Home & Living

The $2 Item That Can Make Any Room More Stylish

What can you get for $2? Maybe a cup of coffee...but certainly nothing for your home. That is, unless you've stumbled upon the DIY gold that is washi tape.

Long a staple for crafters, washi tape is like a more delicate masking tape. It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. You can find it at craft, art and hobby stores, but increasingly mass retailers like Target have started offering the versatile product.

Since it's cheap and easy to use (along with being easy to remove), washi tape can be the starting point for a wide range of cute home decor makeovers. Take a look at the video above to see a couple of ideas in action. If it's inspired you to pick up a few rolls of tape, try out these projects excerpted from the new book "Fun with Washi" by Jessica Okui and Angie Cao (Chronicle Books, 2014).

Fringed Garland

  • You'll need:
  • Scissors
  • Washi tape in various complementary colors/ patterns
  • Ruler
  • String for tassel loops, and a piece long enough to hang all your tassels (use baker’s twine, embroidery thread, or even fishing wire)

1. With the scissors, cut two pieces of washi tape about 4 inches long. Place the sticky sides together.

2. Cut the double-thick washi tape lengthwise into thin strips, stopping 1/2 inch from the top, to make fringe (see Fig. 1).

3. To make four more fringed pieces, repeat steps 1 and 2 four times. You will have five pieces of double-thick washi tape with fringe.

4. Stack the five pieces of washi tape on top of each other with the fringe facing down. Place a piece of 2-inch-long string on the top in a loop.

5. At the top, roll the five pieces together tightly. Wrap a piece of coordinating-color washi tape around the top to secure.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 to create as many fringed tassels in as many colors as you’d like. String the tassels on a long piece of string to create a festive garland.

Mosaic-Inspired Coaster

You'll need:
  • Washi tape in 3 complementary colors
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • 3 1/2-inch square stone tile
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear gloss acrylic paint
  • 4 felt pad stickers

1. Place a 6-inch-long piece of washi tape on a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the tape. With scissors, cut the tape in half lengthwise. Repeat with the remaining two tape colors.

2. Cut the tape into equal-size triangles and squares. My triangles have a length of 1/4 inch and a width of 1/4 inch, and my squares are 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch.

3. Pull off one washi tape triangle at a time from the parchment paper. To make the mosaic patterned border around the edge of the tile, place the triangles in alternating colors. To make the inner pattern, place the squares down to make two boxes, one inside the other.

4. When all the triangles and squares are placed, use the paintbrush to paint the entire tile with the clear gloss acrylic paint. Let dry for 20 minutes. Paint a second coat of acrylic paint on the tile. Let dry for 1 hour.

5. Add the felt pad stickers to the four bottom corners of the tile so it won’t scratch your table.

DIY Gift Ideas