Duct Tape: From Toolbox to Craftbox


Duct tape and kids can be a dangerous combination but in the context of creating, the mix is happily combustible.

If the explosive chatter was any indication, Wednesday’s pairing at the Vacaville Public Library, Ulatis Cultural Center branch was, well, genius.

Gathered in a community room, at least a dozen boys and girls of all ages and their families got their craftiness on as they explored their sticky side with craft duct tape. Back in the day, their parents made do with the heavy duty silver stuff. Today’s versions, though, are thinner, less gunky and come in all colors and prints, including Hello Kitty, camouflage and Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Wednesday’s event, part of the library’s summer offerings for youths, focused on making tape wallets. And for those who finished early, tape hair bows.

“Or if any of you have some other cool ideas, let me know,” advised Library Assistant Beth Molyneux.

Not particularly arts and crafts inclined, Molyneux nonetheless was excited and eager to help her small charges with their unique creations. Questions abounded as she and Departmental Aide Molly Kennedy doled out special non-stick scissors, rulers and encouragement.

Jessica Dudla, 13, of Vacaville, made quick work of her rainbow-striped duct tape, which became a simple, one-pocket wallet.

“It’s easy for me,” she said, proffering her creation. Her tip for success: “It’s just really sticky. You have to be careful.”

In the past, she’s made wallets, coin purses incorporating zip-top bags and flower-topped pens.

Her sister, 14-year-old Stacie Wallace, had quite a different experience.

“I don’t get this stuff. It’s hard,” she said, sadly showing Jessica two strips of Sponge Bob-themed tape that somehow got stuck together.

“How did you do that?” Jessica asked.

“I don’t know…” Stacie replied.

Across the table, 12-year-old Emily Torres of Vacaville finished her colorful zig-zag wallet seemingly in seconds.

“I really like making duct tape flowers. I made them for my friends and for my family. … It’s fun.”

Farrah Barraza McCain, 8, of Vacaville, agreed.

Not an avid crafter like her sister, Farrah said she still enjoyed making things, like this pink and black wallet for her mom. Now that she finished one, no doubt more are on the way.

“Now that they taught me, it’s easy,” she enthused. “It looked hard in the beginning.”

More fun activities are scheduled at this library — and others throughout Solano — this summer. The goal, officials said, is to engage youths and, in fact, everyone.


Duct tape inspires Hanover-Adams artists, designers

Duct tape: Great for everything from prom dresses to artillery protection.

Decades ago, the gray hardware store commodity was reserved strictly for practical repairs. With the advent of Internet craft sites, however, the durable adhesive has gone from fix-it-up to dress-it-up.

Just ask the two South Western grads who made Victorian-inspired duct tape dresses for their prom. Or the participants in Cross Key Village’s boat regatta, who used the product to make elaborate pond-worthy vessels. One Gettysburg resident even uses the medium to make detailed portraits.

Duct tape crafting is a relatively new hobby for Alese and Victoria. Alese has made cloth costumes for area festivals in the past, and Victoria has taken sewing classes; neither, however, had experimented with sticky styles until they found Duck Tape’s Stuck at Prom contest.

This competition challenged high school students to create one-of-a-kind prom attire with Duck Tape for a chance to win their share of $50,000 in college scholarships, including $10,000 each for the winning pair.

“That $10,000 scholarship was really enticing,” Victoria said with a laugh.

The contest, which is in its 14th year, helped Duck Tape kick off the crafting trend in the early 2000s, Shelley said. The hobby really took off, Price said, around 2008 and 2009 with the advent of social media.

“That’s when people could really start sharing their ideas,” she said.

Now, the brand has a Facebook following 5.8 million strong and has released more than 250 varieties of their signature product.

Alese and Victoria have each qualified for $500 in scholarship money for making it to the top 10 of the contest. The job of selecting the grand prize, second and third place winners is in the public’s hands.

Online voting is open on StuckAtProm.com and ends July 8.

These scholarships would be helpful for Alese and Victoria, who will each attend college in the fall — Alese at Harrisburg Area Community College and Victoria at the Coast Guard Academy.

Neither plans to major in duct tape fashion.


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