4 Ways Duct Tape Can Fix Your Personal Finances

A while back I ran into this cool site that is devoted to the wondrous and wacky world of duct tape.

Duct tape was first created and manufactured in 1942 to keep moisture out of World War II soldier’s ammunition cases. The tape was originally known as “duck tape” because the tape was made using cotton duck cloth.

After the war was over, the tape was used in the housing industry to connect heating and air conditioning duct work together. The color was eventually changed from the Army’s camouflage color to silver to match the duct work and people started referring to duck tape as “duct tape.”

Today, duct tape is used for almost anything you can think of, from making lawn furniture and removing lint from clothes to patching holes in boats and using it to help lift and separate when a bra is not practical.

In fact, if your personal finances are in need of a bit of a fix, duct tape can even help you there.

But, Len, how in the world can duct tape fix my personal finances?

It’s really not rocket science, folks. Here are four ways you can use duct tape to “fix” your personal finances.

1. As a Tool to Help You Stop Overspending


Do you find yourself having trouble, um, sticking to your budget? Well, here is an elegantly simple wallet lock I made using duct tape to fix that problem.

(By the way, yes, that’s my wallet. I’ve had my faithful friend for six years and I don’t plan on getting rid of him anytime soon. After all, it’s as comfy as an old pair of slippers.).

2. As a Clever Way to Smuggle Cheap Snacks

A reader named Katie at Aunt Dinah’s Duct Tape Diner noted she saved money every time she went to the movies by wearing baggy clothes and then duct taping “soda, candy and large bags of Cheetos” around her ankles, stomach, and other, um, places. As an added bonus, Katie noted that it “also makes for hairless ankles once the tape is removed!” Yee haw! I wouldn’t recommend trying this same money-saving trick at the airport though. (Er, unless you’re the type that really enjoys surprise body cavity checks.)

3. As a Money-Saving Green Insecticide

Do you realize how expensive a can of Raid is these days? Thank goodness another clever reader at the Duct Tape Diner known as Jeff discovered that he could use duct tape to make an Earth-friendly green insecticide and save lots of money in the process. I’ll let Jeff tell his story:

“One night I was outside with my family enjoying the beautiful night air when, all of the sudden, a bunch of mosquitoes started eating us alive!   So ya know what I did? I went and got a tennis racket and wrapped it with duct tape, sticky side out, and flung it around at the mosquitoes! Believe it or not, it took care of most the pest problem!

Heh. Who says American ingenuity is dead?

4. As an Aid to Building a College Scholarship Fund

DuctTapeBelieve it or not for the past ten years Duck Brand duct tape has held an annual contest known as Stuck at the Prom where they give away college scholarships to high school prom couples who are judged to have created the best prom attire made entirely of duct tape. I’m not kidding. Of course, the couple is also required to attend the prom in their unconventional attire but considering the stakes, I think it’s more than worth it. This year, Duck Brand gave away $10,000 in scholarships to the lucky winners. (The happy couple you see here were the second place winners back in 2009.)

So there you have it: Yet more proof that duct tape can fix just about anything — including your personal finances.

Photo Credits: Len Penzo; Duck Brand Duct Tape


  1. 2


    It can be used to stretch across the mouths of youngsters whining for the next big techno-gaming doo-hickey.
    There may be laws against this, however.

    • 3


      @Adam: When researching this post, I noticed there are a lot of places that sell duct tape wallets, purses, and handbags. Some of it looked really cool!
      @Matt: You know what, Matt? I like that idea! As for the laws, we can always work to find suitable loopholes later. 😉

  2. 4


    Ha ha, what a brilliant article to start my day with.

    I love the mosquito trap… I hate those little buggers!

    My wallet is staying with me until it dies!

  3. 5


    I love it! And I’m sure my son is terrribly disappointed that he already has his tux reserved for prom, when he could have gone in duct tape.

    • 6


      @Forest: Ha! Glad I could make your Monday! (I thought the mosquito trap was an absolutely awesome idea too.)
      @Jackie: If you haven’t already done so, you have got to check out the Duck Brand web site. There are some absolutely beautiful tuxes and dresses in there! Still, duct tape attire has got to be very uncomfortable, don’t ya think?

  4. 7


    I love duct tape. It’s great to carry in the car, or take with you when you travel (banged up baggage can be easily taped back together!), or for camping! So many uses. I wonder if the person who invented it is still receiving residual income?

    • 8


      I doubt it. The tape was invented by Johnson & Johnson way back in WWII, so I strongly suspect the inventor has passed on to that great tape roll in the sky. 😉

  5. 9


    They are some funny tips. Duct taping your wallet would certainly make things harder. I have a friend who keeps their credit card frozen in a block of ice in the freezer – another effective way to curb spending!

  6. 11


    Combining the insectide & clothing idea. Next time I enter one of those “money chambers” (money flies around and you catch what you can), I’m going in with an sticky-side out duct tape suit!

  7. 13


    Now I’m going to spend the night wondering what Jeff did with the duct-taped tennis racket AFTER using it…. ew. Doesn’t sound very cost-effective (unless he puts a new layer of duct tape on it before every “use”).

    • 14


      I think you’d be surprised how much sticking power duct tape has! If the stickiness is weak, I estimate you might only get four or five wrappings per roll of tape. Quality duct tape is about $3 per roll I think. Not sure how many mosquitoes I can kill with a can of Raid. I may have to do a scientific experiment this summer when I get back to the East Coast! :-)

  8. 16

    Seth says

    I have never used a wallet. I received a money clip in high school as a present and have used one ever since. I like not having to sit on a giant full wallet and putting my spine off-kilter. The money clip takes up very little space and holds just what I need it to.

    As far as duct tape goes, I think that racquet idea sounds good. I may have to try that if we are ever out during the high season. But we also have a bat-house in our backyard, and bats love mosquitoes.. I wonder if any bats actually live in there. Maybe I should patch those holes to make it look nicer. I know, I’ll use some duct tape.

  9. 17


    I’ve used duct tape to keep my drivers mirror on my car for years. I also used it to keep my backseat window from sliding down on its own. Lets just say this car is a beater. :) Fun article.

  10. 23

    Jeff in Washington says

    Our dog has a cut on her back leg which she kept licking and not letting it heal. We gave it a chance to get started healing by putting on the medicine, next a layer of gauze, wrapped it with non-sticky cloth wrap and covering it with loosely wound duct tape not touching the hair. We then squeezed the wrap to conform to the shape of her leg. It held for 3 days before she got it off, enough time for healing to start and the hair to start growing back.

  11. 24

    Taddy says

    I would add to please NOT put duct tape directly on the skin. I attended a panel that discussed if you wanted to dress as the opposite gender for costuming/anime conventions and the speakers revealed that having duct tape on bare skin can lead to it trying to fuse with the skin, to the point of when you try to take it off, it would remove skin/flesh off of you. The presenters offered to show pictures and no one was brave enough to take them up on it.

  12. 25


    Gotta love Duct Tape! I’m reminded of a TV Show, I think it was called Duct Tape Guys if I’m not mistaken, that was entirely about Duct Tape DIY projects. I still remember an episode where these two guys, wearing their duct tape vests of course, showed how to make hanging shelves for a closet. Hilarious!


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