Tape for Dozens of Sticky Situations | Reader's Digest

Tape for Dozens of Sticky Situations

Discover the many ways tape helps you out -- at home, in the kitchen, with kids, and more!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Safely pick up glass shards

Why risk cutting yourself picking up bits of broken glass from the kitchen floor? Just hold a long piece of transparent tape tightly at each end and use it to blot up all the shards.

Create a no-fly zone

Make your own fly and pest strips that are free of polluting toxic chemicals and poisons. Cover empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls with transparent tape, sticky side out, and hang them in the kitchen or wherever else you need them.

Keep hands free at grocery

Next time you go food shopping, bring some tape with you and use it to affix your shopping list to the handle of your grocery cart. This will free both your hands and you won’t keep misplacing or dropping your list.

Make candles fit snugly

Don’t let loose candles spoil the romantic mood or cause a fire at your next candlelight dinner. If the candles don’t fit snugly into the holder, wrap layers of tape around their bottom edges until they fit just right.

Code your keys

Are you always groping around to find the right key when you get home in the dark? Just wrap some tape around the top of your house key, and you’ll be able to feel for the right key when it is too dark to see. Or if you have several similar-looking keys that you can’t tell apart, color-code them with different-colored tape.

Prevent jewelry tangles

To keep fine chains from tangling when you travel, cover both sides of each chain with transparent tape. You can also use tape to keep a pair of earrings from separating.

Contain grease stains on paper

You may never be able to get rid of grease spots on books or important papers, but you can keep them from spreading with a little help from some transparent tape. Affix tape over both sides of the spot to keep the grease from seeping through to other pages or papers.

Keep papers from blowing in the wind

If you have to make a speech or accept an award at an outdoor event, bring a roll of transparent tape with you. When it’s your turn to talk, place some tape on the lectern, sticky side out, to prevent your papers from blowing away.

Make sewing easier

Let transparent tape simplify your sewing: Use it to hold a zipper in place when you’re making a garment. (You can sew through the tape and remove it when you’re done.) Keep badges, patches, or name tags in place when sewing them onto shirts, uniforms, or caps. Tape hooks, eyes, and snaps to garments when sewing so they won’t slip. Just pull the tape off when you’re done. Tape a pattern to the material; when you cut the pattern, you’ll have a reinforced edge.

End loose ends on thread spools

Put an end to time-wasting frustrating searches for loose ends of thread. Just tape the ends to the top or bottom of the spool when you’re done sewing and they’ll be at your fingertips and ready to use next time you sew.

Remove lipstick from silk

Why pay an expensive dry-cleaning bill to remove a lipstick spot from a silk scarf or dress when you can do it yourself for free? Just place a piece of transparent tape (or masking tape) over the spot and yank it off. If you can still see some of the lipstick color, sprinkle on some talcum powder or chalk and dab until the powder and the remaining lipstick disappear.

Clean your nail file

Clean a nail file easily and effectively. Simply place a piece of transparent tape over it, press, and pull off. The tape will pick up all the dirt embedded in the surface of the file.

Keep picture nails from damaging wall

Before driving a nail into the wall, put a piece of tape on the wall at the site. This will prevent the paint from peeling off if you have to remove the nail, and it will prevent wallboards from cracking too.

Keep screws handy

When doing household repairs, place loose screws, nuts, and bolts directly on a piece of transparent tape so they won’t roll around and get lost. Stick some double-sided tape on your workbench and use it to hold screws and such in place while you’re working on a project.

Mend a broken plant stem

Use transparent tape to add support to a broken plant stem. Just wrap the stem in tape at the damaged area and leave the tape on until it mends. The taped plant will keep growing as long as moisture can continue to travel up the stem.

Make a seed strip

Make your own seed strip to create perfectly straight rows in your garden with almost no effort. Sprinkle some seeds on a piece of wax paper and use your fingers to arrange and align them. After removing the excess, take a strip of transparent tape and place it over the seeds. Then just bury the tape in the garden and you will soon have perfect rows.

Catch cricket invaders

If noisy crickets have invaded your basement or garage, try trapping them with packaging tape. Take a strip of the tape and place on the floor, sticky side up. Later, just release your catch into the wild or feed them to a cricket-eating pet.

Make safety markers for a car emergency

You’ll be a lot safer when your car breaks down at night if you have safety markers on hand to warn oncoming drivers. You can make your own safety markers easily at home. Just put strips of brightly colored reflector tape on some old coffee cans. Keep them in the trunk of your car for use in an emergency.

Make pets visible at night

Don’t let your beloved family pet get hit by a car during the night. Put reflector tape on Rover’s collar so drivers will be able to see him immediately in the dark.