Duct Tape Dummy Tutorial
A 'duct tape dummy' provides a simple way to properly tailor a costume without needing to show up in person for a fitting.
- several rolls of quality duct tape
- a painter's jumpsuit
- a few grocery bags
- scissors (bandage scissors preferred)
- a Sharpie marker
- a friend or two
If you are going to wear any thicker clothing/body modification garments (such as a cooling vest) under the costume, please also wear these items under the painter's jumpsuit for an accurate fit of the final bodysuit.
Use smaller lengths of tape, trying not to distort the natural body shape. Use at least two layers - three is preferred. It can help to use a couple different colours (one for each layer) so you know where you've missed.
Start applying duct tape on the underarms and groin and work your way out along the torso from there. This will insure the most accurate dummy.
The groin and under arms need to fit tightly or the resulting bodysuit will have decreased range of movement.
Apply tape all the way to the base of the thumb and halfway up the hand. This enables me to know exactly where the wrist should end.
The painter jumpsuit is likely too short, so you will need to add a barrier (grocery bags/plastic wrap/paper towel) around the wrist. Do NOT tape directly to the skin.
Take a whole grocery bag and cover the entire foot in it. Then tape the ankle. Tape down the the very bottom of the heel at the back and a bit past the ankle on the top-side of the foot. You can tape the entire foot if you wish, but this is sufficient.
When the entire body is taped up, draw marks on it using the sharpie; down the front and down the top of the arm and down the sides of the legs.
Carefully cut from the neck to the wrist on each arm. Then cut from the ankle to the lower thigh on each leg.
If you carefully cut down the front (or don't tape it up to begin with) you can uncover the original zipper of the painter's jumpsuit. This is a nice way to get out of the dummy because it can just be zipped up and taped over afterwards.
With the wearer having escaped, now you need to tape/zip up the dummy so it can be stuffed.
Carefully match up all of the sharpie markings as you tape up the arms and legs. Please make sure to tape it up fully and not leave any gaps (see below). The better job you do here, the more accurate the final bodysuit will be.
When this is complete, you are finished! Fold it up, put it in a box, and mail it to us and we will do the rest :)