Duct Tape Gladiator

The duct tape costume happened at a time when my stepson was trying to make wallets, roses, etc from duct tape. He even had business cards printed up advertising his duct tape creations for sale. It was a phase that petered out after awhile but during the time it was going on we were sitting out on the deck (I guess we live in the north because our deck is on the back of the house. :D) brainstorming Halloween costume ideas. I went into the kitchen and came back with saran wrap and started wrapping his head with saran wrap and holding it in place with duct tape.  
FInal costume

The helmet began taking shape rather quickly – especially since I could just use my husband’s head as a form. Voila!- costume idea is working! So then a little research to kinda figure out what we are up against. What pieces do we need to make this an actual costume (not something you have to throw on over clothes) that people recognize as a gladiator.

The whole idea eventually took on a life of it’s own (as so often happens with my costumes) as we figured out that the costume had to have a breastplate, shin guards, and some sort of skirt. The breastplate was saran wrap on bare chest, a couple of pieces of foam cut out like pectoral muscles and taped on. the shin guards are duct tape taped to the sticky side of duct tape with strips that wrap around leg and tape to the other side.

 shin guards

The skirt was the real bear. It’s duct tape stuck to fabric. It had to have a zipper or some sort of closure. I chose zipper. Ugh. Don’t ever sew on duct tape. After 2 or 3 stitches the sticky stuff gets on the needle. I think for future reference if I make any clothing out of duct tape I will use ONLY duct tape for construction – no sewing.

window treatments on shoulders

Of course the buttons on the shoulders are curtain hold-backs. I made the cape and underskirt from some cheap crushed velvet-looking fabric. There is ribbon holding the cape on to the buttons. The skirt is a simple casing waistline with a cord running through it. The shield is made from cardboard and half a foam ball all covered with duct tape. The sword is cardboard with two different styrofoam balls (leftover from the inevitable middle school solar system science project) covered with duct tape.



The final product shows decorative drawings on the sword, breastplate and shield. What can I say? The project kinda consumes you and even though I wanted to make a costume that LOOKED like it was made from duct tape I got a bit carried away. Before it was finished I even pulled the brush head off a plastic broom, broke it in half, and duct taped it to the top of the helmet so it looked more like a Roman soldier. At the party we attended no one could believe it was made of duct tape.


6 thoughts on “Duct Tape Gladiator

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