Duct Tape Wallets

©2012 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Age Range:  7 and up, although kids under ten will need a fair amount of assistance getting their tape strips to behave.

Perhaps due to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s famed duct tape alert, I started buying duct tape long before I knew what to do with it besides tape stuff together.  I had rolls and rolls of it just laying around, waiting for something to break.  Thank goodness a friend of mine was trapped in her house with two kids for several very long and rainy days.  She’s the one who gave me a few ideas to get started.

The great thing is that duct tape is like legos.  You can make anything with it, from flip flops to prom dresses.   

From http://www.duckbrand.com

Now my girls think up new applications every other day.  One of my favorite projects happened when Leila needed a bird to perch on her Mary Poppins shoulder.  Though I was impressed with her tape bird, it spent too much time under foot on the stairs, so I had to put it in the circular file.  Otherwise, I’d have included a lovely little photo of it right here.


Here are instructions for your basic duct tape wallet.

©2012 Beret Olsen

You will need:

  • At least one roll of duct tape.  Keep in mind that more variety = more fun.  Some brands are hideously expensive, and some super cheap, so shop around.  Be wary of the very cheapest, though.  If it costs under four bucks, it might be ok for the body of the wallet, but it probably won’t stick well enough to be the trim tape.
  • A decent pair of scissors
  • A ruler
  • A library card or credit card, for measuring the pockets
  • An extra pair of hands (optional, but recommended)


Step 1                                        ©2012 Beret Olsen
  1. Start by cutting or tearing off a piece of tape, about nine inches long.  Lay it sticky side up on your workspace.

    Step 2                                                                                                              ©2012 Beret Olsen
  2. One at a time, tear off three more 9 -inch pieces and carefully overlap them about 1/4 of an inch to make a swatch of tape “fabric.”  If the tape pieces are driving you nuts, try attaching one end of the tape roll to the back of a chair or edge of a table while you measure and cut.  That way, if the piece drops, it just hangs from the furniture instead of rolling up or sticking to itself.

    Step 3                                                                                                        ©2012 Beret Olsen
  3. Tear off four more nine-inch pieces.  One at a time–and very carefully–place them on top of your swatch, sticky side down.  This is a time when small people can get frustrated, and extra hands are welcome.  I recommend having your child hold the edges down on the swatch while you put the pieces face down.  Obviously, once you start sticking, you cannot try again to get it straight, flat, or reposition it any way.
  4. For the trim, measure and cut another piece, a little more than nine inches long, and cut it in half the long way.  Put it at the top and bottom edges of the swatch, folding it over so it shows on both sides and covers the edges.

    Step 4                                                                                                       ©2012 Beret Olsen
  5. Trim the sides to be straight.
  6. Measure an 18-inch piece of tape of the same or a different color to make the inside pockets.  Lay it sticky side up.  Cut another 18-inch piece and put it face down on top.
  7. Measure out one last 18-inch piece for the trim on the pockets, and try to cut that thing in half the long way.  It helps to stick one end onto the back of a chair, hold one side, and have another person hold the other half as you cut along the length.  Otherwise it may try to attack you.  Put one skinny strip on the top of the pocket material as trim.  Cut the other skinny strip into two 9-inch strips and save for steps 9 and 12.

    Steps 7 and 8                                                                                                 ©2012 Beret Olsen
  8. Trim the pocket strip and then cut it into four-inch strips that will accommodate a credit card, with a little room left on each side.
  9. Arrange the top two pockets.  Use one 9-inch skinny strip from step 7 to anchor the pockets to the wallet.

    Step 9                                                                                                             ©2012 Beret Olsen
  10. Arrange the bottom pockets.

    Steps 10, 11, and 12                                                                                   ©2012 Beret Olsen
  11. Cut a 3 1/4 inch piece and slice it in half to anchor the middle of the pockets.  Then, trim the sides..
  12. Use the extra skinny strip from #9 to anchor the bottom pockets.
  13. Now cut a 3 1/2-inch piece and slice it in half to close the sides of the pockets.  These pieces will fold over the side and serve as trim on the outside of the wallet.

    Step 13                                                                                                          ©2012 Beret Olsen
  14. Enjoy!

Please feel free to post other duct tape projects you try.

Author: Beret Olsen

Beret Olsen is a writer, teacher, and photo editor for 100 Word Story. She loves toast, the Oxford comma, and all your comments and questions.

One thought on “Duct Tape Wallets”

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