duct tape assortedIn my recent post on WD-40, I quoted the Duct Tape guys who claim that you only need two tools in life, Duct Tape and WD-40. 


This post is about WD-40’s partner, Duct Tape. Just think, with this additional knowledge you’ll be set for anything life throws at you – that is, according to those guys.

Duct tape, or duck tape, was originally invented by Johnson & Johnson to provide the military with a waterproof tape to keep ammunition cases dry. The original colour was army green but it now comes in all kinds of colours and patterns.

Odd little side note: duct tape should never be used to seal duct work as the heat may cause it to smoulder, releasing toxic smoke into the air. 

So here we go: Duct Tape 101 – 50 ways to use duct tape.

 Duct Tape for Clothes and Accessories:

  1. duct tape laceduct tape laceYour shoe lace broke? Not a problem – cut a piece of duct tape 3 times the length of the shoe, fold over, sticky side together, cut it so you end up with a long thin strip and there you have a good sturdy replacement – if needed, you can easily cut two or more shoelaces from the same piece;
  2. Need to remove lint or hair from clothes? Simply wrap the duct tape around your hand, sticky side out and pat over the clothes. All the unwanted stuff will stick to the tape;
  3. Is there lint or hair attached to the smooth part of Velcro? Use the same method as above;
  4. Did the kids tear their snow suit or ski pants? Duct tape it and it will see them through until the end of the season;
  5. To fix a cut in boots, duct tape it. This is only a short-term fix but should last long enough to give you time to find replacements. Just make sure the boots are dry before applying the duct tape.
  6. You’re out shopping and your purse handles break – pull the two ends together and secure with duct tape. (Never leave home without duct tape – that way you’ll be prepared for most emergencies);
  7. You notice that your skirt hem has fallen down – put it back in place with duct tape. This of course works on all kinds of hems, including jeans;
  8. It’s raining and your umbrella has a tear in it – cover both sides of the tear with duct tape;
  9. Getting ready to go on a trip? Be creative with coloured or neon duct tape to cover your luggage to make it standout for easy identification;
  10. You’re staying in a hotel and need a padded coat hanger. Cover one of their coat hangers with a towel folded over several times and fasten in place with duct tape.

Duct Tape Around the Home:

  1. Have to move electrical cords every time you clean? Pick them up and fasten to the baseboard with duct tape;
  2. Can’t get that jam jar open – try this easy method – Tape a  piece of duct tape to the lid as shown, leaving a tail.duct-tape Give that tail a pull and the top will come right off.  
  3. Got a hole in your bucket? Short term fix – while the bucket is dry, apply duct tape, inside and out;
  4. You need to reach up to clean out those cobwebs but your vacuum hose isn’t long enough. Insert a wrapping paper tube into the end of the hose and tape in place. This will extend your reach by two feet;
  5. Or use the tape to repair that vacuum hose;
  6. Are you losing the grommets in your shower curtain? Run duct tape along the width of the curtain, then cut holes where all the grommets are or used to be;
  7. You had a big storm and a branch poked a hole in your vinyl siding? Duct tape it;
  8. That branch didn’t put a hole in your siding, but instead came smashing against a window, breaking it. Before removing the broken glass, cover it with duct tape to prevent any glass shards from hurting someone;
  9. Window screens seem to get little holes in them for no reason at all. When this happens cut small pieces of duct tape and apply to both sides;
  10. Ever sat on a toilet seat that had a small crack? Cover the crack with duct tape, then get a new toilet seat.

Read on, there are more of these gems.

Duct Tape on The Patio:

  1. Cover worn lawn chair webbing with duct tape – apply to both sides of the webbing and you’ll end up with a super strong chair that will last for a couple more years. Use the coloured or patterned tape and the chair may look better than the original;
  2. Outdoor cushions do seem to get holes quite often. Like above, use coloured/patterned tape to make designs on the cushion to end up with something truly unique;duct tape foil storage
  3. You need some way to protect foods while barbecuing. Tape 2 large aluminum roasters together and you have a large, hinged, storage container.
  4. If the gazebo cover is starting to let go in places, duct tape it before it really starts to tear;
  5. You can use the same method to repair the BBQ cover;


Duct Tape and the Great Outdoors:

Make sure that duct tape is the first thing you pack when you go camping because it will:

