You’ve spotted those rolls of gray duct tape at hardware stores and probably even have some around the house.
Duct tape is known as a go-to fixer for everything from leaky hoses to window screens, but it’s getting a whole new use these days.
The tape is increasingly available in bright colors and fun patterns, enabling crafters to turn it into all sorts of things: hair bows, wallets, bookmarks, belts — even flip-flops.
“It’s like the star of the craft world now,” said Marisa Pawelko, a craft designer for Duck Tape brand duct tape.
Making crafts and art out of duct tape isn’t a brand new idea, but it has become more popular in the last few years, she said. Social media is helping boost the trend, particularly among tweens and teens. With summer vacation nearly here, duct tape projects could be a good way to keep kids busy.
YouTube videos provide detailed instructions. Facebook helps crafters share ideas.
Other signs of the trend include a six-page spread on tape projects in the March/April edition of American Girl magazine, which is popular among elementary and middle school girls.
Rose Kriens, a manager at Michaels Arts & Crafts at 144th Street and West Maple Road in Omaha, said her store had a good turnout for a recent demonstration on making duct tape purses.
Kids aren’t making tape crafts just for fun. A couple of students at Omaha’s St. Wenceslaus School made more than 200 bows from duct tape to raise money for a needy family their class adopted.
Getting started is pretty simple. All you need is some duct tape and scissors. Velcro fasteners also are handy. You can buy rolls of duct tape for a couple of dollars at discount and craft stores.
Kayli White, a sixth-grader at Omaha’s Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School, tapped into YouTube for duct tape ideas. She has made necklaces, bracelets and flowers that she attaches to pens. She’s also decorated notebooks and has given away some of her projects as gifts.
She loves all the fun patterns, such as zebra and paint splatter. You can also find duct tape with star patterns, lips, cheetah spots and even red tape with the Husker “N.”
You can also buy tape in bright pink, green and orange.
The Duck Tape brand carries more than 100 colors, prints, licensed logos and characters such as Hello Kitty.
Kayli’s mom, Jolene, said the crafts are a great way for kids to get creative. The projects also are a good way for her daughter to have fun with friends. During Christmas break her daughter invited friends over to work on duct tape crafts.
Laura Maxwell, a seventh-grader at Omaha’s St. Cecilia Grade School, started making duct tape projects last year. She has made bows for her sister and her friends. She’s also decorated a school folder with colored tape.
She’s definitely sticking with duct tape crafts.
“You see all the colors and it makes me happy,’’ she said.
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