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It's Not Just Duct Tape Anymore

Updated on August 15, 2015

Everyone's Got Duct Tape

Admit it, you've used duct tape! Every man, woman, and child out there has used duct tape at one time or another. Something leaks or breaks and you reach for the duct tape. Everyone's got at least one roll squirreled away.

First off, what is it? A fabric backed tape with a water repellent outer shell. Some say it was used by soldiers in WWII who began calling it 'duck tape' because it repelled water. Others say it's origin was for use in actual duct work. Whatever it's origins, it is as common in America as Scotch Tape, if not more. Not only is it in every day usage but books have been written about it, yes, books about duct tape.

According to the Ministry of Duct Tape and High Voltage, the tape was a by-product of World War II. In 1942, after numerous cases of ammunition were destroyed by humidity, the United States government turned to wartime supplier Johnson & Johnson, hoping for a fix. J&J promptly responded with a waterproof tape dubbed "duck tape" by the military due to its ability to repel moisture like water off a duck's back. It did the job admirably, and soldiers soon found an assortment of other uses for it as well. (

Did you know duct tape is now considered an effective tool in wart removal? Really. I can remember my father using duct tape to patch a whole in the wood on our front porch too. After a curing period he painted over it and voila, no more hole. How many loose leaf binders have been patched together with duct tape?

When we were kids we had truck inner tubes in our pool to use as swimming tubes. If one got a hole we patched it with duct tape and continued to use it. Speaking of swimming pools, we live in a neighborhood with lots of above ground swimming pools. If you walk around the neighborhood in the winter you can count any number of covers with duct tape over holes or tears in the covers. Duct tape is used in or I guess I might say on racing cars in bodywork in the UK it is called tank tape .

Duct tape also goes by the name of gaffers tape and in Scandinavia it is called Jesus Tape because it appears to perform miracles.

What about tools? I know you have at least one with duct tape on it. We have a sledgehammer and maul (both with splits in their wooden handles) that have duct tape holding them together.

Light industrial grade duct tape in neon colors.
Light industrial grade duct tape in neon colors. | Source
So many colors to choose from!
So many colors to choose from! | Source

Duct Tape Colors and Art - NSA and Clothing

Due to duct tape's popularity companies are coming out with all different colors and designs to better allow the incorporation of duct tape in your daily life. Companies from Johnson & Johnson, 3M, and Tape Brothers all specialize in duct tape manufacture.

Duct tape comes in not only all colors imaginable but now decorator designs as well - imagine duct tape colors. You name it you can buy it from the original gray duct tape to neon duct tape . If you're looking for projects to do with duct tape, search on hubpages, there are some great hubs with some good ideas and photos and it won't cost you a cent! Don't forget YouTube for videos on how to make all kinds of things with duct tape. One of the popular types of duct tape is Duck Brand, a company that deals in all kinds and colors of duct tape. They even have duct tape in sheets instead of rolls! College duct tape by Duck Brand has college team logos on duct tape. What more could you ask for?

NSA loves duct tape. It seems the lunar module Challenger carried duct tape. When the moon buggie's right rear fender was accidentally torn off Astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt used duct tape to put it back on and yes, they did know Jack Schmitt!

Duct tape has also moved into art and clothing. Dresses, pants, wallets, beach bags, you name it, all have been made out of duct tape. The types of art are totally unlimited from flowers to Mt. Rushmore, all recreated in duct tape. tells of two 14 year old boys who made a slew of wallets out of duct tape. They took the wallets to a consignment shop at the Jersey Shore and sold every one of them. They have since made more and taken their business online. In 2007 The New York Times wrote an article about a young man named Garett Croft Stenson. He too made and sold duct tape wallets but he grew his business and continues to make and sell duct tape products under the name DB Clay. The article goes on to describe David Pippenger, the creator of which sells bags, wallets and watches made from duct tape. We must've been sleeping when the duct tape boom took off!


Duct Tape Contests

It's easy to say there's definitely a future in duct tape. I think it was Johnson & Johnson that had the first contest asking what college students could make from duct tape and continues to this day. Creativity with duct tape can earn between $3,000 and $5,000 dollars in a scholarship contest. Duck Brand has a contest called "Stuck At Prom" which challenges high schoolers to make prom outfits out of duct tape - I said schoolers because boys are included too -they can make their tux out of duct tape. The "Stuck at Prom" contest is held every year in case you or someone you know is interested. The application deadline is between March and May and believe it or not the contest is in its fifteenth year!

