Washi Tape Mini Storage Bins

Waste not, want not.

Here is a great washi tape project I came up with using old tea boxes while I was creating my mini office in a footstool.  These little bins are great for organizing small items in drawers, on shelves, window sills, or wherever.  They are also great if you need some just temporary organization during a craft or other project (holding selected buttons, thread, pins, anything you don’t want rolling around while you’re working).  I use them to corral my ear buds, loose change, and other such things.  I also like to keep one next to my bed for when I forget to take bobby pins or hair-ties out before going to sleep.




You will need an empty cardboard tea box (not a tea tin), some washi tape, and scissors.


You will be using washi tape to line the inside of the box, and some on the outside to give it a clean look.  As you can see in example pictures above, the outside tape can be a contrasting tape, the same tape as the inside, and can cover the entire outside, or just some of it.

Washi tape is a decorative tape that originated in Japan.  It’s sort of like a very slightly waxed strip of paper with adhesive.  Some good places to find it are:

  • www.cutetape.com
  • I found a small selection at my local Target store (the two tapes in my instructions were purchased at Target)
  • Etsy.com

Of course, there are many many more places to find washi tape!  If you find a really good place to buy either online or in a brick and mortar store that you’d like to share, please leave it in the comments, I love to drool over more washi tape options.


First, you’ll need to cut the box in half to make two smaller boxes.

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Next, you’ll need to begin lining your box with washi tape.  

It is best to use the first piece to hold the gap you can see in the picture above together.  Like so:


Make sure you leave a enough (but not too much!) tape at the top of the box to fold over the edge.  This will give your box a more finished look.

It is tricky to get the edge of the tape lined up along corners of the sides and bottom.  Patience and determination are greatly beneficial in this endeavor.  The trick is to line it up along the side first, and press it into the crease between the wall and the floor.  Then slowly roll the tape along the floor, as if there was a tiny man in there with a paint roller.  It make take a few tries to get this down, and don’t be afraid to mess up.  As long as the washi tape hasn’t stuck to the cardboard for long, you should be able to pull it up several times to start over before either losing the adhesive or pulling up a layer of cardboard.

Continue lining the box with washi tape.

Make sure you over lap the strips of tape to ensure even coverage.

IMG_3411 IMG_3414

IMG_3418 IMG_3416

I used a wider washi tape to line the box, so when I had a small gap between my pieces of tape, I cut some tape in half lengthwise to create two thinner strips.  I’d rather not use more tape than I have to.  The good thing about a busy pattern like this is that the strips of tape sort of blend together.  Sure, if you look closely, you’ll see where the individual tape strips are, but that doesn’t bother me.

Use washi tape around the outside edge to clean up the look.

After you have finished lining the inside of the box, the outside will probably look something like this:

IMG_3427 IMG_3425

I used a black and white tape that wouldn’t compete too much with the colorful interior pattern.

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Line it up as close as possible to the top edge of the box.  I like to start by wrapping it around the corner that was secured by that first piece of tape for the lining, just to make sure that the box is not going to come apart.

IMG_3431 IMG_3432

I always overlap the end of the tape over the beginning by at least 1/2 inch.

You can continue to add tape to the outside of the box or leave it as is.  It’s up to you!

For this box, I added another row of the black and white tape to the bottom:


I wrapped a rose patterned tape around this one four times, and tried to line up some of the roses:


And yet another one, I only used washi tape on the outside at the top edge:


I hope you have fun making these little boxes!


Filed under Make it

4 responses to “Washi Tape Mini Storage Bins

  1. Rachel S

    The boxes are adorable, and I will definitely be looking for excuses to borrow your “tiny man with a paint roller” imagery! Fun post!

  2. I can only aspire to be this creative AND organized!

  3. Pingback: Upgrade Your Tea Tin Lid into a Small Tray or Fridge Frame | (Un)employed

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