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How to make a duct tape bullwhip

Posted by  ·  May 29, 2008  ·  Last Updated: May 29, 2008

If you have come looking to make TRULY dangerous toys for boys you are at the right spot! Or maybe you have finally succumbed to the constant whining about “needing” a bullwhip since the release of the new Indiana Jones movie.

Thank you to Wesley Scoggins Indy Mogul for the clever idea to use duct tape!

How to make a duct tape bullwhip

You will need:

  • Brown “duck” tape (we found this at Wal-Mart) cut into 3- 12 foot lengths
  • 10″ piece of 3/8″ wooden dowel rod
  • a foot or so of twine for the “popper” if desired

Begin by placing two chairs 12 feet apart. Place three strips of tape between the chairs.

Fold each of the pieces of tape in half length ways-leave attached to chair

Leave tape hooked on one of the chairs and begin braiding. Braiding 12 feet of duct tape isn’t really pleasant but is certainly less painful than paying $50.00 plus for a bullwhip! We tried several methods: hanging it up high, laying it on the ground. We found it easiest to leave it attached to the chair and have another person help untangle the strips of duck tape as you braid. My eleven year old was able to do most of the braiding.

Once you have reached the end take another piece of tape and wrap around the braid to fasten off.

Remove the other end from the chair and attach these ends of tape to the wooden dowel.

Begin wrapping the dowel with tape until you have completely covered the handle. When finished we took a small piece of tape and covered each end and then wrapped a small piece once again around the dowel to make it secure.

If you want to make the popper you tie it on like this

Finished! How does it work?—–probably not well enough to kill someone or allow you to hang from a tree (we’re trying though) but well enough to cause some damage to your house and possibly harm to a friend, so please be careful!

Leave a Comment


  1. Monday, October 22nd, 2018
    Does it sound like Indiana jones whip
  2. Friday, October 7th, 2016
    good tips to made up BULLWHIP

    thank u
  3. bre
    Saturday, November 1st, 2014
    I used your tutorial to make a whip for my ringmaster halloween costume. This totally worked! Thank you for saving me money. Everyone was really impressed with my whip. I didn't have a dow so I used a cardboard piece from a hanger.
  4. Marzipan
    Sunday, October 19th, 2014
    So awesome. I had been looking for a way to make a Wonder Woman lasso that was thick like rope and not thin like a bolo tie, and shiny like gold. Was about to purchase a gold novelty bullwhip for about 14 bucks, when I typed in gold bullwhip to google image search.
    Found this tutorial.
    I have done a four plait round braid with the gold duct tape and now have a Wonder Woman lasso that cost $5 to make.

    Not sure how your image is tagged to show up under "gold bullwhip". But am thankful to have found it.
  5. Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
    This looks so cool, and I'm really debating if we should make one (or more). I have five boys so I'm a little nervous, but I think they would love this.
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  20. Jamilli
    Sunday, September 9th, 2012
    Sweet now I can whip my brother with it thanks for the idea
  21. Nancy Sandoval
    Monday, July 16th, 2012
    Does everyone realize that a bullwhip is a weapon, and should not be given to a little kid or to anyone. They are to keep animals going the right direction (which is very inhumane and cruel). Friends, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandparents, dogs, cats and just about anyone that is around a kid with a bullwhip, wear goggles and protective clothing...
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  23. Jimmy Shields
    Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
    I love the idea and I cant wait to try it
  24. april
    Sunday, October 30th, 2011
    this completed my cat woman suit for the 2011 Halloween celebration!!!! Great Site, Thanks A lot!!!!!
  25. Stephanie
    Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
    I have muck up day next week and am going as cat woman. So instead of trying to buy a real whip my mum and I are going to make a black version of this, should be alot of fun for us to do :) This was the best website I found :) Ill post back next week when I finish it and let you know how it went.
  26. Steven
    Saturday, May 8th, 2010
    My friend always joked that someone should get her a whip for her birthday. I made it and gave it to her yesterday. This was rather quick and easy to make and she loves it. Just tell whoever you make it for to be careful; she's already got some nice welts.

    If your not specifically going for the Indiana Jones look, try using three diferent colors of tape. It's not much more expensive and it turned out looking great.

