Tape: The DIYer's secret weapon

By Julia Dilworth, 24 hours Vancouver


Once you start experimenting with decorative tape — no surface is safe!

 This past week I was fortunate enough to receive a special delivery from Scotch containing a near lifetime supply of its Expressions tapes to try out on projects.

I sampled the whole shebang — from neon washi to its patterned shipping varieties — to find out there is no end to things you can make with this stuff.

And here’s where you get to learn from my experiments (of which there were many).


Flower vases: Layer Expressions masking, Magic and washi tape, use X-acto knife to make thinner strips.

World map: Mark out countries and decorate!

Hangers: I’ve seen this done with fabric and thought tape would be a fun alternative! Wrap hangers using small strips of masking tape. Don’t leave sticky edges. From start to finish each hanger took me 20 minutes. Try to pick ones with less fiddly bits!

Heart shapes on bag: To use a hole punch of any kind, stick tape to paper first. Peel off and place. I tried this first just sticking tape in and it jammed up my punch. I was able to use masking tape this way, but still easier taping it to paper first.

Frames: Makeover any frame with tape in minutes. The shipping/packing tape was awesome because the pattern actually lined up! (Not always the case with patterned tape). Use an X-acto blade to trim any excess as you cover the frame with tape.

Geometric jug: Lay strips of tape on a plastic surface so it doesn’t stick permanently. Cut strips using an X-acto knife and ruler, and build a geometric pattern. I know you can do better than mine! Masking tape (here, spray painted gold first) is the most forgiving. You can rearrange and rip as you go. Cut excess tape with blade. Heart jug: Use heart hole punch to make mini heart stickers from tape. Apply tape to paper before using hole punch.


1. Masking tape is my favourite. It’s the most forgiving and allows you to rearrange it multiple times without damaging what you stick it to. You can also spray paint it easily! This is how I got the gold coloured tape used in both the hearts project and the jug.

2. A lot of the Scotch Expressions tapes come in colour coordinated packets of three, making effective decorating simple. Bonus: Each package has one or two project ideas right on the front!

3. Each tape behaves differently, so you might need to test a few to see which is right for your project. I found the masking tape easiest to work with for the hole punch because it peeled off the paper easily. The shipping tape worked really well for the frames, but its super shiny texture and size didn’t work on the jug. Experimenting is key!


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