Painter’s Tape DIY Contest: Top 20 Finalists — Group 1

by Kate Pruitt

Okay, we just have to say that we were BLOWN AWAY by the number of awesome submissions we received for our Painter’s Tape DIY Contest!! It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to 20 finalists, and I don’t envy you readers for the tough task ahead: choosing your favorites! We have separated the finalists into two groups of 10 projects. This is Group 1, and Group 2 will be posted tomorrow at 1pm EST. You can cast one vote only in each group, and next week we will share the top 6 finalists for one last round of voting before the winners are declared. Voting ends at 7pm EST on Sunday, August 19th.

Images of the first group of finalist projects and a little background for each are posted after the jump. Once you have admired, studied and evaluated them all, please CLICK HERE to cast your vote for Round 1 (PLEASE NOTE: The voting page will open in a new window/tab). Again, thank you so much to everyone who entered — your level of creativity and craft are truly an inspiration to our team, and we are so honored to be able to share these amazing projects. And thank you to Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape for sponsoring this contest; it’s been so much fun seeing what you all have come up with. Good luck to you finalists, and happy voting! — Kate

See the first round of finalists and cast your vote after the jump . . .

Painter’s Tape Vessels — Leslie Schmalz

The vase started as a plain white porcelain milk container that I first covered in the blue painter’s tape. Then I created a design with masking tape and electrical tape. Any design will work. I just dove in, and the stripe and square design emerged. Things are easily changed using tape, so you are able to try things, and if something doesn’t work, you can easily remove it and try again. In addition to the vase, I also created a plate and an egg cup. Painter’s tape has no limitations, so it was fun to cover everything in it! — Leslie

Ombre Stripe Pillow — Erin Souder

Ombres, tie-dyes, dip dyes, and wash effects are everywhere, and it’s not a hard look to DIY but can look very homemade if you’re not careful. This diluted-bleach method removes color from an existing fabric and takes a lot of the guesswork out of dipping and dying. Adding a subtle stripe to your next ombre project using Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape is an easy way to move this trend on from standard DIY status. — Erin

Geometric Painted Wall — Alecia Stenseth

The inspiration for my Painter’s Tape DIY was an image in Elle Decor of Kelly Wearstler’s beach house. There was a photo of a room with dramatic hand-painted wallpaper. I decided that the best way to replicate the look was to hand paint the stripes in a geometric pattern with a brush (I wanted to keep that hand-painted look and for the lines to have some undulation in color), cover the pattern in painter’s tape, repaint over the tape in the same color to prevent bleeding and to obtain crisp, uniform lines and then to cover the entire wall with a high-gloss white (4 coats of white). The final step was to peel away the painter’s tape to reveal the design. — Alecia

Three-Color Painted Wall — Jillian Taylor

As an artist who regularly uses all varieties of tape in my drawings and paintings, I was quite excited when I saw this contest posted. One reason I love using tape in my work is because of its unique look and texture and the variety of lines achieved when it is torn. We are so accustomed to using painter’s tape to mask a straightedge to paint straight lines, so I wanted to put a spin on this practice by painting against a torn tape edge. This contest inspired me to paint my bedroom, which desperately needed some attention. The whole room isn’t done yet, but the paint has made a huge difference. This project celebrates my love of the beauty of ripped tape! — Jillian

Indigo-Dyed Handbags — Kenya Miles

I started working with natural indigo in my studio last year. It has definitely been a process of research and exploration. These bags were created by drawing a design on cotton canvas cloth, taping off the design, and then putting batik wax on top. The indigo process took about 4 dips. The wax must be boiled out of the cotton, which is then washed several times and ironed to ensure all of the wax has been removed. I then used scrap suede (from an old bag) for the bottom and married all the pieces together. — Kenya

Triangle Stenciled Stationery — Kristen Sutcliffe

To create this project, I started by cutting a small triangle template out of cardstock and tracing the triangles along the bottom and top edges of a roll of painter’s tape (staggering between the triangles on the bottom edge). I used an exacto knife to cut along the pencil lines, going over the cuts a few times until I had cut through several layers of the tape. I used the patterns to decorate cards, gift tags, postcards, etc. You can stagger and space the tape in many different ways to create different designs. I used small ink pads to color in my designs — just turn the ink pad upside down and pat it onto any exposed parts of the paper. — Kristen

