STARK Raving Mad
I realize there are probably dozens of Duct Tape Dummy (DTD) tutorials out on the web and even some in this forum, but this one is specifically for making a 3-layer DTD Mummy (or Duct Tape Mummy).
BACKGROUND: I have made several Duct Tape Dummies. In doing so, I have made, and learned from, several mistakes. Here is a detailed, step-by-step instruction that will help you make your own DTD without having to make the same mistakes I did. For example, standard DTD instructions say to apply at least 3 layers of tape. My first few times, I started with the horizontal layer (round & round), then added a vertical layer (up & down), then a final horizontal layer. However, I noticed that the vertical layers tend to be smoother than horizontal layers. So now I start and finish with vertical layers, and the result is a smoother finished product. Also, I originally had the model tearing off the pieces of tape for me, but later started tearing my own tape, since every piece is a different length and I got tired of saying "ok, about 2 inches longer than that last piece", etc. However, I still make the model hold the roll for me while I apply the pieces.
1) THE MODEL: Find a model that is tall & thin and willing to commit themselves to the entire, hours-long taping process. Since the process requires applying tape to the ENTIRE body AND pressing on it to make it stick well, it is probably best to pick someone you are VERY familiar with (or would like to be). However, if necessary, I found that the end of a tightly rolled up wash cloth can be used to press the tape down and spare the wrapper some embarassment (apparently, it feels about the same to the model as using your fingers... oh well). Plan on spending 2 evenings together or a total of about 4 - 6 hours. For the purpose of this tutorial, I shall refer to the model as female.
2) SUPPLIES: For the wrapping sessions, you'll need:
:: A well-fitting, long-sleeved Pajama Top - This will become a permanent part of the DTD, so pick up something at GoodWill.
:: A pair of XXX-Large Pajama Pants (also from GoodWill) - Must be large enough for the model to comfortably stand up with both her legs in ONE PANT LEG. Cut off one pant leg (left or right) SQUARELY at about mid-thigh (5" - 6" below the crotch). Save the cut off piece. Cut off another 4" piece from the same side of the pants (that leg should be just about gone by now). Cut the 4" piece on each side of the seam to remove it (throw the seam away) and turn it into a strip of fabric 4" wide several feet long. Save this piece as well.
:: An old pair of long, white Sweat-Socks - Stretched out is best.
:: "Modesty" Clothes (biker shorts and a sports bra) - The modesty clothes are what your model will be left wearing after you cut away the pajamas & tape. Making them snug will make it easier to cut away the pajamas & tape and NOT the biker shorts and sports bra.
:: AT LEAST 4 rolls of 2" wide duct tape (depending on how many feet are on each roll). If you buy too much, big deal. It's duct tape. you'll use it. Better to have left-overs than have to tell your half-wrapped model to sit tight while you run to the store for more! Also, since I recommend taking 2 evenings to do this, if you use 3 rolls the first evening, you'll probably want to have 3 rolls for the next evening's session.
:: A pair of medical scissors (the kind paramedics use to cut off people's clothes). They have angled blades, a large handle, a folded tab at the point (to prevent cutting into the person's skin), and can cut through just about anything!
:: A ball point pen or Sharpie to draw the cut lines and mating marks (explained later).
:: A piece of poster board
:: A wire hanger or a 3' long scrap of stiff wire.
Later, you'll also need:
:: 1" x 8" x 12" long scrap of Lumber -or- plywood (any thickness)
:: A 1" Closet Pole, at least 6' long
:: A Styrofoam Wig Stand
:: A Staple Gun with 1/2" staples
:: A Drill Press (or Handheld Power Drill) with 1" & 1/8" Bits
:: A Jigsaw or Scrollsaw (Table or Handheld)
:: Some Needle-Nose Pliers
:: Some Wood Glue
:: Some 1" long screws (3, to be exact)
:: A 3" long screw
:: Lots of newspapers and plastic grocery bags
:: A Roll of Paper Towels
:: A Quart of Craft Glue
:: A Quart of Latex Paint
:: A 1-Gallon Paint Can or similar container
:: 4 Yards of Fabric (it's your mummy - you decide what kind of fabric looks right)
3) WRAPPING SESSION ONE: Have your model wear the pajama top over her sports bra. Since we will not be wrapping the bottom half until later, she can wear whatever pants or shorts she wants. Slide the white socks over each hand and tuck the pajama top's long sleeves into them.
NOTE: Once, I tried covering the model in just toilet paper and taping over that instead of an outer layer of clothing. It worked ok, but was a pain to keep the TP in place. Several times, the TP shifted and I applied tape directly to the model's skin.
UPPER HALF, FIRST LAYER: Have your model sit VERY UPRIGHT (as in "great posture") on a stool with her arms in her lap (for now). To make it easier to wrap, pinch and fold the shirt to take out any slack. Use small pieces of tape to hold it in place. Turn the shirt collar up. Wrap the 4" wide strip of former pajama pant leg around the neck (over the collar) and tape it in place (you can shorten it so it only wraps around one time, but leave a couple of inches for overlapping). Apply one horizontal piece of tape around the model's waist. This will be the bottom limit of the Upper Half's tape. Apply your first official piece of DTD tape along the model's spine, from tailbone to neck. DO NOT hold the tape at each end and apply, as this can introduce inconsistancies between the tape and the outer layer of clothing. Instead, line up the tape and apply it at one end, then run your hand along the tape to the other end, applying it as you go. This "irons out" any wrinkles in the clothing and produces more tape-to-clothing contact. Then, once "tacked", go over it again more firmly to "really stick it to it". Apply the second piece of tape next to the first, roughly overlapping by half, and repeat the "tack" then "stick " process. Repeat this process all the way around the torso. Due to the irregular shape of the human form, some "vertical" pieces will tend to become sorta horizontal. This is expected. Just follow the natural lines & curves and it will be fine. Once you reach the sides, the model will need to bring her arms up in the traditional crossed position to give her shoulders the appropriate shape. When you reach the front, only move her arms out of the way enough to allow you to apply the tape, then return them to the posed position. Finish this layer with the arms and hands. Remember, this layer goes up & down, not round & round. Use long pieces of tape from the shoulder to the elbow and from the elbow to the hand. Apply a piece across the ends of the "fingers" before taping the hands to prevent gaps.