    Thanks for the idea. I'm gunna go make one for myself! hehehe
  27. Saturday, March 27th, 2010
    Great motivation
  28. Me
    Monday, January 25th, 2010
    It works REALLY well fun until you snap yourself with it :|
  29. Sophia
    Monday, January 11th, 2010
    Now THIS is a great teacher appreciation gift!!!
    A high school teacher :D
  30. Friday, October 30th, 2009
    This is a great tutorial. I would like to add if you don't have a dowel rod, you can roll up newspaper or printer paper and duct tape it. It is proving to be just as sturdy as a dowel rod when wrapped tight. That's what I did because I forgot to get a dowel rod when I went shopping! Thanks for sharing this!
  31. Friday, October 16th, 2009
    Thank you so much for this briljant and dangerous toy-idea! My nephew will love it!! I also wrote about it on my blog & used some of your pictures, hope you won't mind. If so, please contact me. (http://kleinezaken.blogspot.com/2009/10/gevaarlijk-speelgoed.html)
  32. Spencer Townsend
    Sunday, September 13th, 2009
    how do you braid it?
  33. dylan
    Sunday, June 14th, 2009
    does it actualy break the sound barrier?
  34. Saturday, May 30th, 2009
    indiana jones is awsome i have the full suit i made it well bought stuff and made a costume i bought the whip and hat but my whip was a little cheap so i looked up how to make a whip clicked on thius and found it :)
  35. jim
    Monday, May 18th, 2009
    well it about 2 in the moring and im so damn tired yet this design was so simple that i was able to pull it of and make a fine whip i added my own little touches to the whip 1 being a wooden lightsaber hilt and 2 a small strip of leather. its about 12 ft long and cracks well also if you whip it at ofject it will grab them and or stick to pull though i highly doubt it could support a person i think that if you take 2 peices of tape and stick them together on each length and then braid it may be strong enough to do so
  36. Sandy
    Thursday, May 14th, 2009
    Hello, I just made one of these, and it's the coolest idea! I have a tip to consider: I bought three rolls, and left the tape on the rolls, only unrolling about 18" at a time and folding/sticking it to itself, then braiding with the rolls dangling. Repeat as needed. MUCH easier than dealing with 12 feet lengths of stickiness! I also put some cord inside the fold of the tape to strengthen it wherever I wanted extra strength. Next I'm going to try one with four strips of tape, and round-plait it over a center rope! Thanks for this site - it's such a creative idea!
  37. refo
    Friday, March 27th, 2009
    i jst made it i only i improvised a bit on the cracker but its loud i only no how to do the simplest of cracks though
  38. bobby
    Monday, February 23rd, 2009
    if you want a belt whip holder take a piece of the tape and fold in half but cut have of the off at the ends so they stic and there you go
  39. Chris
    Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
    I finished my first one using electrical tape. It wasn't as long but it still works. I used 3.2 mm nylon rope for the popper and a rolled up magazine for the handle. I had the rope from making wooden nachaku, tons of magazines just lying around, and my dad's an electrician= plenty of electrical tape so....didn't spend a dime.
  40. Chris
    Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
    this looks really cool. I think I might give it a try. I have some electrical tape...think it'll work?
  41. Barb
    Sunday, February 1st, 2009
    Great idea my grandson found the idea and we made it together
  42. Charla
    Sunday, January 11th, 2009
    Thank you so much for the idea.. My son is really into Indiana Jones, he is 7 and he saw this idea and is very interested in making it. Maybe we can teach him to braid at the same time..

    Thanks again, what great inguinuity.
  43. josh
    Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
    wow, now does it pop. like when you whip it, whipp it pop if you attach the popper? that is the whole idea is it not?

    thanks josh
  44. Alex
    Saturday, November 15th, 2008
    Plus where did you find a dowel stick?Wal-Mart?
  45. Alex
    Saturday, November 15th, 2008
    Awesome!I have a leather one and some bushes are dying and have a few leaves so i like to cut leaves that fell down and wrap the branches, I enjoy cracking because it'll keep you entertained for hours!

    But i have a question, where did you get that whip holder?My whip did'nt come with one but i sure could use one.
  46. TN Lizzie
    Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
    My DH has just finished making a leather whip from scratch. He made it for a friend's homeschooled son, and wrote a very informative letter to go along with it. I realize that leather and duct tape are different, but you may find the basic information interesting!

