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The Basics of Tape Art (Crafting With Duct, Masking, or Electrical Tape)

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"Berlin Starry Night": Tape art by Berlin-based tape artist Slava Ostap. Coloured. Berlin 2014.

"Berlin Starry Night": Tape art by Berlin-based tape artist Slava Ostap. Coloured. Berlin 2014.

What Is Tape Art?

Anyone can experiment with tape to create interesting pieces of art. Tape art is when you use adhesive tape (duct, masking, electrical, etc.) in a creative way to add depth, highlights, and effects to a piece of art. The artist can effectively create two- or three-dimensional paintings or sculptures, and tape can also be applied to glass or plastic.

Surfaces Where Tape Can Be Applied

  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Walls
  • Acrylic glass
  • Sandwich panels
  • Aluminum
  • Stone
  • Asphalt

There are hundreds of amazing ideas and projects you can do with duct tape, and you are only limited by your creativity and expression. A huge variety of colors, patterns, and functionalities are at your disposal. You'll have lots of fun making any duct tape art!

Some of the tools needed for this project

Some of the tools needed for this project


  • Duct tape in different colors
  • A base, such as a board or canvas
  • Computer and printer (if you want to create a picture)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Cutting knife

What Tape Should I Use for Duct Tape Art?

Many brands of duct tapes are available in the market. Duct tape comes in high-strength, mid-strength, and low-strength, and the different types have different flexibility. The tape you need is mid-level strength, flexible, and rips easily.

Whatever brand you buy, the ripping action should be clean and straight.

Tape art piece by Buff Diss with black duct tape

Tape art piece by Buff Diss with black duct tape

How to Make a Duct Tape Painting

  1. Assemble the tools: a cutting knife, duct tape, cardboard, and ruler. I assume you have a smartphone, computer, and printer. If not, you can print out the images at a library.
  2. Find a picture. You can find a picture of your favorite celebrity, holiday, pet, or recreational activity.
  3. Quantize the picture. Use any paint software to turn the image into different colors. There are useful apps on your phone that should be able to easily accommodate this feature. Some useful software is Photoshop or any free paint software. Print out two or three color variations to use for cutting, referencing, and separation.
  4. Lay down the base colors. Stick white duct tape on a piece of card. Start from the center, and work the sides.
  5. Trim the sides with the cutter.
  6. Repeat the process with the next color and lay the tape at a 90° angle. This is ideal for stripping and separation.
  7. Cut the picture. First, stick the template to the cardboard. Line it up and fix both sides together. Cut it carefully and apply a little bit of pressure. Follow the lines to achieve the best detail.
  8. Once you are through with the cutting, remove the template.
  9. Start peeling. the result should be a one-color picture. Start peeling the layers by using the spare print as a reference. Don’t peel too many layers, and cut out the sticky bits.
  10. You probably want to showcase your new creation. Why not put it in a frame and hang it in your office or home?

Who Are Some Notable Tape Artists?

This interesting art form gradually transcended DIY projects and home décor. Notable artists are creating amazing work with duct tape. They are not limited to scale-down models, wall illustrations, or pictures.

Popular artworks include Portable Tornado three-dimensional illustrations by Slava Ostap, Berlin 2014, or the mixed media masking and tape over impala antelope.

Other Artists

  • Max Zorn
  • Mark Khaisman
  • Pauline Filioux

Another popular piece is the mural shades and lines, which are exhibited at the Upfest in Bristol.

Donald Trump pop art

Donald Trump pop art

What Can You Do With Duct Tape Art?

Incorporate your designs into different products.

  • Use scrapbook to make abstract art.
  • Incorporate into a mouse pad.
  • Make a flag.
  • Create a cool logo.
  • Make wall art.
  • Create a one-color image.
  • Weave it into a hammock.
  • Design a wallet or purse.
  • Add it to tin cans and water bottles.
Duct Tape Body Form | Pinterest. My duct tape dress form top with legs, arms, and neck. Wear a T.

Duct Tape Body Form | Pinterest. My duct tape dress form top with legs, arms, and neck. Wear a T.

How to Construct a Duct Tape Scale Model

The versatility and flexibility of duct tape make it ideal for different applications. You can build anything scaled down with relative ease. Here are a few tips on how to effectively use tape to create models.

  • The Tape: Your choice of tape is very important to the success of your project. There are many brands with different levels of adhesiveness, flexibility, and strength. Some are easy to cut with scissors or blades. The ideal tape should have a little turgidity yet rip easily. It should not be too sticky with medium-range strength.
  • Basic Tools: Put aside basic tools like a cutting knife, a diagonal cutter, and a set of picks.
  • The Models Structure: Find objects with smooth surfaces so the tape sticks easily. A technique craftsmen use is to stick the tape on a flat surface, feather the edges, pull it back, and roll it inside out. Use this method to produce a duct-tape armature for your model.
  • The Strength Test: The strength of the tape is dependent on the direction it is laid. Self-supporting armatures are guided by clever design, geometry, and angles. Use perpendicular or parallel lines, including multiple pieces and a core, to create strength.
  • Layering. Multiple layers of duct tape create a smoother look and cover imperfections.

There are many craft ideas you can experiment with using duct tape. You can add detail, depth, and color to your designs. Try your hands at prints, pictures, home repair, or other creative projects.

Try Fun Project Ideas

  • Flowers
  • Roses
  • Bows
  • Prom Corsage
  • Accessories
  • Pictures
  • Ornaments
  • Flower Pots
  • Party Mask
  • Woven Wallet
  • Gift box
  • Hanging Décor

40 Things You Can Make With Duct Tape

  1. Feather earrings
  2. Mini purse
  3. Picture in a frame
  4. Superhero mask
  5. Tape Hammock
  6. Tap bags
  7. Beach bag
  8. Fruit slice purse
  9. Messenger bag
  10. Rolled duct tape bead bracelet
  11. Braided bracelet
  12. Hair bow
  13. Bowtie
  14. Tape beads
  15. Awesome ribbons
  16. Tape belt
  17. No-sew apron
  18. Tape covered boots
  19. Striped floor
  20. Tape covered floor
  21. Luggage bag
  22. Tape decorated water bottles
  23. Tap cans
  24. Covered office containers
  25. Party banner
  26. Tailgate flags
  27. Decorative centerpieces
  28. Tablecloth
  29. Wrapper
  30. Gift bag
  31. Wreath
  32. Santa stockings
  33. Topiary
  34. Duct tape roses
  35. Pencil toppers
  36. Flower pens
  37. Basket
  38. Wallet
  39. Keyring wristlet
  40. Tape apron

© 2018 femi


Deborah Minter from U.S, California on April 14, 2018:

Fun craft!

aghatha on April 13, 2018:

interesting stuff