08 May 2008

The magical, multifunctional properties of painter's tape

Jen in Toronto loves her blue tape! For good reason:

We use painter's tape a lot around our house, and we take a roll with us when we travel. It makes a great impromptu electrical outlet cover. We use it to 're-seal' packages of crackers and boxes and bags of all kinds; you can also use it to keep diapers closed if the tabs break. It makes an okay temporary sink-stopper. Tape paper to the floor or other surface so it won't move when kids are trying to draw. [See stencil tip in today's link roundup! -- Ed] Create a hopscotch grid on any floor without having to clean up chalk marks. Best of all we put it over the speakers on musical children's toys and it magically lowers the volume! Put on a double layer for extra sound-muffling power, or just cover half the speaker if you only need a little tone down.

Anyone else have other uses for painter's tape?

Related: Use blue painter's tape to babyproof a hotel room

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Forts!

1. Pull couch away from wall.
2. Copiously blue-tape one side of a bed sheet to wall (blankets are too heavy).
3. Drape other side of sheet over back of couch.
4. Barricade entrances with beanbags and couch pillows if desired.
5. Enjoy!

This is a travel hack too. We do it in hotel rooms all the time.

I use masking tape for a lot of the same things. I also use it for labeling leftovers with the date I put them in the fridge. It really helps keep track of when things need to be eaten or thrown out.

i use it to label bottles and sippy cups for daycare/group outings. it comes off easy and doesn't leave a sticky buildup of glue over time.

Cover up the annoying glowing lights on all kinds of devices that glow during the night ... like the blinking light on my laptop.

A friend of mine uses painter's tape like mad on rainy days. She sticks it on her floors (works on both carpet and hardwood without doing any damage) in shapes, and then instructs her toddler to "run to the triangle" and "sit on the square." You get the idea. She said they can play this game all day.

Kinda more of a home improvement hack, but definitely keeping with the topic. When having to drill holes in drywall, to use drywall anchors for instance to hang something heavy, blue painter tape in conjunction with a plasic grocery sack comes in handy.

1- Find where you are going to drill the hole.
2 - Open the grocery sack with the handles to the sides and place painters tape along one inside edge of the sack facing out toward the wall. Have half the width on the sack and the other half sticking up above the edge.
3 - Place the tape on the wall about 3 inches below the spot you are going to drill such that the bag is hanging from the wall open.
4 - Puff bag open a little bit and drill hole. The sack should catch the plaster dust as it falls from the hole. Much easier than getting out the dust buster.
5 - Reposition the bag for the next hole.

Hope this is helpful.

I find that it removes from their skin easier than duct tape too. Use it over their mouthes all the time with pain free removal!

We use tape to make a "time-out" square on the floor to keep my son from roaming while he's supposed to stay put. We also play a game where we tape out shapes on the floor and do all kinds of fun stuff - make up a song and walk on the shapes' outlines ("we're walking the rectangle, rectangle rectangle it has four sides"), play inside/outside, jump to the square, now the triangle, etc...

I use painter's tape to hang my children's artwork on their bedroom and the play room walls. Easy up for instant gratification and easy down. No holes (as caused by thumbtacks) or peeled paint (as can be the result with other types of tape). I don't like to see the tape though. So I make four rolls of tape - and put one on the back of the piece in each corner to keep the image flat.

My 2 year old has gotten into the habit of touching the TV and playing with the buttons. We put down a "blue line" with painter's tape that she has to stay behind. I might add the blue time out square as a consequence for getting too close!

My 3 year old daughter's pre-ballet class has two parallel lines down the middle of the studio floor that they use to play follow the leader (in this case, the ballet teacher): they go on tiptoe, then they hop, then they walk like princesses, then they go sideways, and on and on, they go down one line, then back up another line. We used the painter's tape to make the same lines on our hardwood living room floor -- we knew our daughter would love the game, but were surprised at how well our 15 month old son got in on it too.

