Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday - Tape Tack

I did not expect the reaction I got on my for fun post about the duct tape tack that I made when I was a kid.  It was fun to take pictures of it all and I got a chuckle out of sharing them.  It was really awesome to hear from two of THE best model horse tack makers on that post!

I thought it would be fun to share some tips (as well as I remember them) for working with duct tape - since making stuff out of duct tape is more of a "thing" now than when I did it.  There are SO many cool colors and patterns to choose from these days and I'll bet that some really neat and fun stuff could be made out of it now.

First off, for most of the work in making tack, I would start by doubling the tape over, sticky side to sticky side, being careful to keep it straight and avoid wrinkles.

This takes practice!  If you do get any wrinkled areas, you can just cut them out, or cut around them - like a bad area on leather.  ;)

Then I would simply cut strips and shapes from this, such as strips for halters/bridles, and bigger shapes for saddle flaps, etc.

To attach parts together, I'd use strips of tape, not doubled over.  Cutting strips, especially very thin ones can be a challenge.  This was the best and easiest way I found to cut those strips:

Cut off a length of duct tape and hang it upside down from the edge of your desk. 

Important note:  Make sure it's not the edge of a desk or table that the tape might mess up underneath.  For example, you might not want to do this at your nice kitchen table, but an old studio work desk is perfect.  ;)  Sometimes the tape will leave a sticky residue (especially if you do a lot of this) or it could possibly strip the finish where it's attached.

Tiny bits of my work desk, now stuck to the tape

Once the tape is attached, you can cut strips off of it to use in attaching things together.  It's best to keep some tension on the tape, it will cut easier.  So I would hold it in the middle with my thumb, keeping a bit of tension on the tape, and carefully cut off my strips.  To do really thin strips, I might just use my thumb nail to apply the pressure.

The strips can be wide or thin, depending on what you need them for.

After cutting a lot of tape, you might get a build up of adhesive on your scissor blades. 

You can see the adhesive just starting to build up here in the middle of the
top blade - this was only after cutting the strips for these pictures

They might start sticking to the tape when you try to cut more strips, or make it to where the scissors don't cut well at all anymore.  This buildup can be carefully washed off of the blades and then they'll cut well and be non-sticky again.

That's about all I can think of for now as far as some basic tips on working with duct tape as a crafting material.  I used to do this a LOT when I was a kid.  If you have any other questions, be sure and ask in the comments and I'll help out as much as I can.  :) 

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