When you think of tape, you probably think of those regular tape dispensers sitting on your teacher’s desk waiting to fix a ripped piece of paper.
Or maybe you think of duct tape. This is another common type of tape that was intended for use with duct work but has since been expanded for use in just about any situation.
If you think of either of these types of tape, you may be surprised when you to go to a craft or office supply store to find rows and rows of varying types of tape, some you may never have even heard of. How do you choose the tape that’s right for your new craft?
So, what are the 9 types of craft tape? The most popular types of craft tape are duct tape, double-sided tape, decorative tape, washi tape, masking tape, mounting tape, clear tape, foam tape, and electrical tape. They can be used for a range of different crafts, from paper crafts to home décor and more.
Keep reading to explore the world of craft tape and open the possibilities for your next project!
1. Duct Tape
Duct tape was originally invented during World War II by a female factory worker. People often refer to it as “duck tape,” and while some think this is wrong, it’s actually the original name!
“Duck tape” got its first name because it was made from cotton duck fabric and worked to repel water, similar to a duck’s back. It was created to be durable, yet easy to apply and remove.
Today, duct tape has been widely applied to a great number of situations and uses. Because it’s made by combining fabric and adhesive, it’s one of the strongest tapes out there. It’s commonly joked about as the fix to anything – from a large crack in cement to a broken heart.
But realistically, how can you use duct tape in your everyday crafts?
Duct tape can be folded in on itself in crafty ways to create fashion accessories, such as a wallet or belt. You can even fold it on itself and weave it together to create a purse or handbag.
Duct tape is a great partner for cardboard as well. You can wrap duct tape around shaped cardboard to create a sled, a desk organizer, a picture frame, and more!
Wrap duct tape around a foam square to create your own bleacher seat. You can even fold it and weave it to create a strong, weather-proof hammock.
Speaking of weather-proofing, duct tape is perfect for outdoor use. If you’re looking for a good quality tape to use for an outdoor project, duct tape is the perfect choice.
2. Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape is ideal for those looking to create a craft with seemingly no adhesive.
Glue tends to be difficult to work with. If you use the liquid form, it can clump up and cause your paper to dry warped and wrinkled. If you use the stick form, it tends to dry and peel easily, ruining the adhesive quality you wanted in the first place.
Typically, double-sided tape is best for use with paper crafts. It’s perfect for scrapbooking, helping you to add pictures and memorabilia such as receipts without obvious tape holding them on the paper.
One of our favorite brands of double-sided tape is ATack. They created an extra-sticky and clear double-sided tape that not only works great on paper, but can be used for more heavy-duty applications such as woodworking, mounting décor, and rug placement.
3. Decorative Tape
Although decorative tape isn’t a specific type of tape, it certainly has a place in the crafting world.
You can find decorative tapes in duct tape, washi tape, and even masking tape formats. We’ll get into the details of washi and masking tape below, but for now, let’s focus on why you’d want tape with designs in the first place.
With double-sided tape, we described how it’s great for scrapbooking because it keeps the tape out of the picture. But what if you want to create a fun and decorative border around the picture you’re adding?
Decorative tape can help you do just that. It can be used to create cute borders, lines, and accents to any scrapbooking page.
The duct tape decorative tapes can be used to create all those duct tape accessories like belts, wallets, and purses, but in a fun and vibrant way! You can find decorative duct tape in tons of patterns: animal pattern, nature pattern, whimsical pattern, and even solid colors.
With decorative tape, there’s no limit to the designs and flair you can create for your craft project.
4. Washi Tape
Made from rice paper, washi tape is a thin tape used only for decoration.
If you’ve tried washi tape before, you know that it’s not the strongest adhesive. It sticks great to the paper on its own, but will likely not be practical to use to keep something else stuck to the paper.
The thin nature of washi tape makes it easy to tear, but you’ll probably want to cut it if you want clean lines in your decoration.
Washi tape comes in so many different patterns, it’s impossible to list them all! If you visit your local craft store, you’ll notice that there are more designs, colors, and patterns than you could ever feasibly use.
Not only does it have a large variety of patterns, but it also comes in varying widths. You can find washi tape in a width as small as 0.12 inches wide.
Because it’s thin and highly decorative, we recommend using washi tape for scrapbooking or even sticker planning! Washi tape makes for great borders, outlines, and decorative accents.
5. Masking Tape
Most of you have probably seen a roll of masking tape on your teacher’s desk, but had no idea what they used it for.
The reason masking tape is so popular for teachers is that it’s a great temporary adhesive. You can use it to hang something on the wall, have it stay there, and then quickly and easily take it down when you’re done.
This is ideal for teachers who decorate seasonally, or need to hang up posters around the classroom for the school year and remove them for the summer.
Masking tape can also be a huge help for special events, like birthday parties or school dances! It’s a great way to hang up decorations in a space that will need to be cleaned up within the same or next day.
