend the teeth into that "U" shape and fold down those three tabs on top of one another creating the roof of the mouth. Stick it to the skull, under the nose and cheek bones.

Step 8: The Skin

     You should now have a recognizable, albeit goofy-looking skull. To smooth out the shape and hide all the seams we will cover the skull in a layer of "skin." This skin consists of three strips of tape.
     The first strip of tape should measure its width to be the distance from the edge of the "gum line" on the teeth to the bottom of the eyes. Set down the strip of tape on the face with the bottom edge aligned with that gum line. Only stick it down over the front of the head, leave the sides loose.
     Cut a slit down the loose sides, aligned with the bottom of the cheek bone. This should split each loose end in two. Press down both halves separately, following the contours of the skull where they lay.
     Go to where the tape stretches over the nose. Cut two slits in the tape down to the two lowest points in the upside-down "V" shape. This should make a small tab over where the nose is. Using a dull pencil, press that tab into the nose cavity.

     The second strip of tape should be the full width of a standard strip. Pace this one aligning its bottom edge with the top edge of the previous strip of tape (over the eyes, just above the cheek bones). Find the part of the tape that covers the eyes and cut some slits into it. The more slits you cut, the smoother the curve around the eye sockets. Using a dull pencil, push the cut up section of tape into the eye holes, pushing them up against the inner walls of the tubes.
     When you push in the sides of the tape strip there should be a tall "U" shaped wall running around the top of the skull. cut this wall where it bends into three sections. These three sections can then be pressed down on top of each other on the top of the skull. Be sure to press down the two side tabs before you push down the front tab.

     The third strip of tape should be just wide enough to cover the eyes and nose when stretched across the face of the skull. Cut slits into the tape where it falls over these areas. Just as before, if you cut more tabs around the eyes they will fit its contours better. You only need to cut one slit for the nose. Press these sections in using a dull pencil.

Step 9: ...and There You Have It

     Congratulations, now you have a spiffy new skull that you can use for...
...well this one doesn't really serve a purpose, it's just there to look neat (hint: they look good in groups) though these little guys are actually pretty durable and can take a fair amount of beating.
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