The Duct Tape Display Wall is handy in our Makerspace. We have lots of colored tape available for craft activities. This makes it accessible for the kids, and it is nice to look at. Having a helper makes a big difference in this project, so don't do it alone if you can help it.
If you work at a school Makerspace, you should propose this activity to the math instructor as a way to integrate making into math. Or, if you are a math teacher, you should consider having your students do this activity, possibly in the art room. This can be used as a way to teach measurement, as well as writing word problems to create and solve equations.
Step 1: Materials Needed:
- 18 rolls of colored duct tape
- 18 pieces of card stock (sturdy paper)
- paper and pencil
- utility knife
- paper chopper
- cutting mat
- measuring tape
- 90 pushpins
If you're not hanging 18 rolls, I suggest you start by measuring your wall space and sketching out your design. Otherwise, just follow these steps.
Step 2: Make Tape Squares
Use three strips of tape, about 6" long each, on a piece of card stock to create a tape square. Place tape pieces next to each other and match the edges precisely to the edge of the cardstock. Try not to overlap or leave gaps between. Measure the length of the three pieces of tape. Trim excess tape and card stock with the paper chopper to the same length to make a perfect square. Repeat 18 times, with each color of tape you have.
Step 3: Design It
Measure the wall where you are planning to hang the tape. Then get out your pencil and paper to make a sketch and do some math. Calculate the dimensions of your grid, the location of the midpoint, and the number of pushpins you need(if you're not using 18 squares). Once you know the look of your grid, place your tape squares in a checker board pattern on the floor. Then rearrange them until the colors look right to you, and carefully stack them and label them on the back. I labelled them by row and column. You could also number the tape squares in your sketch with #1-18, and just put one number on each tape square.
Step 4: Hang It
Start by putting the bottom left corner of a tape square on the wall where you marked it with a pencil. Straighten it with a level. Insert a thumbtack in that corner, and another in the upper left corner. Place your second tape square below the first at a diagonal, straightening with a level and pinning two corners each time. Starting from the middle and tiling outward was the easiest way for me.
Step 5: Finishing Up
As you are tacking up your squares, step back once in a while to see if it looks alright. After they are all up, place thumbtacks in the remaining corners of each square. Then, starting from the top middle of a tape square, measure 2 1/2" down and insert a thumbtack. This is for hanging your tape rolls. Repeat with each tape square. Then hang tape rolls. Now, step back and admire your work!