What Is Cellophane Tape? (Pictures and Explanation)

Covering food with cellophane tape
Cellophane tape in use

Cellophane tape, also known as sticky tape, is a clear or semi-transparent adhesive wrap that does not let air, oil, grease, or bacteria through. It’s used for food packaging and wrapping gifts, but it can also be found on crafting projects like making Christmas presents. Cellophanes main ingredient comes from biomaterials so nature will eventually break them down!

Cellophane is a unique moisture-proof, transparent material that was first created as a packaging wrap. It was invented by Du Pont in the early 1900s and was first marketed under the Scotch brand by 3M, starting in 1930. It is the primary material that is used to make cellophane tape. 

Cellophane tape is a type of tape that is made by applying adhesive to cellophane on one side. It has a wide variety of uses. For example, it can be used to repair torn paper, wrap gifts, commercially for packaging, and in various craft projects. This guide will cover everything you need to know about cellophane tape, and it will also go into detail about all its various uses. 

What can you do with cellophane tape? Uses of cello tape

Red and green garbage bag made from cellophane tape
Red and green cellophane tape

Cellophane has a lot of uses. It’s all about getting creative with it because a lot of its applications will come to you when you are in a fix. Here are a few exciting things you can do with cellophane tape: 

  1. Use it to wrap presents. This is one of the most popular uses of cellophane tape. Use it along with wrapping paper to wrap presents, ensuring that the wrapping paper stays in place until the present is unwrapped.
  2. Create a scratch guard. You can place a few strips of cello tape on your watch or electronic device to create an instant scratch guard. All you have to do is apply the tape to your screen, rub it away to remove any air pockets, and then trip away the edges to make it neat. 
  3. Use it to clean tricky surfaces. To do this, wrap some cellophane tape around your fingers or on a piece of sticky cardboard side out. You can then use it to clean your keyboard or any other dusty surfaces. You can also use it to remove lint from clothes. It also catches hair and broken glass well. 
  4. Kitchen hacks: You can use sticky tape for a wide variety of kitchen hacks. For example, if you are not sure a melon is ripe, cut a tiny section to check. If it still needs time, seal the opening with cello tape to keep the melon fresh. You can also use it to seal cracks in eggs and make them airtight. 
  5. You can also use it to control your pets by placing the tape in areas where you do not want them to scratch. Pets like cats will avoid scratching any surfaces with cello tape. Be sure to apply it sticky side out for greater effectiveness. 
  6. Use it to control pests by creating a flycatcher. To do this, wrap an empty roll of toilet paper cardboard in sticky tape sticky side out. Then hang it from the ceiling to catch flying insects. 
  7. Use it to repair shoelaces. If the ends of your shoelaces are frayed, fix them with some cello tape by winding a small piece of tape tightly around the ends of each shoelace to restore their appearance and function. 
  8. Makeup hack: You can use cellophane tape to step up your makeup game. There are several ways to do this: 
    • Eyeshadow: tear off a strip and reduce its adhesiveness by sticking it on your hand a few times. Then apply it underneath your eye creating a straight line to the tip of your eyebrow. Then apply your makeup as normal. When done, pull off the tape to reveal the perfect cat eye. 
    • Lipstick trials: You can use sticky tape to see what color of lipstick to use without applying it directly to your lips. To do this, draw a rough outline of your lips on a piece of tape and apply lipstick to it. Then hold it up over your lips to see what you would look like in that color. Change as needed until you find the perfect color for you. 
  9. A neat party trick: Cellotape has other fun uses that would make you the party’s life, especially if it is a child’s birthday. Applying a tiny strip of cellophane tape to a balloon will not pop if you poke it with a needle slowly. It is a great magic trick to delight kids with!
  10. You can also use it in a wide variety of craft projects. Cello tape sticks quite well to paper, which means you can use it on art projects that involve paper such as collages. Due to its water-repellent properties, you can also use it to make specific surfaces water-resistant. 

Cellophane tape vs. Masking tape vs. OPP tape

As you may have guessed, there are wide varieties of packaging tape apart from cellophane tape. Each one is designed for specific uses, so it is important to know the difference between them if you want to use them correctly. 

Cellophane tape

cellophane tape
Cellophane tape

As mentioned earlier, cellophane tape is a type of tape that is made using transparent cellophane material with adhesive applied to it. It is used in various applications in homes, offices, and commercially and is available in different widths, types, and strengths. 

OPP tape

OPP tape
OPP tape

OPP tape is the most common type of tape. It is made using oriented polypropylene film coated with acrylic adhesive, and it has high tensile strength and high water resistance. 

It is most commonly used for packaging and sealing boxes, and it also has electrical applications and can also be used in lamination. 

OPP tape is lightweight but does not cut easily. This is because of its molecular structure, which gives it high tensile strength, which is also why it has such great sealing performance. 

It is best used with an OPP tape dispenser to avoid wastage and make dispensing it easier and more efficient, saving time. Using OPP tape without a dispenser can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and time-consuming. 

Masking tape

Masking tape
Masking tape

Masking tape is a versatile type of tape that is often used in many applications. It can be used to label things that need to be labeled, such as food supplies and packages. It is also often used by painters to cover areas that need to be painted and during the creation of wall decorations.

Masking tape is made using a pressure-sensitive adhesive with a thin backing material. It is sold in various widths and colors depending on your needs. 

History of cellophane tape

Bubble wrap made with Cellophane tape
Bubble wrap made with Cellophane tape

Cellophane tape was invented as an experiment by 3M for a specific client. Although it did not work for that client, the tape found a whole host of other uses in other areas. It has since become the go-to choice for a wide variety of applications in many homes and offices. 

When the idea was conceived, many problems arose with the creation of the tape. The biggest one was how to apply the adhesive evenly to the tape. After many iterations, 3M found a way. The trick that did it was priming the cellophane sheet first. This allowed an even application of the adhesive without damaging the cellophane. 

In 1930, Scotch Cellophane Tape was introduced to the wider market. Prospective customers loved it and soon became one of 3M’s best-selling products. The trademarked name, Scotch tape, became a household name. 

Other brands of cellophane tape manufacturers soon wanted a piece of the pie. In Europe, Sellotape soon became the most recognized and highest-selling brand. Over the next few decades, more and more companies from all over the world started making it, allowing it to become one of the most popular types of packaging tape in the market.

Today, cellophane tape is also often called lots of different names, including scotch tape, cello tape, sellotape, and sticky tape. 

A standard roll of cellophane tape is also its own dispenser. It is designed to make it easier to tear off appropriately sized pieces as needed. It is available in a transparent or semitransparent form. You can also buy it in many different transparent color shades. It is also sold in many widths and strengths depending on your needs. Stronger cellophane tape is mostly used in commercial packaging applications. 

Final Thoughts

Candies packaged in cellophane tape.
Candys are usually packaged in cellophane as well

Cellophane tape is a popular type of packaging tape that has a lot of different uses. It is a must-have item in every home and office. It is available in many widths and strengths and has some commercial applications. It is also different from masking tape and OPP tape, which are other types of packaging tape. Hopefully, this guide has outlined everything you need to know about cellophane tape, including some interesting things you can do with it.

Zoltan Szatmari

Zoltan is a test and industrial engineer from Europe who loves learning anything new and working on small projects. When he is not working, he is usually hiking or going to the cinema.

Recent Posts