The following is an excerpt from Ductigami: The Art of the Tape by Joe Wilson (The Boston Mills Press, 2006).
Not to be confused with origami — the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding to create delicate, fragile items for the moment — ductigami employs ordinary off-the-shelf duct tape in the creation of functional folded objects that are built to suffer the rigors of modern life. Once you master the art of the tape, you will be able to construct some of the world’s most unique items of function and fashion. And part of their beauty is that if they ever wear out, they can be repaired quickly with more duct tape.
I am sure that you have enough knowledge and imagination to create a purse out of a solid sheet of tape, but here is a twist. We are going to do advanced ductigami: the weave. (Doesn’t work for hair, if anyone asks.)
And remember: A number of companies sell different colors of duct tape, so you’re not limited to just classic gray.
1. Make 14 14-inch little strips in the color of duct tape of your choice.
2. Make 14 more 14-inch little strips in another color of your choice.
3. Lay down a piece of tape 12 inches long on your work area. Now lay your 14 14-inch pieces side by side halfway up the 12-inch piece. Once completed, fold the piece over to secure them. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
4. Now take one of your 14-inch pieces and begin to slide it into place at the top of your 12-inch piece by going over and under your 14-inch strips.
5. As you slide pieces into place, keep them as close together as you can to create a tight weave. Continue until you use all your strips and you end up with a woven sheet. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
6. Now take three pieces of tape and close all open ends to complete the sheet.
7. Take your completed woven sheet and bring the ends together so you have two open sides. Measure the open ends so you know how large of a sheet you will need to close them.
8. After you have your measurements, make the two sheets you need to complete your purse. On one of the sheets, get a round template to create the circular bottom. (I used a lid to a jar as my template.) Now cut the sheet with a round bottom halfway up the sheet to make the final cut and make the sheet look like a giant teardrop. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
9. After you have the piece done, put it on top of the remaining sheet, trace it and cut it so you have two identical pieces.
10. Take one of the ends and tape it into place inside and out to finish the side. Repeat on the other side to complete the purse. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
OPTIONAL LINER, CREDIT CARD SLOTS AND CELL PHONE HOLDER
You can cover the entire sheet with a layer of tape to act as an inside liner for the purse. Add a series of credit card slots to the inside of your purse to keep yourself organized. Add a cell phone cradle to the inside or outside of your purse so you don’t have to dig for it when it rings. To do this, make two small strips based on the size of the phone, then tape them together and into place. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
THE SHOULDER STRAP
1. Make two big strips about 27 inches long using two pieces that match your purse. If you have trouble with strips that long, you can make three strips 18 inches long. Once completed, tape your strips together to create one big strip that’s 54 inches long. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
STRAP OPTION NO. 2
Depending on the size and the style of purse you design, you can make different handles or shoulder straps. Here’s another option.
1. Let the roll of tape hang down to whatever length you want and give the roll a spin so you form a twisted length of tape. Cut the twisted piece and set aside.
2. On your work area, lay a piece of tape sticky side up the length of the twisted piece you created. Take the twisted piece and place it on the very bottom of the piece on your work area and roll it up to make a duct tape cord. (See diagram in the Image Gallery.)
3. To attach the shoulder strap to the purse, you have to cut a slit 1 1/4 inches from the top of the purse and another 1 1/4 inches from the bottom. Feed the strap through the top so that the strap is visible from the outside, and then feed it into the bottom slit and fold back up inside and tape into place. Repeat on the other side and you are done.
As I said at the start, this is just one style of purse. You can make a solid-sheet or woven purse, and you can make it bigger or smaller by adjusting your measurements. You can make your sheet longer and finish it off by having a flap to close the opening. With your ductigami knowledge and your imagination, anything is possible.
Reprinted with permission from Ductigami: The Art of the Tape, published by The Boston Mills Press, 2006.