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Interview: Marisa Pawelko, Author of Crazy-Cool Duct Tape Projects

There are so many hot trends in crafting right now that it’s hard to know where to start! Here at FaveCrafts, we’ve decided to look into a versatile, very useful craft material that you can use in practically any situation; duct tape. We’re very lucky, because we got a copy of Crazy-Cool Duct Tape Projects, one of the best guides for crafters looking to work with the material. It’s also a great look into the mind of the creative and business savvy designer herself, Marisa Pawelko.

The book‘s scheduled to be released on December 1st, but we are so pleased to have gotten the chance to learn more about it before it’s release from Marisa herself. She’s the go-to crafter for all things duct tape, as well as for some great tips for those hoping to make a career out of their crafting Find out all the details in our exclusive interview:

What made you decide to start crafting with duct tape?

I was sitting on a bench eating an ice cream cone on a beautiful summer day and I witnessed a lively exchange between some tweens and a young man whom they obviously looked up to. He must have been some sort of youth group leader. They inquired about what he was wearing on his wrist – a basic folded strip of purple duct tape, to which he exclaimed “It’s duct tape! All the cool kids are doing it!” I was instantly very intrigued and decided to get some rolls and before I knew it, I’d become totally hooked!

Your book shows a lot of techniques and details. How do you come up with such impressive project designs?

When I was designing the book, the publisher asked me to come up with 24 original project ideas. I brainstormed on projects that would be functional, fashionable and easy to create! School, home decor and fashion are all areas where people like to express their individuality, so I chaptered the book according to those topics and initiated the most intense month long duct tape craft binge imaginable!

What makes duct tape different from other materials?

I love crafting with duct tape because it is quick, easy, forgiving, inexpensive, non-messy and comes in a diverse array of colors and patterns. It works really well with all of my other favorite tools and materials (which are also listed in the book). I like to say that duct tape crafting is just like sewing except without all that pesky needle and thread! And if you happen to make a mistake you can easily take it apart or just cover it up with more duct tape!

What kind of impact do you think the changing economy might have on the popularity of duct tape crafting?

Duct tape crafting is a very affordable craft obsession. You don’t need a lot of expensive tools or materials to do it and it makes for a really fun group activity! Crafters love the eco-friendly and thrifty idea of covering existing items, but I believe the duct tape frenzy will continue to be wildly popular with crafters regardless of the state economy.

Do you see any upcoming trends in duct tape crafts? Are there any types of projects (clothing, decor) that are popular already?

I’ve seen lots of people creating two dimensional artwork with their favorite media characters. Duct tape clothing is always fun for special events and a lot of crafters are beginning to incorporate duct tape into their gifts and seasonal decor as well! Of course the duct tape wallet and rose are classic perennial kids favorites that never go out of style!

Your success has been amazing! Do you have any tips or advice for crafters looking to start their own businesses or pitch a creative new idea?

Thank you! I’ve been very fortunate to work with such amazing and supportive brands! My advice would be to determine what it is that you truly love to do and find a way to offer something in that area that is unique. You have to truly love it in order to succeed, because being an entrepreneur requires a lot of energy, dedication and determination. The most important things are to: believe in yourself, work hard and never give up! It also helps to hold yourself to a really high standard and go the extra mile when it comes to making presentations.

Do you have a particular project in this book that you like? (We personally love the Suspenders and the Water Bottle Chandelier)

You are great at asking the tough questions! I love those girly looks too, but I’m also a big fan of the retro-rebellious look of the rearview mirror dice, collar & cuffs and the fingerless gloves. What’s great is that Crazy-Cool Duct Tape Crafts contains 24 projects (plus handy tips and tricks) that can easily be adapted to suit everyone’s individual sense of style! It’s definitely got something for everyone!

Find out more about Marisa on her blog, Modern Surrealist and take a look at some of the items in her shop.

Here are some of Marisa’s projects that she would like to share with you: