Invented during World War II, duct tape started with a simple purpose: keep water out of ammunition cases. Today, most people probably couldn’t tell what the intended purpose of the stuff is. But somehow that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most useful instruments around.

Indeed, duct tape has evolved over the decades as people have devised uses for the sturdy silver tape that would make your head spin. From simple fixes to everyday problems to arts-and-crafts projects, duct tape’s many uses are almost impossible to count. Here are 20 you may have never considered!

1. Make a pencil case: For a kid, heading back to school after a long summer can be equivalent to receiving a life sentence in prison. Get the kids—or yourself—pumped up for the new school year with by decorating zip-lock bags with colorful duct tape to make pencil pouches!

Aunt Peaches

2. Create makeshift stencils: In the shirt-making game? Layer a printout of whatever you want stenciled on a T-shirt over duct tape, then cut it out to make a duct-tape stencil. Then, you can use it with markers or paint to make the perfect T-shirt design!


3. Craft a prom tux: Because high schoolers aren’t the type to be judgmental, dazzling them with duct tape outfits on the most formal night of the year should be easy. Tape dresses are on the table, too.

Stuck at Prom

4. Patch a wound: While it’s certainly not a substitute for a legitimate trip to the hospital and sterile medical supplies, duct tape can patch up or close a serious cut if you’re in a tight spot.

Popular Science

5. Cover up blisters: Blisters on the back of your heel can make every step a special kind of torture. A strip of duct tape over the blister can help cut down on friction and stymie a bit of pain.

6. Open tight lids: With a little origami folding, duct tape can pull a tight lid off a bottle. Finally, you won’t have to defeatedly pass a stubborn jar of spaghetti sauce to someone else to open!

DIY Hacks and How Tos 2 / YouTube

7. Make a sled: When a trash can lid just won’t cut it, duct tape and a folded cardboard box can serve as a sled in a pinch. Let the kids go bananas with different colors so they can personalize their snow day equipment!

Artzy Creations

8. Seal and store caulking: Dried-out caulk is a pain in the backside and a waste of money. By folding duct tape over the caulk nozzle, you can preserve bottles far longer and even hang them on peg boards!

Family Handy Man

9. Patch a tire: Facing a flat tire in the middle of nowhere can feel like the start of your own personal horror movie. Why not skip that situation to begin with and carry duct tape in your trunk? It’s perfect for a quick patch job to get you a few extra miles.

bdsoftball03 / YouTube

10. “Brown bag” it: Bringing lunch in a lunch box is so ordinary! With a bit of duct tape in your life, you can mix it up by making your own air-tight lunch containers that just flat-out look cool.

11. Create a dress form: Kudos to you if you hand-sew your own clothes! Unfortunately, it’s tough to design your clothes when you’re the model. By wrapping an old shirt in duct tape, though, you can make a dress form that’s exactly your size!

Team Ideas24 /

12. Add grip to shoes: If you’re slippin’ and slidin’ all over the place, a little bit of duct tape on the bottom of your shoes may be just what the doctor ordered. A few pieces of tape can go a long way!

13. Patch a tent hole: Hole in your tent, eh? Well that sounds like a problem for duct tape. Keep out the rain, moisture, and—most importantly—bugs without having to bust out the sewing kit.

My Outdoors Life

14. Never run out of cups: By forming a cup out of duct tape, you can create these party-appropriate (and indestructible) sippers that can be flung around, dropped, kicked—you name it. They work great as shot glasses, too!


15. Craft a hammock: When times are tough, duct tape can support you. Like, literally. Stretch some strips between a few hefty dowels, and you could be lounging in a duct tape hammock just like the Founding Fathers imagined.


16. Mark your perfect driver’s seat position: Adjusting your seat’s position between drivers is just one of those little pains in life that we’d rather do without. If a marker can’t get the job done, use a little piece of duct tape to always remember your seat’s usual spot.

17. Make a messenger bag: Grab a priority mail envelope from the post office and you’re halfway to having a super cool and unique messenger bag. Then, go crazy decorating with—you guessed it—duct tape!

Mom Filter

18. Create a charger pouch: Letting your phone rest on the ground while it charges is dangerous; you never know who might accidentally trip over the wires or step on your screen. With a little duct tape, you can make a wall pouch perfect for keeping your phone safe from wandering feet.

Home Decor

19. Tag your luggage: When everyone is buying their luggage from the same few department stores, there doesn’t tend to be a lot of variety circulating airport baggage claims. Make your bag stand out by making a tape tag and wrapping it around the handle.

Sewing Economist

20. Build a kayak: While it isn’t exactly recommended you build a boat entirely out of duct tape, you totally could. The novelty of it would be unrivaled, and it’d actually do a pretty good job on the water—just ask the Mythbusters!

You can put your duct tape to work in just about any way imaginable. What are your favorite duct tape hacks?

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