By Alyssa Clough

Published on December 3, 2015

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Photography by @parabopress

Framing prints is a reflex. I mean, how else would you get your art to stay on the wall? Scotch tape? That may have worked in your college dorm room, but not for your sophisticated home or apartment. Enter washi tape—a type of decorative Japanese masking tape that is sticky enough to keep your print on the wall, but gentle enough to remove without damage. If you’re uninspired by frames and are looking for a new way to incorporate color into your home, check out 15 situations where washi tape works best.

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over a desk

Using decorative tape to hang just about anything over your desk is an easy way to add a pop of color to any sterile white workspace. 

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inexpensive prints

You probably don’t want to go around taping a super expensive print. Though most washi tape can be removed from your prints without damaging them, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Warning: If you accidentally buy decorative instead of washi tape, the tape will stick for life.

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Photography by JAMES MERRELL

pick polaroids

Displaying rows of polaroids or printed Instagrams is a great way to showcase memories—but you’re obviously not going to frame each one. Instead of using clear tape, spice it up with a metallic or negative space design tape.

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cute tape

It should go without saying that choosing the perfectly printed tape is a must. Check Etsy or any specialty craft or paper store for a huge selection that caters to any aesthetic. 

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cheap gallery wall

Ditch the added cost of frames and opt for tape instead. If you’re pinching pennies, this will save you a big chunk of change. Eventually want to save up for frames? Use washi tape as a temporary solution. Bonus: You can easily move around your prints until you find an arrangement you love.

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

children’s art

Taping up your children’s artwork is the perfect way to display their creativity without committing to a permanent wall design.

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go for the corners

There are many ways to actually adhere the washi tape to your prints—and this is one of our favorites.

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parallel pieces

If taping the corners isn’t for you, try going parallel to the print. Tape to your liking and use long or short pieces on one, two, or all four sides.

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don’t be afraid to think big

Taping smaller-sized prints is a no brainer, but don’t count out the larger guys. A little tape goes a long way!

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magazine tear outs

If your version of a vision board is collecting tear outs of magazine pages, skip the board and tape them right onto your wall. Once you’re done, simply take them down and move onto your next iteration. 

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Photography by @maggieoverbystudios

add cool designs

Adhering the washi tape around your artwork acts like a wall decal, except you can customize it any way you please. Choose your colors and design—and change it around at anytime.

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Photography by @thebezar

black and white

Tape your black and white photos with black tape to keep your design theme constant. 

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a cool collage

If a unique, messy collage is more your style, opt for a solid-colored tape and take over an entire wall. 

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make a fake frame

This is probably the most fun way to use washi tape. Simply use the tape as a fake frame. Tape around all four sides or add geometric overlays for a graphic touch.

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for a pop of color

Go big or go home. Add a brightly colored tape design around a black and white print or in a room with a muted color palette for an unexpected display.