How to make a duc(t/k) tape wallet

My 9-year-old daughter kept asking me for "duck tape." I told her it's called "duct tape." An argument ensued. I googled "duct tape" to prove it. She grabbed the iPad and googled "duck tape" and showed me the results. "Duck tape is cooler, see?" she said.

Duck tape comes in lots of fun patterns: zebra stripes, leopard spots, mustache pattens, candy cane, etc. She wanted "Digital Camo" to make a wallet. I asked he if she needed help, but she said she wanted to try it on her own. 45 minutes later she showed it to me. Impressive!

Here's the YouTube video she watched to learn how to make a duc(t/k) tape wallet


  1. My father and I had the same argument over twenty years ago but we didn’t have Google to turn to so I had to show him the package…

  2. Duck tape was the original name. The name was supposed to reflect the water resistance of the tape: “Like water off a duck’s back.” It was not designed for use on ductwork, although it works fine for doing so in many cases along with the millions of other things it’s good for. “Duct” tape came later because “Duck” is still a registered trademark.

    1.  It’s actually not generally fine for work on heating and air conditioning ducts (which are the most common type of ducts).  The adhesive doesn’t do well with temperature changes and will come unstuck over time.  Using it for HVAC work is generally a violation of the relevant building codes.  You can use it for related things like wrapping it around insulation which goes around ducts, but it really shouldn’t be applied to metal ducts because it isn’t going to hold.

      1. What he said. The glue on Duck tape softens under heat, and eventually dries out and turns to dust. 

        REAL Duct tape is more often a metal foil and has a tenacious adhesive that once stuck on to a metal duct will never come off, and maintains its properties through a broad range of temperatures. And its friggin expensive too.

  3. Nicely done, Spawn of Mark!

    Mark, let us know how it holds up after use. I fear that it may degrade into a gluey mess after spending too much time in a warm, moving pocket.

    1. I had a duct tape wallet (plain old gray) that held together for a surprisingly long time.  Like, years.

  4. If the duct carried hot air, I would think that said tape would actually perform pretty badly… wouldn’t the glue melt?

    Also, I prefer the title to contain the regex: “duc(t|k)”.  Thank you.

  5. Try making one out of clear packing tape for a really neat look (and less stickiness as it wears and tears).

  6. American Expedition makes a Mallard Duck tape measure perfect for doing ducts with duct tape. (head explodes) 

  7. Etymology notwithstanding, my daughter’s nuts about crafting flowers and other stuff out of the patterned stuff, but my son warns that duct/k tape wallets tend to fail rather nastily after a while, smearing everything inside and outside with butt-warmed tape adhesive.

    1. Yes and the newer patterned tapes due so far more quickly than the traditional grey. I think they only kind I’ve used that gets messier quicker is the green military issue stuff my dad used to bring home from work. It doesn’t (or didn’t) have the waterproof plastic backing, just ‘water resistant’ fabric one. It was more like shitty gaff tape than duck tape. Didn’t pull of clean, became a sticky mess in days, and failed in a light drizzle.

  8. My 9 year old daughter made me a wallet out of duct/k tape, too! I found that youtube video about six months ago because she was bugging me abouthow to make one.  What is up with that age group?

    1. I recall that age as one where selecting gifts for adults was a daunting task leading to many adorable charming choices. 

      Wallets are among the many notionally adult gifts that kids come up with, and making the gift as demonstrative of the sentiment behind it.

      I provided ashtrays to my smoking parent of yesteryear, really crappy but lovingly made ashtrays.

  9. Interesting. I wonder what one made of that red vapour barrier “tuck” tape would look like…may have to see for myself!

  10. Science to the rescue – I did the experiment!

    Duc[kt] tape is absolutely AWFUL for ductwork – even the Nashua stuff the Scadians use on weapons doesn’t hold up.  It fails faster on AC ducts in humid environments but it doesn’t really last on any sort of ductwork, in my tests.  After it fails it often leaves nasty goop behind that has to be scraped off with a knife & WD-40.

    Use solid aluminum tape instead, and think seriously about using a sheet metal screw on the bitter end.  That’s the only way to be sure, I found.

    1. Gaffers tape is superior to Duck(duct) tape in every way. Sticks like hell, and if removed within a reasonable amount of time leaves no glue behind. 

  11. Du[**] tape wallets are pretty old-school, and uncomfortable to boot.  I fell in love with the All-ette  sailcloth wallets. They’re very strong, incredibly thin, and come in a zillion colors

  12. Gaffers tape is different and superior in oh so many ways. No camo but lots o cool colors like chromakey green. It’s real cloth with magic goop that sticks really tight but doesn’t stay stuck on the things you be stickin’ it to should you ever need to unstick it. More expensive, but for the true adhesive fashion designer (or lighting tech) it’s 2di4.

  13. from my personal archive:
    Grand Royal issue 2 (1995) p.113
    proving once again that the Beastie Boys are ten years ahead of everyone.
    (best I could do with my laptop’s cam)

  14. Pffft, my little hipster niece (12) wanted to make me a duck tape wallet last summer, before the media was all over it.

    It’s a very fun age, 9 or 12.  May they never become jaded!

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