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Washi tape gallery wall

Washi tape is so versatile, with lots of craft uses! Made in Japan from rice paper, it's very easy to use in lots of ways, from gift wrapping to papercrafts, adding colour to almost any surface (I just decorated a cheap wooden frame for an event display), and even for adding an individual touch to old jam jars and old bottles. One of our favourite ideas, however, is to use washi tape as a cheaper alternative way to hang photos and prints than buying expensive frames. We love to see black washi tape used on a moodboard or inspiration wall.

How to make a washi tape gallery wall

We loved how Elle Decoration used washi tape to hang pictures on this gallery wall in this 2013 feature. Their washi tape frame ideas are easy to replicate with a little care and effort.

1. Practise first!

It's trickier than you think to make these geometric shapes, so practice first on a door or an area which you're less precious about. Washi tape is inexpensive and even though it's removable, you'll regret it if you rush into a wonky design!

2. Draw out the shape on a cutting mat

To make a similar design to the below, draw out the shape first on a cutting mat, using a scalpel. This will be easier than trying to work out these kinds of patterns and cut straight lines directly on the wall.

3. Use a spirit level

When transferring the pattern across, use a spirit level to check if you've got straight lines when you're taping it up. 

washi tape gallery wall

Does washi tape leave marks on the wall?

Although washi tape is widely lauded for being easily removable and not leaving any marks, if you leave it on the walls for long enough it might remove some of the paint, depending on how long you leave it and how carefully you remove it. Have you ever left painter's masking tape around the skirtings for far too long, only to find out later that the paint comes off with it? It's also more likely to take off older paint.

Higher quality washi tape does seem to be better at not leaving marks, but I'd proceed with caution if you're very attached to spotless walls. Why not use the washi tape on a noticeboard, pegboard, or even a propped up piece of plywood?

Will washi tape ruin my photo or print?

Unfortunately the answer to this is likely to be yes. I'd never recommend taping a valuable picture to the wall with washi tape. Magazine cuttings, photos which you can easily reprint, cheap Etsy prints? Maybe. But an original artwork - no way. This has happened to me, where a print I wanted to frame 'someday' has been torn when I've removed the washi tape

Washi tape is less likely to damage a photo, due to the glossy surface, but I'd still be cautious with an irreplaceable photo. To make your washi tape photo wall, I'd recommend using photos from a magazine to DIY your own wall art, or use cheap prints you can replace by printing them off from your phone.

What kind of washi tape should I use?

We recommend using MT tape or Maste tape. Cheaper or lower tack washi tape is more likely to fall off the wall - the brands we recommend are a little stickier.

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Other washi tape ideas you might like:

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