There are plenty of brands of masking tape, and really, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Masking tape is fairly standard no matter which brand you purchase. It’s cream-colored, lightweight, easy to rip or cut, and medium adhesive.
Of course, if you’re really looking for a specific brand, you can always buy the Scotch brand masking tape. Scotch is a household name when it comes to tape brands, and they always deliver with top-quality tapes for any of your project needs.
6. Mounting Tape
If your project involves mounting something, whether it be LED string lights or picture frames, you’ll want to get actual mounting tape.
Mounting tape is used for exactly what it sounds like – mounting something onto a wall.
Mounting tape has gotten more popular with the home décor trend of “collage walls” where a collection of photo frames are hung up on the wall to create a collage of family pictures. These are typically done with a theme, such as a wedding or baby pictures.
It can also be useful when adding string lights to a larger project, such as something created through woodworking. If you’ve built your own gazebo or covered patio, you can use mounting tape to add string lights along the support beams and overhead lattice beams.
The great thing about mounting tape is that it’s so versatile. Whether you’re creating a craft, or simply looking to hang up a set of hooks on the wall, mounting tape can help. Because there are so many different uses for mounting tape, it comes in many different brands, widths, and strengths.
For a thinner mounting tape to be used with string lights, we recommend this 3M brand tape. If you are looking for a more heavy-duty type of mounting tape, you can’t go wrong with Gorilla. They’re a well-known brand when it comes to extra-strength adhesives.
7. Transparent Tape
An invisible alternative to regular tape, transparent tape can help keep your project together without making obvious tape lines all across your craft.
We love transparent tape for its usefulness in keeping things looking clean. It’s great to use for gift wrapping, but is also perfect for paper crafts such as homemade holiday or birthday cards, scrapbooking, and repairing ripped paper.
Never one to disappoint, Scotch brand has a fantastic line of transparent tape. You can get a 4-pack for a very reasonable price, keeping you crafting longer.
Some brands claim to offer transparent tape, but it’s actually a matte finish. The Scotch tape brand is truly transparent to keep your project looking great!
8. Foam Tape
While usually being advertised for mounting purposes, foam tape is a great tool to have in your crafting toolkit. We love to use foam tape to create 3D effects on flat projects. Foam tape is often double-sided, but don’t let that stop you.
Cut out the design you want in your tape and lay it down on the paper. Peel of the protective backing, then lay down a piece of construction paper on top. Use a utility or craft knife to cut out the paper in the same shape as the foam tape, and voila! A 3D effect on your flat paper project!
Another great idea is to use the foam tape as your 3D base, then layer a type of decorative tape (whether duct, masking, or washi tape) on top of your foam tape. This is a fun and easy way to give your paper craft some 3D pizzazz!
There are plenty of options when it comes to foam tape, but we recommend the 3M brand again as this is another well-known and reputable tape brand. Just like Scotch, they’re consistent in quality and always serve as a solid option.
9. Fashion Tape
For those who live more in the paper crafting world, you may see fashion tape on this list and wonder how it could be used for your craft.
Well, this one isn’t for paper crafting. Fashion tape is ideal for those looking to craft with fabrics and textiles!
Even though fashion tape is commonly used to keep an article of clothing secure on the body, it can also be used to keep fabric together.
When working on a craft or project that involves making fabric stick to another surface (or itself), fashion tape is the way to go. It can secure your fabric to cardboard, paper, foam, and more.
This can come in handy when your child has a project to create their own felt puppet, or in creating a homemade Halloween costume.
While there are many kinds of fashion tape, we recommend the Fearless brand. This fashion tape comes in ½” x 3” strips ready to use on your fabric project.
What Are All The Different Types Of Tape?
Although we’ve listed 9 types of craft tape in this article, there are many more types of tape out there.
For example, there’s also painter’s tape, flooring tape, packing tape, and gaffer’s tape. Each of these has a specific use for which it was designed and can be great for those specific projects!
What Is The Best Tape For Crafts?
Although the best tape for crafts entirely depends on what craft you’re working on, washi tape and colored duct tape are high up on the list. They’re versatile, colorful, and easy to find.
If you’re into woodworking, though, washi tape will do little for you other than look cute. You’ll want a more heavy-duty tape, such as mounting tape, for use in woodworking projects.
What Is So Special About Washi Tape?
You may have heard the term washi tape repeatedly in the crafting world without having any knowledge of what it actually is. Washi tape is highly regarded among paper crafters for many reasons.
The first is that it’s highly decorative. As we mentioned earlier, there is truly no limit to the patterns and themes you can find on washi tape. Because they have so many different options, they’re perfect for scrapbookers who want to use something different on every page.
Another reason it’s popular is because it’s so thin. This makes it ideal for creating borders and outlines without making your scrapbook thick and heavy with strips of tape. It also means it’s easy to cut, so you’ll always get clean lines.
Finally, it’s easy to stick to a variety of surfaces other than paper (such as wood, metal, and plastic), but peels off cleanly with no residue or damage left behind.
Up Next: Best Mounting Tapes