DIY Washi Tape Laptop Keyboard

Look whose little old MacBook got a facelift this weekend! I spotted this idea from minifanfan on Making It Lovely last week and just had to give it a try.

I purchased my Japanese washi tape from Le Box Boutique on Etsy. There are hundreds of washi tape sellers but I chose Le Box because they allow you to purchase tape by the foot rather than having to purchase the entire roll. They were very easy to interact with and I would definitely recommend them if you’re looking to purchase washi tape!

I chose these ten patterns but only ended up using eight of them on my keyboard. The purple and blue patterns looked a bit more opaque than the others when applied to the keys and I’m kind of anal when it comes to matchy-matchiness.

I first thoroughly cleaned my keyboard with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt or oil that might keep the tape from sticking. Then I created a template from cardboard to more easily cut the length of tape needed for each key. I also snipped off the corners to keep them from snagging and peeling off the keys. Washi tape is similar to masking tape or blue painters’ tape in that it is easy to stick and restick in case you don’t get the placement perfect each time.

I originally wanted to do all the keys, including the small keys in the top row, but the tape seemed to have a harder time sticking to the small keys. If you’re wondering, most of the patterns are easy to see through, just in case I forget which key is the Z or X.

This project was a bit tedious but simple – perfect for a few hours in front of the tv. It actually went much quicker than I thought! I think the corners may start to peel over time, but the time/money investment wasn’t very big, and for now, I’m pretty sure I have the prettiest MacBook around!

What do you think? Have you ever done a project inspired by a photo found online?

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108 Responses to DIY Washi Tape Laptop Keyboard

  1. joanne says:

    very very cool, kir!!! but maybe too tedious for me!!

  2. Gran says:

    Amazingly cool!!

  3. Lori says:

    That looks so cute! Will you do mine? πŸ™‚

  4. Jeanne says:

    This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I totally want to do it!

  5. debra says:

    very cute! i’ll prob do it…i think about how dull my laptop is all the time, believe it or not!

  6. I have a bunch of Washi tape sitting around waiting to be used and I love decorating things and making white things like my Macbook colorful. Looks like I have a new project for the weekend. πŸ™‚

  7. Nicole says:

    Awesome! I love that you went ahead and did this!

  8. Wendy says:

    So fun!!

  9. Col says:

    how did you get the letters and phrases printed on the tape? it’s clearly not handwritten. Did you just take the washi tape and put it on a piece of paper, type up the letters, and run it through a printer?

  10. Alyssa says:

    would this work with something other than washi tape?

    • The reason washi tape works so well for this is because it is sticky but easy to reposition. I think other tapes would be too sticky and much more difficult to place in the center of each key.

  11. What a fantastic idea – so cute and colorful!!!

  12. Carley L says:

    This looks amazing! Last week I spent a good hour cleaning the keyboard of my MacBook. I think this would save me from spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to keep my white keys white and obsessing when my Mac doesn’t look like it did when I bought it 4 years ago.

  13. Breanna says:

    Can you take it off at any time or is it permanent?

    • Washi tape has about the same stick as regular masking tape. It appears to be easily removable but I’ve only had it on my keyboard for about a week, so I can’t tell you for sure. Any leftover stickiness should come off easily with rubbing alcohol.

  14. SO CUTE! I love washi tape!

  15. Molly says:

    How do you think this would look on black keys?

  16. abigail says:

    love it !! just order the tape ! but my worry now is the black keyboard it has white letters I hope it works !! =)

  17. Erin says:

    Would you be willing to share a template for the different shapes of keys? I know this project should be idiot proof, but alas…

    • Erin – I just estimated how wide the keys were and cut a piece of scrap cardstock to the same width – most of the keys are just about square (the same as the width of the standard washi tape), just a few took some extra eye-balling. Just jump in, you can do it! : )

  18. I love it, and would consider doing it! WOW!

  19. Shawnna says:

    Love this idea! I’ve been looking for a way to spruce up my Macbook!

  20. Kristin says:

    Ahhhhh amazing! I love this!

  21. Johanna C says:

    love this idea! do you think it work for a MacBook Pro, with the black keys and white letters?

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  23. spoonfulofsugarfree says:

    I love this! super cute. will have to try.

  24. honestly4you says:

    did u write each letter on each sticker?

  25. Elizabeth says:

    So cute! Can anyone help me, I can’t buy any washi tape, are there any shops that sell?

  26. emilie says:

    what a great idea… It looks gorgeous. Now I want to try it too !

  27. Hi! I love this project and really want to do this! One question though, how did you get the letter on the stickers?

  28. Raychel says:

    This looks so cute! I found it on pinterest and HAVE to do it. I just ordered my washi tape. πŸ™‚ Hope it comes in fast cause im excited. πŸ™‚

  29. Melissa says:

    Was one foot of each pattern enough or did you buy more than that?

