Duct Tape Dummy Tutorial

When making your own half-suit or full suit you’ll need a duct tape dummy so I can give your suit a nice comfortable fit. (for the legs, follow the instructions to step 4 and then skip to step 9)

To get started you’ll need:

  • between 3 to 6 rolls of duct tape, ( Note: Although the cost of duct tape seems to mount up, a well-made duct tape dummy is worth the time and money to ensure the final costume fits well.)
  • disposable overalls (or a pair of cheap pyjama trousers for just legs),
  • old/unwanted socks,
  • a sharpie
  • one or two helpers.
  • (If you’re doing a full dummy) two shoulder high broom handles or cardboard tubes to rest your arms on.

Making a DTD will take between 1 to 3 hours depending on how much help you have. to make the process easier and more comfortable it helps to work in a large, uncluttered space. Having something to rest your hands on that doesn’t restrict your helpers is also very useful to help you stay still and avoid fatigue.

  1. Stance. How do you stand? Stand with your legs a shoulder width apart, and (full DTD) your arms out to the side. Standing with your arms out can become tiring quickly, so use card tubes or broom handles to rest your arms on. (you can get card board tubes for free from carpet shops)
    how to stand
  2. Start around the ribs, not loosely, but not so tight you can’t breathe. Work your way down, around the waist and hips. Tip: don’t wrap with the roll as one piece, rip off lengths of tape to place them more accurately.
  3. Start on the groin area by going from the inside thigh up to the hip on either side of the leg. Work your way in until you’re wearing a pair of well fitted duct tape pants.wrap the thigh
  4. Work your way down the legs, over the heel.wrap the leg
  5. (Note: if you’re only doing legs, skip to step 9)  If you’re doing a full dummy go from the middle, work your way up and over the arms. You don’t need to go high up the neck.wrap the arms
  6. Go right up to the palm of the handwrap to the palm
  7. Go over and reinforce the tape to make sure there aren’t any uncovered areas or loose seams.
  8. Mark where your elbows and knees are. You can do this with the sharpie or with different coloured tape, whichever is easier.mark the joints
  9. With a sharpie mark where you intend to cut the model out and where the tail will go.  I recommend the front and sides. Mark all the cut out lines with horizontal lines every few inches so the seams can be matched up again properly.mark the seams frontmark the seams
  10. Carefully cut along the seams (Note: blood is not a good sign)cut along the seams
  11. Let the dummy air out.
  12. Re-assemble the dummy by lining up the scores, filling gradually as you re-attach the seams. (Tip: I add a strong hangar to the shoulders of the dummy so it can easily be hung.)