23 Brilliant Uses of Duct Tape In Real Life

Print Friendly

Anyone with a modicum of cleverness can come up with the list of 50 ways to do this or 50 ways to do that.  The problem, as I see it, is many of these lists are a rehash of another list with the author having little or no first hand experience with each of the listed items. Not that it is devious or wrong, but there has to be a better way.

Something I like to do is to ask real people how they manage situations and use things.  I couple that with my own knowledge and experience and viola!  We have a better way!

23 Brilliant Uses of Duct Tape In Real Life | Backdoor Survival

When I wrote about 5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape, I was curious to learn about some other oddball uses of duct tape.  Backdoor Survival readers came out of the woodwork to respond!

And so today, I share with you 23 brilliant uses of duct tape, gathered from your own, proven testimonials.

23 Oddball Uses of Duct Tape In Real Life

Repairs Of All Types

1. Repair Car Upholstery

I have duct tape patching an awkwardly located hole in the fabric of my car seat.

2. Hold Boots Together

The most oddball use I can think of would be to tape my boots together.

3. DIY Welding Glove

I have a welding glove that I used for the entire build of our Shipping Container House ( 55+ lbs of wire through my welder…) that has almost an entire roll on it since I kept burning holes in it but couldn’t see purchasing another set of gloves when I only used the left hand.

4. Repair Cracked Bathtub

I did used duct tape as a temporary repair for a crack in the floor of my bathtub while I was deciding on what to do for a permanent repair. I was using regular duct tape so I had to replace it every week or two.

5. Repair Broken Windows

We used duct tape to repair two broken windows in our kitchen

6. Extend the Life of Running Shoes

I once had a blowout on one of my running shoes where the whole side seam came apart. Several strips of duct tape and I was back on the road, worked great for a while and when needed just replaced old tape with new. Got a lot of extra miles from that pair.

7. Hem Clothing

I do a temporary repair to the hems of my pants. Invariably I put my heel in the hem of my pants just before I get to work or to an interview and can’t sit in the loo to fix them, Bit of duct tape and I can wait till I get home to do a proper repair.

8. Re-Connect Broken Tail Light

Temporarily connect tail light cover to car after backing into mailbox.

9. Replace Broken Cap

I used duct tape to make a replacement cap on bottle of contact lens solution.

10. Repair Strap on Handbag

The rubber coating on my Ameribag shoulder bag strap ripped and duct tape fixed it so it no longer hurts my hand when I pick it up.

11. Repair Rear Axle on Vehicle

Repairing a broken rear axle on a car with pieces of rattan furniture and a roll of duct tape.

12. MacGyver a Generator Belt

A long time ago I had a VW Bug lost the generator belt made one out of duct tape lasted the 4 miles to the gas station without over heating, looked like it would have gone on. I have since learned that a pantyhose will work also.

13. Fix a Hole In the Side of a Boat (while in the water!)

I was on the way to Catalina in a small sail boat at night we hit something in the water and poked a hole in the side. Went in the water with some sand paper and duct tape (3M) sanded the slime off and applied multiple layers of duct tape using my fingernails to get good adhesion and press out the water. Then we dried off the inside and applied a hot mix epoxy and fiberglass patch, back on our way in under an hour.

14. Fashion a Bike Seat

Maybe not weird but my grandson’s bike seat is all duct tape.

15. Create a Makeshift Window Glass Repair

A windstorm sent a flying branch which cracked a pane of glass in the hen house door. The only place to get replacement glass was miles away, so I used duct tape to hold the broken piece and cover the open area until I had time to get replacement glass.

16. Replace Broken Hinges

I’ve also used it to replace broken hinges on small things like the pill caddy in my purse or a small storage box.

First Aid

17. Remove Warts

I love using it to remove plantar warts from the bottoms of my feet!

I once removed a wart on my finger by wearing a piece on my finger overnight for seven nights!!

18. Substitute Band-Aid

I have wrapped a piece of duct tape around a cut finger wrapped in cotton gauze until I could get a band aid.

19. Turtle First Aid

Several years ago I repaired the cracked shell of a snapping turtle that had been run over while crossing a sandy spot on a back road. After it was kept in a box for 2 days, it was released. The following year it was spotted and still had fragments of the tape on its shell!

20. Ankle Brace

I once used duct tape to make an ankle brace for a friend that sprained his ankle while we were camping. Worked great.

