Armed with two generic rolls of duct tape, we decided to make what seemed like the most appropriate item of summer clothing an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, silver, shiny bikini.

It wasn't that easy.

We folded the tape into sloppy triangles, trying desperately to keep them symmetrical. But our tools were crude: scissors were dull as a butter knife, and the tacky tape repeatedly stuck to itself and us. Even the cleanest folds left pesky, wrinkled air bubbles and swaths of exposed adhesive surely something to avoid in a bikini, of all things.

After creating a blob-like shape that was supposed to be half of the bikini top, we retrieved an actual bathing suit to model our creation after. Forty-five minutes and one re-run of The West Wing later, we had two malformed halves of a bikini top, along with a huge ball of discarded tape.

A few days and a couple of hours later, the work was done. Sort of.

When done right, they say, duct tape clothes have "the look of leather." Our bikini looked like, well, duct tape.

The bikini top turned out not to be appropriate beach wear — unless we were vacationing in Brazil. The top is child sized. We realized too late that unlike most material, duct tape doesn’t have any give. The rough triangles could never conceal the body parts they’re meant to hide.

This summer, we’ll stick with the standard cotton bikini and use the duct tape to fix the leak under the bathroom sink.