    I remember the day you were at my house and cracked a whip for the first time. You were a natural. It took me months to learn to crack a whip and you did on the first try! Since then, I have intended to make a whip for you, but have only just gotten around to it. You will find in this package your very own whip and holster to carry it.

    This kind of whip is called a “snake whip”, because it does not have a rigid handle. Cowboys and cattle workers were said to like these because they were quick and easy to handle, and could be tucked into a coat pocket or saddle bag.

    I made this whip from scratch. I started with large pieces of leather and cut the lace by hand, then plaited it all into a whip. There are four plaited bellies inside the whip with a final overlay of brown and blue – all told there is well over two hundred feet of leather lace in this whip. At the end of the whip is a nylon fall with a nylon cracker on the very tip. When you crack a whip, the cracker passes the speed of sound and makes a little sonic boom.

    The whip is made from leather that was originally intended for making furniture, but I have liberated it and given it a new life! (In fact, the brown leather used to be recliner.) I think of this as a high form of recycling and call it adaptive re-use. It only took my time to make it – over twenty hours, in fact. The final overlay (the brown and blue you see on the whip) alone took almost six hours to plait.

    To crack the whip with your right hand, swing the whip to the left and up over your head. As the whip goes behind you and begins to come back around to the right, throw your right hand straight forward sharply and turn your thumb inside and down toward the ground. Keep the whip high, don’t throw it toward the ground, just turn your thumb down. When you turn your thumb down, you will put a loop in the whip, and that loop is what makes it crack. You don’t have to throw the whip too hard; it is mostly technique that makes the crack.

    Take good care of your whip. Don’t hit things with it, especially the ground, or sand or rocks. You should not use the whip in the rain or get it wet as this will shorten its life. The leather will loosen up over time and get softer and it should be cared for. Whips have a “spine”, that is they have a natural curl in one direction. When you store your whip, just coil it loosely, snap it in its holster and hang it up somewhere dry.

    Most importantly of all, whips are fun to use, but they are not toys; one must exercise great caution when using them. A whip should never be used to hit a person or animal or anything you don’t want broken. The fall and cracker are moving over 1,000 feet per second when the whip cracks; this is fast enough to cut a person’s skin open like a knife, or put out an eye. Cowboys never hit cattle with their whips, they just use the sound to drive them – a whip can cut a cow just like a person.

    Also remember that the crack of a whip is much louder to others than to you. You should not crack a whip in the direction of someone who is close by. And when you crack your whip, be mindful to have enough room. The whip is over six feet long, including the fall and cracker. Add to this the length of your arm, and you can hit things over eight feet away. So, you should have at least ten feet of clear space in all directions when you crack your whip.

    Owning and using a whip requires a lot of responsibility, self control and maturity. With your parent’s permission, I am giving you this whip to use and enjoy. Have fun with it and make lots of noise – this is what it is for. But at all times be responsible. If you find yourself unable to be safe and careful, your parents have my permission to take the whip and put it and you in time out for a period of time they deem adequate.

    Along with making all of creation for His own glory, God also made the world for us to enjoy – else he would not have given us the capacity for happiness and laughter and joy. I find great joy in the laws of physics God created which allow a whip to crack. Eric Liddell, the famous Christian Olympian, said that God made him fast and he felt His pleasure when he ran. Enjoy your whip. When you crack it, remember the God who made the air for sound, and enjoy Him, too.
  47. Sara
    Friday, October 31st, 2008
    My 9 year old son Blinded my 7 year old Daughter in one eye
    Great website!
  48. Shay Thirkell
    Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
    That is a great idea - and I would have used this if I had found it first. I bought some braided curtain tie back (cut to length) in dark brown. It looks great and it is easy to fray the end. I will use your idea to attach a dowel to the end of it. Thanks!
  49. Monday, October 27th, 2008
    Thanks for the post. This worked out great. Our 7 year old loves the whip. And, of course, his 5 year old brother had to have one too. Neither one of them have put theirs down all weekend. Their 2 year old sister says, "Daddy, will you make me a whip?" She'll have to wait a couple years though. I used a 10" section of 1/2" PVC for the handle and attached it with the un-folded sections of tape at the beginning of the braid so it wrapped around the end and protruded from the center, rather than the side of the handle.

