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What is Copper Tape?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Copper tape is tape made from strips of copper. This tape comes in varying widths, and it may be adhesive or nonadhesive. There are a wide range of uses for this tape, ranging from gardening to amateur radio operations, and this product is available from places like hardware stores, gardening stores, and electronics stores. The cost varies, depending on the width of the tape and whether or not it is adhesive.

In electronics, copper tape is valued because copper is conductive and highly reliable. This tape may be used for shielding various electronic components, or for other electronics projects. Tapes for use in electronics are often of the extra thin foil tape type, which makes them lightweight and easy to handle, although thicker tapes are also available. Electricians may keep a roll on hand for various projects, as do people who work with audio components.

Crafters also use copper tape. In stained glass and mosaic work, the tape may be used to hold elements of a design together, and it can also be used to create decorative accents in various crafts projects. Copper tape for crafting is often used with solder and a soldering iron, with the crafter soldering the ends of the tape together or bending the tape and soldering it to create a frame for a craft project. Craft stores often sell several different thicknesses of copper tape for different projects, along with other metal tapes.

Gardeners can utilize this tape for a range of garden projects, with one of the more interesting uses of copper tape in gardening being as a form of natural pest control. Slugs and snails have difficulty passing over copper, because the metal reacts with the viscous fluids they secrete, so copper tape can be used to create a very effective slug barrier around a flowerbed, tree, or flower pot.

Copper is famous for its tendency to develop a patina over time. While the patina is not harmful, it can interfere with the conductive properties of copper. For this reason, some copper tapes are coated in substances which are designed to prevent the development of a patina, and they may be packaged in airtight or oiled packaging so that the tape does not patina while it is stored. People who are concerned about patina can rub it off with a soft cloth and a product designed for cleaning copper, although the patina will eventually reappear.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By blackDagger — On Jun 17, 2011

I have thought about using copper in my home for both decorative and practical purposes. However, I am very concerned about the threat of intruders who are looking to steal the valuable metal in order to resale it.

So, I scaled down my plans and thought of smaller ways that I could introduce the lovely look of new copper as well as copper which has patina on it.

Is it possible to use things like copper foil and copper tape to decorate with, or is this just a wacky fantasy idea that I’ve dreamed up?

By JessiC — On Jun 14, 2011

I am both an avid gardener and a crafter, so I use copper tape all of the time!

I do use it around my flower beds to keep pests away, but I also have a very pretty way to use it as well.

I like to dress up my plain terra cotta pots with this copper foil tape. You can either take it and just edge the pot with the it (the self-adhesive kind works great because you don’t have to deal with glue or paste) or you can create designs on the pots. This can give them a really unique flare.

Some people don’t like the look of patina on their copper, but I truly do relish the look. It shows that this is something that is beautiful throughout each transition it makes. I wouldn’t clean it off for a thing!

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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