Scotch Tape is great.
When I was a kid, I used to stick it on my older sister’s arm when she wasn’t looking and laugh when she’d have to begrudgingly rip it off. Or I’d rip it off myself and laugh at her reaction.
Sometimes I’d stick it on my own arm and see if it really hurt or if she was exaggerating… I think she was exaggerating, but hey, that’s just my opinion.
Over the years, I’ve found myself using Scotch tape for much more practical uses — some of which help me save money.
It always comes in handy, and it works as a substitute for tons of different things. You can find Scotch tape almost everywhere you go, and it’s been in every house I’ve ever walked into. At Dollar Tree, two rolls of 3M Scotch tape cost just $1.
Here are six creative ways to use Scotch tape that help you save money.
1. Remove Lint From Your Clothes
Instead of spending $2.47 on a lint roller from Walmart, you can use Scotch tape to get rid of the lint on your clothes.
Removing lint using Scotch tape is really easy. Just cut about 5 inches of tape and stick the ends together to create a loop. Stick three of your fingers in the “not sticky” part, and roll it over the lint you want to remove.
This method works for me all the time, and it’s super-convenient. If you need more tape, you just cut off some more.
When you use a lint roller, you’re stuck using the full sheet or else it’ll sit there and collect dust. Even worse, if you drop it on a rug or carpet, forget about being able to use that sheet.
2. Clean Your Keyboard
You don’t need to spend $8.88 on a keyboard cleaner from Walmart when you can use your Scotch tape.
All you have to do is cut off a short strip of Scotch tape and slide it between each row of keys on your keyboard. Repeat this process with the tape facing the other way, so you get both sides of the keyboard. I hold the tape from the sides and slide it around until I need to use a new piece of tape.
Voila! Your keyboard is clean again, and you made good use of that Scotch tape sitting in your drawer looking lonely.
I’ve successfully used this keyboard-cleaning method for two years now, though I sometimes cut the tape longer and fold it so I can clean both sides of the keyboard at the same time.
Each time I clean my keyboard, I vow to stop snacking so much while using my laptop, but my stomach never listens, so I always end up with tiny crumbs on my tape.
3. Label Household Items
Need to label your cables so you know which one plugs into which console or appliance? Want to label the cell phone chargers lying around the house so nobody confuses theirs for someone else’s?
You can do that without spending $3.99 on labels.
All you have to do is cut the Scotch tape twice as long as you want your label to be. Then just fold the tape over the wire you want to label so that the sticky sides stick to each other. Label the tape however you want (e.g. “Lamya’s charger”) with a marker or pen.
If you’re just sticking the label onto something, rather than around a cable or wire, it’s a simple as cutting the Scotch tape as long as you want it to be and then writing on it!
4. Repair Your Shoelace Tips
Is your shoelace tip coming apart? Is the plastic piece — known as an aglet — fraying?
Tightly wrap some Scotch tape around where the tips used to be or are coming undone, and you’re good to go. Your shoelaces are fixed and as good as ever!
5. Create the Perfect “Cat Eye”
Ready for a night out with the girls? Or just want to feel and look fierce by drawing on the perfect winged eyeliner?
Instead of buying a “cat eye” stencil, save yourself $13.99 by using Scotch tape to create the look.
We all know how hard it is to draw on winged eyeliner, but by sticking a 2-inch piece of Scotch tape under your eye, you can master the “cat eye” and stun all your friends.
Run the Scotch tape from underneath your lower lid and up the outer end of your eye at whatever angle you want the wing to go, then simply draw on that “cat eye” like a pro.
If you have a hard time keeping the line straight at the base of your eyelid, create the line by dotting along the base until you reach the Scotch tape. Then all you have to do is extend the wing up along the tape. Next, connect the dots at the base of your eyelid, and go over the line
once or twice to make sure it’s nice and straight.
Once you’re done with that eye, repeat with the other one. When the eyeliner is dry, gently remove the Scotch tape to reveal the perfect “cat eye” look.
6. Give Yourself a Fun Manicure
You can give yourself a French manicure without having to spend $2.99 on a “French Manicure” stencil at Walmart. If you want to get even more creative, you can design cool nail art using Scotch tape. The choice is yours!
For a French manicure, start by applying a base coat on your nails. When it’s fully dry, wrap your nails with Scotch tape, leaving just the tips — or a little more — uncovered.
Paint the uncovered parts of your nails and you’ll have French tips. It’s okay if you mess up, since any extra polish will just go on the tape.
Once the tips are dry or semi-dry, remove the tape from around your fingers, paint a top coat or two over the full nail and you’re done! Here’s a YouTube video to get a better idea of how it’s done. Skip to 0:59 to watch.
To create nail art, just apply a base coat, then place the Scotch tape on the nail however you want it and paint around it. Once the look is complete, apply a top coat. Here are a few awesome examples to get you started.
And of course, you can also use Scotch tape or its original purpose: Taping things together or wrapping presents!
Your Turn: What other uses have you found for Scotch tape? How do they help you save money?
Lamya Zikry is a freelance writer who has written for the Times Union and now The Penny Hoarder. She’s a recent graduate from the University at Albany. She loves all things food and fashion!