18 Clever Uses for Duct Tape

So useful — and with so many color options, what's not to like?. woodleywonderworks/Flickr

In the 1940s, the United States military asked Johnson & Johnson to devise "a waterproof, strong cloth based tape that could keep moisture out of ammunition cases," according to Boston.com. The result was a superhero adhesive tape made from a rubber-based adhesive applied to a durable duck cloth backing. Originally called duck tape, due to its cotton duck substrate, at some point during the last half of the 20th century it became better known as duct tape, owing to its employment in ductwork.

But over the years something else evolved with the product along with its name. It became the absolute darling of the do-it-yourself set — the indispensable item in the tool box, craft room, car trunk, back pack, sports bag and junk drawer, not to mention submarines and NASA spaceships. It's the sine qua non for emergency hacks and for making do with what you have. And its durability makes it an integral component in extending the usability of broken things, giving them a new lease on life and keeping them out of the rubbish heap. And although to some, duct tape crafts and repairs may scream, "low-rent and tacky," we're seeing a shift in the zeitgeist that suggests a new era of duct-tape chic is in the air. So find some inspiration here and get taping.

1. Fix a leaky boat

boat fixed with duct tape

2. Fashion some fisherman sandals

fisherman sandals
Bruce A Stockwell/Flickr

3. Construct dollhouse furniture

dollhouse furniture duct tape

4. Pimp your ride with flashlight headlights

duct tape headlights
Toban Black/Flickr

5. Craft a pretty posy

posy made of duct tape

6. Make a crochet hook or knitting needle case

crochet hook or knitting needle case made of duct tape

7. Channel your inner Duct Tape Boy with a fancy costume


8. Insulate ventilated biking shoes for cold weather

ventilated biking shoes duct tape
Thirteen Of Clubs/Flickr

9. Create a nifty vegan wallet

nifty vegan wallet

10. Repair your smashed windshield for the drive to the auto body shop

smashed windshield fixed with duct tape

11. Draft an army of homemade toys

army of homemade toys made with duct tape

12. Indulge in the 'ol duct tape necktie trick

duct tape necktie

13. Construct a camera bag

duct tape camera bag

14. Make a set of emergency flip-flops

emergency flip flops made of duct tape
Clint Lalonde/Flickr

15. Make a handbag

duct tape handbag

16. Build a collapsible lightbox

collapsible lightbox made of duct tape

17. Craft a game or gadget pouch

game or gadget pouch made of duct tape

18. And the most practical use of all, tape a gorilla to a tree...

taping gorilla to tree