There is a saying that you need only two tools in life: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40; if it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape. And just about everyone has used duct tape—first introduced during World War II as a protective sealant for ammunition cases—one time or another for an emergency fix up: repairing a drooping hem, patching a torn duffel bag, keeping a broken tail light or side mirror attached to the car until you can get it into a shop.
Larchmont resident Jodi Kahn found many wild and wonderful ways to use this miracle material while working on her book Simply Sublime Bags (Random House, 2008), a collection of no-sew and low-sew projects, including this duct tape bag shown at left. “I’m mad for duct tape,” she confesses. “It’s inexpensive, easy to find, and comes in lots of colors—aqua, lime, flamingo pink, even a gorgeous faux lizard-skin texture that is dead-on orange Hermès. I’ve made wallets, cosmetic cases, and purses completely out of duct tape. And it can be used to cover stapled seams or as a liner to make bags sturdier or waterproof.”
Of course, there are even more novel uses. In 2002, doctors at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, conducted a study showing that duct tape patches were effective in removing warts. (Hey, it can’t hurt to try.) And those bitten by the Project Runway bug can design a prom gown and/or tux out of duct tape and possibly win a $3,000 scholarship (visit stuckatprom.com for details).
But the award for creativity goes to a South Salem resident who understandably prefers to remain anonymous. “I had a problem filling my prescription for a new diaphragm,” she confides. “So I duct-taped the old one together until the replacement arrived.” It worked like a charm, she reports.