DIY Washi Updated Desktop
During a normal day, I spend at least 10 hours in my office. On most of those days I probably clock in from 7 a.m. to around 6 p.m. with about an hour for lunch. Except for Saturday. That’s my day off so I probably spend 2-3 hours tops. But my computer gets quite a workout as does all of my peripherals. In the past 3 years I’ve seen a lot of office supplies come and go…
This year alone I’ve had to purchase a new computer, new printer, new camera and new external hard drive and soon I’m going to have to replace my wireless router. That’s a lot of money to be shelling out in one year. But I could have been needing these things ages ago.
When I purchase things for my office I try to go with quality. For instance, my keyboard is wireless, slim with soundless keys. I paid a pretty heft sum for this sucker 2 years ago but it’s still working like a champ. Same with my wireless mouse. It was about $40 back in the day, but I’m on year 2 or 3 and it’s still rock solid.
But they aren’t very pretty anymore. When my father came to visit this summer he wanted to see my new DSLR to play with it. It was about 3 weeks old at the time. Sitting on the sofa with my mother I heard my dad call from my office “Hey, Al – there’s fingerprints in paint all over this thing. And is that glitter?” My response was: “What do you expect, I’m a craft blogger?” But that’s the way all things go here. My keyboard while perfectly well functioning has seen better days.
But today I decided to try out this whole washi tape fad and see if I could turn my good quality but not so pretty keyboard and mouse into something a bit more attractive.
For this project you will need:
- Washi tape
- X-acto knife with a sharp blade
- Tiny flat blade screwdriver
- Something flat to press down with, I used the handle on a cheapie pair of tweezers
- Rubbing alchohol
- Cotton swabs
Here is my keyboard before. It’s got paint here and there and it’s just plain dirty. Take a picture of your keyboard with your smart phone right now – or – with a digital camera and get it up on your computer screen.
All sorts of crazy things are going to find their way under your keys, even if it is a slim profile doohickey like mine. Take your slim flat bladed screwdriver and start to work it under a key from the top right. Slowly wiggle until the key pops up.
Some keys will have little metal wires, take a peek at how they work before taking your whole keyboard apart to be sure you understand them. And take care
Remove all of your keys taking care to keep track of them all. I tossed mine into a jar with about 3 fingers of rubbing alcohol in it to soak and then scrubbed them up really well.
You can also clean out inside the keyboard in the same way… dip a cotton swab in alcohol and use it to scrub all around.
Never use anything but rubbing alcohol. Since it evaporates so quickly, there’s no worries about frying your board.
Take your washi tape and cut a thin strip to apply to the smallest areas first.
Use your X-acto knife to cut slits at the corners.
Use your flat edge to push the tape down along the edges. Use your X-acto knife to trim as closely to the edge as possible and remove the excess.
There will be some things you’ll need to trim around. Just take your time and cut as best you can. Even if not 100% perfect, I doubt you’ll notice.
Now I probably covered my mouse 3 or 4 times before I was happy with the results. Since it naturally curves, it’s kind of difficult to get a smooth application, but I just kept doing it and redoing it until I was happy with the results. It’s still not totally wrinkle free, but I think it looks well enough.
Use your x-acto knife to trim the excess. Repeat applying and trimming the tape as needed to cover your mouse.
Remember that picture you took? Even if you’re 100% positive that you know where every key on your board goes, there’s going to be one or two you can’t figure out or get totally wrong. Plan ahead and you’ll have a map that will make snapping your keys back in place, well, a snap.
Now your keyboard and mouse are a perfectly matching set and they’re probably the prettiest ones on your whole block. If your keyboard isn’t as nasty as mine was from years of use and neglect, this project is super quick. Will you be updating your desktop?