Introduction: Duct Tape As Fabric

Duct tape was originally created to be used as a tape to seal duct work in ceilings. Its flexibility and durability make it a perfect tape for duct work. Oddly enough, today, duct tape is no longer recommended for use in duct work. Duct tape has been tested to show it burns violently, produces toxic smoke, and the adhesive may have a shorter than expected lifespan. But it was discovered that duct tape was better used for pretty much every thing else.

Duct tape was used to seal ammunition boxes, fix rotor blades during the Vietnam War, and make quick fixes on the original space capsules.

Not to be confused with Duck Tape. Duck Tape with a "k" is a brand name of duct tape. Duct tape is make by many different companies and can be bought at the local hardware store, mega-mart (Target), and big box home improvement store.

What can duct tape be used for? I propose that we use duct tape as alternative fabric.

Some may go to extremes to make a duct tape prom dress, yes it is possible:

But for the every day user, like myself, duct tape is handy for quick fixes. In my younger years, duct tape was this cool sticky stuff that I used to make an mp3 carrier, wallet, and even book covers.

Step 1: Picking the Right Duct Tape

Duct tape comes in many different colors and versions. Don't let duct tape fool you, the plain silver/gray color is not the only color of duct tape on the shelves. Neon pink, green, and leopard print are now available at the stores.

Try your local Home Depot or other home improvement store. I managed to snap a picture before one of the employees told me to stop taking pictures.

I found the duct tape section at this Home Depot rather sad and depressing. My choices were standard or heavy duty. Standard is fine for today's project. Because the tape will be layered on top of each other, there is no need to buy the heavy duty version.

I recommend practicing with plain, gray duct tape first. It is much cheaper than colored duct tape. Because duct tape is hard to remove cleanly once it has been stuck to something, practice with the cheap stuff first.

Step 2: Preparation

Supplies needed: duct tape, scissors, ruler

I recommend an table top or any other flat surface. I chose my dining room table. I recommend using scissors to cut the duct tape. Although duct tape can rip very easily, it will not produce a clean edge.

Note: Because a project can require varying length of duct tape sheets, the next few steps should be adjusted to the dimensions for your project.

Step 3: How to Make a Duct Tape Wallet (1 of 3)

There's no need for that $129 wallet from Coach, Fossil, or (insert designer name here). With a $4 roll of duct tape any size of wallet is possible. Plus, if it every did rip, break, or tear, you can use more duct tape to make a quick repair or just make a new one.

Step 1: Make a sheet of duct tape

Cut eight (8) strips into 10 inch strips (image 1). Lay four of the strips parallel (lengthwise) to each other and then slightly overlap the long edges to create a sheet (image 2). Repeat.

Take the two sheets and stick the sticky sides together (images 3 and 4). The edges will not perfectly line up, that is ok. It is also possible there will be air bubbles, that is ok also.

Trim the edges to create a rectangle that is about 9 by 6 inches (image 5).

Cut one more piece of duct tape, 10 inches, then cut it in half lengthwise (image 6). Use the two pieces of cut tape to cover the two long edges of the 9 by 6 inch sheet (image 7).

Step 4: How to Make a Duct Tape Wallet (2 of 3)

Step 2: How to make card slots

First fold the sheet of duct tape in half, lengthwise, to give the wallet shape (image 1).

Now for the card slots. You will need about five (5) inches of duct tape "fabric" per card slot. Cut two strips of tape that are five (5) inches long and place their sticky sides together (images 2 and 3).

Cut another strip of duct tape, about 6 inches long, and cut it in half lengthwise. Cover the long edges just like in the previous step (images 4 and 5).

Trim the newly formed strip to four and a half (4.5) inches (image 6).

Repeat this step until you have created as many slots as you want.

Step 5: How to Make a Duct Tape Wallet (3 of 3)

Step 3: attach the card slots into the wallet and finish the wallet

First trim off any duct tape that may be remaining from sealing off the long ends and bring together all of the card slots and the main wallet (from part 1) (image 1).

Cut one 4.5 inch piece of duct tape for each card slot being attached. In this example, three. Then cut the piece of cut tape lengthwise. Position the top most card slot and tape the bottom seam with one piece of tape (image 2).

Then tape the remaining card slots using the same procedure listed above. Remember to stagger the slots down half an inch (1/2) so it can create the level effect found in most wallets (image 3).

Cut one piece of tape three (3) inches and cut it in half lengthwise. Use one of the pieces to seal the inner edge of the card slots (image 4).

The last step is to seal off the ends of the wallet. Use two three and a half (3.5) inch pieces of tape, do not cut lengthwise, to cover each end (image 5).

Now you have a duct tape wallet. It holds cash, cards, and everything else in between (images 6 and 7).