Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to - Make Batman's utility belt out of yellow duct tape

It's no secret that I love Batman. So when someone says to me, "I bet you could make a utility belt out of yellow duct tape," well, hell yes I can. I doubt I'm the first person out there to have done this, but hopefully with Halloween just a few days away I might be able to help some of you last minute costume makers out there.

What you'll need:
  • Two rolls of Duck Tape brand yellow duct tape (I just barely used two, so if you're careful you can probably get away with one; though I wouldn't recommend trying. Buying two gives some wiggle room.)
  • Adhesive velcro (try to find one that says its adhesive is very strong)
  • A pair of scissors

When all was said and done it took me around three hours to complete.

Step One: Measure your middle area. I measured my stomach, rather than my waist, because I knew I'd probably be wearing it a little higher. Lay out two lines of duct tape a little longer than what you measured (for wiggle room). Carefully move them so they're a slightly overlaid. Put two more layers of tape over the first layer, so that you've covered all the sticky. If there are sticky bits left out because of slight misalignment just fold them over.

Step Two: Set your base strip to the side and use the same technique to make smaller squares of duct tape to the size you want your containers. You'll need two pieces the same size for the front and back, two thinner pieces for the sides and two smaller pieces for the bottom and top.

Trim your containers/cut them down to size. I made two large containers and four small containers. The large ones are 4 inches wide; the smaller ones are 2.5 inches wide. All of them are about an inch deep and 5 inches long. Be sure to keep all your extra tape pieces! You never know what will come in handy, and you may have enough scrap tape for your sides, top, bottom, and/or latch without having to make more tape squares to cut up.

 Step Three: Carefully tape all your container pieces together. You'll want to try and tape them while holding the pieces at the correct angles so that they keep their container form. Don't forget to tape a small piece to the lid for the velcro closing!

Step Four: Fold your base long piece of tape in half so you know where the middle is. Then unfold it and arrange all the containers in the order and spacing you want them on the belt.

Step Five: Carefully place the velcro on the belt. I found it easiest to remove the backing of the adhesive, hold the velcro over the container in the spot that I wanted it to go and then pull the container from under my hand so that I could just drop the velcro in the right spot. When you're done with that be sure to put velcro on the little pieces of tape on the lids of all your containers, so they can really shut. I decided to leave room in the front of the belt for a bat symbol if I wanted to add one later, but for now I left it open and blank.

Step Six: Put the belt around your waist and keep your fingers on the edges of where the ends overlap. That's where you'll put the final pieces of velcro. I ended up with mine a little big, so I added an extra cut of velcro to the side of where I originally laid it. This actually worked out much better, as it gave the velcro more to hold onto and fit better.

Step Seven: Impress all your friends with this new awesomeness! Then buy yourself another roll of duct tape, and go for the mask! ;)

Since all the containers are stuck on with velcro, they can easily be replaced if one gets smashed or damaged. They can also be replaced with a Phaser, should you be on an away team.*

*Not recommended for people wearing red.