Category Archives: Packaging Tape

You Can Never Have Too Much Supplies

Growing up, I learned the value of work ethic applied to your life because of the diligence and respect that my parents treated their job with. They always made it a point to show up early, work hard, and put their careers at the forefront of their lives. No matter what happened, they never missed work. Heck, I don’t even recall them ever missing because they were sick. Work was, quite frankly, non-negotiable with other things in their lives.

Now, while I think that at some point they could have relaxed a hair, they had had this work ethic instilled into them through their parents (and their parents through theirs). It’s no doubt what has happened to me. I take my job seriously and realize that it’s a top priority in my life that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just like my parents, I don’t miss work just because I’m sick or something else has come up. I make it to my job no matter the cost.

One thing they also instilled in me is having an appreciation for everyday things. In particular, they always had an incredible stock of shipping supplies and the likes. (And I think it’s because they always had worked for the post office, because they never ran out of postage, cardboard boxes, or any other shipping supplies.) While these things seemed mundane to me when I was a child, I realize now that it’s the commonplace items that we rely on (otherwise they wouldn’t be commonplace).

Nonetheless, I now make it a point to keep my place stocked with all sorts of packaging and office supplies, because when something needs shipped, it needs shipped right away. And all of these supplies have served me quite well beyond just shipping things. I can use my boxes for storage, my tape for repairing small things, and labels for other projects, too.

Without fail, I come to think of my parents when I see who I’ve become. From day-to-day items to the common tasks involved in my dayjob, I know that my work ethic, habits, and ideals were bred out of their own hard work and ways. I’m definitely interested to see all the traits, habits, and preferences that my children take on from me, though there are a few bad habits that I’m hopeful they will drop, too. I guess that’s not up to me to decide, though, is it?

Three Kinds of Packaging Tape

Most people don’t know that there are three kinds of packaging tape.  This is one part of a three part series in the “the three kinds” of a certain packaging or shipping supply.  The other two parts are about shipping boxes and shipping bags.  Today, it is packaging tape.  Once again, this claim that there are three kinds is just that: a claim.  It isn’t an official designation but one based off of observation.  The consistency is why the theory proves true, in my opinion at least.  So, the three kinds of packaging tape are: casual, serious, and professional.  Below, I will explain in greater detail the characteristics that make each of these categories distinct from one another.

Casual: something that is done without much thought, effort, or concern.  Now, allow me to clarify that this doesn’t mean that you just don’t care.  This means that you aren’t trying to impress anyone, or come across a certain way.  As far as packaging tape is concerned, duct tape is pretty much the king of casual.  If you are trying to do a quick patch job, or tape up a box to send to a friend and all you have is duct tape and you aren’t going to buy more tape for no reason, than you would use duct tape.  For instance, I once had a roll of duct tape that had pieces of bacon printed all over it, and this is what I would use when sending my sister care packages in college.

Packaging Tape

Serious: involving or deserving a lot of thought, attention, or work.  For the piece about shipping boxes I used the analogy of sending off your manuscript, and I’ll use the same one here, for packaging tape.  If you are sending off your manuscript to an editor or publishing company you probably wouldn’t be using the bacon duct tape to ship it off in.  A serious businessman would take one look at that package and probably toss it in the trash, assuming that you aren’t serious enough to be a part of their community.

Professional: exhibiting a conscientious and generally businesslike manner.  This is where an individual or organization takes extra care that their product is being correctly represented right from the get go.  Packaging is part of the “package deal” of first impressions for a customer.  It is included with the website experience (and even customer service, if you needed to talk to someone when making your order).  Professional packaging tape would be the kind that you had special ordered with your company’s logo on it.

Rewind the Packaging Tape Pt. 2

Continued from Part One…

Garrett didn’t notice that he was dealing with the packaging tape rolls with such quickness that the edges were nicking his flesh like razors.  In his mind he was tearing down the streets of Spain with a hundred mad bulls trying to light the back of his pants on fire with their breath.  The faster he ran, the more people he dodged by, the faster his hands on the assembly line worked.  When the horn sounded at the end of his shift his eyes would flutter open, and he would stare blankly for a minute, trying to figure out where he was.  He would look down, and his hands would be red, and there would be drops of blood on the floor.

“You have to be more careful, Garrett,” his supervisor told him, squinting at him doubtfully.  This was a problem he was not prepared for.  How did you tell someone to stop cutting themselves on the job?  When the job was boxing up packaging tape, at that?  “We can’t keep sending off boxes with blood stains on them, and it’s becoming a waste.  Maybe you should consider wearing some gloves…”


So Garrett purchased some mechanics gloves, and he factored them into a mountain expedition.  He studied and trained with his guide books in the evening, while he was at home, and then when he was at work he would put his training to use.

