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Duct Tape and Ingenuity Create a Unique Purse

Follow these steps to create a colorful, handmade purse.

Project by Carly Stipe from St. Paul, Minn.

Carly has made wearable art for a number of years. First, there was her rubber band dress. More recently, she made a duct tape dress. Carly knew that the market for duct tape dresses was limited, so she started making duct tape purses.

Materials and Tools:

4 big rolls of duct tape,11 mil. thickness: pink, red, white, black
shiny magnetic snap
4 sets of shiny rivets
quilter's cutting mat
rotary cutter
straight edge
hole punch


1. There will be four pieces built and then assembled together: a front panel, a back/front flap panel, a side/bottom/side piece, and the strap. Begin with the front panel and decide on your stripe pattern. How do you want your colors to mix and mingle? Wide stripes or thin? How about a mixture of both? The completed front panel measures 7" x 11" with vertical stripes.

2. Lay 7-inch strips of the colored duct tape with the sticky side up. Alternate colors, overlapping the strips by 1/2, 1 and 1-1/2 inches. Have fun. Be creative. Your colors will be facing down.

3. To finish, lay 7-inch strips of pink with the sticky side down until design is entirely covered.

4. Next create the back/front flap panel measuring 15" x 7". These strips will be 7 inches also. Use a similar design layout as the front panel--so stripes will be horizontal. Remember to have fun with the colors. Lay strips sticky side up until you measure 15 inches; then lay overlapping strips of pink sticky side down until the design is covered. Don’t leave any sticky exposed.

5. Add the shiny magnetic snap. Cut three 7-inch strips of pink duct tape. Lay one strip sticky side down and place one more on top sticky side down but offset 1/2 inch. Find the center and add the male end of the snap with washer. Add this to the solid pink side of the back/front flap panel, leaving the offset portion to wrap around to the front.

6. For the front panel: The female side of the shiny magnetic snap gets assembled at the center, 2 inches down. Don’t forget to place a strip of pink tape over the exposed hardware on the solid pink side of the panel.

7. The side/bottom/side needs three 27-inch strips of pink duct tape. Lay one strip sticky side up; the next one also lay sticky side up and overlapping 1 inch. The last strip gets placed sticky side down in the center. Turn over sticky edges.

8. To assemble: Place the side/bottom/side on the cutting board. Center the two panels and attach them with a strip of pink tape 7 inches long on the inside of the back and outside. Then two pieces of tape are need one for each side, to secure the panels to the side/bottom/side. Lift the side/bottom/side tape it to the front panel and back. Try to keep tape wrinkle free and straight. Add extra pieces of pink tape to finish off edges and bottom.

9. Now the shape is becoming 3-D and ready for the strap. The strap is two pieces of 26-inch-long duct tape. Lay the first strip sticky side up, fold over and press flat so that 1/4 inch of sticky remains. Fold that sticky edge down. Lay the last strip sticky side up and place the first strip centered on top, and fold over edges.

10. Tap rivet holes with the hole punch, two on each end of the strap, 1 inch apart. Also create holes the same distance on the sides of the bag. Assemble the rivets and tap with the hammer.

11. Finally the finishing touch--a pink flower. This requires one 15-inch strip of pink tape. Lay it on the work surface sticky side up and fold over leaving 1/4 inch of the sticky exposed. Do not press completely flat--leave some puffiness. Hold the strip and, beginning at one end, start folding and turning, folding and turning, to create the flower. Add an extra piece of rolled tape on the back to secure it in place.

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