I’m like most women, I love purses. Love ’em, can’t afford to feed that passion, though. I have one (yes, only one) Coach purse. Coach purses are beautiful, but outside my price range. The one I have, I was lucky enough to win in a giveaway a few years ago. Handbags are something I do a lot of window-shopping for but am rarely able to justify purchasing for myself.
And then came Duct Tape Bags by Richela Fabian Morgan into my life. I’d heard of duct tape wallets before and thought they were kinda neat. But, I’d never considered expanding the concept. Flipping through the pages of this DIY tutorial book, however, inspired me to try this out for myself.
Crafting the “fabric” from strips of your desired duct tape is the most important part of the process. Reading the instructions, I thought it sounded simple enough. I decided to try out a simple bag from the 40 designs included in the book, the Summer Fling (pictured below). So, I headed out shopping for duct tape.
People, I had NO IDEA how many varieties and patterns were available when it comes to this basic, all-purpose product. I don’t spend a lot of time in home improvement stores so I was completely unprepared to face such a huge display of choices in terms of color, pattern and texture.
I’m a sucker for glitter, so I was drawn to these black and bright blue glitter tapes. I always forget how messy glitter is. It looked harmless enough there on the store display. Of course, it was covered with plastic packaging so I’m gonna blame my ignorance of the evils of glitter on that fact.
I tried making the duct tape fabric as detailed in the instructions for the Summer Fling bag several times. The first time, I will admit, I gave up pretty quickly. I like crafting as much as the next person, but every time I tried lifting the fabric I’d created with these strips of glittery tape off of the parchment paper upon which you build it, it would come apart!
I thought I was surely doing something wrong and just wasn’t (apparently) smart enough to handle this activity. So, I scrapped the failed attempts and put the tape out of sight for a few days because I had an out of state trip that I had to prepare for. Never fear, though, this was not the end of my duct tape adventures!
Soon enough, I headed back out duct tape shopping, smarter and wiser. I avoided the devil trap of the mesmerizingly glittery tapes and focused on finding colors that spoke to me. I found a beautiful roll in sunset colors that featured a tropical design of palm trees on it. For contrast, I also chose a roll of plain shiny white tape to go along with it.
In the interest of not overly prolonging the suspense, I will give you a little spoiler here. I had much more success with these new duct tapes. Word to the wise, be willing to try this craft a few times and allow for mistakes in technique and materials. Don’t give up! It is really fun! Check out this YouTube tutorial from the author which shows how to make duct tape fabric. And be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel for many other videos related to duct tape crafts.
First, the duct tape material must be constructed, backside first. This is the part that will be on the inside of your finished bag. You lay down strips of duct tape overlapping each other onto parchment paper. Then, measure and cut it to the size you need for your desired project. Here’s how mine turned out. Not bad!
Once this back piece is completed, you peel the parchment paper away, exposing the sticky side of the tape. If you plan on making more than one of this bag, you can save this parchment paper for next time as it can be used again many times.
Next, I created the pleated sections for the front side of the bag by laying out strips of duct tape, sticky side up and folding over about 1/8″ along the side. These strips are laid on the sticky side of the back piece in a perpendicular fashion, the opposite direction of the strips on the back side (for strength).
I worked from each edge of the back piece toward the middle, leaving a strip of sticky backing available in the middle where I attached the palm tree strip. This concludes the making of the duct tape fabric. A little bit of trimming and I’m ready to move on to shaping the fabric into the final product.
From here on it was almost as simple as I thought it would be before actually starting the project. Simply measure to determine where to make folds as described in the instructions in the book for this bag, secure with more of the white tape and I’m in the home stretch.
The strap was simply made by taking a length of white tape, folded in thirds and then in half lengthwise and secured inside the bag with duct tape. For the final touch, a slight trim to round the edges of the flap gives the bag a nice touch.
And, voilá! Here’s my finished Summer Fling handbag.
This bag calls for a magnetic snap closure to be attached with, what else, more duct tape! I did not heed the section of the book that describes the importance of planning ahead, so I don’t have one right now. Just another excuse to go shopping, though! And should some other colors and patterns of duct tape leap into my shopping basket, who am I to deny them a good home, am I right?!
Despite my early failed attempts at this craft, I do believe that I am well and truly hooked after this success! My daughter (holding the purse in the pic above) was nearby throughout the process, watching and asking questions. She wants to try a bag of her own soon. I love an activity that brings me closer to my girls!!!
In addition to detailed, step-by-step instructions to make 40 fashion bags of varying types, this book also includes complete directions (with photos) to help you construct your duct tape fabric, discussion of tools needed to complete your project, three different ways to add closures (magnetic, jeans button, and snap), as well as patterns and templates for the different designs you will find described within. You will also find a page in the back of the book with additional resources regarding related products and information.
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What if a designer handbag were as easy to craft as a duct tape wallet?
Now it is with this easy-to-follow guide to making 40 handbags so fashionable, you won’t actually believe they’re made of duct-tape. Part art-piece, part usable accessory, Richela Fabian Morgan shows how each of these gorgeous handbags can be recreated one manageable section at a time.
· Clutches and wristlets
· Hobo and Shoulder Bags
· Messenger and Flap Bags
· Tote Bags
With detailed step-by-step instructions and primers on duct tape “fabric,” different types of closures from magnet snaps to jeans buttons, and bag accessories like bows and luggage tags, Morgan catapults this trend from the streets into the stratosphere. A mix of pop art and urban style photos of each project and a cool vibe throughout will make you want to immediately roll up your sleeves and begin making duct tape bags.
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You’ve really got to try this for yourself to see how much fun it is, and Ms. Morgan’s book has all the information you will need to get started and be crafting your own fashion bags in no time at all.
Do you craft with Duct Tape? Tell me all about it in the comments! I’m really excited to try new projects in this medium!
Disclaimer: I was provided the title shown free of charge to facilitate review. No other compensation was received. All materials (other than the book) were purchased or already owned my myself. All opinions are 100% my own.
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