Introduction: Easy Way to Remove Sticky Tape Residue From Paper Decorations & Cardboard Die Cuts

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If you collect vintage holiday decorations like I do or own some old items stored up in the attic from the past you may find a bunch of sticky scotch tape or packing tape left on them. I find tape left on just about all the edges of the paper die cuts or cardboard cutouts I find at garage sales and thrift stores. But don't fret here is a real simple and easy way to remove that unwanted tape, stickers, or adhesive residue from your items. This tip could work on books, paper letters, and many other surfaces. You should definitely try this before you consider them trash.

We recommend watching the video above and follow along with the written steps.


  • Hair Dryer
  • Adhesive Eraser
  • Paper Towel/Rag
  • Tweezers (Optional)

Step 1: Step 1: Look for Good Places to Start Peeling

First gather up all your taped up items. For this project you will need a hair dryer, an adhesive eraser also called (rubber cement pick-up) and a paper towel. I'm working on three examples in the video. The ghost die cut has old scotch tape in multiple places along the edges, the cat die cut has flocking material which may be more difficult, and the pumpkin die cut which is a good example of a large piece of packing tape stuck to itself in a hard to remove spot around the stem. Start by looking for any places that look like a good place to start peeling up the tape.

Step 2: Step 2: Heat Up the Tape & Start Peeling

Now if you are worried about damaging your piece you could always leave the tape on and trim away any excess tape away with a razor blade or scissors. But if you want to remove it turn your hair dryer on its hottest setting and start heating up the problem areas. We are going to work on one spot at a time and on one side at a time. Once warmed up you can start peeling off the section of tape moving very slow. Take your time and reheat the area if it cools down. It's better to be safe and keep it warmed up than to tear some of the paper up with the tape.

Step 3: Step 3: Remove & Erase the Adhesive Residue

Using the adhesive eraser lightly rub the residue areas until you see it start to come off. As the adhesive starts to move around, wipe off the eraser and roll away what you can from the surface of the paper with your finger or paper towel. Repeat again and again until it's all removed. You may have to let it cool if it seems to just spread around in a larger area.

Step 4: Step 4: Clean Area With No Tape & Your Finished

Once the sticky tape residue is all removed you can give it a quick wipe down with a dry paper towel and you good to go. Now proudly display and frame those decorations once again. Thanks everyone see you next time!