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  31. Sarah says:

    Just finished! Perfect project to do while watching a movie πŸ™‚ Here’s mine!
    http://sarahtremayne.tumblr.com/post/16659816292

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  34. Raychel says:

    I finished mine! πŸ™‚ Thank you for the idea!

  35. I just wanted to say thank you again Kira and to all of your fantastic followers who have visted http://www.leboxboutique.etsy.com to grab some tape! We have had a great deal of customers mentioning this post!!! Hope you all are loving your tape:)

  36. This is seriously amazing… super tempted to do this as soon as I get home tonight! Just discovered your blog via pinterest – it’s fab, especially the primp my blog stuff!
    Sally

  37. melissa says:

    Ahem, I guess I’m taking one for the black keyboard team…

    It SEEMS to work just fine, I imagine it won’t look as “sunny” as a mac computer though. Plus, the white letters don’t really pop through the tape. I can see them through white bits, but not so much through coloured bits. Fine if you don’t need to look at the keyboard, but I think I’d need to keep the numbers and some of the function keys bare.

  38. Rachel says:

    this is too cute! i want to do this, but my keyboard is black…do you think it would be better on white or black? before i order from Le Box Boutique on Etsy, i just had to ask your advice. (:

    • Rachel, I think it would look great on a black keyboard as well, but I imagine the letters won’t show through as much since they are written on the keys in white. I’m sorry I don’t have more insight, I have been begging my readers to send me a photo of a black keyboard but haven’t gotten any yet! If you decide to do it, please send me pictures, I would love to feature it on my Facebook page!

  39. Lisa says:

    Hi! Thanks for the great project and link to the etsy shop. I just finished this on my macbook pro, and it looks really great! My keys are black, so the designs on the tape don’t stand out as much and you can see flaws in my cutting a bit easier. Thankfully, the macbook keys are backlit, so with the brightness up (even just a few clicks) I can see the symbols under the tape. It is still really cute! Here is a picture:

  40. Jordan Rohrbach says:

    this is sooo amazing. but i have a question. you can take the tape off if you end up not liking it correct? because i don’t want the tape to ruin the keys….

  41. Katie says:

    I really like this idea. However my MacBook has black buttons. Do you think this project would still work on my computer? Thanks.

    Katie

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  45. Dee White says:

    can you send the list of tapes you ordered so that I can order I really like the style of yours

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  47. Mademoiselle says:

    GΓ©nial ! Tanks β™₯

  48. Liz says:

    How does typing on it work? Is the tape sticking well? Does it feel weird on your fingers?

  49. paulgl says:

    amazing and cool

  50. glxtp says:

    How does typing on it work? Is the tape sticking well. nice and cool

  51. nova says:

    I am SO stealing this idea. πŸ™‚

  52. Zella Criscillis says:

    I just bought these at Burlington Coat Factory for $5.00 in Zebra and Leopard! Had lots of patterns. Can’t imagine cutting all these!!

  53. liz says:

    This is a cute and unique project to try πŸ™‚ i wonder if it would work well on a black keyboard

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  56. linziloop says:

    This is really nice, I like that it’s not a permanent thing so you can remove it without having a horrible sticky residue on the keys, at least thats what I would expect from something similar to masking tape. Neat job!

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  58. sara says:

    This is great i am ordering my tape now! How do you know how small to cut them. Are there specific measurements? does it not loose it sticky when handling it while cutting?

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  60. Melissa says:

    You’ve completely inspired me!! I’ll be doing this next week when I have some free time πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

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  62. Sinjah says:

    This is adorable! It inspired me so much that I did it to my own keyboard this weekend πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the cute idea (and the link to that awesome Etsy shop, I might spend all of my money ever there)!

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  66. jamie says:

    maybe you could try putting some clear nail polish around the edges to keep them from peeling…

    • Jamie, I would be nervous about that because I wouldn’t want it to affect the keyboard’s functionality. All it would take is a little drip below the key to stick it forever! It was also important to me for it to be removable – it all came off without a problem.

  67. kiwiberries says:

    wow, amazing! I’m just now looking for inspiration to do something similar.

  68. Byrdie Grey says:

    I was given several rolls of washi tape for Christmas, but I didn’t have any idea of what to really do with it except stick pictures to my wall–until now!!! I’m trying this out as soon as I get home.

    Thanks for all the great crafting and blogging ideas. You’re blog is refreshingly easy to dip into for a few minutes and come out with innovative and creative ideas.

  69. So the tapes used are see through?

  70. Kate Hurley says:

    I’m gonna try this on a PC, hopefully it’ll work:) just got to pick up some washi tape from walmart or michaels πŸ™‚

  71. Marlene Rosen says:

    Any way that you could list the colors that you used? The eysy site is a little overwhelming and I loved the colors that you picked. I cannot WAIT to do this!! Thanks!

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