What Is Double Sided Tape?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Double sided tape can be a very useful type of tape. In most types of tape, the adhesive or “sticky part” is applied to one side of the tape only. This means people wrapping gifts, for instance, will have to show the tape on the outside of the gift, which some people feel isn’t pretty enough. In contrast, double sided tape has adhesive on both sides of the tape, which can allow people to attach two things together without the tape showing.

Double sided tape is popular for creating scrapbooks.
Double sided tape is popular for creating scrapbooks.

For regular types of tape for home use, it’s important to decide whether doubled sided tape is required. Sometimes the second side adhesive can be more disadvantage than advantage. If the other side of the tape is exposed, it can stick to other things. Single-sided tape may be more appropriate for some projects.

Perfectly neat wrapping of gifts though, can occur when the tape is placed in between the layers of paper that need to be stuck together. The tape shouldn’t show. Another useful application of the tape is in plenty of crafts projects. It can replace glue and attach two things together at the same time. Artwork can be mounted on boards with double sided tape, and plenty of people making scrapbooks use it.

For projects that require special care, there are low acid versions of double sided tape that can be purchased in art supply stores and in plenty of places online. Other types of this tape are available for use in taping fabric, or for plenty of construction applications. However, in grocery stores, the most common double sided tapes found are simple brands like Scotch ® Tape for basic use at home.

There are some unusual uses for this tape. Special types of this tape can be used to keep latex bra cups or Braza® bras in place. Doctors can use special tape to appropriately position certain types of medical devices like tracheotomy tubes. Double sided duct tape has numerous applications in construction and home repair. Plastic sheeting, for instance, can be kept in place with it.

Though most times, people don’t want the second adhesive side part showing, there are some reasons why the second side should remain exposed. People could use the tape for tools that seem to slip out of the hand, like hammers. Through repeated use, the adhesive would eventually wear off and the tape would need to be replaced.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I just bought my first ever roll of "fashion tape" which was just a fancy box of double sided adhesive tape, but I bought it anyway just in case they had specially formulated sticky for skin to clothing.

Yep, I said skin to clothing. I bought a dress with a low v collar on it and thought it was a great look, but dangerous in that wardrobe malfunctions were imminent if left alone.

So I consulted my daring fashion friend and she suggested tape. I tried it on a date with my husband, when we were not going to a crowded place in case my tape let loose and the double sided tape worked marvelously.

I probably would not wear it dancing, or for long periods of time, but for a dinner out it was worth it! And my husband got a laugh out of me as he told me he spent the whole night waiting for the tape to loosen!

Has anyone else tried this tape in this manner in a different scenario and found it to be effective?


I used double sided sticky tape to stop a thief. One of my coworkers kept stealing candy from a bowl on my desk. He would take it right in front of me without even asking, and this wasn't a bowl set out to the edge to invite people to take some. It was right up against my computer monitor, and he had to reach awkwardly under the screen to grab it.

So, I put several rows of double sided tape on the bottom of the bowl. Then, I gently pressed the candy down onto the tape. It wasn't wrapped, so the sticky stuff adhered to it.

The next time he came by and tried to pull a piece out, he had to tug. He heard a ripping sound as the tape released its hold on the candy. When he felt the stickiness on the candy shell, he threw it into the garbage. “Inventive,” he said, and he stopped taking candy from me after that.


@Sara007 – I use double sided tape to attach name tags to people's shirts. I work as an events coordinator, and I am in charge of making things go smoothly. I find that name tags are an essential part of this, but many people hate using metal clips to attach them to delicate garments.

I have one of those heavy tape dispensers that are made to sit on desks. I take it with me to events, and just before I hand someone a name tag, I attach a piece of it to the back. It clings really well to all types of material.


My husband is really particular about gift wrapping. He makes me use double sided tape, but I hate having to touch the stuff. It makes my fingers all sticky, and then I feel like I need to wash them before I touch the wrapping paper.

Also, it has to be the clear double sided tape. He doesn't want to risk any of it showing around the edges.

Last year, I performed an experiment. I got a roll of clear gift tape that was only sticky on one side. I wrapped a gift with it and pressed it down firmly so that it wouldn't show. My husband didn't even notice!

I have to buy a roll of double sided tape so that he doesn't suspect anything. However, I keep on using the one sided tape on the sly.


@drtroubles – That second sticky side can be so frustrating! I tried to position my artwork on a piece of mat board with it, and I wound up wrinkling my art. I sure could have used one of those dispensers at that time!

Now, I only use double sided tape in a dispenser with a sharp edge to cut the stuff. This dispenser has a guide at the bottom that allows me to position the tape on the board without having to touch it. I also use the guide for pushing the tape down and securing it to the board.


Does anyone know any unique ways to use double sided tape?

A business supply store was going out of business and we got a bunch of Scotch double sided tape and some double sided foam tape for next to nothing.

The only thing I have found to use the foam double sided tape for is to hang posters in my daughter's room. We used to buy the silly putty stuff to stick the posters to the walls but we found if you wanted to remove it the putty would pull the paint from the walls. We're hoping that the double sided tape causes a lot less damage.


There are actually quite a few kinds of double sided tape that you really have to know what you want to do with it before you head to the store. My wife was trying to get our gifts to look perfect so we ended up buying double sided scotch tape.

One thing you may find is that double sided tape can be difficult to use as it tends to stick to random things if you aren't careful when removing the covering from the second side. You can buy special double sided tape dispensers which can make your gift wrapping a lot easier. I wish we had known that before going through so much tape because it got damaged from mishandling.

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