DIY Washi-taped Keyboard

Just recently, I was without Internet for two weeks. For a country where a lot of BPO companies conduct business, we sure do have sucky, local customer service *coughPLDTcough*. For most, two weeks without Internet is like a death sentence, but for me it was like rehab. I had Internet on my phone (however slow *coughGLOBEcough*) so it wasn’t that bad. Also, being (partially) disconnected from the online world gave me a chance to start on things I had previously been putting off. Like washi-taping my keyboard.

I got the idea from Minifanfan who seems to have started the trend. I’ve been meaning to washi my keyboard ever since, but only when you’re Internet-less and bored do you get around to doing things you keep putting off.

I used MT brand washi tape which I am partial to– they are the original manufacturers of washi tape. Their tapes have a nice texture (other brands of washi tape don’t), they had nice designs that weren’t tacky, and the tapes had just the right amount of stickiness. And good to know: MT brand washi tape and the keys of my Apple wireless keyboard are of the same width.

I started out by cutting strips of tape and measuring the length of my keyboard keys with a ruler, then marking lengths along the tape.

Then I cut each strip…

…and carefully applied it on to the keys.

Easy enough.

It took me 2-3 days to finish the entire keyboard because OMG it’s so boring. Snooze-fest. I couldn’t sit still long enough to finish it in one sitting.

You can barely see it in the pictures but some of my tapes have a metallic finish.

A common question about taping your keyboard is: “How will you know what key you’re pressing?” Well, as you can see, washi tape is translucent so the keyboard letters should still show up underneath.

Isn’t it puh-retty?!

If you’re looking to do the same (we all should have non-boring keyboards!) and wondering where to buy washi tape, you can get it from Heima or Hey Kessy if you’re in the Philippines. If you’re overseas, check out Etsy or Cute Tape.

UPDATE, August 11, 2013: I removed the washi tapes from my keyboard about six months after. I don’t know if it’s my grubby hands or what, but over time, the tape gets sticky and collects dirt and grime. Eww. Really disgusting. I simply removed the tapes and scrubbed the keyboard with wet wipes and they were as good as new.

Rubber/eraser stamp carving, part 2

I live on the Internet.

Screenshot of my old online digs, courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine.

I’ve been online and making websites since 1998, in various places on the web. I am grateful to have been an impressionable teenager then, quick to embrace new technology and media at the time the Internet went mainstream. I blogged my life online, along with a regular circle of local blogger friends and we all kept updated on each others’ lives via Livejournal. Some of them I’ve known for about ten years now– some I’ve met in real life, or bumped into randomly in school/at work, and there are others I haven’t met in person yet. Even now, ten years or so later, most of us still keep updated on each others’ lives via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks.

The Internet is a great way to connect with people with similar interests, so when I learned via Instagram that Lorra from Stars for Dreams was also into carving rubber stamps (at that time, she was the only other local person I knew who was into it), I tweeted her to set a date to meet up for a rubber stamp crafternoon. We met on a Saturday in August in Cafe Mary Grace, one of my favorite restaurants whose table decor always makes for pretty, gratuitous Instagrammed food photos.

Mary Grace’s table setting (from a previous visit)

The table setting was lost on us when we brought out our stamping tools and materials, though 😛 We turned Mary Grace’s table into a crafts table. The middle-aged ladies sitting at the table next to us got curious and asked what we were doing. Carving rubber stamps, we said. One of them exclaimed that she used to do that, too, and would buy her materials in Michaels (the arts and crafts store) in the US.

I shared my Speedball Linocutter with Lorra while she shared with me places on where to shop for arts and crafts in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Manila. The Singapore shopping tips were especially of interest to me as I have an upcoming trip there. My wallet is scared.

Photo: Lorra Elena Angbue-Te

We also talked a lot about crafting, freelance illustration, the local crafts and design scene, and all other things I don’t/can’t talk about with my “regular” friends. Working from home, as I do, can get very isolated and it was nice to connect with someone in the same industry who shares the same interests.

I made these that afternoon:

Scary panda and a whale

While Lorra made this, which she turned into cards later that night.

Photo: Lorra Elena Angbue-Te

Photo: Lorra Elena Angbue-Te

It was a great afternoon of hot chocolate, lemon bars, and stamps! Lorra said she was nervous about meeting me (Why? Do I have three heads or something? :P) but it wasn’t obvious at all. On the contrary, I found her very nice, natural, and chatty! Thanks Lorra! We’ll be doing this again soon! 😀

Some of the stamps I’ve made so far.

Read part 1 of this post here.