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Duct-Tape Designs


Published December 1, 2012 at 4:00 a.m.

Nearly every household has a roll of duct tape handy. While adults reach for the flexible, sticky stuff for construction projects and home repairs, kids often grab the same roll to make picture frames, jewelry and flowers.

Ellie Churchill, 11, (pictured) of Richmond, has been experimenting with DIY duct-tape creations for a year or so. Ellie uses duct tape to transform everyday household items such as pencils, pens and coffee mugs into easy-to-make artwork. Accessories such as wallets, purses and duct-tape beaded bracelets take a little more time, she says.

Ellie gets her project ideas from friends — and from the Duck brand duct-tape website, duckbrand.com. For supplies, she looks no further than the junk drawer. Her approach: "Don't over-think it and just try it."

Ellie recently detailed the steps to make a simple duct-tape flower out of a pen. She notes that you can measure the tape with a ruler, and cut it with scissors, but it's not necessary. Ripping is easier than cutting. And, as it turns out, imprecise measurements and uneven taping only add to the project's appeal.


  • Rolls of decorative and colorful duct tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors (optional)


  1. Pick one duct-tape color for the stem. Measure a piece of tape that's as long as the length of the pen, minus the writing tip.
  2. Rip off the tape and wrap it length-wise around the pen, remembering to leave the writing tip free — if needed, pinch the ends of the tape together to seal it.
  3. Use a new color of duct tape to make petals. Rip a piece that's about 2 inches long, place it on an even surface in front of you, sticky side up, and fold two adjacent corners over, as when making paper airplanes. The now-five-sided shape will have a sticky band along one end. Put this piece aside sticky-side up.
  4. Repeat step three to make 10 to 30 petals. Yes, it's fine to use lots of different colors for the petals!
  5. When you've finished making petals, use the sticky bands to begin attaching them to the duct-tape-covered stem. Start near the end opposite the writing tip. Wrap the sticky base of each petal at various heights around the pen.
  6. Once all the petals are taped to your liking, it's time to finish the flower. Find tape that's the same color as the stem. Rip off a few small pieces, then wrap them around the stem so that they cover the strips of tape attaching the petals. Repeat until the stem is a uniform color.
  7. Use the pen to write a note or draw a picture. Or, make a bouquet by crafting several more flowers.
Share your fun craft ideas and completed projects with us! Send them to ideas@kidsvt.com.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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