Friday, August 8, 2014

DIY YA: Duct Tape Wallets

It's so cool, it had to be on the diagonal
Today was the last session of this summer's DIY YA crafts, and we did a classic: the duct tape wallet. Before we get to the instructions, let me give you a few notes:
- DIY YA stands for "Do It Yourself, Young Adult." I note this mostly because I've gotten questions, but also because this particular craft is hard to do with younger kids, since there is a lot of cutting, and you need really sharp scissors - the dull, kid-safe ones literally just won't cut it (I amuse myself so much sometimes).

- Also, this project can be really frustrating, because the tape sticks to itself and to you, and the table, and anything else that happens to be in the way, so make sure you have a good sense or humor going into it.

- And! Just to avoid confusion, I want to mention that the generic name for the particular kind of tape we're using is DUCT tape; that is, tape for fixing heating ducts. DUCK tape is a brand name of the tape, which comes in a plethora of colors and patterns.  As I am not going to insist that you use any particular brand, I will be using the term "duct tape" in this instructional.

You will need:
- Duct tape in whatever colors you like
- A ruler

Step One: Making the body of the wallet
Make yourself a solid sheet of duct tape that measures at least 8" by 6" (we're going to trim it down, so it doesn't need to be exact at this point).

I have found the easiest way is: first, lay out the duct tape sticky-side up. You will need about 4 tape strips, overlapping slightly at the top and bottom edges. Start with the color that you want the inside of your wallet to be.
The inside of my wallet is white, which in hindsight
was a bad choice for a photographic tutorial.
Then, using the color that you want the outside of your wallet to be, cover the tape sheet with new strips of tape, sticky side down. If you've done it correctly, sticky-side to sticky-side, you shouldn't have any sticky bits.
Inside: white. Outside: blue and sparkly.
Trim your tape sheet to the correct dimensions. I made and cut out a pattern before we began, but you can just as easily measure and cut on the spot.

NOTE: It's a good idea to reinforce the edges of your wallet at this time, so they don't fray later.  (I forgot to do this and had to go back and do it later).  Use the outside wallet color or an accent color to tape the longer edges of the tape sheet, folding it over so seal it together.

Step Two: Folding and taping
Fold your wallet in half hot-dog-ways, so that it measures 8" by 3".  Carefully tape the seam on one side of the wallet with the outside color/accent color of your wallet. Be careful not to tape the TOP of the wallet, since you need that open to put money in.
One side carefully taped shut.
 Then, continue on the other side.  Your wallet should now look like an envelope without a flap.
Or a shiny, blue canoe. Note the sealed top edge of the inside pocket!
Step Three: Making the crease
Fold your new billfold in half, and press down along the crease.  Now, sit on your wallet while you complete the next step.

Step Four: Making card pockets
If you want pockets to put cards in, now is the time to make them! Create a flat sheet of duct tape (as in Step One) that measures 3.5" by 3.75".  Fold it not-quite halfway over, short edge to short edge; this will make two pockets, one peeking out from behind the other.  Make this crease very strong,

Step Five: Securing the card pockets
Get the wallet out from under your bum and unfold it.  Position the new pocket on one half of the wallet (the part that is inside when it's folded up). This part is tricky to explain:  Carefully unfold your new pocket, and, using the same color tape as you have for the outside of the wallet, carefully tape the upper portion (the part above the fold) of the outside edge of the pocket to the edge of the wallet, wrapping the tape around the edge to secure it.  Then, tape the inside edge of the top part of the pocket to the middle of the wallet (shown here in white).
I know this step is confusing, but trust me.
The inside of the pockets here is white.
I hope that made sense, because I can't figure out a better way to describe it.
Fold up the pocket again, and tape the outside edge of the pocket to the outside edge of the wallet, wrapping around the end to secure; repeat with the inside edge.
Repeat by adding a pocket to the other side of the wallet, if desired.

Step Six: More tape
Last step, I promise.  Tape the bottom edge of your new pockets to the bottom of the wallet, wrapping around the end to secure.  (If you skip this step, something can fall out of the top pocket, since nothing will be holding it in place.)
Congratulations! You're done!

I hope this tutorial wasn't too confusing.  Please let me know if anything wasn't clear, and I will do my best to clarify - I can take photos with different colors of tape, or put arrows where the steps are, or maybe some sort of interpretive dance?

Enjoy your wallet.  Let me know how it turns out!

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