Duct Tape has a Halloween Contest, "Stick or Treat", with a $1,000 prize. Entries must use Duct brand and decorate a Halloween themed decoration, craft, sculpture, costume or jack-o-lantern (real or artificial).

What creative uses you can you come up with? Anything that will make you rich? I certainly can't but maybe you can.

Think of all the things you use duct tape for, multiply those uses by one hundred and you might come up with a number somewhere near the real uses of duct tape. Everything from packages to clothing have seen duct tape at one time or another. Do you have a vacuum cleaner with a leaky hose, fixed with duct tape?

I could go on and on and I'm sure you could still add more. Duct tape is here to stay!

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      It is the prom outfits made of duct tape, can you imagine? Thanks for stopping by zionshpere.

    • zionsphere profile image

      zionsphere 5 years ago from Oregon

      Oh dear. Now I'm going to be making duct tape roses... lol! Oh yes duct tape has come a long way! Who knew that out all things in this world, duct tape would become popular among teenagers. They love the stuff!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Au fait I bet you're a great seamstress. If I tried using the duct tape on my clothes I'd be the first person that couldn't get it to stick ;)

      Sherry that's a really great idea. I'll have to pass that one around, thanks.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      When my mom came home after being in the hospital a home health aide suggested that her steps be marked in bright colors to help her see them to prevent falls. I used the orange neon duct tape for that purpose. It's very bright and has stood up very well to wear and weather.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 6 years ago from North Texas

      Lots of interesting information here! I didn't know Duct Tape was available in sheets. I'd heard about the different colors, but I didn't realize there were different prints/designs too. The sheets would be great for a lot of craft projects. I know, all of it is.

      I've mostly used duct tape to shorten my slacks and jeans. I've been sewing since I was 14, so it's not like I don't know how to do a professional hem, but sometimes I get lazy.

      Love this hub! Where do you find such interesting topics? Voting you up (of course) and useful, beautiful, interesting, and awesome! Will share with my followers.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      I now I can't live without it Effie! Thanks for the vote.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Have I used duct tape??!! Ha! Have I ever! It is my favorite tool. I swear I have a roll of every color, in every room. It's the greatest discovery since Plymouth Rock. Whatever it is...duct tape will fix it, cover it, mend it, hide it, hold it together, seal it up...keep things from slipping....even if it's only temporary.

      LOL....I go a little bonkers with the duct tape!

      Great hub Till! UP++

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      DexisView I have to agree, it comes in handy for so many things.

      msviolets would love to see your creations!

      craftdrawer glad you enjoyed.

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 6 years ago

      Nice craft ideas to make with Duct tape. Enjoyed your Hub!!!

    • msviolets profile image

      msviolets 6 years ago

      Gotta love Duct tape :-) I have plans for making a personalized dress dummy using DT and an old t shirt :-)

    • DexisView profile image

      Dexi 6 years ago from New England

      Can't imagine life without duct tape! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Brett, I guess there's miracles everywhere, it's all in where you find them :)

      Ardie, good idea, now your mother'll know why your daughter's into duct tape!

      Jerry glad to see you've made good use of it!

      Practical Mommy nice to see you were able to use it in the classroom! Thanks for the vote.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      When I was still teaching, my students would use the neon and patterned duct tape to completely cover their notebooks, binders and folders. I also saw some research visual aids that included the use of duct tape...

      Voted up!

    • JerryJupiter profile image

      JerryJupiter 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Duct tape is great stuff! I've made several wallets out of just duct tape - even work as great gifts!

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      It's so funny I came across this Hub now. My daughter will turn 11 on March 10 and my mom asked her what she wants for her birthday. My daughter was so proud when she said designer DUCT TAPE hahah Can you imagine my mother's reaction?! I will show this Hub to my mom to explain just how fasionable duct tape can be. Excellent Hub!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      lol a great article about something everyone takes for granted now. I loved the line "in Scandinavia it is called Jesus Tape because it appears to perform miracles ", what a fun name for it ha ha. It certainly can be used for almost anything, but I had no idea of all those designs!

