MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Almost everyone has a duct-tape tale to tell.
The sticky adhesive has worked in a pinch to make home repairs. It’s been touted as a wart remover. People have made clothes and fashion accessories using some of the more fashionable duct-tape colors now available, such as aqua, red, yellow and blue.
“I think it’s just a regular American icon like apple pie,” said Bethany Schmotzer, product manager for Duck brand duct tape, which sponsors duct-tape contests. “I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t used it.”
Stories about interesting ways to use duct tape are countless. More than 2,600 people submitted duct-tape tales in the Duck brand “Duct Tape Saves the Day” contest held by Henkel Corp., which announced its winning entry on Jan. 15, awarding a Virginia resident $5,000 for the best use of duct tape.
Inspired by Henkel, we asked readers for their duct-tape stories. More than a dozen responded with stories that included innovative, interesting or humorous ways they’ve used duct tape.
Henkel’s winner used duct tape and diapers over the course of a year to wrap an injured horse’s hoof, ultimately saving the animal’s life.
“When we called him, he was more excited about winning the year’s worth of Duck tape than the $5,000,” Schmotzer said. “He’s a farmer so he goes through it all the time.”
On March 5, the company will launch its next contest, “Stuck at Prom,” which asks high-school couples to design their prom outfits out of duct tape and send in photos of their design for a chance to win cash and prizes.
On the Myrtle Beach-area’s Grand Strand, Tracey Wallman put duct tape to a creative use: She made a strapless bra.
“It works wonderful and will stay in place as long as needed,” Wallman wrote. “It’s comfortable, and you give the appearance of having a bra on without actually wearing one. ... I would have enclosed a picture, but my husband wouldn’t let me.”
Her advice when removing the makeshift strapless bra is to treat it like a bandage.
“One quick rip and it’s off,” she said.
Salvatore Losicco found a useful way to use duct tape after his wife kept stealing the TV remote when he’d fall asleep in his recliner.
“Now I duct tape it to my hand,” Losicco said. “Problem solved! Every time I would fall asleep she’d be tugging at my remote control.”
Losicco’s wife, Carol, said she bought her husband a larger remote so it would be easier for him to tape it to his hand.
“He’s a nut,” Carol Losicco said. “He can be in a dead sleep, and I’ll take the remote, and he wakes up every time.”
Carolyn McClintick of Murrells Inlet, S.C., enjoys making purses and other accessories out of duct tape. When she was unable to find an Ohio State purse, she decided to make one out of duct tape. Since then, she’s made several items, including a Steelers pocketbook.
“I wanted one that I didn’t have to knit or crochet,” she said. “I looked it up on the Internet on how to do it.”
She’s often asked to make duct-tape purses for others when they see her creations.
“I do them as gifts,” she said. “They’re pretty neat. You don’t seem them out anywhere.”
Duct tape helped Karole Jensen repair the roof of her grandson Zack’s truck, a 1977 Ford F-150, which she was driving in a downpour when the roof peeled away and “was flapping in the breeze like an unhooked convertible top,” Jensen wrote. “Only this was not meant to be a convertible.”
She tried tying it down with rope, but dirt and leaves continued to pour through the cracks as she traveled down the highway on a trip from Columbia, S.C., back to Myrtle Beach.
“Clearly, the roof rope was stretchy and not going to make this trip,” Jensen wrote. She pulled over at a store and purchased duct tape.
“At last, duct tape,” Jensen said. “And lots of it. Round and round. All over the roof line. Some inside, latched onto the very bent-up cardboard ceiling. That was a great remedy. That duct tape stayed in place with occasional repairs for well over two years.”