SECOND LAYER: Starting at the waist, apply long PIECES of tape horizontally. I say "pieces" because actually wrapping continuously all the way around creates a very wrinkles surface. I recommend doing the back first, making each piece long enough to reach around almost to the front. As before, overlap each piece by half. Once you finish the back, continue in front. Overlap the ends of the back pieces by an inch or two. When you get to the arms, try to stagger where you start and end your pieces so you don't end up with a visible ridge from the overlapping ends. Oh, and just go nuts at the elbows. You'll see what I mean.
THIRD LAYER: Follow the same pattern you did for the first vertical layer. Remember, this is the final layer, so take extra care to keep your surface as smooth as possible. I know that by now you and your model are both getting tired, but now is not the time to rush. Remember, after this, the hard part's over (at least for this session...).
CUT LINES & MATING MARKS: Using the pen or Sharpie, carefully draw the cut lines. Start with one down the center of the back (along the spine), from the top edge of the 4" collar to the bottom of the shirt tail (yes, I know, there is no tape there). Next, draw one horizontally from mid shoulder-blade to mid shoulder-blade. You should now have a "cross". Extend the horizontal line to each side (keep it horizontal) all the way around to the side of the upper arm (you know, where guys like to punch each other). Finally, draw one along the outer-most side of each arm, from the knuckles, across the back of the hand, back of the wrist, and up to the bend of the arm (not the point of the elbow). Follow the curve of the elbow up to the side of the upper arm and connect with the horizontal line you drew before. Next, draw your mating marks. Every 2" along the cut line, make a short (1/2" long) cross mark. Be sure each mark is centered on the cut line. These will allow you to correctly rejoin the two sides later by lining them back up.
REMOVAL: Using the medical shears, CAREFULLY cut along the cut lines ONLY (be sure every mating mark is equally visible on each side of the cut before continuing). Remember, you are cutting through the outer layer of clothing (and 3 layers or duct tape) only - do NOT cut the models inner layer of clothing (unless that was your intention all along). Now, if your model hasn't frantically done so already, carefully remove the DTD, starting with the arms. Gently lay it aside, on it's back, with the arms crossed (please don't let the model throw it across the room...). Yes, I know it's all wet inside. What did you expect?
4) WRAPPING SESSION TWO: Have your model wear both the sports bra and biker shorts this time. Next, convince her to put the DTD upper half back on. No, seriously. Ok, then find another model with the exact same body. Ok, that was easier. Close up the top half by bringing the cut edges together, aligning the mating marks (aren't you glad you made them?), and taping it all together with several 4" - 6" long pieces of duct tape. This is temporary - these pieces will be removed later. Now grab the pants (the ones you have been hiding from her until now). Have your model put both her legs into the one intact pant leg. Yes, you'll have to help her with that whole balance thing when she starts to wobble and fall over. Assure her that she does NOT look rediculous and promise you'll make this all up to her... later. Find the fly and tape it closed. Now, turn the pants so that the cut-off leg is behind her (so she can't see what you're doing). Pinch together the extra material of the pajamas and cut it off, leaving a little extra fabric to allow you to tape it closed. Tape it closed. Tuck the shirt-tail into the pants (it's ok if the pants cover some of the tape). Finally, find the bottom half of the removed pant leg (the first piece you cut off) and use it to cover her feet. I know, I know, more wobbling and balancing stuff. Deal with it. By the way, this would probably be a good time to tell her that she'll be standing for the duration of this session. I mean, what is she going to do - run away screaming into the night? Seriously? The good news is that the lower half doesn't take QUITE as long as the upper half...
Oh, I almost forgot... By this time, she needs to be standing in the middle of a piece of posterboard. Later, we'll trace the outline of her taped feet onto it to make a template for cutting out the wood base.
NOTE: I guess if you're feeling sorry for her having to stand AND hold her arms in that awkward pose for hours and hours, you could at least support her arms with some tape or some sort of a sling.
Ok, so now that she is properly dressed for wrapification, let's continue. Using the same techniques as with the upper half, apply vertical, horzontal, and vertical layers to the lower half. Be sure to generously overlap the upper half. Also, add a couple of extra layers around the ankles and shins, since they have the least amount of tape but support the entire prop. Don't worry about the bottoms of the feet. Just start with a horizontal piece that goes all the way around the feet (actually, make it several times around) along the posterboard and shaped to the top of the feet. Do NOT shape it to the bottoms of the feet. Leave it "square" to the posterboard. Later, after all 3 layers have been applied, add one final horizontal piece then carefully trace around her feet with a Sharpie. Remember, this is the template for cutting a piece of wood later to fit inside the tape, where her feet are now. If you aren't precise, the wood will either be too big and require trimming or will be too small and alter the shape of the mummy's feet. Also, don't try to draw where you believe the inside face of the tape is. You will compensate for the thickness of all those layers later.
So, got her all wrapped up? She looks good, huh? Like a giant silver movie award statue thingy! And you traced her feet, right? Good! Lets continue...