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Lakeland Shores boy makes wallets and more with duct tape

Many American males admire public television's Red Green for his humor and ingenuity with duct tape, but to Taylor Roby he's a role model.

Inspired by Green's innovative uses for duct tape on his show, the 14-year-old boy from Lakeland Shores, Minn., has created a veritable line of duct tape products.

One of them - a wallet - is on the market even, and producing some sales.

Taylor decided to try making a wallet from duct tape two years ago after watching an episode of the "Red Green Show."

It took about a month of experimenting and a couple of rolls of duct tape to get a usable product. He succeeded so well, however, that when he showed a duct tape wallet to barber Jeff Tacker while getting a haircut, Tacker offered to let him sell the wallets at his City Barbershop, 206 Second St., in Hudson.

So far, Taylor has sold 28 of the $5 wallets.

He's also created some experimental products - a pair of duct tape pants, slippers, an ornamental rose and a safari hat (a gift to Tacker).

Taylor says he's gone through about $100 worth of duct tape so far. He can make eight wallets from one 66-foot roll of tape. He buys whichever brand is the lowest priced.

The development of colored duct tape, in addition to the standard silvery gray, has opened up new possibilities, like the red rose and black safari hat, he said.

Taylor, who is home-schooled, said most of his friends think it's cool that he makes things with duct tape. "Some people think it's kind of weird," he said.

He's considering the possibility of making a prom tux and dress out of duct tape after hearing about a contest that will award a college scholarship to the best designer of duct tape prom fashions.

His mother and father, Dawn and Ben Roby, say Taylor is interested in becoming an architect.

"He's always drawing or building or making stuff," Dawn Roby said.

Randy Hanson can be reached at

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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