Duct Tape Wall Art

2 Materials
$15
2 Hours
Easy

Some of you may have seen the video I posted previously, but now it's time for the long awaited tutorial of this pop art portrait! Duct tape is such an interesting choice for wall art because it comes in so many colours and patterns; it’s the perfect pop art medium!

To start, mark out a grid on a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" backing (I used thin plastic but cardboard will work too).
duct tape wall art
I printed out two copies of my 8 1/2" x 11" template: one copy was on plain white paper as-is. The other copy I printed on freezer paper, but I mirror imaged the template and then made sure that my freezer paper would print on the paper side (not glossy) when it went through the printer. I used the freezer paper template for arranging all my cut pieces of duct tape onto (which you’ll see later).
duct tape wall art
You can find out where to get the template on our website (link at the end of this post).

I also printed out a colour copy of the template (thumbnail size as shown below) so I could determine my colours. I only had 9 colours of duct tape and the original artwork used about 15 distinct colours. If you happen to have 15 different colours of duct tape on hand, you’re good to go.
duct tape wall art
Since I was 6 colours short, to compensate, I made a list of background colours that I did have and was going to use column-by-column; I wrote everything beneath the colour thumbnail so I could refer back to it. I also made a list of coordinating colours for the face for each of the squares. Writing out a list will help keep it all straight! However, if you’re handy with photoshop you can also change it right on your computer so you have a true visual representation. By the way, you really can’t go wrong with the colour selection as long as you mix it up well.

As you can see above, I also numbered each square of the coloured copy and I transposed the same numbers onto the paper template. You’ll find numbering to be helpful when it comes time for assembly just in case some of the pieces get mixed up (they shouldn’t if you follow my organization tips, but you never know).

The Background

I rolled out a piece of duct tape for the first background colour onto my glossy backing and cut it with scissors.  

duct tape wall art
Then I measured my square and cut it to length on a paper cutter.
duct tape wall art
Once I had all my background colours cut, I referred back to my colour list to double check before placing them onto each square. You could also lightly pencil in your colours on your backing first, but be sure to erase them because colours like white will show the pencil marks right through it!
duct tape wall art
As you can see below, the squares are larger than the width of the duct tape so you’ll end up with a seam. I first added a strip about 3/8″, then I overlapped the full width of the duct tape on top of that:
duct tape wall art
Constructing the Face
Once the background is fully covered by the duct tape squares, grab the piece of freezer paper previously printed as a mirror image and flip it over so that the glossy side is facing up. You will be able to see the face coming through (the image is now right side up again). You’ll be using the freezer paper to assemble all the cut pieces on before they are transferred to the portrait itself.

Next, I used the paper template as the pattern to cut out the pieces of the face. I cut up one square at a time. Use pieces of painters tape rolled back on itself so you can stick the paper template on top of the duct tape to cut out the pieces. Once each piece of duct tape is cut, stick it to the respective section of the freezer paper pattern so you don’t loose your pieces (don’t remove the backing from the duct tape yet!). The glossy side of the freezer paper allows the painters tape to stick just enough to keep it in place, but not so much that it’s an effort to pull it off again.

The picture below shows the pieces stuck onto the freezer paper with painters tape to keep them all organized by each individual square. If you don’t have freezer paper, that’s ok because I have a great workaround: print out another paper copy of the template and staple a sheet of waxed paper on top of it. It’s just one extra step but it will work just as well as the freezer paper!
duct tape wall art
Once all the face pieces were cut and placed on the freezer paper, I worked square-by-square to transfer the pieces onto the background.
duct tape wall art
Start from the left hand side when you transfer each piece onto the background. Use the painters tape as a hinge to hold onto the duct tape as you peel the glossy backing from each piece. The painters tape will help you transfer and position the piece onto the background squares without having to touch the sticky backing. It’s important to use the painters tape in this fashion to avoid the pieces sticking to your fingers; if that happens, the duct tape may get mangled if you try to unstick it and you’ll have to re-cut the piece!
duct tape wall art
The beauty of having squares makes it very easy to line up the pieces! It probably didn’t take me any more than 20 minutes or so to transfer everything onto the background.
duct tape wall art
Once everything was stuck down, I trimmed my backing to size and faster than Elvis could leave the building, it was complete!
duct tape wall art
Since the pattern comes right to the edge, I framed it using a shadow box.
duct tape wall art
Hang it on the wall and you're done! Elvis may have left the building, but he lives on forever in duct tape splendour!

duct tape wall art
Watch the video to see it come together before your very eyes. While you're at it, subscribe to our Youtube channel to get notified whenever we post a new idea!
It won’t be long before we’re right back here again with more creative ideas so subscribe to us on Hometalk and/or on our blog (link at the end of this post). You can also follow Birdz of a Feather on:

YouTube: http://bit.ly/BirdzYT
Instagram: http://bit.ly/BirdzIG

Suggested materials:

  • Duct tape  (Dollar store)
  • Freezer paper  (Grocery store)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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