For our house, painter's tape is an essential for building Hot Wheels tracks. We tape down the pieces to minimize the meltdowns when the cars go astray.

I haven't done this yet but my neighbor uses this blue painter's tape to make labels for common things in the house as her child learns to read. She has labels on the drawers in the child's room that say things like Shirts; Pants; Mud Clothes....and throughout the house - Cups (on the cabinet with cups), and so on. It is a good way for the child to get familiar with letters and words, as well as gain some independence by being able to find her own pants drawer, etc.

I'll ditto the sink stopper comment. We were recently staying with friends without kids and wanted to give our daughter a bath. The drain just wouldn't stay closed. So we taped over the drain, filled up the bathtub and our daughter got cleaned!

Before we had kids, our friends would bring their kids over and we had little for them to play with. So we'd make race car tracks with painters tape on the linoleum in the entry way. All I had to do was keep a couple of matchbox cars in my junk drawer, and the kids were entertained.

Painters tape makes great pretend band-aids for trains and dolls.

The second i saw the painters tape I was ready to share my speaker secret, much to my delight I'm not the only parent who does this :)
~sarah

We LOVE painters tape. My boys and I made murals in their room - easy to change the design whenever they tire of the design and create something new. See pictures of their walls on Kidoinfo:
http://kidoinfo.com/ri/tape-art/

I thought i was the only one who used this! LOL I love it! I think everything I use it for has been mentioned. The only ones I can add is to turn off lights for Shabbat and to use really thin strips to creat the design to be embroidered on the butt of a pair of longies.

Here's my list of uses for Painter's Tape around my house:
1. Preventing Paint Scuffs from Kids Furniture on Walls: I bought a cute circular kids table with a green painted tabletop at a garage sale. The table was getting pushed against the wall and leaving behind tell-tale green paint marks on the wall. I was able to clean the green marks off using a magic eraser, but I wanted to take preventative measures to keep it from becoming a recurring cleaning task. So I got my bright blue Painter's Tape and simply taped the edge of the table with it. The bright blue matches the table's color scheme, and now I don't have any more green marks on my walls!

2. Securing a Vinyl Tablecloth to Table: I am proud to admit that the table my family of 4 eats our meals at is the first table that my husband and I purchased ten years ago. It is the best $100 we've ever spent because we have gotten so much use out of it. The tabletop is covered with that fake wood finish that isn't very durable, so it has got bubbles, nicks, scratches and is not that appealing to look at. My friend Jennifer suggested covering it with a vinyl tablecloth to make it more kid-friendly and for easy clean-up. I told her that I would love to, but the boys would just pull the tablecloth off. She suggested securing it with those straps that clip to your sheets to secure them to the mattress. Well, I intended to buy a vinyl tablecloth and those nifty elastic straps with clips, but it didn't happen. So tonight I started getting out some Christmas decor, and behold, a vinyl tablecloth to use! I got excited, laid it on the table, then racked my brain for something to secure it with. Painter's Tape to the rescue! I literally wrapped the table-top like a present, and then taped it to the underneath side of the table. My theory is that it was a better solution than the ever-popular duct tape because it won't leave a gunky grey residue when removed.

3. Stick-to -the-Toy Retriever - It's hard to reach those toys under the coach and behind the entertainment center. I sometimes need something like a claw so that when I reach the toy with the yard stick or broom handle it will then come back into within arm's reach rather than get pushed further into dark unreachable recesses. Get out the Painter's Tape! Wrap it around several times on the end of the "toy retriever" with the sticky side out and it will be easier to retrieve that toy. I have also tried this with duct tape, although it is stickier, it is also more difficult to remove and leaves a residue.

4. Secure Artwork In-progress - I like to tape down individual sheets of paper for my toddler to draw on. If I give him the entire pad of paper he will color on every single sheet within ten minutes. I find that Painter's Tape does a better job securing paper than scotch tape because it is easier to remove from the paper without ripping it and it is more difficult for my toddler to remove the tape from the table.

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