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Colored duct tapes: They’re not just for your backpack or your Vans anymore. (If you were in middle school in the aughts, you know what I’m talking about.) On the 2020 art-supplies bingo card, we doubt anyone guessed that brightly hued duct tape would make a resurgence—not as a fashion statement this time, but to demarcate social distancing guidelines during a deadly respiratory pandemic. Of course, colored duct tapes can be used for much more than the waiting line outside your local Trader Joe’s. We’ve picked our five favorite brands, selecting them on the basis of aesthetics (did someone say glitter tape?), durability, and stickability—because without the latter two, they wouldn’t really be duct tape, now would they?
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Duck Tape Colored Duct Tape
The branding masterminds at Duck Tape have a product that runs circles around its competitors in the colored-tape game. They sell their standard super-strong tapes in too many fun matte colors to name here, plus scores of patterned, glittery, and glow-in-the-dark options. Just keep your wits about you while ordering: Though all these tapes are the standard 2-inch width, they vary dramatically in length. Mattes come in 20-yard rolls, prints in 10-yard rolls, and the glitter tape in 5-yard rolls. The glow-in-the-dark tape, despite its premium price, is just 10 feet long.
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Platypus Designer Duct Tape
For those looking for personality-packed prints, Platypus is your best bet. This brand exclusively sells patterned tapes, but what patterns they are: You can buy leopard prints, paisleys, even tapes that ape the textures of linen or a knitted scarf. This tape also merits an honorary mention for most stealthily shady brand name. (Duck, meet Platypus. Get it?)
ANOTHER GOOD CHOICE
Bazic Fluorescent Colored Duct Tape
Like the sound of the Craftzilla set but don’t want to commit to a whole dozen rolls? Try this 6-pack of 10-yard colored duct tapes in eye-popping neon (though not technically fluorescent, i.e.: glow in the dark) hues. You’ll have a tape that’s significantly more workable and kid-friendly than your average tape. These rolls won’t stand up to heavy- duty tasks or DIY fix-its, but they’re a cost-effective option for decorative use.
Buy: Bazic Fluorescent Colored Duct Tape $14.98
ProTapes PE-Coated Cloth Duct Tape
Maybe you’re looking for something a little tougher than the usual Duck Tape rolls, and you’re not too picky about colors. Enter ProTapes: These super-strong rubber adhesive tapes come in jumbo 60-yard rolls that are long and hefty. The tape is 9 millimeters thick and boasts a tensile strength of 24 pounds per square inch. We’ve linked the green two-inch-wide model, but more colors are available, as well as a tape three inches wide.
Buy: ProTapes PE-Coated Cloth Duct Tape $13.77
Craftzilla Colored Duct Tape
Any colored duct tape worth its salt should be more than an adhesive: It should be able to act as a medium in and of itself. We love this set of a dozen 10-yard rolls by Craftzilla for precisely that reason. This brightly colored tape, billed as a “craft set,” works great for all manner of paper and sculpture projects, clinging best to itself and other crafting materials. It’s a welcome departure from the skin-shredding stickiness of heavyweight duct tapes yet remains durable. If you have any doubts at all about buying so much duct tape at once, we bet this well-priced package deal will change your mind—and since there’s a 60-day return policy, your risk is just about zero.
Buy: Craftzilla Colored Duct Tape $23.95