Duct Tape Dress Tutorial

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I decided I would make an attempt at a Duct Tape dress of my own. The stakes were low; after all, it wasn’t like it was for my senior prom or anything. I had no vision in mind, except that I wanted to make it out of neon colors obviously. So I set out to buy what I needed. Three rolls of Duct Tape did the trick. I bought the bigger rolls, but I’m not sure on the exact size. It cost me a total of less than $10, if that helps you determine the size of the Duct Tape rolls. I also went to the dry cleaner across the street from where I worked and asked them for one of the bags they put suits and dresses in on their hangers. Then I got back to my dorm and got started.

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So let’s recap what you’ll need:

  • 3 large rolls of the Duct Tape of your choice (more or less depending on the size and length of your dress)
  • a dry cleaner bag
  • Scissors
  • Yourself (or the person that is going to be wearing the dress)
  • One other person to cut you out of your costume if you’ll be wearing it yourself

Step 1: Make arm holes in your dry cleaner bag and make the neck hole bigger if necessary. Then put the bag on over your head. If possible, don’t wear any loose-fitting clothes, as this will mess with the shape of your dress. I went with a sports bra and spandex as you can see. I didn’t actually take a picture of this step…

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Step 2: Start taping around the smallest part of your waist. I found that it was easiest to use 8-12 inch strips of tape and wrap them a little at a time instead of trying to completely circle around your waist in one strip. This step is where the picture sequence starts.

Step 3: Keep working upward from your waist to start forming the boobs. In order to make sure it stays your shape and doesn’t slip away from you, you’ll want to curve the tape from your sides, around the bottom of your boobs and to the middle point.

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Step 4: Just keep taping upward until you reach the neckline you want. Don’t worry about having perfect edges or exactly the shape you want. You can always trim later. Just get the overall shape you’re going for. I wanted a sweetheart neckline more or less, so that’s what I went for.  Make sure as you go, you’re also taping around the back.

Step 5: Start taping downwards from your starting point to finish off your torso piece. Make sure you aren’t trying to put the pieces on at a perfectly straight angle because you’ll get bulges and the tape won’t connect to itself properly.

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Step 6: This is where you’ll need some help. Have a friend or family member cut down the back of your dress right along your spine. You’ve made this form-fitting, so make sure it’s someone you trust not to cut you open as well. 🙂

Step 7: Now you can start making your skirt. I made several attempts at this one before getting it right, so you can tell my work is a little sloppy from my frustration. I’m sure you’ll do better. 🙂 I wasn’t even going to consider re-doing it after I figured it out though. That would have meant a lot more tape, and more time than I wanted to spend on this project. Anyway, a basic circle skirt is what I decided would work best, so I started laying out the tape in that shape.

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Step 8: Keep forming your circle skirt. Again, mine was super sloppy and more oval than circular, but with a little cleaning up at the end, it turned out just fine.

Step 9: Stand your torso up on top of the skirt to determine the size of hole you’ll need to leave in the center. I made mine a good 1-2 inches smaller than the torso so that it would sit just above where your torso piece ends. You don’t want it falling off. Also, keep in mind you’ll be taping yourself into your dress, so you’ll be able to adjust as you go.

Step 10: Now there’s a lot of trial and error you’ve gotta go through to figure this thing out.

You can see I’ve got a few pieces sticking up funny, probably because I was working sloppy. I would have someone tape your torso back on so you can really envision everything. Then you can see what needs to be changed.

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Step 11: Make sure all of the major problems are fixed.

Step 12: I decided to add yellow to border the skirt and blue along the waistline to give it a more pulled together look.

Step 13: Again, I’m just adding finishing touches. Here I put a few strips of blue along the neckline to give it a more finished look. Then I threw on some yellow rubber rainboots just to accessorize.

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Step 14: I still thought it was missing something, so I added a giant bow on the back of the skirt and a smaller one above one boob. I should have thought to make a how-to on the bows, but I didn’t. Maybe I’ll make another post for that, but for now I’m going to recommend Googling it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Step 15: Tape your dress back up on the day you’re gonna wear it and enjoy!

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