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Michifus there are plenty of other things we 'stick' to our bodies ;) If you have warts though and want to get rid of them this is a cheap way. Glad you liked my hub.

      PeoplePower, everyone has a new use for duct tape, isn't it amazing? Thanks for reading and sharing my hub.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      I used duct tape to make items that I have a need for: camera case, sunglass case, and micro SD case. I love this hub...Oh there is one more use, you can remove cactus needles from your skin by placing it adhesive side down on your skin and then removing it. The needles will stick to the adhesive and comee right out. Thanks for SHARING

    • michifus profile image

      michifus 6 years ago

      Interesting about wart removal. It does mean sticking duct tape to your body for two weeks though. I guess it would depend where your wart is. Good hub. Great invention.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Definitely all purpose Barbergirl I'm sure the creators never dreamed...Thanks for reading.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      The whole time I was reading this one thing came to mind... this small piece of paper that I picked up from the craft store with instructions on how to make a beach bag from duct tape. I am glad that toward the end you finally mentioned it. Duct tape is truly the all purpose tool! Heck - if it is broken... bring on the duct tape. Awesome hub and thanks for SHARING all information duct tape! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      The world is full of surprises. I'm sure my parents would be stunned at the uses of duct tape if they were alive today! Thanks for reading.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      You are so right about the versatality of duct tape. We have it everywhere and use it frequently for repairs, reinforcement, but never thought of it being used for wallets and such.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Moiragallaga I don't think there's a home anywhere without duct tape! Glad you enjoyed my hub. Should I tell your husband to watch out? ;)

      Kris they say the wart removal really does work though I never heard about using bacon with the duct tape. I bought my son-in-law (a self employed contractor) several different patterned duct tapes for Christmas. Thanks for reading.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      My morning exercise ladies were going on an on about how well the duct tape/bacon trick worked for warts. I seriously thought they were joking but I gathered it's a home remedy that's been around for awhile. Sort of makes sense, between the bacon and the duct tape the wart and area around it would be suffocated.

      Love the patterned duct tape - had no idea that existed.

      Great hub:)

    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      A very interesting and enjoyable read tillsontitan. Duct tape is very useful and versatile. We are never without it at home, my husband makes sure of that. It has a lot of practical uses and I'm intrigued by its application for wart removal, I think I'm going to try it out on my husband, haha.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Sky, so glad you enjoy my hubs and I am happy to have you follow me as I follow you. My name...I live in Tillson and think I am a titan ;)

      tlpoague glad you liked the hub and you've named yet another use for duct tape!

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from USA

      I love ducktape, and its many uses. I once used it to patch a hole in my pants (I taped it from the inside.) on my way to work. It worked wonders to get me through the day. My sister once used it as a mouse trap. Around here is it a huge item up for demand. Thanks for sharing this hub!

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 6 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      Once I see the notice that you have written a new hub my great reads that don't fail , I tent to leave for the night, some I read twice day and night to digest.

      Not only are there different uses for the duct tape, but it gives this dear lady great ideas, as written here in this great hub.

      Great work tillsontitan, what a name.


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      You're so right Bob. Actually in researching I read that Chinese duct tape is the best...wouldn't you know!

      Yes, Audrey, I want to try the wart application.

      Thanks Sunshine, glad you found it interesting.

      Arusho they're selling duct tape wallets online and on ebay, go figure.

    • arusho profile image

      arusho 6 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      great hub. I had no idea duct tape came in so many different colors, and I was just thinking the other day how I need to get the duct tape out to patch up my waterproof gloves. Ha, ha! I heard about using duct tape for warts, but I didn't know people were making wallets out of the stuff.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I had no idea duct tape has become so colorful and popular! Very interesting. Great hub!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 6 years ago from California

      Pretty entertaining hub! So warts, huh?! Who knew?

    • profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago

      Great article about a great product. But careful which brands you buy, some aren't so good (usually the cheap stuff) Just like Scotch Tape, the imitations are never as good.


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks EclecticFusion. Check youtube, I know there's videos there on how to make duct tape wallets.

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from Tennessee

      Great article! I have a duct tape wallet. It was a gift and it's just the plain gray. I wish I knew how to make them, I'd use all those awesome patterns and colors!


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