Duct Tape Dummy Tutorial
What is a duct tape dummy?
A duct tape dummy (or DTD) is an accurate 3D representation of a person’s body shape.
Why do I need one?
By having a DTD with which to work, we can quite easily make complicated costumes perfectly custom fit to the owner. It's the equivalent of using thousands of measurements.
What do I need to make one?
- Several rolls of duct tape (cheaper brands seem to work best)
Note: It doesn't matter what color you use, but please limit it to
- A black sharpie
- Toilet paper or some paper towels
You will be cutting away your outer layer of clothing in the last step. Be sure to wear old or unwanted clothes, as they will be destroyed. Thin, easily cuttable clothing works the best. We recommend pajama or sweat pants, and a long sleeved collard shirt. Avoid denim. You can also use painter coveralls. These are very cheap and can be purchased at any hardware or paint store.
Before you begin, get as many people as you can to help. You can not do this on your own. The process will take 20-60 minutes. Don't forget to use the restroom beforehand!
Throughout the entire process, you may move around a little for your own comfort. You should be able to bend slightly, wobble around on your feet and move your arms. Do not overstretch, but you should be able to have a little freedom of movement. The DTD should be a few layers thick. When you move around and create holes, just fill them over with more duct tape.
Click the images to enlarge them.
Tuck in you shirt into your pants. With your helpers, start tearing the duct tape into 6-10 inch pieces and start wrapping the person. Start in the mid section of the person and work your way down.
Be sure to place the duct tape onto the person so that it fits to their body rather then the loose fitting clothing. The clothing is just there so the duct tape can be cut off easily from the person. Be sure to not wrap it too tightly that it will be uncomfortable or cut off blood circulation.
Start working your way down to the ankles or as far as the clothing you are wearing allows.
Now start wrapping the upper body all the way up to the neck. When you start wrapping your chest, make sure you have a nice full breath so you do not constrict your breathing. If you have a collar, go ahead and pop it up and tape up to the neck.
Hold your arms straight out and begin working your way from the shoulder towards the wrist. You may rest your hands on someone's shoulders if your arms start to get tired. Again, be sure to tape the person's body shape, and not the loose fitting clothing. This is especially important under the arms.
While taping your arms and legs, the clothing you have worn may have been pulled or stretched. If you were not able to tape all the down to your wrist and ankles, wrap the rest of yourself with toilet paper or a paper towel and then duct tape over it.
Once you are done with the taping, have your helpers draw down both sides of your body with a marker. Placing an "X" every few inches will help us be able to tape the dummy back together after you are cut out.
When shipping, fold your dummy carefully and place it into a box.