Tape Mache – A No-Mess Option for Masks?

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Could tape be used as a substitute for  paper mache?

I think it’s promising for temporary projects, like masks, but there are both pros and cons for the idea. Let us know what you think of the idea in the comments below.

If we can find the kind of tape that was used in the video on the @Mr. Otter Art Studio YT channel, I’d like to do some more experiments. It looked much more ‘paper mache-like’ than the tape I used. You can find the video that inspired my experiments here or scroll down to the bottom of this post to see it.

  • The name of the tape she used in that video is Creativity Street Wet N’ Stick Art Tape, and it’s “Currently unavailable” on the only listing that I found online. You can check this link if you’d like to see what the product looks like, even if we can’t buy any. (Edit: I just wasn’t looking in the right places – a lot of people gave us links to the tape. I didn’t buy it because it was way too expensive, but I did try a similar tape for another experiment. , but it didn’t work as well as the tape I used for this post. You can see the new video here.)
  • This is the The Nextape Gentle Paper Tape that I used in this video.

If you’d like to play around with the idea to make a fast mask, you could use the fast, free blank mask form, here. The mask I made with that form was pretty silly, but scroll down that page to see what a couple of other people did with it. They look a lot better than mine! ๐Ÿ™‚

I really wouldn’t use any kind of tape for artwork that you hope to keep for a long time, or for masks that will be used in a play. Real paper mache is much better for permanent work, but the tape is kind of fun to play with, and it would be a lot easier for kids to use than paper strips and paste.

The bird masks I used when playing around with the tape are now done, and they’re covered with feathers. You can see how they came out, and check out the patterns here.

Be sure to let us know what you think of this “tape mache” idea in the comments below. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the video that inspired my tape mache experiments:

32 thoughts on “Tape Mache – A No-Mess Option for Masks?”

  1. I’ve never broken any bones, thankfully, but don’t they make casts using some kind of impregnated tape? Fiberglas “casting tape?” Comes in colors?

    • I’ve never heard of that. We use plaster cloth all the time, and it used to be used to set bones – but I don’t know what they use now. I’m sure someone will tell us. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Barbara! But ouch! Way too expensive. I think we found an alternative, though – I’ll do an update when it arrives and I have a chance to play with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Jonni,
    I live near Pittsburgh, PA. I used the “where to buy” and found at least 10 sources they listed. I assumed since they have a website button for each place, one could go there and see if they had it. However, I’ve found that some have a website and some don’t.
    The closest “hit” I had was with Blick Art Supplies. They have a store in Pittsburgh and many other locations across the country. After searching their website, I didn’t find that tape but did find quite a few “Creativity Street” products you might want to check out. I called them today, but they did not have it nor did they have any idea where to find it.
    I went completely through the Creativity Street website and, of course, found nothing. I did note that Creativity Street’s parent company is Pacon. I went to their website and searched their current catalog and found nothing again. Not to be deterred, I went to their ‘contact us’ link and sent them a query about the Wet N’ Stick Tape. They say on the webpage they’ll get back to me “soon”, so there’s always that.
    It’s my opinion, after spending all this time and effort searching to no avail, using the paper tape you showed would probably be the best option and a whole lot less messy as well, if you’d ask me. (It would also be helpful if you had an emergency in your studio and needed to use it medically.) The only thing is, the paper tape would have to be painted as the paper tape only comes in white, I believe. Also, it’s a sort of flimsy type of tape for this use.
    I wish you luck in finding “Creativity Street Wet Nโ€™ Stick Art Tape” and if I hear anything positive about this from Pacon, I’ll let you know.

    • Thanks, Jim! I agree, the Nexcare tape is much more affordable, and easy to find in almost any big box store. Someone even said you can find it in dollar stores, and that’s much more in line with my budget. Another reader found some stretchy wet and stick packaging tape on amazon, and I’ll play around with that product, too. Experiments are fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I think itโ€™s for schools primarily itโ€™s offered for additional needs students.
    In UK we have a gummed brown tape do you think that would achieve same results?

