"Tape It & Make It: 101 Duct Tape Activities "
By Richela Fabian Morgan; Barrons, 128 pages
There was a time when duct tape was found only in hardware stores and was easily distinguished from the other adhesive tapes by its gray surface. Duct tape represented practicality, durability, reliability; truly the workhorse of many household repairs. A toolbox without duct tape was like a desk drawer without paper clips – weird and incomplete.
But the duct tape landscape has undergone a huge transformation. I didn't pay much attention to it at first. Sure, I saw the neon colors, the stripes and polka dots, and I suppose I noticed that duct tape had moved from the back of the store – where hardware is often located — to more prominent shopping real estate such as the office supplies and/or craft aisles. It wasn't until I happened to see three new titles arrive at the library — all of them about crafting with duct tape — that I realized this fad just might "stick" around for a while. It was time, I decided, to pay closer attention to this duct tape frenzy.
In "Tape It & Make It," Richela Fabian Morgan offers up a bevy of unique — sometimes practical, sometimes odd — projects for all levels of duct tape enthusiasts. Chapter headings include, but are not limited to, Housewares (check out the beverage coaster); Bags, Holders, and Wallets (make a cell phone case); Toys for Kids (create a jump rope); and Miscellaneous Projects (reupholster a bar stool). Most of the activities have either practical or whimsical applications. Even I, a non-crafter with a somewhat skeptical regard for the revamped duct tape scene, find most of the ideas fun and useful.
I have to admit that a few of the projects caused me to raise an eyebrow. A couple of the toys — a blue boy doll and a pink girl doll — look more creepy than cute, in my opinion. I'm not sure I would ever wear a duct tape bucket hat, or duct tape fingerless gloves because yes, it's true, I prefer cotton to adhesive tape for my attire. And I'm sorry, but hemming a pant leg with duct tape, regardless of the tape's cool color, makes me cringe.
Despite my hesitation over a handful of activities, I think this week's book is quirky and fun, with plenty of projects designed to make duct tape fans very happy. And if you decide to apply duct tape to the hem of your jeans, that's OK. I promise I just won't look.
Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at readingforfun@fvrlorg..