Thursday, March 31, 2011

Man Cave - Duct Tape Apron

It is time to head back to the Man Cave!!

There are two things every man needs when it comes to grilling. First, his own BBQ sauce. Second a Duct Tape Apron.  Since Mr. Awesome won't give up his BBQ sauce recipe, we are going to make a Duct Tape Apron!

Here is what you need:
Duct Tape
Exacto Blade
Tape Measure

A couple things. First; Duct Tape, if you had not noticed, comes in all kinds of colors now.  Not just standard grey. From the colors above, camo, psychedelic,tiger or cow print, to well, really almost any color you want.  Gather any color or combo of colors for this project.  (if you want the standard grey, cool, nothing wrong with a little old school). You are going to need at least 3 rolls of duct tape. For our project we needed another roll of Black; we were just short.  There was a little Green and White left over.

Second you will need to get some (loose) measurements. For this project you will make a rectangle sheet of duct tape.  From about mid way of Mr. Awesome's chest to just above his knees was around 30 inches. From one side of his hips to the other side was about 23 inches.  So to give us some room to play we went with the dimensions of 32 x 27.  Also we also measured from Mr. Awesome's knees up to where he wanted the ties for the apron. (Just above his belt line).  This was about 19 inches.

Now it is time to make duct tape fabric. If you have not done this, it is really easy, however; because of the size of this project it is going to take a while to do. So find a good movie or two. (If you have made fabric before you can skip to the end.)

Here we go. (we are working on a glass coffee table, just so you know when you look at the pictures.)

Start with one strip of duct tape, and cut it to the size of the width.  We are working with 27 inches.

Now flip over the duct tape so the sticky side is up.

Now cut another piece of duct tape the same length. With the sticky side down, overlap the first strip about half way up. 

In the picture above the strip at the bottom is the black tape (sticky side up). The strip added to the top, is white,(sticky side down). The white tape overlaps the black tape about half way.

Now cut another strip of duct tape, the same length. (this time we went with green, you will see why in a second) Butt the green strip up against the white strip, covering the other half of the black (sticky side up) tape.

Now flip the duct tape over.  You should have one strip (black) of tape with two overlapped sticky side up pieces of tape. (white and green duct tape)

The tape above the black tape is the white duct tape, fold this tape over and stick it to the black tape.

This is now a finished end. Now there will only be one sticky side up piece of tape. Cut another piece of duct tape. (the same length) At the bottom where the sticky side is up, butt the new tape up against the black tape, and again overlap the two pieces of tape.

Flip the sheet over.  There is a finished edge (white top of the picture) and and a sticky side up. (bottom of the picture)

Cut a piece of duct tape (this time green) and add it, overlapping the sticky side up piece of tape. Keep flipping it over adding a new strip of duct tape overlapping the last piece, until you have one big sheet of duct tape that is around 27 inches wide and 19 inches high. (again these are our measurements, you may find you need yours a little longer or a little shorter.)

Now let's build the two ties for the back and the band that will go around your neck.

Just like at the start cut a piece of duct tape 27 inches long.

Flip it over so the sticky side is up. Then cut another piece the same lenght and overlap it about half way up the first strip.

Take the tape that is sticky side up and fold it over top of the other piece of tape.

Flip the tape over and do the same thing, take the tape that is sticky side up and fold it over the top of the other piece of tape.  You will end up with a thin (about half the size of a normal strip) piece of duct tape.  You need to make three of these strips.

 In the picture below you will see we have two done.

When the ties and the neck parts are all set, square off the ends.

Now add the two ties. Flip the duct tape sheet so the sticky side is up, lay one of the ties on the left side and one on the right.  Place the ties in at least 3 inches, this way when the ties are pulled on they won't come out of the apron.

On the picture below you just see the tips of the ties on both the left and the right side. (bottom of the duct tape fabric) 

Now cut a piece of duct tape (again the same length) and put it over the top of both the ties; again overlapping the duct tape that is facing sticky side up.  The picture below you can see the outline of one of the ties.  The duct tape covers it completely.

Now, you guessed it, flip the whole sheet over so the sticky side is up.

Cut another strip of duct tape and place it over the top of everything, overlapping the duct tape that is sticky side up.

Now once again flip the sheet over.  Before you put the next strip of tape on, take a straight edge and cut all the extra tape off the sides. Just to clean it up a bit.

This will also give you a chance to measure and make sure you still have your width right.

 right side(top picture) left side (bottom picture) 

Continue making the sheet; with sticky side up cut a new strip of tape and overlap the last piece, flip and repeat,(wax on.. wax off.. Daniel-son) until you reach your desired length.  We had to do about 12 more inches. 

Once we reached about 12 inches, it was time to seal it up. Just like the first piece of tape at the bottom we used a strip of white tape for the top.  Cut the last strip (white) to length, overlap it on top of the sticky side up tape, turn the sheet over and fold the tape over to make a smooth edge.

Bottom edge
Top edge

 This is what it should look like.

Next trim up the edges.

At this point you have a big rectangle sheet of duct tape with two ties on either side.  Before we cut it into an apron, we want to add some details to it.  Mr. Awesome decided to add some flames.

Adding details is not hard. Even if you are not an artist you can do it.  Just find a cool design or picture you want and print it out. On a cutting surface ( not Mrs. Awesome's glass coffee table) lay down strips of duct tape and then your picture over the top. With an exacto blade, trace over the top of your picture. Just make sure you press hard enough to cut the tape.

Mr. Awesome did his flames free hand, but the idea is the same.

Cut strips of duct tape and stick them to your cutting surface. You can see in the picture he overlapped the two pieces of green tape. 

Then cut out your design.

When you have traced out your design on the duct tape carefully peel it back.

Now add the decal to the Apron.

Mr. Awesome thought it needed a little more added to it. (Mrs. Awesome thought it looked good the way it is.)

Place two strips of duct tape over what what left from the first cut out. If you look closely you can see the outline of the flame cut out.

Then following the first pattern cutting the inside flame smaller.

Again if you look close you can see the outline of the fist cut, under the white tape.

Add the decals to the apron

Time to finish the apron up.

At the top of the sheet measure the length and find the half way point. (27 inches divided by 2 = 13.5 inches)

We decided that the top of this apron would be 14 inches across. However again this will depend of the size of the person the apron is for.

Measure 7 inches to the left.
Cut a small mark with scissors or the exacto blade.

Measure 7 inches to the right.
Cut another small mark.

Next along the side, from the top of the apron measure down about 10 inches.

Mark the spot.  With a ruler, line up the two marks and cut.

Do the same thing on the left side.  Measure down about 10 inches and cut.

Flip the apron over.
Now add the neck piece.

Take one end (of the last) tie strip you made and place it on one end near the top. Again like the side ties go in about 3 inches.

Loosely tape it down so it can be adjusted.

Loop it over to the other side. (make sure it is not twisted)

Again tape it down.

Now try the apron on and adjust the neck straps as needed.

Once you have the neck strap perfect take the apron off and lay it down.  Cut strips of duct tape to put over the neck strap to secure it into place.

Almost done!

The top and the bottom of the apron have white tape as trim.  Now it is time to add that same white trim to the rest of the apron.
Measure a side without trim, and cut a piece of tape to that length.

Add the tape to the section your measured, again overlapping the edge.

Flip the apron over, fold the tape over and seal.

Do this for the rest of the apron.

That there you have it!!  A Duct Tape Apron!!

Now go fire up that grill!!