    • Yes, and I think we found some that would work. I just ordered a roll, so I’ll play with it when it arrives. I have some brown tape with reinforcing threads that’s really stiff, so it wouldn’t work – but the tape that Francis found on amazon looks a lot better. I’ll do an update soon, and maybe finish an actual project with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Annie. I saw that, too, but the price is way beyond my budget. I did order some of the brown tape Francis found online, and I hope it works as well. We’ll have to paint it ourselves, but I would want to do that, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I sent you the name of the brown paper stuff used in framing art (Looneng water-activated gummed brown paper kraft tape) – this is used to attach the backing card to the frame, because the tape becomes hard when dry, and lasts a long time – heirloomish.
    On the website where you can buy it, Amazon makes a suggestion for an alternative, that is a longer roll for the same price ($9.99), so cheaper per foot ($0.03/ft).
    “Consider a similar item – Amazon’s Choice:
    CURBY IPG Water Activated Tape, 2.83″ x 100M Refill Roll (196)”

    Website for buying the Looneng water-activated gummed brown paper kraft tape (presumably with link to the alternative?): https://amzn.to/3jepQ66

    • Thanks! This looks really promising. I ordered the Looneng tape, so I’ll be experimenting with it as soon as it arrives. I actually have some water-activated tape for packages, but it’s really stiff because of the reinforcing, and when I searched for tape without the reinforcing I couldn’t find it. I’m glad you’re better at finding stuff on amazon than I am. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I like the ‘stretchy’ description on the Looneng tape. I wonder if the alternatives shown lower on that page are stretchy, too. They are a lot less expensive, but they’re all a lot wider than the Nexcare tape so they’d cover more area. Maybe they’ll stick better, too? We’ll see… ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Looneng Water Activated Gummed Kraft Paper Tape – 48mm Width x 54.7 yd Length – Stretching Paper

    you can buy it from Amazon

  6. Hi Jonnie,
    I found the Creativity Street Wet Nโ€™ Stick Art Tape on eBay. For 10 rolls that are 1-1/2โ€W x 250โ€™L cost $76.11 and thereโ€™s no shipping charge. Hope this helps.

    • Thanks for looking – but Wow – that’s pretty steep. I don’t know of anyone who would pay that much for tape. I wonder if someone has a stash of discontinued tape, and they just raised the price.

  7. I found the Creativity Street Wet N’ Stick Art Tape on the website ssww.com, but itโ€™s expensive. 10 rolls that are 1-1/2โ€W x 250โ€™L cost $111.99 and I donโ€™t know if thereโ€™s shipping charges. Hope this helps.

  8. Hi Jonni- the tape that you used is actually used in the medical profession to tape on IVโ€™s or to tape on bandages after a blood draw, etc. It is especially good for the elderly with that really fragile skin. So Iโ€™m not surprised that it was comfortable on the mask. It can curl around the edges if on for a while but that might not be a problem with a stationary mask. Isnโ€™t it a bit pricey though? Most medical supplies are, but I guess everything is pricey these days

    • The tape is only about $2 a roll, but of course there isn’t much tape in a roll, so it’s a lot more expensive than regular scotch tape, per inch. But two rolls covered the outside of three masks plus the insides of two, so it wasn’t too bad. I really did like the softness of it, but I’m sure it will come unstuck after time. So far, though, it’s sticking better than masking tape, so it should last for one wearing at Mardi Gras or Halloween. I really hope someone finds that wet and stick tape that was used in the other video.

      • I checked out Pacon website and their online retailers retailers who carry it and there was one at a WalMart out of SF and another at a place called Paper Worm but the price is exhorbitant. There were others but once I saw the prices I looked no further than these 2.

        • They must be selling it to schools – I can’t see any other reason for it to be so expensive. And the original video was made by a teacher so that makes sense. I think I’ll call the company on Monday to see if they have reasonably-priced options. Thanks for looking it up for us.

    • I tried that, but nothing came up anywhere near me. I live in a small town miles from any city, so I have to buy art supplies online. Did you find a store where it’s available near you?


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