Washi tape picture frames: Easy DIY project for happier holidays

Washi tape
Take old, unloved picture frames and give them new life by layering Japanese washi tape. It’s one way to refresh old frames, change looks seasonally or create a DIY gift with a quasi-handmade touch.
(Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times)

Type “washi tape” into Google and you’ll see just how popular this stuff has become for the DIYers everywhere. You can decorate furniture, walls, pretty much anything.

The appeal comes from the versatility of the material — a Japanese masking tape made from strong natural fibers — and the huge selection of washi tape patterns and colors.

One great project for the holidays is to use washi tape to cover old photo frames. You’ll be able to give a whole new look to old frames whose original finish or shape were less than perfect.

My favorite approach is to cut short strips of tape and lay them perpendicular to the lines of the frame. This will ensure the tape has a tighter grip on the frame and all of its curves, preventing air bubbles from appearing.


Washi tape patterns may vary as you unroll the material, so go for a patchwork effect — a chic painted look. The DIY nature of the projects lends a personal touch to a great stocking stuffer.

The Apt. Life is our DIY series with an emphasis on budget design and rental solutions. For Schuneman’s past projects, go to

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