  1. Repair a hole in the tent, just apply tape to the hole on both the inside and outside;
  2. If the stuffing is coming out of your sleeping bag, tape it back in place;
  3. The air mattress sprung a leak – no problem, the duct tape will fix that;
  4. Need waterproof storage for items like matches, wallet, flashlight, batteries, etc. Find a box large enough to hold all those things and fully cover it with duct tape;
  5. You’ve been camping for a while and have food bags, detergent boxes, etc. open and ready to get stale or spill. Tape the top closed;duct tape jeans w holeduct tape jeans w butterfly
  6. One of the kids fell down and now has a hole in their favourite jeans – use patterned duct tape to cover the hole – they’ll love showing off this quick fix ;
  7. If only you had a clothes line. Tear of a piece of duct tape, more than long enough to hang between a couple of trees, fold over with the sticky side together, twist a bit and there is your rope. You can even use more tape to fasten it securely to the trees;
  8. Tape the bottoms of pants and shirts closed to protect your ankles, legs and arms from insects, including ticks. Also protects against poison ivy and other poisonous plants;
  9. Use neon duct tape to make name-tags – with marker add name and camping lot number;
  10. Going for a hike in the woods? Grab brightly coloured duct tape and apply to trees – that way you can always find your way back.

And finally for the sport enthusiast.

Duct Tape For Runners:

  1. Tape over shoelaces so they don’t come untied while running;
  2. Tape house and car keys onto the top of your shoe;
  3. Running with an IPod? Tape the cord down so it won’t get caught on anything;
  4. Use brightly coloured duct tape to fasten down your runner number. This will lessen wind resistance and also help you stand out from the crowd so your family can keep track of your progress;
  5. And use brightly coloured duct tape to keep your t-shirt sleeves rolled up and in place.

Duct-Tape For Bikers:

  1. Make your bike a reflection of yourself, plus easy to identify, by using neon duct tape for fancy striping – gives it an added safety feature too;
  2. Hole in the tube – not a problem as long as you have your duct tape handy;
  3. Your bike seat is starting to look a little worse for wear? Fix those tears with duct tape;
  4. You can even use this tape to make the seat water-resistant;
  5. Don’t you hate it when your bike seat cushion keeps moving around? Use neon tape to fasten it in place – be a little creative and get some wows;
  6. Your sweaty hands losing grip? Wrap some duct tape around the handlebars;
  7. One of the spokes broke as you’re biking along? Put it back in place with duct tape;
  8. Your storage bags letting in water? Duct tape them;
  9. Don’t have a water bottle holder – make one with duct tape;
  10. Your helmet starting to feel loose? Wrap duct tape around the inside – this will also act as a sweat band.

And there you have it, just a few of the hundreds of ways to use duct tape. Hope you have fun with it. Would love to hear your ideas on how you’ve used duct tape.

If my indepth research wasn’t enough and you simply yearn to know more about Duct Tape, click on this link:  http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/02/duct-tape-was-originally-named-duck-tape-and-came-in-green-not-silver/  

Talk to you again next week,


Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any producer or supplier of Duct Tape. I make up these posts simply because they are fun to do and readers tell me they like them.


  1. This was thorough! The very first tip reminded me of the biking trip we did about 10 years ago, with very-home-made-equipment in the rain. I was wearing a square cape, tucked cones to the corners and tied it with strings made of duct tape. It was hilarious to people who were watching us…

    I so envy you, ‘cus you do have all those patterned tapes. I bought myself a roll of leo from NY as a souvenir. 🙂 We only have the basic silver version available here.

    • Eve, you must have been quite the sight but I’ll bet it made your biking trip even more fun. I’m surprised that you wouldn’t have the patterned tape there. It’s not often retailers miss a selling opportunity. After seeing all the neat ones available, the silver version does look a bit blah.

  2. Hi Lenie

    Wow! You really are an expert in being creative with items. I know of the Duct tape but did not know that it could be used to do so many things. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hello Lenie,

    It takes a lot of creativity to understand and discover the fact that duct tapes can also be used in so many situations for solving such issues.
    Next time I set out for a trip I will surely include them in my ‘to-carry’ list

  4. Although this is a more pedestrian use of duct tape, I thought I would give it a mention…

    When you’re plunging a clogged bathroom sink, you should seal the overflow holes at the top of the sink basin with duct tape: otherwise your plunging efforts will simply push air out of the overflow holes and not apply (real) pressure to the clog.

    • Thanks for the contribution, Andy. That is one I’ve never heard of before, yet it makes so much sense. I’ll be sure to add it to my list.

  5. Wow. I never knew you could use duct tape for that many things. It really is a very multi-purpose item.

  6. I have always been a fan of using duct tape, and speaking of which, I loved the “Red Green” show. If you have not seen it, he has a section where he repairs things, almost always using “The handyman’s secret weapon; Duct tape”. And as he would say at the end, “If woman don’t find you handsome, they will at least find you handy”

  7. Lenie — you’ve done it again. Another great list. Of course, I always have duct tape around. I don’t think you mentioned using duct tape to seal packages. I use if for that reason a lot. I didn’t know it came in different colors. I just the old-fashioned tan tape.