His family would ask him to come over for the Superbowl, for Easter, for fireworks… “I’m training,” he told them over the phone.  He didn’t know that his voice was shaky, and that his breathing was heavy.  His mother was telling him, “You have me worried, mijo-“ But he was already hanging up.  He was already reading the next sentence, that he already knew by heart, knee deep in snow again, clawing his way up the side of an icy glacier.

It was the packaging tape factory who called Garrett’s family and said that he hadn’t been to work for two days.  They found him in his apartment, inside of an igloo made out of travel books.  Each book was heavily worn, with tabs hanging out of them, some of them streaked with blood when he had forgotten to his bandages.  The strangest thing was that he was found to be hypothermic, actually frozen to death, with frostbite on his face and hands and feet.  It didn’t make any sense, but Garrett’s family thought they knew what had happened.  It was the books that did it to him.

Rewind the Packaging Tape Pt. 1

Garrett liked to whistle while he worked.  His hands moved quickly, accustomed to the task, but his mind was able to wander effortlessly.  Over hills and through large cities, the tempo of his tune fluctuated with his inner destination.  During his off hours, Garrett pored over books about exotic locations, or featuring key spots throughout the world.  He knew as much as there was to know about the Arc de Triomphe and Victoria Falls.  On the assembly line his hands boxed up packaging tape with lightning speed, but his eyes were even closed and he was walking the streets of Paris, remarking on each of the sites and calling to mind the facts as he envisioned going over them in the guidebook.


It was something of an obsession of his, you could say.  Of course Garrett wouldn’t say that.  He would call it a passion.  That’s what it had started out with.  A true, unadulterated appreciation for travel and experiences and adventures.  That he would probably never have, of course.  He started working for the packaging tape plant with the hopes of saving up money to go sight-seeing.  To actually get to ride on an airplane!  Just the thought of it made Garrett swoon.  Once he started working he started getting books from the library, and then buying his favorites.  He started studying the places he wanted to go to.  Slowly, over time, he began to let go of his dream of seeing the actual places, and touching them, because he was able to get every single detail on the printed page.  And much faster.  And in much greater quantity.

His family says that he began to talk less about “When I go to Stonehedge”, and instead began to say, “Stonehenge is almost three thousand years old…”.  There was no longing left in his voice, but rather a sense of ownership.  It was as if he had already been there.  And then it became almost as if he had had his hand in it to begin with.  You would think by listening to him talk that he had been one of the men who erected Stonehenge, who had participated in the ceremony at its erection.

Garrett started having to bandage his hands, which were becoming covered in “packaging tape cutes”, as he called them, like you would refer to a paper cut.  He had bandaids on almost every one of his fingers.

To be continued…

Honey, where is the Packaging Tape?

“Honey, where’s the packaging tape?” This is what my husband asked me one day while we were trying to get together a couple of boxes to send to our children, who were all off in college. If you think it sounds insane to have three children in college at the same time, imagine what it was like when they were all in diapers at the same time. To be honest, I would prefer the former. I suppose, in part, this is because we pay for half of their school, and when they were all in diapers there was no contributing from them except in the aspect of why we needed to keep buying diapers.

Which isn’t really contributing, in my opinion. Regardless, three times a year for birthdays, and many more times a year for random holidays or stressful exam weeks, we send off care packages. Every single stinking time my husband will ask me where the packaging tape has gone off to. As if the packaging tape had somehow decided it would like to move to a different cupboard, or out of our house altogether. Now, after being married for over thirty years, this does not take me by surprise. For one, this is a normal occurrence with men in general. Every single wife all over the world can attest to this, whether it’s a bushman in Africa asking where his nose bone has crawled off to, or a Japanese business tycoon who is looking right at the chopsticks but wondering out loud where they are. To be honest, I think it’s kind of endearing.

Of course I roll my eyes, and of course it’s annoying sometimes. But for the most part it reminds me that I am married, that I am spending my life with someone, and that even though it doesn’t make sense to me why he can’t figure out where the packaging tape is on his own, I wouldn’t trade his company, everything that he contributes to my life, simply to have that one phrase erased.

I mean, really, if I didn’t hear that question anymore it would mean thirty years of my life had disappeared. It would mean that I don’t have children to send care packages to. And then who would I be scouring the one and three dollar section of Target for? Cycling in the new products is the only incentive I need to send off another couple of boxes.