Sponge Sticky Lamp — Giselle Barron

My entry, “Sticky Lamp,” is made from rolled pieces of tape stuck together to form an organic spherical shape. I’ve seen lamps and pendants made using cylinders before, so I thought the tape might work, too. I love the way it diffuses the light and casts great shadows. — Giselle

Sticky Rose Lights — Nancy Noerdin

I brought home this tree branch I’d found on the road side to fill my wall. I put up a strand of decorating LED lights to perk it up, but it still looked just plain, especially during the daytime, so I came up with these masking tape “sticky roses”! — Nancy

Painted Clipboard — Laura Parke

I decided to paint a clipboard for this contest because I use clipboards a lot to hang up inspiration on the bulletin board in my office. By painting the clipboard white, it instantly gave it a clean, fresh feel. I added some stripes by taping off sections to create some interest. With the hole punch, I was able to add even more visual interest to the design. The Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape definitely held its own by keeping paint exactly where I wanted it to go. — Laura

Patterned Watercolor Sketchbook — Amber Jensen

For this project, I decided to use my skills in leather dying and finishing to create a finished leather sketchbook. I used the painter’s tape directly on the leather and then cut away to reveal a beehive pattern. I then used some of my vegetable dye in the exposed areas. Once it was dry, I peeled away the tape, applied some accents of gold ink and went back into it with an ink pen using only the vegetable dye. I finished the piece with a protective coating of acrylic for leather. Inside, I bound watercolor paper and riveted it to the back of the book. — Amber


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  • Although all of them are very cool, I love Alicia’s. What an interesting wall treatment. Very creative and inspirational!

  • All soooo clever and pretty! The standouts for me though are the sponge lamp and geometric wall, but good luck to everyone!

  • These are all pretty darn great… but I want a journal just like that last project! It’s so beautiful!

  • i’m honored and thrilled to be a finalist! thank you! all of the submissions are so clever. i can’t wait to see the other 10 featured tomorrow.

  • They are all very creative, but I especially loved the geometric wall. I think I might even try it out in my new place!

  • Wow, Thanks so much D*S and commenters! It’s an honor to have my project chosen as one of the top 20!

  • Everything was incredibly well executed. However, I have to nit-pick here; the challenge was to create with Scotch BLUE PAINTING TAPE… Given the number of great designs DS says they received, I find it confusing and a bit disappointing that two of the finalists featured here used plain masking tape. No matter how lovely and brilliant their entries, they failed to fulfill the basic “challenge” so to speak so in fairness to those who did I do not think they should have a chance to win.

    • Kathleen,

      Your concern is noted, but if you go back to the original post announcing the contest, you will see that we opened the guidelines to allow for all kinds of masking tape. We did this partially because we received emails from international readers who wanted to participate but did not have access to the specific blue tape, and both we and the sponsor were open to allowing projects that use tapes outside their specific brand. So in the end all of these submissions are well within the guidelines.

  • Thank you so much…
    I’m delighted to be included in the final together with all these awesome projects!

  • I like the ‘three color painted wall’ by Jullian Taylor. The effect is very calming…and this technique lends itself to a variety of effects! All of the submissions are unique!

  • These are all so well done. I particularly like Alecia’s geometric painted wall. Who knew you could be so creative with tape!

  • I love the DIY Ombre Stripe Pillow, but the Indigo-dyed handbags take it, for me. I love new things to do with painters’ tape, especially beyond just painting walls in straight lines. Thank you all for the insiring projects!

  • I loved teh sponge lamp the most followed closely by the ripped paper painted wall. Amazing efferts all round!

  • I love the sponge lamp but as with other projects shown here it would annoy me that they would inevitably gather dust over time. Also I’m sure most would agree it wouldn’t have quite the same appeal in blue scotch tape! However you could easily spray a few coats of enamel paint to keep a longer lasting appeal and opens up a whole new avenue for colourful sponges!

  • Unbeliveably inventive creations! Wow! I was blown away by quite a few. I really loved the tranquility of the seascape above the headboard; I am in awe of the creative artistic rendering of a sea sponge – ingenious! The roses, again lovely – – the vase…OMG, HOW am I suppose to choose only one??? Kudos to all of you for the pleasing art pieces!!!

