The (New) Duct Tape Challenge




Introduction: The (New) Duct Tape Challenge

About: Where there's a will, there's a way! Never give up, never give in...BE the good you want to see in the world. :)

Upon a brief examination of my own life, I realized that I spend a lot of time with negative or empty words...and no matter how hard I try, somehow I can't seem to control the verbal outbursts.

So I challenged myself to be silent and LISTEN--we do have TWO ears and only ONE mouth after all.

This instructable is to relate to you what I learned from this experience, and to challenge you to conduct your own experiment.


Step 1: Tape It Up

1.Buy some post-2007 duct tape. Why after that year? Because that's the year that duct tape manufacturers stopped putting asbestos in their duct tape, according to my research.

2. Slap a piece of duct tape over that trap! Our mouths, in slang, are called "a trap"...and rightfully so! Often times our words trap us into bad situations, arguments, and verbal vomit before we even blink--or think--twice!

Step 2: Go About Your Day

Make the fire, fix-a breakfast, wash the dishes, do the mopping...and the sweeping and the dusting...

Come on, Cinderelly, get your work done! ;)

Go about your normal day. If you have people you need to talk to and explain what you're doing, then do that before you start this challenge.

Step 3: Lots of Hand Signals and Mmhmms

Yeah, a day without talking is gonna require a lot of muffled sounds and hand gestures to get those around you to understand what you need.

Feel free to write down things that people aren't understanding, but only if it's a necessity (not to "yell" at someone, LOL). If you have kids--like I do--and the younger ones can't read, then make sure you tell them before you start the challenge what you're doing so they understand.

You will only be taking off the duct tape to eat or drink, or for EMERGENCIES only. Is it an "emergency" to verbally fight back in an argument? No. But if you need to scream for your kid because they're running into traffic--RIP THAT TAPE OFF QUICK AND GRAB YOUR KIDDO!

Step 4: Make Sure to Have Some Fun!

It's not a gloomy day because you're wordless...quite the opposite! It's often times more hilariously fun!

Step 5: Peel 'Er Off

When the time you allotted yourself for this challenge (a day, a weekend, a week, etc) is over, slowly peel off the duct tape. It honestly didn't hurt that bad.

I allotted one day for this challenge, just to see what it was like.

My observations when peeling off: my skin around my mouth was a tad bit dry (I have more sensitive skin, and a slight allergy to adhesives in certain tapes), and my lips were wet (from the moisture of my breathing or coughing with the tape on). You can see in the second picture exactly how my mouth (and skin around my mouth) looked after peeling off the tape.

NOTE: Be sure to wash your lips off every time you peel off the tape (this includes when eating, drinking, or licking your lips). You can simply use water to do so. This will remove the residue from the adhesive so you don't consume it.

Step 6: Warnings & Cautions

Although doctors will "prescribe" duct tape for prolonged periods of time to get rid of plantar's warts, here is a link to some cautions about using duct tape on the skin for prolonged periods of time. If you're wondering if it's toxic or safe (the short answer is: it's not toxic), check out this site:

These are some warnings/cautions I encourage you to follow:

  • Do not apply duct tape to someone else or to a child. (Be sure to explain the dangers of duct tape--the danger of suffocation if applied over both mouth and nose--to younger children who may try to copy you.)
  • Use with caution. Though duct tape is no longer toxic (post-2007), it could be very dangerous if used to prevent breathing or if swallowed. It's also dangerous (and even fatal) if over 80% of the body's skin is covered at the same time in duct tape (as it prevents the skin from "breathing" oxygen).
  • Do not apply duct tape to both mouth and nose.
  • Do not wear when sleeping.
  • Take it off to eat and drink. Please don't prevent yourself from drinking water or eating because you have it on.
  • It may cause a rash or a breakout if you have sensitive skin and use it longer than a day.
  • You may feel free to try different types of tape if duct tape causes breakout or rash. Or you can try a scarf. Be creative to obtain the same outcome.

Step 7: Keep a Journal

Take notes in a journal for the allotted time. Record what happens and what you learn from the different situations you encounter. What will you learn about yourself, your friends, your acquaintances, and even strangers when you stop talking and start listening? How many arguments were avoided? How many empty, useless words did you avoid saying?

It just might change your whole perspective!

