Dress Up your Desk with Washi Tape

Washi you doing for the next five minutes?  I have a quick, easy and inexpensive DIY project to share that uses washi tape to dress up boring office supplies.  There’s something so satisfying about a super simple DIY to jumpstart your creativity when you’re short on time and inspiration!

You can use any office supplies that have a plain, smooth surface. Plastic, metal, wood or paperboard surfaces work well.  Washi tape can be found at any craft store in the paper crafting section or office supply store near the post-it notes.  You can even get washi tape for about $1/roll in the Target One Spot, at Tuesday Morning, and at the big box craft stores when it’s on sale.

My binder clips, pencil cups, and small organizers before I decorated them with washi tape.


You’ll find washi is very forgiving to work with.  If it doesn’t go on straight or smooth, lift it up and start over.  Press and smooth it down firmly when you’re done and it will stick well without peeling off.  I’ve only had a problem with some of the really cheap brands of washi peeling off at the ends.

Binder clips are my favorite office supply to washi, because they’re so quick and easy.  And they look super cute when they’re done.  They’re more adorable than the patterned binder clips you can buy that cost a lot more than the plain clips because there are so many interesting washi tapes out there you can use.  Cut a piece of tape slightly longer than the clip, adhere it to the flat side of the clip, then tuck the ends inside the clip and press down.  Flip it over and repeat on the other side.  I could make these all day!  As you can see, I had trouble stopping!  Office supply stores sell binder clips in virtually every color if you want to go beyond the basic black clips.  White is my favorite color of binder clip to work with.  I’m hoping to find some gold clips soon. I used medium size binder clips in this post because they fit the standard 15mm width washi tape which is the most common size.  Washi comes in larger and smaller widths too as you’ll see on the pencil cups, so I think it would be fun to experiment with other sizes of binder clips.

This blue floral washi tape was the perfect pattern to add to these metallic blue binder clips.


Blush and rose gold swan washi tape on white binder clips.


Marble patterned washi tape on black binder clips.

Next, I used washi tape to decorate plastic pencil cups and small storage cups used to organize desk supplies.  First decide which tapes you want to use to create your pattern, and mix different widths and coordinating patterns for best results.   Unroll at least six inches of washi tape and line it up straight on the surface, then start wrapping it around the pencil cup, keeping it straight and pulling it taut so it doesn’t wrinkle.  Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go, and lift and reposition the washi if it starts to go off kilter.  Put your seams along an edge or at the back of the pencil cup.  Press down firmly on all the tape edges so it stays in place.  If you don’t like the results, just pull off the tape and start over!  I love that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue and that it isn’t permanently stuck.  You can’t ruin your project!

I decorated this pencil cup with cactus washi tape with gold accents from Paper Source.  I used a thin gold and green washi tape I found at Tuesday Morning for the borders.


I used a wide llama washi tape as the focal point for the pencil cup, then edged it with two thinner coordinating pattern tapes. I used another llama patterned washi tape to create matching binder clips.


I used bee washi tape on this post it note organizer, and made some matching binder clips.


These small storage cups were 33 cents each at Michael’s on sale and are the perfect size to hold all of the binder clips I made. I used pink, aqua, and gold washi tape.


I wasn’t sure what to do with the black pencil cup since washi tape usually looks best on lighter surfaces due to its translucent nature, so I used my darker tapes here which happened to be a Halloween theme. Now I have a holder for my Halloween pencils!  The spider web tape was perfect to make matching binder clips.


My Halloween pencil cup got me thinking about other seasonal themes. I decided to make some Christmas binder clips to organize my Christmas lists, receipts, and coupons. The sloth clips are my favorite since I’m crazy about sloths and was happy how the tape design fits perfectly on the binder clip.


Have you used washi tape before?  Let me know any creative uses you’ve discovered for it in the comments.  What should I washi next?



  1. Jessica | 15th Oct 17

    Cute! I’m usually a plain Jane about things, but even I could handle this cuteness on my tools. And, you know I love wash on my cards!

    • Denise Breimeir | 15th Oct 17

      I absolutely love the creative ways you use washi tape on cards, and include it in the cards we make in your classes!

  2. Marilee | 15th Oct 17

    Such creative and quick projects. I have only used washi tape on cards and scrap booking. These office supplies would make bill paying (ugh) a little more cheerier!

    • Denise Breimeir | 15th Oct 17

      Yes! It’s amazing how little things like cute clips can make mundane tasks a little brighter! I need to organize my paperwork now.

  3. Val | 25th Oct 17

    Love your blog! I love this idea, I always wondered what to do with washi tape. These look so fancy and fun with all the different patterns. I always love a good DIY or easy how to ideas to follow. Helps motivate me to try and make them. Thanks!

    • Denise Breimeir | 25th Oct 17

      I love easy DYIs too! There’s something so satisfying about making something cute in a matter of minutes. I am always looking for new ways to use washi tape too.

  4. Wendie | 30th Oct 17

    I love those bees and honeycombs! You’re so creative!

    • Denise Breimeir | 31st Oct 17

      Thanks, Wendie! I can say the same about you! 🙂 I can’t wait to craft with you on Saturday crafternoon!

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