Mechanical pulling of adhesive tape creates radicals on the tapes surface. These radicals are capable of reducing metal salts to the corresponding metal nanoparticles. In this way, the mechanically activated tape can be decorated with various types of nanoparticles, including Au, Ag, Pd, or Cu. While retaining their mechanical properties and remaining sticky, the tapes can exhibit new properties derived from the presence of metal nanoparticles (e.g., bacteriostaticity, increased electrical conductivity). They can also be patterned with nanoparticles only at selective locations of mechanical activation.