  • For me the Geometric Painted Wall by Alecia Stenseth is the clear winner. Alecia I am so going to copy your amazing artwork

  • These are all fantastic! I particularly like Jillian Taylor’s take on the challenge. Thank you for posting these, I will definitely recreate some of these.

  • Torn between the pocket book and the sponge lamp. Sponge lamp would have gotten it but I keep thinking how if you needed to move it, it would stick to your hand and be like one of those old movies where the guy can’t get the sticky thing off of himself.

  • So many wonderful pieces! Gisele your sponge is a sculptural beauty and Jillian I am painting the first wall i can get my hands on with your 3 color technique, its simple and gorgeous and reminds me of the ocean.

  • I was astounded at the out-of-the-box submissions featured here, demonstrating the creators’ imagination and originality. I also loved the geometric wall, but feel compelled to say that, although the end result is amazing and the process must have been exhausting, the original design was, as mentioned, Ms. Wearstler’s, where the other submissions were less derivative.

  • Oh my goodness! This is only group 1? I cant wait to see the rest! These are all so fantastic. I’m rooting for that geometric wall, so beautiful. Can’t wait to see the results!

  • I did not see the addendum allowing designs using plain masking tape in the original post. . As long as everyone understood they had that option then it’s all good…

    • It’s in the comments section of the first post where we answer everyone’s questions regarding the contest, and we also put it in the text of our reminder post about the contest so everyone knew that we had made the change. I totally understand your concern though, and thanks for keeping us honest!

  • Love the handmade pocketbook, it’s absolutely beautiful!!! I also loved Jillian’s wall, I was so “torn”…lol, by the two….that in the end I had to choose the purse! Love the colors. I did a batik in high school many years ago, using those exact same colors. It was an underwater sea world, put on display, and was stolen…so my heart truly leaned towards it! Great work all, for all you artists who competed!!!

  • Love the handmade pocketbook, it’s absolutely beautiful!!! I also loved Jillian’s wall, I was so “torn”…lol, by the two….that in the end I had to choose the purse! Love the colors. I did a batik in high school many years ago, using those exact same colors. It was an underwater sea world, put on display, and was stolen…so my heart truly leaned towards it! Great work!! – to all you artists who competed!!!

  • “Sticky lamp” – Giselle Baron & “Painter’s Tape Vessels” — Leslie Schmalz
    both show the ‘use’ of the tape and just using the tape to make practical objects.
    5 STARS for you both

  • The sponge lamp was the one thing that made me say, “Whaaa…??!” Totally unexpected. Very close second — the leather cover that looks like a glossy honeycomb. Amazing efforts by everyone! Nice!

  • I am also blown away by these submissions! Every one has its own special merits. Like one of the other commenters, I would love a DIY on several of them. Thanks for sharing the creativity.

  • I do think the people who’ve used the cream type have had it slightly easier to create an object, rather than just use the blue tape to achieve an effect. However, every entry is fab and I particularly like Jillian’s subtle wall – it offers the mind the possiblity of endless horizons…

  • Thank you all for the inspiration and for reminding me that artist are my people! Now its time to get back to work.

  • The leather book is a work of art – absolutely gorgeous and beautifully crafted. I would save up to buy something like that.
    The sponge lamp blew me away. I didn’t even get it at first and then was astounded by the sheer simplicity. It made me laugh out loud while gawping in disbelief. Gorgeous AND clever – the best kind of design!

  • Wow! I’m so impressed with the scope and quality of projects – can’t wait to see the rest! i really love the three toned wall with the torn tape, just beautiful and elegant. The sponge lamp is incredible too, what a creative use of tape!

  • Is there a step-by-step available for the “Sticky Rose Lights”? I would really like to try it but didn’t see a link to that post. Thanks.

    • Hi Irina –
      We haven’t shared tutorials for the contest finalists. Thanks, Amy

  • Kudos to all entries! Amazed at the ingenuity. The one project that blew me away was the geometric painted wall by Alecia. I want one, too!

  • Every single final project just blew me away. People’s creativity is so endless! I have to cast my vote for that masking tape lamp. I couldn’t stop staring at it, and I nearly fell off my chair when the artist revealed what it was.