How to make a duct tape dummy
Here at Mixedcandy we need you to create a duct tape dummy if you are ordering a full costume from us.
Why a duct tape dummy or DTD?
The answer is simple. It is the best way to know your exact body size by being able to physically having it here. Because our workshop is not open to the public, the best way to see what your body looks like is via a DTD. Some ask us why not just measurements. The problem with that is, a lot of people take the wrong measurements or do not know how to measure exactly. With the DTD we take the guesswork out of it and know exactly what your body shape will look like. DTD are also a huge plus when creating a padded body as we have your stuffed body shape (as we fill the dummies here at home when they arrive) and we can easily determine where the padding will fit best. Be sure to have at least one or 2 others helping you with this process. The more people helping, the faster the process will go.
Gather your supplies. We suggest you buy enough tape to cover your body a few times (we got about 6 rolls of duct tape). We like dummies that are made thick and the tape has been applied on in a "criss-cross" pattern to avoid the dummy tearing up when we stuff it. The better the dummy, the better the body will come out (fit and look wise). So buy enough tape.
Here we have the materials we used to make the duct tape dummy in this tutorial. We used:
- A long sleeve, long pants PJ from walmart
- Gloves just in case we wanted to tape the hands (we did not, as we figured we did not need it).
- 6 rolls of duct tape
- 2 pairs of scissors (we used scissors we knew would cut through the tape without a problem). If you do not want to use scissors with a point we suggest scissors with rounded edges to avoid cuts or pokes.
- A roll of paper towels. Used in areas where we needed to lengthen the arms so we could tape down to the wrists.
- A pair of socks (not pictured here)
Put on the PJ's that you bought and socks that you will have to sacrifice for this session. As seen in the pictures the model has tucked in the upper part of the PJ's into his pants (please do so).
Gather at least one friend, in this case we had 2 helpers to help tape. We took about one hour to finish this process, so give yourself some time. Cut the tape into strips and start to layer it on. If you are not comfortable with your helper in certain areas then do those yourself. As seen in the photo the actual model helped make the groin area.
Continue to tape so you cover most of the model (model can keep helping as long as his arms are not taped). Do not tape over the head and hands as we do not need to get that area taped. The feet were taped on this model but they are not needed. You can stop taping up to your wrist and ankles.
We taped the lower half first then moved into the arms then torso. Because holding your arms up can get really tiresome, we gave the model some support (we used some old cardboard tubes we had laying around but anything can work such as brooms, pvc pipes, etc..).
Once you get to the arms you will see that you need extra material to reach the wrists. This can happen with certain materials, but there is an easy fix. We decided to add more material by wrapping paper towels to the lower part of the arm and then taping over them. That way the tape was not stuck to the models skin.
Keep taping until you are done. Be sure to "criss-cross" the tape so you can have a strong thick dummy. The stronger the dummy the better for us to work on it. Notice the arm placement, as this is key for a good dummy (same with the legs).
Mark the dummy with a sharpie where you plan to cut the model out of. We tend to do the front, and the sides. Be sure to create hash marks on the line that you will be using as a guide to cut the person out . And mark where you want the tail to go.
Cut the person out using the guide lines that you have created. Please be very careful, and be patient. The tape can be hard to cut and the scissors can get jammed depending how thick the tape is. So good strong or new scissors are a must.
Model should be free or most of him or her should be. We cut out the models arms, and part of his upper torso. We then handed the scissors to the model so he could cut out his legs. Being that the model pretty much comes out only wearing his/her underwear as the PJ's stay stuck to the dummy, be in a room you can give the model some privacy. After the model is out let the dummy air out before packing it up and sending it.
The final step. Once the model is free from the dummy, and the dummy has aired out you are ready to do a few more things. Write your full name, and email on your dummy. If you would like the dummy returned be sure to write on the dummy "Please Return" and write your home address on it. Once you are done with that, roll up the dummy and send it over in a box or large envelope.
Send dummies to:
4327 S. Hwy.27 #181
Clermont, FL 34711
Dummies do not need to be padded and can be compressed down. The dummy does not need to be pieced back as we will do that here. As long as you follow these few simple steps you should have a very durable DTD.
A few suggestions:
- Take a bathroom break before you start to build a DTD
- Be in a room you can have the AC or Fan on high (you will get very hot)
- Try to bend your knees slightly so you can stay in the dummy without fainting (having your legs completely straight can be very painful if you plan on being in the same position for an hour or more)
- Be clean! If you have not showered or used deodorant please do so. A DTD will retain any funky smells you might have at the time (if it does come out stinky please spray fabreeze in it after you are out of the dummy)
- Do not rush through the process. The better you make the dummy the easier for us to create a better fitting body
If you have any questions on any of the steps or are unsure on how to do some of them be sure to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org