6 Fun Ways to Decorate With Duct Tape

The new versions of duct tape are as durable as the trusty silver stuff, but they're made for showing off. See how the experts at HGTV Magazine put them to use.

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  • Tips for Working With Duct Tape

    It's long-lasting, water-resistant and neater than paint — and if you mess up, you can just peel it off and start again. It's easiest to cut the tape with a utility knife with a sharp blade. But if you do use scissors and the blades get gummed up, wipe them with a little Goo Gone.

    To cut the tape with a utility knife, stick the tape on a cutting mat (available at craft stores) or parchment paper. Use a straight edge, like a ruler, to get precise lines. After cutting, just peel off the tape and apply. To make sure the edges don’t peel up, run over each strip firmly with a straight edge, like an old credit card, after you apply it.

  • Make Pop Art

    Cut a 2-inch square of duct tape and place it in the center of a 12-inch-by-12-inch canvas panel (from $2, at craft stores). Surround it with four 6-inch-long pieces of tape in a contrasting color, slightly overlapping the edges to form a bigger square. Repeat with four 10-inch-long pieces of your center color, pressing tape down firmly.

    Tape: Scotch Cherry Red and Sea Blue; Scotch Green Apple and Cherry Red; Scotch Violet Purple and Sunshine Yellow

  • Stripe Bath Accessories

    Trim strips of tape with a utility knife so they are each 1 inch wide and vary in length. Round the edges (you can eyeball the shape), then adhere them to each container, wrapping the tape under the bottom.

    Tape: Duck Brand Wavy Green and Scotch Green Apple

  • Jazz Up a Ceiling Fan

    If you can, remove the blades. Starting at the part of the blade closest to the center of the base, apply strips of tape 2 inches apart. (You can use 2-inch painter’s tape as a guide to keep spacing even.) For the rounded edge, lay a strip of duct tape over the end of the blade, then flip it over and trim the excess with a utility knife. Remove painter’s tape and reattach blades.

    Tape: Platypus Pool Chevron

  • Brighten Switch Plates

    Line up two strips of tape on the front of the plate. Trim to fit, leaving a little to fold over the back. Turn the plate facedown and cut out the openings with a utility knife.

    Tape: Clockwise from top left: Duck Brand Zig-Zag; Scotch Safari; Kid Made Modern kit in Tonal (crosses and green dots); Platypus Modern Houndstooth; Scotch Retro Tiles; Platypus Blue Paisley; Platypus Pink Polka Dot

  • Add Plaid to a Chair Seat

    Unscrew the chair seat if you can. Trim four colors of tape into 1-inch-wide strips, using the seat’s diameter as a guide for length. Starting in the middle of the seat, apply the strips of tape diagonally, 2 inches apart, working toward the corners. (Use painter's tape as a guide for spacing.) Wrap the tape under the seat’s edge and press firmly; remove painter's tape. Then apply stripes on the opposite diagonal, following the same steps.

    Tape: Duck Brand Deep Blue Ocean; Scotch Sunshine Yellow, Tangerine Orange and Blue Turquoise

  • Zigzag Magazine Files

    Starting at a corner, place a strip of tape diagonally across the back of the file. Cut it to fit so the tape overlaps the file's sides by about 3/4 inch. Repeat, alternating tape colors, leaving about 1/2 inch of space between each tape strip, until you've covered the file.

    Tape: Scotch Tangerine Orange and Hot Pink

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