Masking Tape Shoes

Great attention to detail on this shoe made of 100% masking tape.

One of the classes I teach at West Liberty University  is ART 160/ Design II. This class is an introduction to 3D design and is comprised mostly of freshmen who are majoring in graphic design or art education. I had presented the Masking Tape Shoe Project to my Design II classes for about four years straight, but had not used it since 2007. I decided to bring it back this semester to all three sections of ART 160.

Each student is required to adopt a “real” shoe as a model (no flip flops!) and create a copy using ONLY masking tape. Below are more examples of the 40+ shoes that were created this semester.

Some of this semesters tape shoes on display in the Hall of Fine Arts.

Nice detail work on this hiking boot.

Another view of the tape shoe display.


This student captured the look of lace in her shoe.

One of several athletic shoes that were created.

Another example of the high heeled shoes that were turned in.

During our critique, most of the students stated that they actually enjoyed the project, but several felt it was something close to torture. I have thought of doing the project with duct tape, and while duct tape shoes would be much stronger and more stable, there is the issue of cost. Masking tape can be purchased for about 25% of what a roll of duct tape costs. Please email me with any comments you have about this project!


15 Responses to “Masking Tape Shoes”

  1. March 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Those masking tape shoes just blow me away! I’d love to see them go through the stages of development. What a cool idea, and tedious, no doubt – but just think of the bragging rights for completing one : )Beautiful work. Great blog, by the way. Bob, you’re fortunate to have such awesome art students, and they, in turn, are lucky to have such a great teacher.

    • July 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      Very cool shoes. I made a pair of masking tape combat boots back in 89, and I’ve been sculpting with it for over twenty years now. I would be honored to share some of my knowledge and ideas with you and your students. You can see some of my more recent creations at Masking Tape Art on facebook. I hope to hear from you soon.

  2. 3 susan
    March 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    love the shoe project. am going to forward it on to julia—i think she’ll really like it (and may wish that YOu were her art teacher since you have such cool projects!)

  3. March 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

    very cool. My students would love to do something like this. Please tell me the process!! thank you so much.
    Kendra Farrell

  4. 5 toni brody
    December 7, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I am currently teaching high school design. I am going to use your project with the new colored masking take. Should be cool.
    Thanks for sharing your idea.

  5. 6 MaskingTapeStudent
    January 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I wish I had seen this when I first started making this shoe! Im almost done and seeing these examples has now given me new perspective on techniques!

  6. 7 Piperb
    September 28, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Awesome! Many years ago I taught grades K- 8 art. We have the Bata Shoe Museum in our city so I took our grade 8’s. They had to design a shoe using found or recyclable items. Loved that project.

  7. 8 Lori O
    October 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    What do you use as an armature if anything? I’d love for my Art II ceramic and sculpture students to do these.

    • October 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      No armature, although some students begin with a “ball” of masking tape and remove it later. All shoes are 100% masking tape. Best, Robert

      • 10 Siera Smyth
        January 26, 2017 at 12:02 am

        So this is entirely made from masking tape; how much tape does a student go through? Do they have the option of using different kinds of tape? Do you have any pictures of the beginning steps? I teach at BASIS and I think my upper schoolers could definitely create some cool shoes. Would you be ok if I used this lesson? Thank you for sharing!

      • January 26, 2017 at 1:55 am

        On average a student uses two to three rolls of masking tape. In my project we only use masking tape, but of course the shoe could be done in any tape. I am thinking of doing this project again next month ( I took a break from it for the past three years.) I will take some “beginning steps” photos. Just go for it!

  8. 12 Alison Caselman
    October 23, 2014 at 1:18 am

    I am LOVING this project! And I would love to see the process and tips and tricks that you might have. I want to do this with an ART I high school class. Do you think this might be too advance for them? I might save it for my sculpture class instead.

    PLease email me at Caselman-alison@trojans.k12.mo.us

  9. 13 jeannene
    August 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Great idea! But was the shoes underneath the masking tape ? Or was the masking tape shoe constructed only from masking tape?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: