Washi Tape Keyboard

washi tape keyboard closeup

I spend WAY more time on my computers than I’d like to admit. Between writing posts this blog and listings for my Etsy shop and editing pictures for both, I spend a majority of my day on them. In the fall and winter I’m cooped up in my office on my desktop and when spring hits my life is one big multi-task that last through the summer and I’m on my laptop. I got this MacBook back in 2010 and while I love the look of the new MacBook Pros, there is nothing wrong with this one and you can get that new computer feel with a little makeover! Washi tape is nothing new… it’s a paper style tape that comes from Japan and has been available online for a few years now. I’ve started seeing it pop-up in all the craft stores lately and with it so readily available I figured I’d give my keyboard a little facelift to brighten things up! I would describe washi tape as a decorative painter’s tape – it sticks tight but peels right off without leaving any residue and it’s colorful but slightly see-through (which obviously makes a nice choice for covering your keys!). They come in so many different designs that this is such a cool project that fits anyone’s personal style!

Start off by wiping your keyboard clean with a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad (1). This will not only clean your keyboard but it will make sure your tape has the best surface to stick to. Pick your washi tape – use as many or as little different prints as you like… I decided on three with colors that went well together but you can go wild here if you like! They now have these rolls of tape at WalMart, Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, AC Moore, etc. I took each key off my keyboard because I take perfectionist to a whole other level and I knew if I didn’t round the corners on the squares it would drive me crazy… you don’t have to do this (in fact, the bigger keys have these weird metal hinges in addition to plastic snaps and it was such a pain I wouldn’t recommend it lol). If you decide not to take the keys off, just eyeball the size of the key and cut the tape (the tape comes in right size width already). If you’re like me, pop off the keys and lay them upside down on the sticky side of the tape (2). I used cuticle scissors because the curve made it really easy to trim the corners (3) and then pop the keys back on. I did one row at a time starting with the first row of letters (4) then worked my way down (5 & 6). I did have to use two pieces of tape on the command keys as they were wider than the other keys, I could have done the same with the space bar but I liked the way it looked.

washi tape keyboard

Some notes in the spirit of full disclosure:

– The washi tape is slightly opaque, some more than others, but the older macbook keyboards aren’t backlight so if your sitting down in low light at night, it is difficult to see the letters. If you’re worried about that, pick lighter colored washi tape or ones without large designs. You could also just put washi tape on some keys instead of them all.

– I did this last week and after a week of LOTS of use (keep in mind I use mine much more than the average person) my letter keys were worn already. You could probably get one of those clear keyboard covers (find them HERE for 99 cents) and never have to worry about it. I just took the tape off the letter keys and the other keys have held up just fine 9you can see what it looks like right now on my Instagram page HERE). Bottom line, if you use your laptop a ton, you may not want to waste your time taping the letters unless you want to replace the tape every couple of weeks.

– Even thought I only used three tapes, I pointed the designs in different ways to make the design much more varied and the yellowish tape had about six different flowers to choose from so that helped too… position the tape in different ways to get the most out of the least amount of tape!