DIY Washi Tape Laptop Keyboard

by Kira @ Her New Leaf on January 16, 2012

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 my own spin.

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 crazy 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?

{ 160 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa March 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

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

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Sinjah April 2, 2012 at 6:10 am

This is adorable! It inspired me so much that I did it to my own keyboard this weekend ;) 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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jamie April 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

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

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Kira @ Her New Leaf April 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

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.

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chris @Granola2Glam June 29, 2012 at 12:51 am
kiwiberries April 15, 2012 at 3:01 am

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

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Byrdie Grey April 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

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.

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Erin McCall Meyer April 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

So the tapes used are see through?

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Kate Hurley April 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

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

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Marlene Rosen April 24, 2012 at 7:55 am

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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PattyC April 27, 2012 at 6:17 am

So Cute – !!!!!

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Sarah April 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm

So doing this today! Thanks so much! I’m trying it on my black keyboard, I’ll let you know how it goes!

Sarah @ http://www.allthingsblogs.blogspot.com

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Emily September 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hi!
Just wondering how this worked out for you, because I really want to give it a go but my keyboard is also black!
Thanks, Emily.

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L May 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Found your awesome DIY through oh, hello friend and just wanted to say THANK YOU! My MacBook Pro keyboard is super fun and will undoubtedly help me complete my Dissertation now :-P I’m thrilled!

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Sally May 15, 2012 at 9:35 am

can the tape be taken off without damaging the keys?

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chris @Granola2Glam June 29, 2012 at 12:47 am

yes, they come right off. no issues at all.
chris @Granola2Glam recently posted..Sneak Peek: Happy KeyboardMy Profile

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Taylor May 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Love this! I might try this on my laptop!!!!

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Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama May 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

LOVE this idea! It turned out great!

I featured you on my blog today, come check it out:
http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2012/05/pinteresting-features-n-shtuff-33.html

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Sarah May 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

I never did try it on my keys, sorry, but I did do it on my laptop lid and it works wonderful!

http://allthingsblogs.blogspot.com

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Sarah May 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

Oh also, I’m publishing a post about it today!
http://allthingsblogs.blogspot.com

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Madysen June 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

How did u get the letters to show on the tape

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dorothy June 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

absolutely adorable! i’ve yet to find the time to sit down and cut each piece and its corners :) soon, i hope! soon.

dorothy
theymaysaythatimadreamer.blogspot.com

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Jackie June 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

So I really want to do this, but my MacBook has black keys. Do you think it would work the same or not? I like the fact that the letters show up a little bit incase you forget but I can always turn up the backlighting to make it brighter. Is there a different tape I should use if this is too transparent?

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chris @Granola2Glam July 7, 2012 at 1:07 am

I just did one with a black backlit keyboard- looks fine. It’s on my blog if you want to see.
chris @Granola2Glam recently posted..DIY Colorful MacBook Washi Tape Keyboard TutorialMy Profile

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Alex June 24, 2012 at 5:16 am

Do you think this would still look alright on a keyboard with black keys??? Anyone tried that? Thoughts?

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chris @Granola2Glam July 7, 2012 at 1:08 am

Is your keyboard backlit? If so, it will be fine. I just did a tutorial on my blog with black keys.
chris @Granola2Glam recently posted..DIY Colorful MacBook Washi Tape Keyboard TutorialMy Profile

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chris @Granola2Glam June 29, 2012 at 12:46 am

Thanks for the inspiration…here’s my attempt with tutorial to follow.

http://granola2glam.blogspot.com/2012/06/sneak-peek-happy-keyboard.html

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Taylor July 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

Hey, would this work with a black keyboard?
Taylor recently posted..Hi, im Taylor ( Just-try-to-smile ) and im looking for a tumblr boyfriend. =]My Profile

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Lauren Olivia & Co July 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm

This is such a fun idea! Thanks for the creative tip :)

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Deanna July 10, 2012 at 7:06 am

Would the tape show up all right on a black keyboard?

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ATasteOfMadness July 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

What an awesome idea! This is gorgeous!
ATasteOfMadness recently posted..Rye BreadMy Profile

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Julie July 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

sooo ~ I am interested in doing this but, will it leave my keys all icky and sticky after I decide I want to take it off???

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star July 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm

hi! I really love this idea and right away went out to get some tape. But my keys are not back lit (although they are white) any tips on making the letters show up? thank you so much, it is an amazing idea!

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Zoe August 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Very nice!! Love this!!

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Grace Galang August 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Thank you Kira for sharing this. I love the way you decorated your mac keyboard and you did inspired some of us to do this, too. How creative! Ordered my washi tape too!

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Raeesa August 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hi any idea where to purchase the washi tapes in the UK?

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megy August 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm

were do you buy the tape?

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grace August 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

You really inspired me to do this and i did it! love it!

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janet September 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

i have a q… which pattern is the pink orangy yellow and the light green??

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Shelley Haganman September 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm

What a fabulous idea!

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Teresa McDonald September 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Raeesa, Amazon do it and if you put it in google, there are a lot of UK sites

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Liza October 9, 2012 at 3:00 am

This is very cute, but I don’t think I’m steady enough with crafts to not make an edge straight or something. :p
Liza recently posted..It’s October, and I’m already sweating.My Profile

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natalie November 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

how did you make the cardboard template for the keyboard and get each piece of tape to fit each key?

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Diane December 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Love it- what a cute idea!

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Helen January 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I love this, but do you have to write the letter/symbol on the washi tape, or can you see through the washi tape to see what’s on the key?

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Jennifer January 8, 2013 at 6:07 am

Definitely going to try this on my mac very soon! Love your blog!!! Thank you so much!

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Celine February 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I have a white backlit keyboard but I want to write the letters with a different font would this still work???

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Jennifer March 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

went to do this and realized my keyboard is black and it wouldnt have the same effect :(

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Thrifty Kinda Mom March 16, 2013 at 2:43 am

I work for a warehouse where laptops are repaired daily. I love to get the ones that are personalized by the customer. Expressing their own high tech individuality. There is something different everyday. I am inspired now to do my laptop like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Briana April 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

I’m waiting for my washi tapes in the mail! I am so excited to try this :)

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Nicolas Raymond April 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

Very original, kind of thing that makes me wonder “Hey, why didn’t I think of that?!” All the better since it allows for infinite amount of designs & patterns :-)

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Carolynn April 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I absolutely love this idea! I really want to do this to my laptop too but my keys are black with white lettering instead of white with black lettering like yours so I have no idea what the tape will look like up against black keys. Is it still possible for me to do this and have it look (at least somewhat) as nice as yours? What colors/patterns do you think I should use?

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Nikki April 20, 2013 at 5:03 am

I love this idea! I want to apply it to my macbook too! But how do you get the letters of the keyboard on the tape??

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emma July 2, 2013 at 5:51 am

gorgeous idea! love the colors too

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Sandie September 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

Kira~
Your DIY projects are inspiring! I have >several< pairs of shoes I can give new life to now, thanks to you! And my old keyboard, with the rubbed-off letters can get a facelift!! : D
I came here looking for things to do with Washi Tape, having only just discovered its existence, and look what a lovely surprise I found. Thanks!

Sandie

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MiniAsianTeen October 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Um, there wasn’t an actual on this page, was there?

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