    Thanks again!
  50. Joanne
    Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
    Loved this idea! Not hard to make and it looks so realistic! I only bought 1 roll of 'duck' tape and used some to also cover a satchel bag for my son's Indiana Jones Halloween costume!

    Many thanks!!!
  51. ekim13ab
    Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
    I played around a bit and if you substitute on of the strands with rope it is stronger, or if you add a piece of rope or leather as a 4th strand and braid it in,

    My 7 year old kept trying to swing and hang on the doors with the plain duct tape whip, so i (regrettably) beefed it upa bit,

    but i'm going to make another plain one for him for hallowen next week
  52. kdeford
    Thursday, October 16th, 2008
    awesome! my 3 boys have been dying for bull-whips! now...the hat?
  53. Brad
    Thursday, October 16th, 2008
    I love the opening statement to the article, it's the exact situation i'm in with my young Indiana Jones.We are going to make one tomorrow, i'll keep you posted. Excellent idea!
    Thank you! Thank you!
  54. nido
    Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
    awesome i will make one of that bullwhip but please can you make video of that
  55. ???????
    Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
    plz tellllllll
  56. ???????
    Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
    how many rolls do u need
  57. Monday, September 1st, 2008
    Awesome, I need to make a prop for an event I am organizing and this is EXACTLY what I need! Thank you!
  58. SherpaMom
    Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
    As per the stickiness of the duct tape - since the actual braided part does not require the tape to stick that well - why not sprinkle baby powder or cornstarch on it to decrease the tackiness? This might make it easier to braid. I'm looking forward to trying this out!
  59. WI Mom
    Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
    Best, best summer project ever! After getting supplies, this took just over an hour to make. The toughest part was keeping the ends untangled while braiding. I added a fall (a "tail" at the end of the braid) by extending a single rolled piece of tape several inches past the braid, then attached the popper. Wow! My 7-year-old has been using this non-stop for days and can already crack the whip almost every time. My 3-year-old can crack it about half the time. Protective glasses are a must, but I've realld cracked myself several times and didn't cause much damage with this whip. Awesome, awesome idea! Thanks so much!!!
  60. Saturday, July 12th, 2008
    Oh My Word!!! I'm so excited to come across this post tonight! My boys have no clue who Indiana Jones is, but they've seen those whips in Target and that's all I've heard about since they came out. This is terrific! Thank you so much for sharing!
  61. Ekim13ab
    Friday, July 11th, 2008
    Thanks, this is perfect!!!,
    my 7 year old has already stolen my brown fedora,
    he love the whip, 1st thing he asked me while i was making it was "is it 20 feet long like the real one?"

    i did make the handle a little shorter, about 3 hands long. easier for him to handle.

    did have an idea i'm going to try, you mentioned not suitable for swinging on, think i'll try to braid it around some rope like a real one is made.

    although i'll probably regret it...

    I'll let you know if it works
  62. susyQ
    Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
    oh please sir, may I have another!
  63. Mark
    Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
    To those who have asked, YES a whip will hurt if you hit yourself, I have hit myself several times and it does hurt, just wear safety glasses and it is still fun.
  64. Michael Nowak
    Monday, June 23rd, 2008
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  65. Friday, June 20th, 2008
    Thanks! I write a blog where I do one new thing a day, and I used this as one of my "new things".


    I made this for my son (8) and my nephew (6). We couldn't find colored duct tape, so I just used silver and we call them "Super Whips" ;) Also, I only made them 6 ft long (and the dowel rod was cut to about 3 inches). Perfect size for them.
  66. Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
    This is amazing! My kids will love this (when they are old enough!)

    Keep up the great work,

  67. dawn
    Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
    Wow that is one more thing for dcuk tape awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  68. Shauna
    Friday, June 13th, 2008
    Wow! so creative - I think I'll have to try this someday. :)

