How to make duct tape fabric

People face challenges every single day. Some people complain about them. Some people ignore them. Some people come up with a way to fix them. Vesta Stout worked at the Green River Ordnance Plant. It was her job to inspect and box the cartridges used to launch rifle grenades. The flimsy tape that she was forced to use was very frustrating. She spoke with her supervisor about the problem. Everyone seemed to agree it was a problem.

Vesta was a woman of action. So she carefully wrote out, with diagrams, what the problem was with the tape and what needed to be done. She mailed it to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States.

In response, the Johnson and Johnson created what we now know as duct tape. It’s original color was army green. It then went gray to match the duct work. Now it comes in all sorts of colors and designs and it has taken the world by storm. Almost anything can be made of duct tape.

When making a large project, like a dress, purse skirt or shower curtain it is much easier to complete the project if it is made out of duct tape fabric. It is easier to work with. You can make fabric that is the same color on both sides, or you may chose to use a pattern on one side and plain on the other. It really depends on what you are creating and how the pattern works.

It is much easier to work with shorter strips that longer, however you can make it work for whatever your need. For this article the example will be curtains. Duct tape curtains for a bedroom can help block out excess cold and sunlight. Patch work is fun and it is a good way to practice making duct tape fabric.

Here is what you will need.

  • duct tape
  • cutting mat (with measure markers)
  • scissors
  • dish soap
  • hot water
  • hand towel

Cut a length of the duct tape 18 inches long. Lay it on the cutting mat, sticky side down. Take the next piece of tape and overlap it ¼ of an inch, sticky side down. Smooth the tape out. The strips should be going horizontal. You can do stripes of different colors, the same color or patterns and plain. It just depends on what you want your finished piece of duct tape fabric to look like.

Continue in the same manner until you have the a size that is still workable, yet big enough for the needs of the project pieces.

Now you are going to flip the tape and do the other side. Take the corners of the beginning strip. It is important to use the beginning strip. Pull the tape up and away from you. Now you are going to lay the piece down, sticky side up. This time the tape is going to be in a vertical direction. This gives the fabric and more solid construction. Begin at one side and lay the first strip down. Again you are looking for a ¼ inch overlap and completely cover the sticky side of your fabric.

Now it is time to trim up the edges. You don’t want any sticky tape showing at all.

There you have it, your first block of duct tape fabric. Find your patterns and create at will.

It is important to clean the area and tools you used. So wash the scissors and cutting mat with hot soapy water and dry completely.


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