Saturday, December 7, 2013

Make a Duck Tape Holster - How To

If you live in the US, then you must have at least heard of Duck Tape.  Duck tape is a specific brand of duct tape manufactured by the Shurtech company.  Shurtech took a tool box staple and made it cool by adding new colors, patterns, and different tape formats.  I've used the Duck Tape sheets and rolls over the years and always wanted to try my hand a making a Duck Tape wallet.  Wallet turned into pocket holster one day last week so with the snow keeping me off the range this weekend, I thought I would try my hand at holster making. 

Just so you know, this was a one shot deal.  I have a tiny bit of holster making experience with kydex, but you can count the number of holsters I've made on one hand.  What I'm trying to say is this was ridiculously easy to do so if you have some spare time, have at it.  I'm fairly certain you'll end up with a holster when you are done.

My first decision was what kind of holster I wanted to make.  That was pretty easy.  The Taurus M380 revolver is smaller than a J frame or Model 85.  Holsters made for either of those will end up being large.  They work, but why not get the holster as small as possible.

First stop was the flat bed scanner to create the pattern for the holster.  

I love this digital camo Duck Tape pattern.  The minute I saw it, I bought a roll and a couple of sheets.  I wasn't really sure at the time how I would end up using the tape, but it seemed perfect for this holster project.  The pistol picture is what I got after scanning the pistol.

Using the scanned image (make sure it prints life size) of the pistol, I used a clear ruler and black Sharpie to create my holster template.  I started with the line where I wanted the holster mouth to end up on the pistol, then traced the primary outline of the pistol using a quarter inch of extra space to account for the width of the pistol.  In hindsight, a half inch would have been better but this worked.

After cutting out your pattern, it's back to the scanner to make a copy of your pattern.

Using a glue stick, I positioned both pattern halves on a sheet of thin poster board.  I'm sure you could use a plain sheet of paper as the inner most layer of your holster, but I had this poster board handy and it worked out well.  It ended up giving the holster just the right amount of "body" and keeps it from collapsing in your pocket when you draw your pistol.  

With the holster core complete, it was time to start laying on the Duck Tape.  I had some sheets of aqua blue on hand so I started the holster with a layer of blue, then digital camo.  The holster body displayed below was now 1 layer of poster board, 2 layers of aqua blue, and two layers of digital camo.   

With the shell complete, it was time to do a test fit and bend the holster to the shape of the pistol.  I used half width strips from the Duck Tape roll to join the holster edges.  This was the really tedious part when I was learning as I went.  Just take your time and don't try to be too perfect fitting flat tape to curved surfaces.  I added one more sheet of tape to the outside of the holster after joining the edges.  It added a bit more body and covered up most of the ugly edges.

I was really pleased with the way the holster turned out.  The pistol draws easily and the holster stays in my pocket.  I went with an open muzzle design, but made sure to allow for plenty of extra holster length.  I don't want the muzzle in direct contact with the bottom of my pocket.

The finished holster tips the scales at 1.015 ounces and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  It sits fine in the pocket, but I'll wear if for a few days and make sure it doesn't tip in my pocket with extended wear.  I have no idea how long it will last, but for now I think it looks great and ended up being exactly the holster I was looking for.

As with all holster projects, it's your responsibility to assure the trigger is covered with material sufficiently stiff enough to protect against trigger activation while in your pocket.


  1. What a great idea!! I may try this, probably round the corners a bit more to save the fabric inside the pocket. Good job!

    1. It was fun. Couldn't get motivated to make a second one this weekend, but enjoyed making this one. Best of luck to you on your holster.