Other Creative Uses

21. Create Insulation Using Garbage Bags

I have used it to tape plastic garbage bags to our small green house door to keep heat in with when a quick drop in temperature caught us off guard.

22. Hang Curtains

I have used it to hold up my solar curtains to keep the heat out of my bedroom

23. Weed Proof Garden Containers

When we were constructing some 4″x4″ garden containers, we wanted to put weed fabric down before filling them with dirt. We wanted the fabric to come up the sides of the container and stay there to keep grass/weeds from coming up between the fabric and the sides of the containers. We duct taped the weed fabric to the sides of the garden containers before filling with dirt. Worked well!

The Final Word

When it comes to duct tape, everyone has a story. If you don’t, you are probably an alien from another planet!

Seriously, though, some of the best ideas for being prepared come from the comments left by readers. What brings me joy is knowing how many of you freely share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of the Backdoor Survival community.  Although you may be geographically located all over North America and the world, you are still part of this very special family.

So how about you?  Do you have an oddball use of duct tape to add to the list?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article plus some of my other favorite preps.

Gorilla Tape:  Gorilla Tape is really tough stuff for the really tough job.  For portability, Gorilla Tape To Go is extremely popular with Backdoor Survival readers.

3M Utility Duct Tape15 Ways to Limit Radiation After Nuclear Armageddon Backdoor Survival: Duct tape is an absolute necessity when sealing off a space to shelter in place.  For this purpose you want something better than the cheap stuff you get at the dollar store.

RediTape Pocket Duct Tape 2-Pack:  RediTape is available from Amazon in 2 packs.  I love this stuff and am stashing packs in all of kits.  In many cases it will replace a big bulky roll of the 3M stuff, giving me room for additional preps.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This sturdy solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. See How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

How to Sew a Button and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew:  You are going to love this book.  It is charming and and timely and filled with good-natured humor and the loving spirits of grandmothers everywhere. Also check out How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes:  One wipe is more than enough for a complete “bath”.  These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster.  Also good for the sick room as well as camping, boating, hiking and such.  Here is my review.

Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards:  This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out.  Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness panty.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  FREE SHIPPING! The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.


Shop the Emergency Essentials Daily & Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 45% off sometimes a bit more.

Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet.  I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit.  I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.

Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.


Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)?

I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon - Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are "wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Bug Out Bag - Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Third Edition:  The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook

A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.

Survival Medicine Handbook 2016



23 Brilliant Uses of Duct Tape In Real Life — 21 Comments

  1. Though not related to preparedness, this might be of interest–or at least amusing. Our son attended a banquet at college with a girl who got creative with duct tape. She made her dress from neon green duct tape, and she made his necktie from it, too.

  2. To me a lot of the items listed as “brilliant” are just normal life, but when I was growing up my father would mow the lawn in a pair of his old dress shoes that he had patched with duct tape to the point where not much shoe was showing so I learned young 🙂

    Repairing or reattaching car trim parts (lenses on the lights, mirrors, etc) with duct tape is also pretty normal to me. But number 11 above (repairing vehicle axle) is very impressive and I think it wins for most brilliant use of duct tape in the article!

  3. When I had to have my car doors fixed (someone keyed both sides of the car very badly) The place that repaired and repainted the doors didn’t put the rain screens over the windows back correctly. I lost one rain shield driving but on the second one I used duct tape to keep the rain shield on my car window till I could get home and get it reattached correctly.

  4. I’ve used duct tape and an old t-shirt two ways: 1) I’ve made a tailored pattern for a back-support bodice and 2) I’ve made a custom sewing mannikin (Similar procedure to #1, but then after you cut off the duct-tape form, you tape it back up, and then stuff it full of fabric, rags, etc. to make your shape. Then mount it on a wooden stand to create a mannikin you can try on your sewing when you don’t have someone to help you.

  5. My daughter got extra credit in her high school physics class by making a duct tape boat. It had to float (duh) for a certain amount of time and be paddled. She and two friends made it once around a small pond at a friend’s farm.

  6. Your article was timely, Gaye. I just received the 4 huge rolls of duct tape from Amazon I’d ordered. The model form is something I’ve wanted to do as I sew. I’ve used duct tape for pratically everything on the list except for the boat and the rear axel, and could have used it when mine literally broke apart on a back road one day with no help for miles around. I wouldn’t want to be without the tape..ever.

