Thursday, January 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Tape Tack

I hadn't originally planned this as a Throwback Thursday post, but it is Thursday..  so why not?  They aren't old pictures, but pictures of old stuff. 


As I forge ahead with my tack making journey, as in LEATHER tack, I thought it would be fun to share some of the stunning tack I made when I was a kid...  hahaha

Let's jump right into it and then I'll tell a bit of back story:

This is "Devil In Disguise" he was one of my favorites as a kid and this is HIS halter.  I made it for him a looong time ago and he's pretty much been wearing it ever since. 

The halter is simple, it's elegant...  it's made out of duct tape.


A tiny bit of back story:  As a kid, for some reason, I started making things out of duct tape.  I was doing this way before it was "cool".  There were only three colors back then - silver, brown, and black.  I used to make entire models out of duct tape.  I would make a wire skeleton, use paper towel or toilet paper to build muscles, and duct tape for skin.  My specialty was actually dinosaurs, but I did some other creatures too.  Sadly none of my models survived when I decided to purge for a move and get rid of a bunch of my "kid stuff" as a young adult.  (though I've thought that I should try and make one of them again)

I became known in the area as the kid who makes things out of duct tape.  This was something I learned once while trick-or-treating with a duct tape covered prop for my costume.  I was recognized by a lady in a house a few neighborhoods over.  "Oh, you're the one who makes things out of duct tape, I heard about you!" - haha.

Okay, back to horses..  Fairly recently, when I decided I was going to try and get into making tack (again?), I had unpacked some of my current supplies and organized them.

Today's focus is:

Yep, we're going way back...  Behold the contents!

Oh dear...

I have two Arabians that have their own halters, "Devil", above, and this guy:

His name is "Shalamar" and he's another favorite.  His halter is actually made out of masking tape and it features a handmade "buckle".  He's been wearing his halter since it was made too.

As a side note, it is dangerous to put a Sham in front of me when I have a camera.  I took way more pictures of him than was necessary for this.  It's what I do, there is just something about this mold for me.  I only have two of them, but any time I want to take A picture, it ends up being a ton of shots.

Put the camera down and step away from the Sham, I tell myself.

My goodness, what is that...??

The first duct tape saddle we'll look at.  It's a little harder to hide the choice of material here, versus a thin strip for a halter.

I think this might have been used in photo showing.  I can't remember how it did.  haha

Next up appears to be my only attempt at a duct tape western saddle, unfinished. 

I'm not sure if I had run out of black and brown tape here or what, but on this one it's REALLY easy to tell what that saddle is made from.

Going down in size, here we have a Classic scale McClellan saddle.

It didn't age as well as the others.  It's pretty much a hot mess (even worse than a duct tape McClellan would be expected to look? - haha).

The off side seems to have held together a little better, but there's still a lot going on here.

Moving on to another Classic saddle.

It kinda looks familiar, but something's not quite right...

Yep, this one is an Australian saddle, but the polley on one side seems to have gone missing.

It looks like I tried to be a little fancy on the breast plate, cutting out a notch, versus leaving a straight strip of tape, ha!

I also did a fair bit of stuff with yarn.  I can remember that I had a neat rope halter/bridle combination thing I'd come up with.  At one point I had a bunch of them.  Sadly, this is the only yarn creation that survived.  It is a pair of classic "rope hobbles".

The only thing in the pile for a Stablemate is this... saddle?  I'm not even sure what I was trying to do here.  The "tree" is a wire frame, covered with masking tape.  What was this?  We may never know...

Random cat break.

Moving on to headgear.  Here's the whole pile:

First up, a draft-sized halter, made from masking tape.

Something I thought was interesting on this one is... a buckle with a tongue!  I didn't think I'd done that back then.  This does appear to be the only one in the bunch.

Another point of interest, I made the noseband adjustable too.  Fancy! 

Next, a duct tape halter.  I'm not sure who this was made for - clearly not him, but he was handy...

Poor guy, he looks WAY better in the halters he's been modeling lately.  ;)

Moving down to Classic scale again.  A masking tape halter...

For something different... A shadow roll, made from electrical tape, I think the fuzzy part is a wad of toilet paper.  Somewhere around this point during the photo shoot, I realized that my model appeared to be giving me a look like, "You have got to be kidding me."

 "Seriously??" she says.

 Yeah, that one isn't quite the right size.  It was then that I remembered who this one was made for.

 My attempt at a fancy show headstall for my baby Saddlebred.

That one is made from duct tape with masking tape accents, with a masking tape/marker-colored browband.

 Last up, is this.

I remembered as I was looking through all of this stuff, that this was my "pride and joy" at the time I made it.  It hasn't aged very well, but here it is... a double bridle!

I don't remember if it was made for Midnight Sun or the 5-Gaiter, but I'm thinking 5-Gaiter.  I don't have either of the horses I'd had when I made this, but I pulled a Midnight Sun from my body shelves.  I didn't want to fiddle with it too much to try for a better fit.  The ones with masking tape are pretty brittle and I figured I'd just do a quick setup for the pictures.  :)

I'm not sure why I used silver tape for the reins, maybe I'd run out of of the black tape.

Check out that bit!  I think the shape is really cool, for just a piece of bent wire.

That's it!  I hope you enjoyed this look at my childhood duct tape tack.  It certainly was fun to go through all of it again.  A lot of memories there and I'm glad I still have it all to share.

-- Oh and I started fitting my poor little chestnut mare for a piece of leather headgear yesterday, to make up for the indignities she had to suffer to be my model for the crusty old stuff.  ;)  I decided to try and make something Classic-sized, and thought she'd be a good one to keep using - Haha!


  1. OMG. Now I want to make duct tape tack.

    1. That would be awesome. You'd have a lot more colors to choose from these days! ;)

  2. UNBELIEVEABLE! How the heck do you come up with stuff like this? Like one day you woke up and said..."I think I'll use masking tape and duct tape".....? I am not that imaginative. Good work!

    1. Haha, long story there, maybe I'll type it up sometime. ;)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! Now I feel a bit more comfortable saying my early tack pieces were made from old shoes and purses, plastic lace and dental floss...

    1. That's great, thank YOU for sharing! It gives me hope that maybe I'll be making beautiful tack someday too! I love your work and it is fun to know how you started. :)

  4. I love them! Any tips or hints? How do you get the tape so small? Also love the classics face, ah the model stink eye. Live the tack so much!!!

    1. Haha, thank you! Yes, stink eye is a good term for the look she seemed to be giving me. I'm thinking I might actually do a bit of a "tips" post on working with tape if anyone wants to know. It would be fun to relive the old days - and duct tape actually seems to be a "thing" these days... (not just something wacky that I ended up working with back then) ;) In a nutshell, I would double the tape over, sticky side to sticky side, and then cut the strips from that. ;)