Slide # 1 of variety of rolls of duct tape: My 10-year-old daughter is obsessed with making things out of duct tape – from flip flops to bookmarks to wallets. So much so that every surface in our house seems to have a teetering tower of tape. That’s why I was thrilled when I spotted a duct tape idea that I could love: prettying up beauty items! And this isn’t your daddy’s duct tape in ho-hum black or gray; today, duct tape comes in bright colors and adorable patterns including snakeskin, paisley, rainbows, peace signs, Paul Frank monkeys, cupcakes, zebra stripes, polka dots, houndstooth and more. The best part is that you can take inexpensive items from the discount store like cosmetic cases, blush brushes and mirrors and give them a makeover that leaves them looking pricey and unique. Plus, duct tape is innately durable so your items are, too. Here’s how I fixed up a few things, but once you get started you’ll see there’s lots of room for creativity. (Just one word of warning: duct tape decorating is addicting!)     Slide 2 before and after photos of cosmetic case: Cuten up a cosmetic case   It’s best to use a smooth, plastic case because if you lay the tape down wrong, it’s easy to peel off and fix. And even though plastic cases can feel flimsy, the duct tape makes them stronger. If you use a patterned tape, you can go for a more haphazard look or try and line up the pattern from one piece of tape to the other. I picked this case up at the 99 cent store and got it in a pack with two others for, well, 99 cents!   Tape used: Scotch Duct Tape in Pretty Snakey (available at Target)  
  1. Cut a piece of duct tape that’s an inch or two longer than the width of your cosmetic case.
  2. Place the piece of tape so that it lines up horizontally with the bottom edge of the case and smooth it down on the case wrapping the extra inch or two onto the other side.
  3. Cut another piece about the same length and place it horizontally above the first piece so that a little bit of it overlaps with the first piece.
  4. Continue doing this until you reach the top of the cosmetic case, but don’t cover the zipper.
  5. Flip the case over and repeat.
  6. When you finish both sides, cut a piece of tape that’s the exact length of the case and align it at the bottom so that half of it will fold onto the front of the cosmetic case and the other half will fold onto the back. This gives the edge a finished look.
    Slide 3 before and after photos of blush brushes: Beautify some blush brushes   This is an easy way to add some pizazz to your makeup bag and make drugstore brushes look like they came from a department or specialty store. If the brushes, have exposed metal like these shown, I suggest leaving the metal exposed.   Tape used: Scotch Duct Tape Duo in Paisley Princess and Hot Pink (available at Target)  
  1. Cut a piece of duct tape that will wrap around the brush handle horizontally with only a tiny bit of it overlapping on itself.
  2. Starting at the bottom of the brush, wrap the tape around the brush handle, smoothing it.
  3. Repeat this all the way up the brush with only a little bit of overlap between pieces.
    Slide 4 before and after photos of tool holder: Make your own brush holder   Here, I took a so-so, somewhat flimsy plastic container that came with candy in it (available at a gift or party store) and made it into a funky, sturdy, makeup brush holder that I’m proud to display on my dresser.   Tape used: Duck Brand Zig Zag Zebra (available at  
  1. Cut a piece of duct tape that will wrap around the bottle horizontally with only a tiny bit of overlap.
  2. Starting at the bottom of the plastic container, smooth it around the container.
  3. Repeat this up the container, overlapping the pieces of tape only slightly.
  4. To give the container a smoother, more finished look, place a piece of tape so that the bottom of it is half an inch from the lip of the container and the rest is sticking up about half an inch above the lip of the container.
  5. Then fold the tape that’s sticking up above the lip over it, smoothing the tape as you do so. Again, this will give the container a finished look.
    Slide 5 before and after photos of travel bottle: Treat Your Travel Bottles Right   Smooth plastic bottles are best as opposed to those with ridges. Also, you don’t have to cover the entire bottle; half an inch or so at the top and/or bottom looks great if it matches your duct tape. Add labels if you’d like to i.d. what’s in your bottle or leave them plain. (Duct taping bottles like this is also good for bathroom products that you want to keep to yourself. For example, that tube of pimple cream that you’d rather conceal from your guy.)     Tape used: Scotch Duct Tape Cupcake (available at Target)  
  1. Cut a piece of duct tape that will wrap around the bottle horizontally with only a tiny bit of overlap and smooth it onto the bottle
  2. Repeat this up the bottle, overlapping the pieces of tape only slightly.
  3. If the top of the bottle has a rounded edge, leave about half an inch of the bottle exposed rather than taping up to the top or it can look messy. If it’s a straight edge like the one pictured, you can go all the way up to it.
  4. If you’d like to, add a label and then hit the road!
    Slide 5 before and after photos of makeup mirror compact: Make Over Your Mirror   This is a little mirror compact that I actually got as a freebie at a work event.  After a few months in my purse, it looked pretty beat up (see before photo), but all it took to take it from an old, promotional item to an adorable accessory was a few pieces of kiss-covered duct tape.   Tape used: Scotch Duct Tape Pucker Up  
  1. Cut a piece of duct tape that’s a little longer than the width you’re trying to cover. The excess on the ends can be used to cover the sides and then you can cut any extra off with an exacto knife.
  2. Repeat for the entire width of the mirror, only slightly overlapping the second piece over the first.
  3. Finish up, toss the mirror in your purse and enjoy!

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