Duct tape sticks around as a craft ad­he­sive

The Washington Times Daily - - Life -

Duct tape — not so good for seal­ing ducts, but great for patch­ing or mend­ing lots of other things — has be­come a su­per­star in the craft­ing world, avail­able in all kinds of vi­brant colors and pat­terns, such as ze­bra, cam­ou­flage and tie-dye.

Want to get a group of teenage boys en­grossed in a craft­ing project? In­sert duct tape.

“The boys loved the ac­tiv­ity,” said Jake Snider, a youth pas­tor in De­catur, Ind., who al­lowed teens to per­son­al­ize in­ex­pen­sive Bi­bles with var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing duct tape. “Some were try­ing dif­fer­ent pat­terns, oth­ers were fig­ur­ing out how to in­cor­po­rate their in­ter­ests into the de­sign. It was pretty funny to watch.”

Mr. Snider, 24, crafts wal­lets and mes­sen­ger bags out of comic book pages and duct tape to sell at his Etsy on­line shop, Halftone Hand­i­crafts. The comics on his light­weight, but sturdy, bags are sealed with trans­par­ent pack­ag­ing tape.

“For me, as a guy, I’m work­ing with duct tape, and that’s pretty manly,” Mr. Snider joked.

Troll the In­ter­net with duct tape in mind and see its in­ge­nious uses: jew­elry, flow­ers, cloth­ing. Fur­ni­ture and home ac­ces­sories are be­decked in the cloth-backed tape. Chil­dren use it to make pony­tail hold­ers and other bright ac­ces­sories; pair it with card­board to make swords, shields and other toys. Par­ents praise it be­cause there’s no mess to clean up.

“It truly is one medium that’s al­most as lim­it­less as your imag­i­na­tion,” said Scott Sommers, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing for Shurtech Brands, maker of Duck Brand duct tape.

El­iz­a­beth Blue-nor­ton, 13, of West­min­ster, Colo., has made an ipad holder, hats, wal­lets, and clothes for her stuffed an­i­mals. Her goal in a few years? To make a duct-tape dress for “Stuck at Prom,” a Duck Brand con­test in its 12th year.

The for­mal­wear con­test for high school­ers closes June 13. This year’s win­ning cou­ple will re­ceive $5,000 each.

Utah sis­ters Michele Howarth, 23, of Orem, and Melissa Howarth, 18, of Provo, craft jew­elry out of duct tape for their Etsy store, Quiet Mis­chief. They’ve sold hun­dreds of rings, as well as on­line tu­to­ri­als that ex­plain how to fash­ion var­i­ous styles from hearts to roses. It takes a be­gin­ner at least an hour to craft one, Michele Howarth said.

Ros­alinda and Vic­tor Sali­nas of Hous­ton, make duct tape wal­lets and purses, many fea­tur­ing iconic TV and con­sumer char­ac­ters, such as Elmo and Hello Kitty. Mrs. Sali­nas, a bar­tender, be­gan mak­ing the wal­lets a few months ago by watch­ing video tu­to­ri­als on­line; Mr. Sali­nas now runs their on­line shop, Duct Tape Cou­ple, full time.

“He’s ac­tu­ally drum­ming up a lot of busi­ness,” Mrs. Sali­nas said. “I told him we can’t af­ford for you to go to work now. We hope it grows into some­thing we can con­tinue do­ing for a long time.”

Mr. Sommers, of Shurtech, said, “There’s a whole small-busi­ness move­ment out there. The prod­uct it­self is an Amer­i­can icon. It’s al­ways been the back­bone of a lot of in­ven­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to his com­pany and other sources, duct tape first be­came known as a fix-it-all for World War II sol­diers on the bat­tle­field. At that time, it was green. Later, it be­came gray for seal­ing heat­ing and other ducts, but it did that job badly. Duct tape is strong, but its ad­he­sive is not that long-haul re­li­able. To­day, there are bet­ter prod­ucts on the mar­ket for seal­ing ducts.

Shurtech of­fers a cou­ple of tips for crafters who want to work: Duct tape works best at room tem­per­a­ture, and it’s eas­ier to rip duct tape by hand than to cut it with scis­sors. If you try to cut the tape, it will gum up and stick to it­self, or stick to the scis­sors. Rub­bing al­co­hol will re­move ad­he­sive from the blades.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.