LaFayette teens learn art of duct tape at DIY Teens event

LaFayette teens learn art of duct tape at DIY Teens event

January 27th, 2013 by Tim Omarzu in Local Regional News

Krista Allen shows people how to make a wallet from duct tape Saturday at the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

A rose is a rose is a rose - even if it's made of duct tape.

Krista Allen, 16, of LaFayette, Ga., on Saturday shared her expertise at making flowers and other duct-tape creations at the inaugural DIY Teens program at the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library.

"I make bracelets, flower pins, wallets, purses," said Allen, who sells her creations -- primarily to other students at LaFayette High School. A rose runs $3, wallets and bracelets are $5 and purses cost $10.

Allen's cottage industry got its start about a year ago, when youth education librarian Chelsea Kovalevskiy taught teens how to make black duct-tape roses at a party to mark anti-Valentine's Day, a humorous holiday for people not involved in romantic relationships. It's also known as Singles Appreciation Day.

"I've discovered that teens really, really like to make things," Kovalevskiy said.

That inspired her to launch DIY -- short for do it yourself -- Teens. It will be a monthly program at the library.

Kovalevskiy chose DIY Teens because "it sounded Home Depot-ish -- something the guys wouldn't be adverse to coming to."

"We don't want to call it [crafting], because it sounds 'not cool,'" she said.

Allen promotes her duct-tape wares on a Facebook page and through business cards.

Duct tape comes in a wide range of colors and designs these days. Allen has a stockpile of products but also is willing to custom-make items.

The profit margin isn't huge, since a 10-yard roll of duct tape required to make a $5 wallet costs $3.37. But Allen said, "It adds up quicker than you would think."

"It's just a fun hobby, and I get to make money off of it," she said.

The process of making her wares "can be very therapeutic," she said.

Library branch manager Tim York said the DIY Teens program gives kids something to do in LaFayette.

"We're trying to expand the experiences and the skills for the teens," York said. "I had a teen come by the library [Friday]. He was excited about it. He was looking forward to coming."

Next month's DIY Teens program will teach cupcake decorating, Kovalevskiy said.