Just Say No to Cheap Packaging Tape

I have been known to want to cut corners. It drives my husband kind of crazy. Thankfully, for his sake and for mine, I have grown out of it for the most part. I should clarify that I have never cut a corner merely to be lazy. If there was one thing my mother taught me it was to do a job well the first time, and that has been a true piece of wisdom consistently. (For the record, she taught me much more than just that, and most of it was good to know. I hope to pass on more than this little piece of information to my own kids as they grow older.)

What I actually mean by cutting corners is that I want to save money where I can- also known as “being cheap”. While frugality is an admirable trait, being cheap winds up doing the opposite. It turns out that buying something cheap is rarely the better option. This doesn’t mean you should buy the most expensive option on the shelf. I rarely put anything with a brand name in my cart. Usually the store brand is good enough. It’s the really off brand that starts causing problems. When it’s miles cheaper than all the other kinds, and not on clearance for some good reason, you should really just say “no”.

For instance, I have learned that you can’t cut corners when it comes to packaging tape. If you try to buy the cheap packaging tape you will just wind up screwing yourself. It happens to me every time. The thing is that the cheap stuff is thinner. So as soon as you manage to pick at the edge enough to lift it, and then you pull some, it just can’t handle the resistance and it will tear until it is the width of dental floss, and it will continue to tear at that same, minimal width so long as you keep pulling. Trying to unravel all of that to get back to the wider tape is crazy-making, to say the least. What you wind up with is a giant wad of ripped up, cheap packaging tape before you throw up your hands and go out to buy some decent stuff. I have learned this the hard way more times than one. From trying to ship a box to a friend to trying to pack up our house, it never worked in my favor to cut the corner. I just wasted more time and more money. I had to learn to just say “no” sometimes.

Packaging Tape: For Every Type of Project

I’ve been taking a lot of pride in my work this past week. I think I’ve just gotten a big head in general, because I’ve been thinking a lot about what uncommon materials would be the most useful in the case of a zombie outbreak, and why. I like to say that I’ve been thinking outside of the box, because I’m looking past your standard stuff like matches, ponchos, knives, and the obligatory samurai sword. Like packaging tape! But on the flip side of the coin I’ve also been thinking about designing and sewing clothes with unconventional materials (like packaging tape).

3m-tapeThis is because I’ve been watching The Walking Dead with my husband at night, and Project Runway during the day when my kids are napping. Honestly, I find myself in a constant state of confusion and stress, because I’m either listening to every little noise like it’s a zombie trying to get into my house or I’m rushing around doing everything at a hundred miles per hour like I have a floor length ball gown that needs to be completed, like, right now. I have to admit that the Project Runway sessions are much more enjoyable, and considerably less gory, although probably just as dramatic. It turns out that the average person does not, indeed, need acting lessons. They thrive in front of the camera and on national television. In every possible way.

My absolute favorite Project Runway episode is always the unconventional materials challenge. Now, I’m proud to announce that I dabbled with some sewing when I was a kid. I could make a mean miniature quilt, and my dolls had the most intricate of wardrobes. Granted, the interest (and probably the skill with it) fell off by the time I started driving- regrettably I can’t admit that it was sooner. In my imagination, though, if I were to be selected for this show, and made it to the unconventional materials challenge, I would use packaging tape.

I think I would make this really cute chevron striped sporty-esque dress. Of all different colors. It would look like shiny pleather and the judges would think that my innovation was pretty outstanding. During the interview after my win, in which I had obtained immunity for the next round, I would sit there in my vest made of bowties, with a safety pin in my nose, and I would talk about my childhood of making doll clothes and how it brought me to where I am today, so talented that I can make a dress out of packaging tape.

Custom Packaging Tape: The Story of Duct Tape

You may have heard me talk about how scotch tape came about to being invented, and today I’m going to talk a little bit about duct tape. This is because I am more or less obsessed with custom packaging tape… Okay, I knew I couldn’t fool you; it’s because it’s my job. And I love it! Because where else can you research the history of duct tape and write about it and get paid for it, too?

Growing up, I thought that duct tape was actually pronounced ‘duck’ tape, and then I was really embarrassed when I got older and learned that it is actually ‘duct’ tape. Well, today I am here to tell you that calling it ‘duck’ is also correct! Also, the really weird thing is that standard duct tape is no good for use on actual ducts. This makes no sense, I know, but what are you gonna do?

