A while back i had made some duct tape flowers for a friend. I recently had someone ask me how i made them and i thought i would share the instructions here. First, the finished result:
(complete directions available after the jump)
It's fairly easy to make; you just need a few supplies: duct tape, scissors, and some wire. I picked up both of my spools of wire from the floral aisle of a craft store. I like to use 24 gauge for the petals. This won't be seen so it can be any color. I'm using a thicker silver 20 gauge wire for the stem and stamen. Pliers with the ability to cut wire also come in handy.
Start by cutting lengths of the 24 gauge wire about half an inch longer than the width of the duct tape. Try to make them as straight as possible. Here's a tip: it's a lot easier to straighten the wire before you cut it. Just run your hand down it a few times. You will need 10 of these pieces. Start pulling off a long piece of duct tape and place the lengths of wire about and inch and a half apart from each other on the sticky side starting about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the piece of tape. The lengths of wire should almost touch one side of the tape and hang over on the other.
Once you have a few pieces of wire on the tape, cut another piece of duct tape as long as the first and lay it over the other, trapping the wires between the two sticky sides. Then, cut the tape half way between each of the pieces of wire.
Next, cut each of these new pieces into the shape of a petal. They all don't have to be exactly the same; variety looks nice. When done you should have 10 petals.
I also choose to make the flower appear more interesting by adding in a curly stamen. I wrapped some of the silver wire a few times around a pen, then bent it with the pliers. If you do this, you may notice its hard to get the very end to be curly. I suggest just cutting off the part at the end that wont bend property after you pull it off the pen. I made two of these to go in the center of the flower.
It's time to bring all of these parts together. I cut off a thin strip of duct tape for this purpose. If you happen to have some actual floral tape, that works well too (although i prefer the silver duct tape to the green floral tape).
Next, gather all the petals. Line them up so the bottoms of the petals (not necessarily the wires) come together. Optionally, add in your stamen to the middle of the stack. Now, overlap this wire bundle with the wire you will be using for the stem. (I like to leave the stem wire attached to the spool and cut after the flower has been formed.) After you've worked the stem wire into the center of the petal wire bundle, take your thin piece of duct tape and tightly bind it all together. Go up and down a few times over the petal wires until everything seems secure.
Finally, bend down each of the petals to start forming your flower. I also like to cut off an extra long stem and form it into a spiral to act as a base to hold the flower part up.
Actually, when i first learned this technique, i did it with masking tape rather than duct tape. If you do that, you can paint your petals any color you want before you make your flower. In that case, you would probably also want to look into picking up some actual floral tape. This is a weird tape that doesn't actually get sticky until you pull it tight. It's not super sticky but its very flexible.
There you go! If you make your own be sure to let me know!Posted by Matthew at March 25, 2005 05:36 PM