  7. I have a twenty-year-old adjustable keyboard tray at work with a foam rubber-padded wrist rest. The vinyl covering split a decade ago and the foam was making a break for it. I cleaned up the tray and tightly wrapped black duct tape over the length of the foam, forcing it back into place. Since newer models of the tray aren’t as useful as my old one, I’m more than happy to forego aesthetics for function. It has to be replaced periodically but it’s an easy fix.

  8. A note of caution here. I used duct tape in the past to seal moving boxes. If the boxes sit for any length of time in storage, when you go to open the boxes you will have one ooey gooey mess on your hands! Better to use brown packing tape if you can. I flew in a commercial plane once and looked the window to see a bit of duct tape on the back of the wing! Huh!

    • Duct tape is my go to tape for so many projects that it just seems normal to see it in so many places. But I think seeing it on an airplane wing like Francis just noted above would still make me a bit nervous. I hope the trip was just a short jaunt. I would have probably stared out the window at it for the whole trip, hoping I didn’t see it get blown off by the force of he wind.

    • Frances, you can relax about the tape you saw on the airplane wing. The tape occasionally used on aircraft is not duct tape, though it looks very much like duct tape. Instead it is a very sturdy, speed-tolerant, aluminized tape commonly called “Speed Tape”, and it is used on aircraft for temporary repairs. Works very well…the fact that you’re relating your story is testament to its efficacy, right? Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger…you are not the first to be fooled.

      • I did not know that! 🙂 As an Air Force brat, you’d think I’d have heard about it before LOL Thanks for clearing that up. It was about a hundred years ago anyway, when I was still flying back to college in the late Jurassic era. Mohawk airlines in upstate New York.

  9. Hi Gaye! I love these stories! I kept a cracked laundry hamper going for years by using duct tape. We use it all the time at our house. We also always take a roll along when we go on vacation. You never know when it might come in handy!

  10. My denim pants sometimes develop holes in pockets (probably from carrying keyring full of keys), and several times over the decades I have repaired pocketholes with duct tape placed over both sides of the holed fabric.

  11. About 56 years ago, in my teens, I did odd jobs for an old man who was (it seemed then to me) on his last legs. He had me “repair” and paint the tiny back porch and stairway at the rear of his house. The 4 X 4 support posts (true 4 X 4’s!) had a couple of good-sized holes in them. He had me cover them with duct tape and paint over the tape. I thought it was dumb, but did it. The job probably outlasted him anyways.

  12. Duct tape work gloves with holes worn in them.
    Duct tape the radar detector mount to my motorcycle.
    Duct tape my sandals back together.
    Duct tape part of my BBQ, that had rusted, back on.

  13. Obviously not Red Green Fans but “the axle fix” in one for the telling at the Possum Lodge! You got to tell the particulars. Axle, right?

  14. Ah duct tape! I’ve used it for so many things. It really brings out my creativity! When my hubby lost his wallet, I created a new one for him out of the duct tape! His co-workers begged for me to make them one too! I made a sewing needle pouch too. Also since I had a family member that kept steeling my medications, I made a secret Purse out of duct tape that I made to fit inside a pillow of mine. No more missing meds! The recliner I sleep in, we’ll it’s literally held together with duct tape, & I have made side pockets for my chair with duct tape as well. I also made a secret compartment in the arm of my chair. Nobody knows it’s there! & being disabled I have a small fridge beside my chair. I took small pop tart & small cereal boxes & made little containers that hold the TV remotes & my cell phone, & taped them to my fridge.They work great! I also used the duct tape to create a barrier on a door shelf in my fridge so things wouldn’t slip through. I also made a few water bottle / cup holders that keep my bottles of water nice & cool for several hours! I use duct tape to keep various throw rugs in place, & use it to tape up a hole in the linoleum floor in our kitchen. I used duct tape to repair a few book bindings. I also made a tablet holder out of the duct tape & a old dvd case. Well I could go on & on about the million ways i’ve used duct tape. My hubby calls me the queen of duct tape! My favorite duct tape is the gorilla duct tape! Works great! Happy duct taping everyone! It’s nice to see that great duct taping minds really do think alike!

  15. A friend of my once used it to make a bra. She had to do a show and forgot her strapless bra and with a 75E (European) she couldn’t go without it. So duct tape underneath the breasts, around it, a cotton disk on the nipples and kept in place with more duct tape. She said she had never had more support during a 1,5 hour live show with almost 1,5 hour of dancing with her duct tape bra then with a regular bra. Only the peel afterwards was horrible

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.