April 3, 2011

DIY Dose: Duck Tape Clutch

The words "duck tape" do not immediately call to mind fashion and accessories, but type "duct tape accessories" into google and you will get about 300,000 hits.  I knew about teens creating head to toe prom outfits each year and had seen examples of bags made out of duck tape, but never thought of trying it for myself until I was given a rather wild roll of duct tape.
The Cosmic Tie-Dye Print Duck Tape, psychedelic awesomeness! 

The roll of tape I received was a pink, orange, and yellow tie-dye concoction. Initially I had no idea what to do with it, but then I remembered the duck tape bags I had seen at a craft store and thought I would try my hand at making my own.  This project is completely sew-free, so you sew-a-phobes have no fear.

The materials:
  • Duck tape 
  • 1" velcro strip with adhesive backing
  • Mat board, chip board, any cardboard 1/8" thick
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife
  • button or gemstone (optional)
  • Paper cutter/mat cutter (optional)
  • Crazy glue or hot glue

Make sure you lay out cardboard or a self healing mat on the work area, so as not to damage the table underneath when using the X-acto knife.  

Step 1: Decide on the dimentions of the bag and cut cardboard.

I decided that I wanted to make a medium size clutch so the dimensions for my bag were 10" long by 5" wide for the front and back.  10" long and 1" wide for the bottom.  10" long  by 2" wide for the top flap.  I trimmed off the corners to create the triangular shape on the top flap. Cut with scissor or an X-acto knife. 

Step 2:  Draw pattern and apply tape.  

I wanted to create a pattern that the strips of tape would follow, so I drew in pencil lightly diagonal lines that met in the center to make a v-shape.  It is important that you draw lightly because dark pencil lines can be seen through the duck tape.  I began applying the tape along the pattern lines, overlapping it an inch and alternating sides. Also you want to cover the outside of each piece before doing the inside.

To get a sharp, even edge I used a ruler and an X-acto knife to cut the tape 1/4" from the edge.  The excess tape was then wrapped around the edge and folded to the back.  

Step 3: Line the inside and lay out the pieces.

After covering the outside of all the pieces I flipped them over and lined what would be the inside.  I chose to use the same color tape for the lining but you can use a contrasting color if desired.  I precut all the strips, a little less than 10" since I didn't want them to overlap the edge.  Then I laid out all the pieces the way I would be assembling them, making sure that the inside/lining was facing up.

Step 4: Assembling all the pieces.

The clutch is assembled flat before folding it up to connect the sides.  First I pre-cut the six 10" strips that I would need to attach the front, back, bottom and flap.  I laid out one 10" strip with the sticky side up and placed the back on top of it (lining side up) leaving about 3/4" hanging off the edge.  Next I placed the bottom next to the back leaving 1/4" space in between the two pieces (leaving a gap is essential, other wise the pieces won't bend).  I repeated the same procedure for attaching the bottom to the front.  To attach the flap you need to leave 1/2" to 3/4" in between the two pieces so the flap has enough room to fold over the front.  At this point the adhesive side of the tape is exposed between each of the pieces, the next thing to do is take the last three strips that you cut and place them over the exposed tape so that the sticky sides meet and the lining looks like one seamless piece.

Step 5:  Fold it up, tape the sides.

The trickiest part of this project turned out to be taping the sides of the clutch.  Leaving the clutch flat measure the sides, my side was 5", then add an inch.  Cut four pieces of tape to that measurement, in my case 6".  place the first piece of tape with adhesive side down on the lining side, I overlapped 1/4" and made sure at least 1/2" was hanging off towards the bottom of the clutch.  Fold up the clutch and taking the extra 1/2" attach it to the bottom (see picture).  Then fold 1/4" of the tape and adhere it to the front, the side should now be attached to the back, bottom and front of the purse.  

Take another piece of the pre-cut tape and place the adhesive side down on top of the exposed piece on the side of the clutch.  Fold the excess over the top and bottom of the side being careful to avoid creasing (see picture below).  Repeat these steps for the second side.

Step 6: Add the velcro.

Cut a 1" square from the roll of velcro.  Fold the flap over and mark where it lands on the front of the purse.  Measure 1/2" up from that mark, find the center and place one half of the velcro down.  Place the other velcro side on the flap, in the center and about 1/2" from the edge.

Step 7:  Add a button if desired.

Lastly I added a button to the outside of the flap, above the velcro, to give the clutch a more finished look.  Flowers, gemstones or beads can also be used.  Using a fast drying permanent glue to adhere the button to the flap. 

That is it! Seven easy steps to create a completely unique clutch, that is sure to earn raves and have people asking "how did you you do that"?  What do you think, are you going to try your hand at making your own duck tape clutch?  I would love to see your creations, please e-mail me the pics of your duck tape purse so I can check them out.


  1. I've been using a LOT Of duct tape in my crafts recently - love your use of it! Adore the cosmic tie-dye print!


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