Okay, so, the custom packaging tape that we refer to as duct tape was invented during World War II, and was made by putting a rubber adhesive on a duck cloth backing. The rubber adhesive is what made it water resistant, but what is duck cloth? It turns out that it doesn’t have anything to do with ducks, and the word comes from a Dutch word that sounds the same but refers to cloth. And so duck cloth is a type of cloth signified by how tightly woven it is, which makes it incredibly durable. Apparently it had been in use for many years by the time the second World War rolled around, used to make shoes stronger and even to wrap cables to protect them from corrosion.

Lo and behold, the mother of two Navy sailors, who also worked in an ordinance factory, came up with the idea for duct tape. This reminds me of that Canadian show about girls working in an ordinance factory, which I thought was pretty awesome but apparently the rest of the world did not because it was cancelled after two seasons. This mother was concerned that the munitions they were producing would be ruined by the time they got to the front lines, since the munitions boxes didn’t seal all that well. She proposed the idea, and her idea was patented into duck tape. I’ve yet to find out why it is called duct tape, except that it was commonly confused with a brand of custom packaging tape that was actually used on ducts.

Packaging Tape – Aisle Marking Tape

Have you ever wanted to mark an aisle, but then couldn’t because you didn’t have the right kind of packaging tape? Most of you might laugh at this question, because it sounds silly, and I admit that it does. However, it’s a real scenario. If you have ever gone through a warehouse, or an airplane hangar, or a factory of any kind you would never notice that the floor is not plain. Instead, it is covered in boxes and arrows and lines, and all of those are put into place by aisle marking tape.

You know that if you cross over the red and white striped line you will more than likely get your head chopped off by some piece of heavy machinery. If you cross over the yellow and black stripped line you know that you are walking onto the flightline and that you need to make sure you have your personal protective equipment with you. Stay inside the walkways clearly marked with plain white tape when going from point A to point B. If there weren’t these markings on the ground, people would just wander aimlessly, completely exposed to bumping their heads, burning their flesh, and getting crushed.

Packaging Tape

Or, even worse, they would drive their forklifts and wheelbarrows in random patterns, without the aid of guiding lines complete with multiple lanes. We never notice the markings because our brains just process them as a necessary part of the environment, but someone actually had to put them there. Enter: aisle marking tape. At this would belong to the packaging tape family. They sell it in widths of two or three inches, thirty-six yards a roll, in six different colors (solid or striped).

This tape is specially designed not only because of its colored patterns, but because it is able to handle a lot of abuse while simultaneously standing up against moisture, grease, oil, solvents and scuffing. also sells this nifty little device called an aisle marking tape dispenser, also available to find under the search for ‘packaging tape’. It looks like the front half of a scooter (namely, the handle bars and front wheel), although including the part that you stand on might be a good idea for the next model.

The tape mounts to the bottom wheel and you can conveniently apply by holding onto the handlebar and pushing it along. If you don’t choose to go the accessorized route, which would allow you remain upright, you are going to need some serious knees pads and a back brace.

Packaging Tape, It never Gets Old

image_24106When I say that packaging tape never gets olds, I mean it. I mean it figuratively, and I mean it literally. Literally, packaging tape does not age. It doesn’t have a shelf life or an expiration date. You all know what I’m talking about. How many of you saw the same rolls of tape down in Dad’s workshop from kindergarten up until junior high, when you stopped going in there?

There were all sorts of weird tape; like drywall tape, that cross-hatched kind which seals the seams of drywall to make the wall look nice and smooth. The occasional roll of barricade tape that Dad picked up at a yard sale, or at least that’s what he told you. As an adult, you are pretty sure it has to do with some crazy experience down in Myrtle Beach but it’s probably best to not ask questions, especially when it comes to barricade tape. Or even just duct tape. For instance, there was this roll of brown duct tape down in my dad’s work shop for years.

Years and years. It was probably a gag gift he got at the wedding shower when he and my mom got married, like, As A Husband, You Can Never Have Enough Of This: When Your Honey Wants You To Fix The Faucet, Duct Tape, When Your Honey Wants You To Keep The Dog From Getting Outside, Duct Tape… Blah blah blah. They probably went on for hours with duct tape jokes, laughing all the way. Anyway, my brother and I brought it out one year when we were trying to make a rocket ship out of our Radio Flyer and wound up using the entire roll. It hadn’t deteriorated in the slightest. In fact, it was so intact that the wagon had sticky residue stripes all over up until the time we finally scrubbed it off for a garage sale about a decade later.

And, of course, figuratively speaking packaging tape does not get old. In this modern day and age, we are always going to need it. I mean, there is never going to be some new thing that wipes out the need for packaging tape. It’s not going to be staples, that’s for sure. Some sort of chemical compound would just be a pain in the butt. If you really think about it, packaging tape is going to be in the picture until the end of time…