Duct Tape Masks

Friday, October 18th, 2013

2013-10-18 02.19.09

The benefits:                                

  • Manipulating duct tape can be used to improve finger strength (duct tape is quite resistive), facilitate a pincer or tripod grasp, challenge cutting, and provide opportunities for tracing and drawing.  To figure out how to increase or decrease the challenge, consult your occupational therapist.
  • Gathering the materials and performing the mini-tasks in order can be used to strengthen motor planning, sequencing and organization.

The method:

1. Buy an inexpensive half mask from a local party store, Amazon.com or Oriental Trading, and let your imagination take off.  Create a superhero, princess, cat, bunny rabbit or any character that your child can think of.

2. First, cover the front of your mask with duct tape. I started with a wide red piece across the top, just long enough to tuck under the sides.

3. Next I covered the middle, over the eyes, with several narrower pieces, so that I could mold them around the nose.

4. Last, I covered the bottom with several rectangular shapes, that I stretched taut to avoid buckling around the nose. To smooth out the edges, instead of immediately tucking the extra tape under, I cut slits every ½ “ or so and pulled each little section to ensure that it lay flat on the mask.

5. Flip your mask over, and with an Xacto knife, (parents only!) carve out the eyes. Do not throw them out!

6. Pull up an image of Spiderman on your laptop and with a black Sharpie, draw in the lines.

7. Here’s the hard part: the eyes. To make a template, cut out a 2-1/2” piece of cardboard or cardstock. Place your duct tape eyes near the lower left, place the duct tape eyes you cut out to guide you, and with a picture of Spidey in front of you draw the silver part around the eyes. When you are pleased with the shape, cut it out. You only need one template.  Label one side R and one side L.

LEye  REye

8. Trace the template onto silver duct tape twice, once on the L side and once on the R side.

9. Outline silver with a black Sharpie.

10. Affix to mask.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 18th, 2013 and is filed under Ductagami, Fine Motor Fun, Seasonal Tips.


Tuesday, October 15th, 2013


Halloween is coming and we cannot wait to share our latest ductagami project with you!

Below are instructions for a duct tape trick or treat bag. Enjoy!

1. Buy or pull out from your stash a small, approximately 4” x 4” X 2 ½ shopping bag. Any size will do, but the smaller, the easier and quicker the process will be. A smaller bag will also limit the amount of candy your child can stuff in.


2. Carefully slit open the bag on the bottom and along the side seam. Try not to rip the bag, although everything can be repaired (it’s duct tape, after all)

Bag2 Bag3 Bag4

*Note: The orange side is the outside and the buff side is the inside

3. With the orange side up (right side), tuck the bottom panel under to avoid duct taping it.  Cut 3 pieces of purple spider tape the length of the bag, and place so that they are overlapping slightly, at least ¼ “

Bag7 Bag8 Bag10

4. Tuck the bottom fold onto the purple tape, so it also does not get covered yet. Cut about 8 pieces of black and white check duct tape the length of the bag. Place them overlapping about ¼” so that the inside of the bag is completely covered.

Bag11 Bag12 Bag13

5. Crease on the bags original folds.

6. Place a piece tape on the inside (black and white check) with the sticky side facing up, so that when the bag if refolded into a circle it is sealed from the inside.

Bag14 Bag15

7. Next, place a vertical piece of tape to seal it from the purple side.


8. Refold the bottom of the bag along its creases. Place pieces of scotch tape to hold it in place temporarily on the outside and the inside. Use 1-2 pieces of tape to cover the bottom of the bag from the outside


9. Cut out a 2 ½” x 4” piece of card-stock (I used an invitation) and cover with Duct tape. Fit into the inside of the bag.Bag19 Insideofbag



This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 and is filed under Ductagami, Fine Motor Fun, Handwriting & Fine Motor Coordination, Seasonal Tips.

Duct Tape Collage

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

With a little prep, you can keep your kids busy for a long time!

As a working mother in the 1980’s in a neighborhood where hardly any young mommies worked, I had a permanent sense of guilt. Wherever I was, home or work, I felt I should be at the other place. To mollify my sense of guilt I diligently left the nanny with a healthy snack (e.g., apples with cinnamon artfully arranged or strawberries dipped in low fat cool whip) and a baggie with a prepared project, to maximize every second of my children’s after school hours. If only I had known about duct tape then! So for those of you looking to facilitate your child’s creativity and enhance their fine motor skills and ability to sequence and organize, or if placing straight lines of duct tape is over the top for you or your child, there is always the collage method.   It will take lots of time freeing you up to cook, clean or work.

To prepare, just slice pieces of all duct tape in all colors and sizes of (great for leftovers from other projects) and randomly stick to the appropriately sized paper.  What ever you do, the effect will be fabulous. Just remind your child to make sure the whole paper is covered on both sides. Don’t worry about stopping at the edge of the paper. We will deal with that at the end. Bonus: your child can do most of the work independently and it will take your child a whole lot longer on those endless end-of-the-summer days!

Coin Purse/Wallet Collage


photo 2

Cut a 4½ “ strip of paper lengthwise so that you end up with a piece of paper 4 ½ “x 11”


photo 1

Pre-cut lots of pieces of duct tape (DT) and stick them on your mat, or for littler less coordinated fingers, let them hang off the sides


photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

Instruct your child to fill every singe inch of paper (both sides) with tape. No white showing!  Precision is not required, the tape can freely hang off the edges of the paper


photo 1 photo 2

When the deed is done, take a Sharpie and trace a rectangle, approximately 4” x 10-11”


Finish as you would for a traditional coin purse. Here are the instructions


photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 1

Optional: slice a 4” piece of  tape lengthwise to seal the top and bottom


photo 2

Positioning the paper lengthwise, fold up the bottom 4”


photo 3 photo 4

Cut a piece of tape about 7”, a bit longer than the length of the paper with the bottom folded up. Slice vertically. If you like a wider border, cut 2 pieces of tape instead of slicing one in half


photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Place 2 or 3 pairs of Velcro dots on the inner side of the flap. Press down and voila! Your Velcro dots will magically match. Watch the photo sequence so that you can see how achieved that trick

You are now officially done!

