Today we have Emma Carbone from Brooklyn Public Library talking about duct tape crafts.
For most of the summer when I had a craft program on my schedule, I would pull out the duct tape. My kit includes instructions to make bookmarks, bows, wallets, and even a flower pen. All of which have been smash hits with the kids and teens who come to programs.
- Teens and kids working with duct tape side by side.
The fun thing about working with duct tape is that the kids really get to run with it. I give minimal instruction on basic techniques. The rest is up to the kids and depends on how much effort they want to invest.
- After mastering a duct tape bow, one girl made her thumb into a duct tape puppet.
Bookmarks have been especially popular. I encourage everyone to use an index card (or other piece of cardboard/cardstock) as a base for the bookmark and then just cover it for easy decorating.
- One of my favorite patrons showing off his snazzy bookmark.
Because the bookmarks are fast, kids can make multiples or they can get really detailed on one.
- Bookmark decorated with rabbit cutout and bow.
- A patron shows off her tastefully striped bookmark complete with bow.
Duct tape bows are also a popular embellishment.
I’ve also discovered that just about any craft can become a duct tape craft. For my last craft program of the summer I used leftover papier mache book boxes and let kids and teens cover them with duct tape to decorate. They could completely cover the box, like my demo one, or they could choose to color the box with crayons.
- I fell in love with this pink dog-covered tape. Decorating the box just involved cutting tape to the right size and wrapping it around the box.
- In this side view you can see that I used contrasting colors for the book spine and the “pages” of the box. Again I simply cut tape to size and wrapped the box.
- Eventually I went back and covered the interior so it was lined like the bottom of the box but here you can sort of see what the book box looked like before I started.
I also had notebooks to decorate if the duct tape was too difficult for younger kids (or if I ran out of book boxes) and the kids and teens soon discovered that those could also be decorated with the duct tape.
While duct tape can be a pricier craft supply, I’ve found several bundled rolls for a really reasonable price point on Amazon. The main obstacle is that kids need a lot of strength to roll out the duct tape and without supervision it can get tangled. I would recommend buying the name brand if you order online or shopping in a store where you can feel the weight of the tape. Bazic brand is cheap but it’s very flimsy.
Scissors also need to be cleaned often as sticky residue builds up. (I put aside some of the best scissors–ie the strongest ones–just for duct tape and periodically task volunteers with cleaning them with alcohol wipes.)
Once you buy the initial supplies and prepare materials, the duct tape programs can really run themselves. And unlike a lot of programs, you might even have time to craft while supervising.
So that’s some of what I’ve been doing with Duct Tape in my library. Have you ever crafted with duct tape? What are some of your other favorite adaptable and fun crafts? Let me know in the comments!