    • Hi Jeannette, thanks for adding to the list. That was one I overlooked for sure and yet it’s a pretty basic one. I love that it comes in colours and patterns, I can see where the kids have fun with it for sure.

  8. Wow so many uses of Duct Tape.
    You will be surprised but I not only have duct tape in my laptop bag but also a measuring tape.
    There can be use of first or the second in many places.
    Few days back there was sand storm in middle east. SO the sand was seeping in from edges of windows and Air conditioner sides. We sealed everything with Duct tape.
    All unnecessary switches of electricity are covered with duct tape in my home, even my daughter is 4. I can not trust her naughty nature.
    Thank you for great post.

    • Oh wow Andleeb, another great use – to keep dust out of homes. Not something we need here in Canada but we could use it to keep cold drafts out during the winter. And you’re right about the electrical plates – I’ve done that one myself when the kids were small. Great stuff, isn’t it?

  9. Duct tape is indeed great stuff, and such a wise marketing move when they started making it in some many different patterns. When I was teaching, I would be amazed at students who would use it to cover every square inch of their three-ring binders (among other things). It’s quite versatile, that’s for sure 😉

    • Hi Jeri – until I did this post I had no idea it came in patterns. I went to buy some coloured tape for my photos and found the patterned stuff. I think I may have yelled WOW. I can totally understand students covering their binders, backpacks etc. with this. So unique.

  10. Lenie, I LOVE your blog! I learn something new every week! Duct tape is certainly an amazing invention, and I love how it now comes in all sorts of colours and patterns.

    • Hi Doreen, so thrilled you like my blog – it is such a fun hobby. If I was a kid, I’d be all over that patterned duct tape. I thought having it come in colours was pretty neat, then when I discovered the patterned stuff I really thought I was onto something.

  11. Oh my word! Never knew Duct tape could be put to so many uses.
    Wow Thanks for this Lenie.
    Thanks for sharing! I’m amazed

  12. It seems that I am the only one who hasn’t made use of duct tape!! It could be because I thought it was only for DIY repairs. But then I am terrible at anything DIY. I have used sellotape to repair hems whilst on holiday and also to remove fluff from clothes especially Black clothes.

    • Hi Mina – it seems that you have made use of duct tape uses without the duct tape. It is actually pretty versatile and will stand up better than sellotape. Now it comes in these neat patterns so you can get quite creative with it.

  13. This is great. I didn’t know duct tape came in, “fashion design colors”, pretty snazzy. Your post reminded me of a commercial, a husband begins to repair a cabinet with duct tape. time passes and he’s always pulling out the tape to repair a cabinet.One day his wife walks into the room and the entire kitchen is wrapped in grey duct tape and she says, “It’s time to replace the cabinets”.

    • Hi Pamela – until I did this post I had no idea it came in those neat patterns. I knew it came in different colours and I needed some of those for the photos but then I saw the patterns and thought wowee, this is neat. I’ve never heard that commercial but that’s great – something similar to Jacquie’s cab being ‘decorated’ in duct tape. Anything to make things last longer – as a frugalist I’m all for that.

  14. Wow, Lenie, this is a great list! There are so many unique items on this list. I didn’t know you can use it for making shoe laces. My daughter loves duct tape, especially the flower ones. She uses it to cover our music folder and binders for school to make them more unique to her style. They look so cute. I will be sharing this one! Thanks.

    • Sabrina, here I am writing a post about duct tape and it seems I’m lagging way behind – leave it to the kids to discover different uses. I think it would be a lot of fun decorating school binders and folders. With the different patterns out now you could be really creative. Thanks for sharing that one.

  15. Wow, that is a lot of uses for duct tape! I used to make fun of this air mattress that my husband used to have (before we were married) with a hole in it. Little did we know he could have fixed it with duct tape! I’m gonna definitely try the method of opening jars with duct tape. I have tiny little hands and I always struggle to open things, so that may really help me!

    • Erica, duct tape has saved many an air mattress. It was a lot of fun finding different uses for the duct tape. Glad you like the jar opener – it really does work. Once you get started using duct tape I’m sure you’ll find many more uses.

  16. And who doesn’t love duct tape?! Great tips Lenie, but the one that really made me smile was #14. My home has cathedral ceilings and I am forever struggling to deal with the dust, cobwebs and dog hair – don’t ask. Anyway, I can hardly wait to give your wrapping paper and tube tip a try!

    • Hi Marquita – I can just picture you going around the house with the vacuum hose extender – anything to make life easier. I did wonder though how dog hair got up on the ceiling but I’ll be polite and not ask as you requested.

