Before and After: Bathroom Makeover Using Tape

B&Abathroom
As much as I love huge elaborate makeovers, I’m really a fan of those little things you can do in an afternoon that make your home seem brighter. Lizabeth Rogers was in love with x-decals from Urban Walls and decided to take matters in her own hands, literally, and make her own. I also love the fact that this isn’t the perfect DIY, Lizabeth suggests that we learn from her, and use washi tape instead of electrical tape. But sometimes, you just need to use what you have at the moment you’re ready to make a change. Thanks, Lisabeth!   –Amy

materials
Materials

  • metal ruler
  • one roll of washi tape, color of your choice (From Lizabeth:  I used electrical tape. According to some people, this is a big no-no. But, I couldn’t get my hands on black washi tape, and I live in a bungalow, so I do what I want. You do it the right way, though. With washi tape.)
  • scissors

See the full how-to after the jump!

 

tapediy1
Image above, from Lisabeth: After doing my best to make a straight cut across the tape, I unwound it along the edge of the ruler from the 2.5″ mark to just beyond the ruler’s end. Using the end as a guide, I again did my best to cut straight across. You’ll notice there’s extra space before the first hashmarks on the ruler–my plus signs are actually longer than 2.5″, and I was fine with that. Plan the length of your decals according to your vision.

tapediy2
Image above, from Lisabeth: Repeat the process directly across from the first piece of tape, on the other side of the ruler. Electrical tape has a tendency to bend and warp as your using it, another reason you should use washi tape. And really, if you’re set on perfection, consider that you get what you pay for when you buy the decals from the folks who make ‘em for real.

tapediy3
Image above, from Lisabeth:  Peel the second piece of tape off, eye ball where the midpoints overlap, and place. Tada!

tapediy4
Image above, from Lisabeth:  Temporarily stick your new decal elsewhere while you make a few gazillion more. That way, you can go to work later, placing them all at once.

BR2B

BR3B

BR4B

  1. Michelle Marguth says:

    Yup. Doing it. Perf for rentals :)

  2. Rose Duggan says:

    This is awesome. It’s also just nice to know someone else has rough walls, a small bathroom mirror and an off-centered light. I was beginning to feel like I was the only one.

  3. ah! if only there was a washi-tape solution for bathroom rental floors!

  4. maggie says:

    Cute! I rent and this is a nice solution for a less than appealing bathroom.

  5. I used to do similar things in my dorm rooms and rentals over the years! It’s such a relief to be able to claim your own space. I had the most fun with contact paper and a circle cutter. Polka dots EVERYWHERE!!! :)

  6. Chris says:

    haha…”I live in a bungalow, so I do what I want.” I recently purchased a home that we are in the middle of gutting one floor at a time. We do these type of fun experiments on a whim, knowing full well that they aren’t ‘serious’ and will be demolished later. For instance, the ugly pink kitchen cabinets have a ridiculous black chevron pattern just because we were bored. It’s nice to be a bit carefree.

  7. Sarah H says:

    When I was in college (pre-washi tape years, or at least I’d never heard of it), I made a big construction paper mosaic to decorate my apartment wall, using tape to adhere the pieces. Viva la temporary facelift! So good to have fun with your living space :)

  8. Sarah H says:

    p.s. maybe using an exacto blade instead of scissors would give more control over the tape end finish, and overall measurement of each piece? Just a thought.

  9. Sujatha says:

    Lisabeth love the rough wall and the fact that you have kept things basic and still managed a great makeover. Happy to know that there are others who like things that get done in a snap!

  10. I’m a bit of a maniac when it comes to materials.
    I don’t like electrical tape because it feels cheap.
    Why not make a stencil and paint those x’s gold?

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      caridad

      this is a great option for renters because you can simply remove it (carefully, of course, to avoid damaging paint) if you’re not allowed to paint your walls.

      grace

  11. Aidel.K says:

    Genius! Can’t wait to try it.

  12. Jess says:

    Ok for real, design blogs need to STOP promoting this as acceptable or recommended. Seriously people, stop using electrical tape for decorating. It is meant to be incredibly sticky and is not made to come off cleanly. Have you ever unwound an old taped electrical junction? I have, it’s a mess afterward. This looks ok (from a distance) now, but after months of steamy showers that wall will be trashed. She will try to take it off and it will leave black goo behind. TERRIBLE IDEA!

  13. Maeve says:

    Neat idea! Have you noticed if steam from the shower has affected the sticky-ness?

  14. Matt says:

    ^^I think it looks rad! Makes this bathroom look kinda goth (in a really good way). Put on some Ministry and take a bubble bath!

    “Gaffer’s tape” would be a good (and cheap) alternative to electrical tape too. It’s primarily used in photography/film sets.. it’s strong, easy to remove, leaves no residue.. and is fabric-based. (it’ll have a matte look)

  15. Liz Rogers says:

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    Rose and Sujatha, I’m glad you can relate to a home that’s a little rough around the edges. Incentive to get creative!

    Jess, though I can appreciate your concern, I’ve been candid in expressing that washi tape—not electrical tape—is the way to go.

    Maeve, while everyone’s walls are different, in my case, the decals seem to be holding up. Stick to washi tape (no pun intended?), and if it doesn’t work out, you can always remove it.

  16. Lauren says:

    Where is that little shelf from, with the tiny dinosaur on it? I have been looking for a small white shelf about that size.

  17. nvrm says:

    black crosses? in a bathroom?
    I’d hang a photo of a cemetary instead :)

  18. Liz Rogers says:

    Lauren, the shelf is a “floating” shelf from Target.

  19. Viky says:

    Before was much better.

  20. Cristy says:

    This is very cool! How chic, creative and economical! Must forward to others I know would love to try it! So glad to see it here! Thanks for sharing your good tips, too!

  21. Kai says:

    What a clever idea. And it looks great.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.