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Light Relief

101 Uses for Gaffer Tape!

Everybody knows gaffer tape can mend everything except a broken heart*, but what else can it do?
(OK, made it over 101 uses - but still on the lookout for more! Any suggestion can be to the webweaver.)

Proper Uses

  1. Holding the Universe together
  2. Fixing cables to the floor / roof / wall

Clothing

  1. Insulation in cold theatres
  2. Holding up stockings
  3. Repairing an underwired bra if the wire pokes out
  4. Fixing shoes with a hole in
  5. Holding up a skirt when the elastic breaks
  6. As an emergency belt
  7. Replacing a broken watch strap
  8. As an emergency bow tie (looks ok from a distance)
  9. Covering Taps on tap shoes when they are not needed
  10. Removing animal hair from clothes
  11. Removing animal hair from animals
  12. Creating stripes on ordinary clothing, making them look sporty and fashionable

On the Person

  1. Wrapping around the end of Maglites to make them easier to hold in your mouth
  2. Waxing my legs (Flooring tape is better)

On Stage

  1. Providing black edges to tables and sets etc
  2. Making a blast shield for pyrotechnics
  3. To muffle clumping noises of shoes on stage
  4. To fix props to shelves on a set that gets moved
  5. Marking stage-centre on the stage (usually ignored)
  6. Reparing holes in masking

Set Construction

  1. When we run out of Black or White gloss paint
  2. Holding the set together before putting the screws in
  3. As masking tape for painting
  4. Repairing the main curtain when it develops a rip
  5. Fixing holes in badly moulded statues
  6. Covering dangerous cracks in the floor

Over Stage

  1. Preventing steel rope from fraying (stick some gaffer over where you are cutting the cable, cut in the middle of the gaffer, and it won't fray).

Backstage

  1. For sticking the 101 uses of gaffer tape to the wall during a boring performance so so we can all have a good laugh
  2. Gives the Technical Manager another thing to moan about ("This costs 5 a roll...")
  3. Taping pieces of foam to sharp corners so that actors don't injure themselves
  4. Wheel locks for flight cases etc
  5. Use white gaffer to mark the edges of stage and steps during black outs
  6. Use white gaffer to mark sight lines backstage
  7. Holding your script together
  8. Keeping animals quiet offstage
  9. Making white shoes or socks black before the director notices
  10. Covering logos on clothes supposed to be black

Lighting Crew

  1. Holding down lighting plans after they have been rolled up for a while
  2. Using the empty roll to protect wall switches for house lights etc
  3. Replacement strain reliefs on all types of connector
  4. Achieving greater tilt on projectors
  5. Fixing gels to lights when we have lost the gel frame
  6. If the roll is used lying flat, the hole in the center is perfect for holding a can of pepsi/beer so it doesn't get knocked over the lighting desk
  7. Labelling lighting desks
  8. Marking on stage where lights are to be focussed
  9. Taping down a packet of sweets so they don't go missing

Sound Crew

  1. Patching holes in loudspeaker drivers
  2. Making belts for radio mics
  3. Taping radio mic beltpacks to the small of an actors back
  4. Achieving greater angling with monitor wedges
  5. When used on drums can help prevent them ringing
  6. Holding your headset together
  7. Making apple eating sound effects (wrap it around the palm of your hands, press your hands together and then seperate them)
  8. Fixing positions of microphone stands
  9. Holding all sorts of cable connections together
  10. To play vinyl backward on technics 1200's (place roll of gaffer on turntable, place record lined up carefully on gaffer, turn stylus upside down and reweight tone arm, place needle on underside of record and listen to hidden satanic messages)

Wardrobe

  1. Making inside pockets on costumes that don't have them
  2. Giving ballerina's toes more grip
  3. To provide shoes with traction
  4. Making a waterproof jacket
  5. Holding rods and other controls to puppets
  6. Blacking out teeth
  7. Creating false eyebrows

Front of House

  1. Stopping gentlemen using broken urinals in the toilets (as seen in the Victoria Apollo)

Outdoor Usage

  1. For fixing a large umbrella to the trunion arm of a followspot when doing outdoor events (as devised at Kenilworth Castle)

Home Usage

  1. White gaffer tape can be used for writing reminders that I should get out more and meet real people
  2. Keeping out unwelcome visitors: merely cover a window with gaffer and then when your light is on, people won't realise you're home
  3. Holding up posters
  4. For making a football (by saving all the scraps of gaffer)
  5. Making an ashtray
  6. For repairing the spines of books
  7. Making a pencil case (combined with a zipper)
  8. For colour-coding your car and house keys (available in over 15 colours) - stop trying to unlock the front door with your bike lock key!

In the tool shed

  1. Wrap around tool handles to provide a better grip
  2. Use gaffer tape to create the ultimate gardening tool: a combination rake/shovel/hoe
  3. Holding together nuts & bolts that go together during storage
  4. For picking up objects that I've dropped down the back of the bench or rack and can't reach (wrap the bottom of a stick in gaffer with the sticky side out, then go fishing)

Decoration

  1. Using gaffer on a door instead of a name plate
  2. Building a 'dust tent' to confine dust to one area of a room
  3. Taping doors and windows closed to prevent draughts
  4. Blocking out gaps of light in a dark room
  5. Creating Christmas decorations (coloured gaffer is better)

Pest Control

  1. A trap for ants
  2. A cheap option for fly paper
  3. Use gaffer tape on curtain cords etc to stop cats chewing them

Travelling

  1. Taping your seat belt shut while flying (just in case)
  2. Back up cycle clips
  3. Tying objects to a roof-rack
  4. Fixing a video camera to a boat
  5. Waterproofing the cab of a truck (when driven against a low bridge in Marseille)¹
  6. Masking scratches on the side of a trailer (try to get a black trailer)¹

Car Repairs

  1. Setting the spark plug gap
  2. Fixing Taxi signs to the top of taxis
  3. Creating Go-Faster stripes on the sides of cars
  4. Preventing dinking my car door (recycling my sister's now worthless beanie-babies and gaffer taping them to the edges)

Dangerous Uses

  1. Covering asbestos covered pipes (don't tell anyone they're there)
  2. Insulation tape on bare wires
  3. Keeping plugs together when you have lost the screw

Medical Uses

  1. For replacing plasters (and stiches) when I cut my finger
  2. For making one of those expensive magnet-belts for treating back pain

Miscellaneous Uses

  1. For taping me to the pay and display machine outside stage door on my birthday, as the audience leaves (Made 3.48 in my gaffer-attached hard-hat though ;-)

¹ Thanks to Marijn Dubois, Brussels, for these uses.

* NOTE: There is some debate about this - there is evidence to prove otherwise...

There was a girl who was suffering from a broken heart. One day she discovered that her interest in Gaffer tape was shared by a colleague. Over discussing the intracacies of gaffer, they became better acquainted and are now happy together as a couple: Gaffer tape provided the emotional adhesive that she lacked in her life.

See also:


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