Monday, April 13, 2015

Fancy-Pants Closet Doors With Washi Tape

Between my last two apartments and my remarkable lack of blogging, I've put in a lot of DIY time that hasn't made it to the pages of Tiny-Ass Apartment. Even though I don't live in this particular apartment anymore, I thought I'd share a project that really classed up the joint: adding fake molding to my closet doors with washi tape. I was inspired by Molly at Almost Makes Perfect, and by inspired I mean copied almost exactly. I mean, her doors looked so good I knew I wanted to replicate them in my own home. I'm in the habit of documenting my home projects, so I'll share my process with you here, but be sure to check out her blog for more DIY-goodness. I also experimented with a new way to cut the corners so that the strips line up perfectly, which you'll see later.

Sooo turns out, I bought way too much washi tape. I only needed two rolls. But they were on sale for a dollar apiece, and I can use the rest for other projects.


All told, this is what I used.

My boring rental apartment doors before. (That latch about halfway up the middle is a childproof lock meant to keep my cats from pawing open the door and hiding inside, little sneaks.)

From each corner, I measured in and marked off four inches and six inches.

Using my 4-inch and 6-inch marks, I connected the dots and drew an L-shape – this was going to be the indented corner of the "molding."

Turns out my closet doors aren't exactly level, so I had to really measure to get them symmetrical.

Depending on what kind of corners you do (which you'll see later), the order you lay down the strips of tape can be important – if you're anal-retentive like I am, anyway. I decided to put down all the horizontal strips first, so that everything would be consistent.

Looks kinda like Deep Thought from the Hitchhiker's Guide movie.

Fancy was not actually helping, but she wanted to look like she was.

Bottom tape finished.

All the tape strips put up.

My teensy X-Acto Retractable Blade Knife. The blade extends and retracts like a ballpoint pen.

This is the first method for doing your corners. Simply take your blade and trim the tape off of the outside corners.

Be sure to hold the tape strip down as you pull off the trimmed bits, to ensure you don't accidentally rip the tape that's supposed to stay there!

When you do this kind of trimming, you get these corners. It's neat, but the corners are clearly darker than the rest because of the two overlapping layers of tape.

At this point I'd like to acknowledge that you can see my pencil marks through the tape. That kind of sucked. I think if I had to do it again, I'd make my marks with a much lighter-colored pencil, or make my marks at the corners instead of trying to draw out the entire thing. Or just find a thicker tape.

Now, let's get OCD for the second, more exact method. Using a straight edge and your blade, score a diagonal line through both layers of tape, from corner to corner. Be sure to do it lightly so that you're only cutting the tape, not the door beneath it!

For the layer on top, peel away the hanging edge.

Lift the other piece of tape and pull the hanging edge out from underneath it.

Press the tape back down.

A perfect diagonal edge!

My finished doors!

The silver tape really complemented my dark gray walls (getting them that color was a harrowing adventure for another time), and the classic design really upped the glam factor of the room. It took two hours, but I'm sure if you're not a weirdo about levels and exact measurements, you could do it in half the time. It was a great little project, and I'm actually thinking of doing it again in my new place... even though my closet doors are mirrored! We'll see how that turns out...


  1. That actually looks really cool, and it's so cheap to do. The doors look so much more stylish. And I'm sure you'll find a project for the rest of your tape :)

  2. Wow, that was impressive! Simone, you are really talented. Using tape to make cabinets more stylish would have never crossed my mind, not in a million years.

  3. Who knew a few pieces of tape could add so much to some doors! I'll DEFINITELY have to try this out for our closet doors!

  4. #1: Great project idea! Our closet doors are HIDEOUS in our apartment, I'm DEFINITELY trying this out.
    #2: WHERE did you find washi tape on sale for $1?!

    1. Thanks! It was such an easy project and it really made the doors look better than your average rental's. I got the tape from -- I don't know if the prices are still that good, but you never know!

  5. I couldn't imagine you've created something like this, the door look stylish. Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial.

  6. Hey Simone,Nice Piece.Hope you have done a great work.The doors look so more elegant after pasting silver tape on it...:)Thanks for sharing this cool DIY...:)Cheers-Dora Pete

  7. They look brilliant - thank you so much for sharing. I'm wondering if a fading fabric pen could be used for marking the doors? (I haven't tried this other than on fabric but it might be worth a test run.)

  8. Awesome finish. Thanks for sharing.

  9. So pretty! Thanks for sharing! I wonder what else you can do with the washi tape!

  10. This post has helped me for an article which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this topic. Now I can easily complete my article. Cheers

  11. ?what else can you do with this tape?


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