  17. So I think I need to go get my duct tape in the basement and bring it up to the kitchen so it will be closer at hand now that I know of all these additional uses. My 11-year-old son is totally on top of this. He makes things out of duct tape. Made a wallet for himself.

    • Ken, isn’t it amazing. Here I think I come up with some pretty creative ways to use duct tape and the kids are way ahead of me. Wallets, headbands, binder covers, etc. they’ve done it all. Must say I admire their ingenuity.

  18. I love the quote, ” You only need two tools in life, Duct Tape and WD-40.” I had no idea there are so many creative and practical ways to use duct tape! Thank you for the tips.

    • Hi Michele, I really got a kick out of that quote – can’t you just picture it? Anyway, there are definitely practical ways to use it and I’m sure it has saved the day on more than one occasion. When it comes to creative use, the kids are winners in that area.

  19. Well I have learnt something new today. Duct tape can be used for literally anything!

    • Always keep that duct tape handy Phoenicia – never know when you need a quick repair of something.

  20. I’d heard of a lot of uses for duct tape but nowhere nearly as many as you have given us. Love the duct tape for opening bottles and making a container for bbq. Can’t beat the toilet seat one either. Glad you added the suggestion to then buy a new seat! Good post!

    • Beth, this was another fun post to do and I like the toilet seat one – I have had the cracked seat experience so that was a natural to include. But readers have contributed a lot more uses – wallets,headbands, decorating school books, etc.

  21. Oh Lenie, some of these made me laugh! Cover the crack on the toilet seat with duct tape..and then get a new toilet seat! Hahaha! No home is complete without duct tape! And I love that it comes in so many colors now! I remember when it was only silver. I once rode in a cab in New York on a back seat that was entirely covered in silver duct tape!

    • Isn’t it amazing what it can be used for? Meredith said her kids made wallets and headbands out of it. And I would have loved that ride in that cab – you must have crinkled every time you moved. But is really can be used for so many practical things and no home should be without a roll or two or three.

  22. Yes, duct tape is one of those fix all got to have essentials. The tv show mythbusters did many experiments using duct tape. One was to build a boat solely out of the product and sail it in the bay area. It sailed and floated like it was a real one. I met a guy once whose shoes were gone but he had the soles. He duct taped the soles to his feet and a new pair of shoes were born 🙂

    • Now there are a couple of uses I wouldn’t have thought off. I think I might have been a bit nervous sailing around in a duct tape boat. The duct tape shoes were pretty ingenious. Amazing stuff isn’t it?

  23. Lenie, you are so creative! I never knew there were so many uses for duck tape. My kids love to make crafts out of it. They’ve made wallets and headbands and they love those colored tapes. Also, we never go camping without it.

    • Meredith, until I did this post I had no idea that duct tape came in patterns so I can certainly understand your kids using it to make crafts. I’ll bet those headbands look really cute. I just saw I had a small hole in my vinyl siding and I was thinking of cutting out a butterfly and using it to cover the hole. Fun stuff.

  24. We don’t call it duct tape in Europe but I have used it to repair the hose on my vacuum cleaner twice. Hopefully it will last long because the European Union have, for environmental reasons, outlawed high voltage vacuum cleaners in the whole of Europe.

    Here the colour of duct tape is actually silver and I always have some at home, because as you have shown, it comes in handy.

    • Catarina, I do admire the EU for their stand on the environment – I wasn’t aware of that so I’m glad that duct tape has kept things going. It really is a versatile product. Here the standard colour is silver but some clever person realized the need (or probably more so, the want) and we now have all these different colours and patterns. Makes for some interesting uses.

  25. Duc tape is a big help when one is in a pinch. I love some of the ideas you’ve mentioned. One thing to keep in mind is it’s conductive making it dangerous to use in place of electric tape.

    Are those your images? They’re great!

    • Susan, thanks for the tip on not using duct tape in place of electrical tape – that’s similar to not using it to seal duct work. I guess even duct tape has some limitations.
      Those are my images – I’m glad you like them but I had such a good teacher,initials S.C. LOL

  26. Duct tape is truly a versatile tool. I’ve heard about frequent travellers who carry duct tape with them for emergencies on the road – anything from fixing a broker screen to repairing clothing. Not something I’ve included in my packing list to date, but I may want to reconsider that.

    • Hi Donna, I thought I was original when it came to using duct tape to repair clothes but I can certainly understand travelers taking it along. If I was a traveler I would be making all kinds of neat designs on my luggage – would make a great conversation piece and also easy to identify. So when you head south next winter, something to think about. By the way, welcome back to Canada.