Step 8: What I Learned

Here's what I learned for the day with The (New) Duct Tape Challenge:

  • There's humbleness in the wake of silence.
  • It takes two to tango...if you are silent, fights and arguments toward you will cease.
  • There's great joy and goofiness in the presence of speechlessness.
  • The more you practice silence, the easier it becomes to have that same self-control once the tape is off. You realize that it's not worth it to make mountains out of every molehill.
  • When we stop talking and start listening, the world--and the people therein--become (even painfully) clear. I could see in my children their hearts, sadness, joy, and true motives for what they do and say. I could see the brokenness in others, and it drove me to love them where I may fight back in misunderstood anger. I could stop a misunderstanding from causing an argument and actually THINK FIRST about what was really happening or being said.
  • We take for granted the gift of speech. We waste our time speaking with vain, idle, empty, negative, and/or useless words. It's amazing how much we all do this when you stop and listen to those around you. So many of us do nothing but complain all day. Speaking is a privilege, and a great responsibility. I learned that I want to use my words for edification, positive reinforcement, and encouragement...not to bring others or myself down. My new challenge to myself is to SPEAK POSITIVELY more than I complain or say negative things.

The moral of the story: this challenge changed my life for the better! I will definitely use what I've learned to change some things about myself and my big mouth. I intend for it to be a little less useless, and little more loving. :)

What will you learn? Will you accept the challenge? #NewDuctTapeChallenge

Here's my promo video for this challenge. Sure, it's got the watermark LOL. But the message overshadows the watermark ;)

Duct Tape Challenge 2017

Runner Up in the
Duct Tape Challenge 2017



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    26 Discussions

    This is ok I guess. No offence, but I don't think this should be a finalist.

    6 replies

    No offence taken. I didn't put it there ;) The contest only ruled that it has to be an Instructable that "uses duct tape," so that's what I entered. May your day be richly blessed :)

    Yeah, I see why you entered. The thing itself isn't bad, but why I didn't like it is that most people could think of this themselves. I don't think I wan't to do this, but The video is really good! Did you make it yourself?

    PS, some of the greatest inventions are things that people can think of themselves. But it takes someone to actually put it out there to make it reality ;)

    That's the problem with the small challenges, where not a lot of people enter...

    I won in the Zip-Tie Contest with this I'ble. I mean, it's a good idea and I'ble, but the main point of the projects isn't zip-ties, or even close to that!

    I don't think it's a problem (smaller challenges). I think it allows projects that wouldn't otherwise be noticed to have a chance too. Not saying mine, because I didn't have a preference if I won--or even was a finalist--or not (it was just fun). But for anyone. I like that some of the Grand Prize winners have only a thousand or less views (in a smaller or larger contest). That means the likes of us little guys can win too! I like that it's not always based off of who can get the most votes (or who can be featured in the emailed newsletter). It makes it fair. And it makes it well rounded.

    Yeah I did, thanks :) I used the website it says on the watermark. I didn't feel like spending money to take the watermark off lol.

    Aw, thanks, i approciate it :-):-)

    This is well written, but it hardly counts as a tutorial, im sorry but i just dont think this counts as 'making' something with ducttape

    3 replies

    Lol. To each their own. I read in the contest that you can enter anything that "uses duct tape" so that's what I did. To be honest, I didn't expect to be a finalist (that was a surprise!)...So I guess people liked it enough. And that's OK. Thinking outside of the box is always something I like to do. :) Hope your day is blessed!

    Yeah youre right, im sorry about my previous comment - id been having a bit of a rough day. Its actually an interesting idea, i might try it sometime lol. Once again, sorry for earlier, and i wish you luck in your future contests :-)

    Aww I'm so sorry to hear your day has been rough! I will sincerely pray for you to experience some "sunshine" and peace in your "rainy" day. Thanks for your kindness :)

    I thought this instructable was sheer sarcasm at first glance. I'm glad I decided to take a look. Nice lesson (although I could not breathe, due to a functionless nose--maybe you need a warning--ha ha). And thanks for the tip about asbestos in early duct tape. I never knew!

    1 reply

    I'm glad you decided to take a look, too! You can still attempt the challenge by just being silent for a day (without anything over your mouth). Easier said than done though. But it's worth a shot. If you do, let me know how it goes :)

    Yes indeed we've got two ears and only one mouth, but we've got 5 (M) or 6 holes (F), what does that mean ? Hum, I'm not sure.

    1 reply

    Listening is a skill thst must be learned. Sadly most peaple in this country have never learned it. Thank you for sharing a very important skill.

    1 reply