  69. Thursday, June 12th, 2008
    Now this is wonderful! My boys would love to make their own. The only things is...does it hurt?
  70. Monday, June 9th, 2008
    Fantastic..I can use for living history displays.
  71. Sunday, June 8th, 2008
    I love this! after seeing the 4th Indiana Jones movie I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some suede leather cord, and braided bullwhip v. 1.0 then made my popper out of some fishing line like nylon cord. This whip worked ok, Then I saw the duck tape whip and promptly went out, bought tape and braided this new whip, works great, and it cracks all the time. I would recommend wearing safety glasses if you are going to be doing any serious whipping.
  72. anne sheridan
    Sunday, June 8th, 2008
    ok...I spent a little over an hour making 3 of these yesterday. My son's friend helped w/ his black one but I made 2 brown. Everyone should stop what they are doing and make these! The kids (2 teens and a 10 yr old) LOVED them!!! I lost them for hours after. It's really not hard and for $2.97 in duct tape?! The reward: priceless! Thank you for awesome instructions and the coolest idea of the year!
  73. billybobjoesmithfred(the thrid)
    Saturday, June 7th, 2008
    wow this is a very intersesting project. Found it a few days ago looking for things to make out of duck-tape (which was perfect). Got a roll of brown duck-tape the next day and set to work. Take notice to the warning about hurting people and items b/c I caused a few scars and broken 2 vases. But its defienatly worth it (the vases were ugly anyways) =P
  74. Friday, June 6th, 2008
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. My son wants one that looks like the real thing and not his sisters pink & purple jumprope he has been "forced" to use in his adventures.
  75. Maribel
    Friday, June 6th, 2008
    My 6yo and I were planning his Halloween costume...I'm sure you can guess what he wants to be. I knew I was going to make the whip, just wasn't sure how. Thanks for saving me a couple of months of experimenting.
  76. Friday, June 6th, 2008
    wow, genius ;) now i have something to give to my nephew (and it gonna be so worth the effort to see his reaction!)
  77. Thursday, June 5th, 2008
    My son was literally begging for an Indy whip today! How lucky am I to have found you?? THANK YOU for saving me sooo much money and for giving me an excuse to go shopping at Wal Mart! :-)
  78. Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
    This is great, the boys are doing an Indiana Jones themed father's day gift and this will be a perfect addition. I'm sure they will all want one of their own too.
    I was wondering does it matter what the popper is made out of? Thanks
  79. lizzie tanners
    Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
    Creativity at it's best moment. I admire your patience. The stickiness of the duct tape is the number one enemy here.
  80. Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
    Haha oh wow that's wicked! Much much better than the crap whip Hasbro put out. Thanks for sharing this!
  81. Monday, June 2nd, 2008
    What a good idea - I'm filing this one away for an Indiana Jones Halloween costume.
  82. Sunday, June 1st, 2008
    Totally love this! I'm the mother of five boys and four of them are oohing and aahing as we read through your instructions...now my oldest is asking if you have any other cool ideas...like making a storm trooper mask???? etc....
    Thank you for a GREAT DIY project!
  83. Heather
    Sunday, June 1st, 2008
    May I make a suggestion? If there is only one person working on the braid and that person needs to detangle the other end, how about using clothespins to secure the work you've done so far?
  84. Galatae
    Saturday, May 31st, 2008
    But does it add the theme music? http://www.target.com/Indiana-Jones-Electronic-Sound-Whip/dp/B000XUBHC2/sr=1-2/qid=1212285817/ref=sr_1_2/601-9240720-9952952?ie=UTF8&index=target&rh=k%3Aindiana%20jones&page=1
  85. Matt
    Saturday, May 31st, 2008
    Thanks for posting this....my 34 year old cousin will love it! He's always looking for new toys to play with. Stu will really appreciate it.
  86. Kimmy
    Friday, May 30th, 2008
    that is so cool looking. I am sure if I made it my son would love it.
  87. Friday, May 30th, 2008
    especially for kids who will knock around the yard with it. Professional made bullwhips can go anywhere from $400 to over $900 or more depending on the work..
  88. Friday, May 30th, 2008
    Wow...that's cool.
  89. Thursday, May 29th, 2008
    Oh thank you soooooo much for this post. My 9 year old has been using everything immaginable to fashion a bullwhip(since I refuse to buy one) and this looks just perfect! He will be so pleased! :)
  90. Candace
    Thursday, May 29th, 2008
    Very cool. I sent it to my daughter who does home school for my 12 year old grandson. He's home schooled, and it looks like a great project.
  91. Thursday, May 29th, 2008
    Thanks for that - currently my 8yo is not wanting one, but I am sure when we get through the series and see the new ones, we will have a need for two of them (one for my 4yo daughter too) - thanks for a cheaper alternative. I agree, two rolls of duct tape is much cheaper than $50 each for something that may have a shelf-life of about a few weeks.