OPTIONAL decorate with stick-on rhinestones

OPTIONAL Poke holes below the flap, and string through ribbon or a lace, so that you can turn it into a necklace or “pocketbook”

OPTIONAL For the sports fans among you tapebrothers.com has major league baseball tape and lots of college teams (http://a248.e.akamai.net/origin-cdn.volusion.com/e4vmb.bk4ao/v/vspfiles/photos/categories/446.jpg?1370867375)

Once you have mastered how to quickly cut and set out tape, and got your child going, the sky is the limit. To prepare for school have your child duct tape their binders and folders. You will have at least an hour of bliss, and their folders and binders will be strong and waterproof!

While we are in back-to-school mode, next I will teach you how to make 2-pocket folders out of 2 file folders. Stay tuned….

photo 1 photo 2




This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 and is filed under Ductagami, Fine Motor Fun, Getting Ready for School.

Today’s Ductagami Tutorial: Coin Purse/Wallet

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013


Its that time of year…

By far the hardest time of the year when my children were little, was between camp and school or school and camp, especially because I raised my children with no TV, and computers, iPads and smartphones had yet to be invented.  Since I know how you feel during these last dog days of summer, I am going to try to give you a couple of duct tape projects over the next few days to keep your children busy and productive. You will have to judge what your children are capable of, given their unique set of fine motor skills and frustration tolerance. There are always ways to make a project easier or more challenging.  As a pediatric occupational therapist, that is my area of expertise; so if you have a question about upgrading and downgrading an activity, just ask!

The first bunch of projects will only require duct tape (DT), basic tools that you can purchase when you buy the tape, and household items. AC Moore, Target, Michaels, Walmart, Amazon.com and some other stores/sites carry all the basics. When you are comfortable, I will move on to projects that are larger, more time consuming and require specialty items such as belt buckles and suspender hooks

Basic tools:

  • Duct tape. Duck Brand and 3M are my favorites
  • Non-stick scissors; I have had good experience with Fiskars for adults
  • X-acto knife. Look for one with a cap, for safety
  • Self-healing cutting mat. As a quilter, my favorite is Olfa, but for DT, you can purchase an inexpensive 11”x17” Fiskars. For larger projects you will need a larger mat, but we will start small
  • Velcro sticky back tapes in dots or strips
  • Ruler (metal is best, but for starters, anything will do)
  • Paper (my alternative to the more complex “rip, stick and flip” method of construction)


 Optional for decorating:

  • Ribbon, Funky laces or fat yarn
  • Stick on jewels. Large sizes work best for little hands

Today’s project: Coin purse (girl talk)/wallet (boy talk).

Finished size approximately 4”x 4”, but any size will do!


photo 1

Measure and cut a 4 ½” vertical strip of printer paper, so that you are left with a 4½ “x 11” inch strip of paper. Save the rest for another project. No more measuring with a ruler!


photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Cut 3 strips of (mustache) DT the same length as the paper.

Note: do not trim any edges until the end. It is a waste of time. To cut, use non-stick scissors (I have not found any kid-size ones that work reliably) or use an Exacto knife using the ruler as a guide.


photo 1

Place the first strip along the edge of the paper


photo 2

With the second strip, overlap the first strip about ¼“.

DT Principle #1: For stability, always overlap tape. Never place pieces side by side.


photo 4

Place third strip along the other edge of the paper. There will be a large overlap.


photo 1 photo 3

Repeat the same process on the other side with your black DT. Needless to say, I could have used different tape for each strip.


photo 1

Trim to 4” wide, especially if the sides are uneven, or leave it 4½” if you like.  Do not worry about messy sides. You are going to cover them with more DT. Straighten out the top and bottom with the scissors or X-acto knife. I use a ruler or the guides on the mat rather than eye-balling, but then again I’m a quilter and have been trained to be deathly afraid of the “quilting police.”


photo 2

Slice a 4” piece of black tape lengthwise to seal the top and bottom.  NOTE: to the chagrin of all except the DT manufacturers, DT is 1 7/8” wide, not an even 2”, so don’t ever expect to slice it lengthwise perfectly.  If I were an entrepreneurial duct taper, I would invent a ruler for this!

STEP 9 & 10:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 4

Positioning the paper lengthwise, fold up the bottom 4”.

Cut a piece of tape about 7”, a bit longer than the length of the paper with the bottom folded up. Slice vertically. If you like a wider border, cut 2 pieces of tape instead of slicing one in half

STEP 11:

photo 1 photo 3 photo 2

Place 2 pairs of Velcro dots on the inner side of the flap. Press down and voila! Your Velcro dots will magically match

Optional: decorate with stick-on rhinestones

Optional: Poke holes below the flap, and string through ribbon or a lace, so that you can turn it into a necklace or “pocketbook.”

coinpurse string

 *You are now officially done*




If placing straight lines of duct tape is over the top for you or your child, there is always the collage method. Check back later this week for a tutorial on the collage version!


This entry was posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 and is filed under Ductagami, Fine Motor Fun, Handwriting & Fine Motor Coordination.