The Ultimate Duct Tape Dummy
Write up by Diadexxus

  • 3-5 rolls of good quality Duct Tape (3M, etc)
  • Bandage Scissors
  • Clothes you can destroy (or even better Tyvek Painting OverAlls)
  • Rubber or cotton Gloves
  • Socks
  • Paper Towels or Saran Wrap
  • Two or Three Friends and 2 hours of your time (bribe em with food)

Bring some friends over, and make a fun day of this!

Click any of the pictures to see the larger one

Start with getting Ductee clothed in the clothes to be duct taped over. Use about 6" strips of Duct tape at any one time, except when taping the waist when starting (you can tape all the way around a couple times to make sure the shirt and pants wont move). Start by taping the wrists, ankles and waist of the shirt and pants. If the clothes are baggy, fold the material then tape it together.
***BE SURE NOT TO TAPE TOO TIGHT! Do not cut off circulation!



You can start from the waist then go up and down the body, Zig-Zagging 6" strips of duct tape. You have have one friend start taping from the back and one in the front. You will need to use at least two layers of duct tape to cover the whole body. Make sure you get the crotch and arm-pits very well. The Ductee at this time should not be able to move very well. This picture shows the Zig-Zag pattern you should use on the body.
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This is handy to let someone know roughly where a tail would look good. Just mark the duct tape with a permenant marker with a circle with an X in it, and mark TAIL on the top of it.
This particular Duct Tape Dummy looks a little "loose" This was done on purpose by stretching the duct tape (he crouched down) for this person is using the duct tape as a pattern for a costume. Yours might look a little more 'tight' since the person shouldn't move much while getting their DTD done.
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IMPORTANT: Mark the arms, body and legs where you will be cutting. Place X's every few inches so that when you tape the DTD back together, you know HOW it goes back together and it will all line up.
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IMPORTANT: Do this SLOWLY and CAREFULLY. You do NOT want to cut into flesh. Be sure you use the blunt tipped badage scissors and not regular scissors for this. Cut the lines that you marked on the duct tape in the previous section. Start with the collar, work down each arm, then the back/hips area and finally the ankles and feet. The person inside the duct tape will know when they can pull off the duct tape from the hands and feet.
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After the Ductee is taken out of the taped version of themselves, they can help make a 'skeleton' and help stuff the DTD. (see below) The Stuffing is usually made from balls of used newspaper. Ball up the paper pretty tight, start with the feet and then go up the legs, torso, arms, check, throat. You can also use any kinds of paper, or even PoliFil, though it would take a LOT of it!

Have the ductee wear some rubber or cotton gloves. Take small 3"x3" strips and zip zag them on the palm and top of the hand. Then, take tiny strips of duct tape around 1" wide x 3" long and slowly wrap each finger.
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Help the Ductee lay down (note that the ductee will not be able to help you do this, they are stuck in the stand up position) Prop their legs up on a chair to get to the feet easily. Cut the socks to each toe is seperated. This will expose skin, DO NOT TAPE THE SKIN! Take paper towels or saran wrap and wrap each toe. Then take tiny strips of duct tape around 1" wide x 2" long and wrap each toe around the towel or saran wrap. Finish by wrapping the bottom and top of the foot with duct tape, zigzagged like the body.
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THE SKELEON: This can be made from anything. Thick wire, to PVC piping. This is handy to 'hang' the DTD up to work on a costume on. Basically you want to make a square for the torso, then straight sections for arms and legs (sort of like a Hang Man look). Another thing you can do is tape a hanger inside the shoulder/neck area of the DTD so you can hang it up without having to make a whole skeleton.

If you don't want to make a skeleon, you can just stuff the DTD as is. A strong wood hanger is helpful to hang it up while you work. You can use Polyfil, newspaper, or even scraps of foam to stuff a DTD. Start with the feet. Stuff them REAL tight, as you want this to be a good solid section. Then slowly work yourself up the legs, and tape the cut area as you go, making sure you line up the X's you drew on the duct tape. Keep stuffing and taping until you get to the collar. Tape that closed then Cap It with zig-zags of duct tape (like you did to the body) Voila, Done!
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(Note: I didn't have any pics of the actual finished DTD, so I used another one, a female)
Shows Front, Side, and Back of a stuffed Dummy. No skeleton, and no hands were done on this one so yours might look slightly different depending on what kind of DTD you end up making.

Thanks to Kyreeth for being a guinea pig.