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Duct tape flowers! June 9, 2012

Posted by craftyjada in Uncategorized.
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And now for something completely different!  I saw one of my students carrying arounda pen with a duct tape flower on top of it, and I have to admit I was impressed.  I have been using electrical tape to tape fake flowers from the dollar store to the tops of pens for a couple years, because it deters my students from stealing them (and even if they DO steal them, it’s pretty obvious when you see a kid walking down the hall with a giant fake lily attached to their pen).  However, my kiddos have found a way to thwart even THIS plan, which is, when I’m not looking, they tear up the fake flowers and unravel the tape, leaving it wrapped around desks, in a pile on the floor, etc.  So I go through at least a dozen or two pens every marking period (9 weeks).  I thought that maybe duct tape flowers would hold up better than the fabric kind, so I googled how to make duct tape flower pens on youtube, and found a pretty easy looking video.  What follows is my first night’s attempt at sitting down and making some of these.

First you have to get yourself some pretty duct tape.  I’ve bought it at A.C. Moore, Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Walmart, and Target (Target seems to have the best selection).  I’d warn you that if you are looking for something easy to work with and more durable feeling, go with Duck brand duct tape and not Scotch brand.  The Scotch has some SUPER cute colors/patterns, but it thinner and more of a pain to work with.  For this first night I used a bunch of solid rainbow colors.  I took one of the flexible cutting boards I just bought for the kitchen and designated it a craft board from now on, and rolled out about 6 total strips of tape about 18 inches long each.  Then I used a craft knife (box cutter would work, too) and cut the tape into rectangular shapes just a little longer than square size.  There really isn’t a particular length I have found to be perfect.  Longer rectangles leave more sticky end to tape to the flower, but itdoesn’t seem to matter a whole lot.  No matter how long the strip, the point at the top (the petal) ends up the same size.

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Next, you fold over one corner of the tape onto itself, leaving a small strip of tape left on the side, and some sticky left at the bottom.  The video called it leaving an “L” shape of sticky left.  Then you fold the side with sticky left over top of the side you just folded over, sticking it down to itself and leaving a point at the top, with the sticky bottom still intact.  Wow, that sounds a lot harder than it really is.  Here’s a picture that may do it better justice.

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“L” shape of sticky left…

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Then fold the other side down over and line up the triangle at the top.

When you are done with this one, cut and fold all the rest of them (I find that six 18 inch strips usually yield enough petals.  The video told me to use 20-something, but it was WAY smaller than I wanted.  More petals yield fuller flowers, and fewer petals make more bud-like flowers.  Play around with numbers until you find something you like.  Once you have a table full of petals, tape down a small strip of tape to the top of your pen to cover up the tip, so it will blend in with your flower, and then start taping down petals, alternating the tips.  Make sure that you keep them all at about the same level or your flower will start to grow too tall and will get too top heavy to write comfortably.

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Once you’ve reached your desired number of petals, just add a couple skinny green ones around the base of the flower for leaves, and you’re all done.  I have also covered the bottom half of the pen with a coordinating duct tape (no green leaves), and it looks pretty nice, as well, but keeps you from being able to cap the bottom of the pen sometimes.  Here’s my finished “bouquet” of flowers, which have stood up pretty well to 7th grade shenanigans since I made them!

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Comments»

1. craftyjada - June 9, 2012

Sorry for the ugly formatting. I can’t seem to figure out how to fix it and the html coding is not working. Forgive me the ugly text, because I am fed up and refuse to spend another 40 minutes trying to fix it right now!


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