Theaters, performance venues, film sets, and photography studios can’t get enough Gaffer Tape. This do-it-all tape was created specifically for the film and photography industries—specifically for lighting use—and is the first thing you’ll grab for staging or set repair, too. Our gaffer tape is the perfect balance between cloth-backed gaff tape and extra-durable duct tape: It sticks easily, stays in place even with foot and equipment traffic, and removes in one piece—no residue or adhesive left behind. Here are nine uses for Gaffer Tape—from simple fixes to unexpected solutions.
1) Use Gaffer Tape for Quick Repairs
Our gaffer tape is an easy option for quick repairs to set, props, and lighting. If there’s no time for a full repair, durable gaffer tape is an ideal temporary solution to get you through opening night and beyond. Send a photo of your set or stage pattern, texture, or color and we can even custom-print gaffer tape to match for a camouflage tape solution.
2) Secure Cables for Safety
Keep cables, wires, and more out of the way to prevent trips: Use gaffer tape to secure cables to the floor at crossways and across aisles, keep wires out of the way at the podium, or cover audio/video cables to prevent shifting or accidental pulling. Gaffer tape is wider and stronger than electrical tape, making it a better choice for securing cables and wires. Additionally, with too much pressure, electrical tape can stretch, lose shape, or break. Choose gaffer tape for a longer-lasting, more secure cable tape solution. Using duct tape leaves gummy residue behind, which can create a mess. Our gaffer tape removes easily, without damage, so your wires, cables, and cords can be coiled and stored for next time, no sticky adhesive left behind.
How to Tape Down Cables with Gaffer Tape
- Choose the ideal location, such as along a wall or in other lower-traffic areas. Clean the floor, allow it to dry, then lay your cable.
- Bundle cables. If you’re taping multiple cables, use zip ties or strips of gaffer tape to bundle them before taping to the floor—this prevents slipping and moving beneath the tape application.
- Tack your cable at one end. Use a strip of tape laid perpendicular to the cable to secure it.
- Secure your cable lengthwise. Ensure your cable is straight and lay strips of gaffer tape along the cables. Overlap tape as necessary to ensure the cable is fully covered. Apply extra tape where the cables change direction.
- Tack cable at the endpoint. Secure the endpoints or any areas with directional changes with perpendicular strips of gaffer tape. For a more secure stick, also include perpendicular tacking strips at five-foot intervals.
3) Provide Stage Directions
Our printed gaffer tape allows you to share specific instructions or stage directions beyond simple lines, spike markings, or dashes. Mark stage exit points with repeating message gaffer tape. Our gaffer tape features beveled edges for a long-lasting application: The edges direct props, set pieces, and more up and over the tape so the markings stay put through rehearsals, performances, and clean-up.
4) Create Long-Lasting Visual Cues
Save time by using our gaffer backstage floor markings, safety signals, to label sightlines, and on-set cues that stick and stay through rehearsals, performances, and cleaning. No need to re-apply your most-used cues—our strong adhesive and durable woven construction are ideal for visual cues you need for the long-term, but our easy-to-remove tape comes away clean without leaving any adhesive residue behind if you only need temporary floor markings.
5) Focus, Tracking, and Other Video-Editing Tricks
Gaffer tape allows you to mark, label, secure, and highlight quickly, easily, and temporarily while on set. These quick tricks are some favorites of the pros in the film business, and they’re easy to apply no matter how large (or small) your production.
- Tape the camera’s focus ring to prevent slippage in cool weather or due to accidental bumping
- For accurate focus pulls, use gaffer tape to mark focus points on lens barrels
- Create simple tracking markers for video editing, especially for multi-camera shoots: A single, solid color is often preferred for ease when it comes to editing out the markers.
6) Color-Code Gear for Easy Identification
By scene, by use, or by owner: Our wide range of gaffer tape makes it easy to create color-coded cameras, gear, props, costumes, and more.
- Use colored tape to label camera equipment so gear can be identified at a glance
- Add color-coded strips of tape on the inside of costume pieces to ensure whole outfits stay together
- Mark the bottoms of props or set pieces to coincide with staging spikes
7) Keep Microphone Stands in Place
Secure mic stands and cords with gaffer tape. Tape the mic stand to the stage or floor to ensure it remains in place. Mic stand slipping? When you use microphone stands often, they loosen and slip, but you can keep yours at the right height with a strip of gaffer tape around the edge of the upper tube to keep it from sliding. Simply remove the tape when it’s time to break down. Duct tape and other varieties leave a sticky goo behind that gums up the inner workings of the mic stand, but gaffer tape removes clean. Secure cords to the mic stand, too, to reduce trip hazards.
And, while you’re at it, create a handy guitar pick holder: Cut a strip of gaffer tape, fold the top third over to connect the sticky sides. Use two strips of tape on either end to attach it, adhesive-side-out, to your mic stand, amp, guitar case…anywhere. The sticky edge grips the pick tips so they’re held securely, but no residue remains when you pluck them off for use.
8) All-Purpose Costuming Solution
Last-minute costume repairs are to be expected, but you don’t need a needle and thread for the quickest of fixes. Here are some common costuming problems—and favorite gaffer tape solutions:
- Create a quick, artificial hem with strips of gaffer tape on the inside of the costume
- Secure mic wires inside costumes—this tape sticks better than electrical tape and doesn’t leave behind residue like duct tape
- Soften footfalls on noisy stages by adding a bit of gaffer tape to the soles of the actor’s shoes
- Repair tears or snags temporarily: Tape costume damage on the inside of the costume. It will hold until the costuming department can provide a better fix
9) Lay Vinyl Flooring for Dance
Gaffer tape makes laying vinyl dance flooring easy. Roll out the sections of vinyl flooring, allow time for it to relax, then apply the tape to the vinyl seams to make a smooth performance or studio classroom floor. Our gaffer tape can resist moisture and regular cleaning for a longer-lasting flooring solution. Repairing or updating the flooring is easy: Remove any damaged tape and flooring, then lay and tape new vinyl flooring as necessary
Gaffer tape is one of the most-used tools for film and stage productions and photography studios. Keep a few lengths wound around your pen, wrapped around an old gift card, or clip rolls to your belt with a lanyard and carabiner clip. This indispensable stage and video production tool will keep things moving—so keep plenty on hand. For more floor marking tips and solutions, visit our Resource Center.