January 24, 2012

washi washi keyboard fun

It wasn’t until I was about halfway thought this little “Pimp My MacBook” project that I realized I had, inadvertently also given one of our ongoing homeschooling lessons a little boost. Will pointed it out, actually, when he looked over and asked “Do you know what’s on all those keys?”

Of course.

Duh, I can type with out looking.

I’m sure I know them all.

Ummm, maybe not all the little ones on top. But I never use those.

Except sometimes.

OK, the top ones may have to go. But otherwise I’m set. Briton, however, is going to have to step up his typing skills now that the letters on the keyboard are mainly obscured. His response when he saw it this morning was “Oh noooooo. Now I have to learn them!”

Yes grasshopper. You do.

Sometimes my craft projects seem to be a matter of fate, or worlds colliding. The big crafty god in the sky wants me to do something, so all the embossed stars and foam sticker planets align.

This was one of those projects.

A happy meeting of me spotting keyboard decals in a shop, but deciding they weren’t quite my colors, an article I’m writing about washi tape that had prompted me to buy several rolls of said tape off of a seller on Etsy.com and then an image of someone else's pimped out computer on Pinterest ended with me spending an hour last night carefully covering each of my keyboard keys with wee bits of brightly colored Japanese masking tape while watching a five year old episode of Inspector Lewis (I love that Hathaway).

To be honest, I’m not sure how long they will last, it is tape after all. But I love it. It’s just the right amount of zing on my otherwise rather grown up and proper looking computer. Hopefully it will make my computer feel fresh and new and maybe it will stop acting like it needs a walker to cross the street. (Sloooooooooowwwwwww, I must get that new external hard drive and clear things off!

If you, too, feel that your computer might need a little pick me up. Here’s what you need to do.

First, you’ll either want just one or two tape patterns OR lots and lots of different patterns in order to get the right look. I ordered four mini rolls and three larger ones that had multiple patterns on each and really, I could have used one more I think. At least one (and probably more like three) of your patterns need a mostly white background, this is because while most of the keys are the perfect width for the MacBook keys, the bottom row is taller. For the Fn, control and option keys this doesn’t matter because they are narrow enough to just turn the tape vertically. The Command keys and the Space Bar, however, are just plain too bug, so you want tape that will blend on the edges. The wavy lines and polka dots worked well from my stash and that was totally unplanned. But it’s worth a think when you order your tape.

Next clean your computer keys well. It probably needs it anyway, mine did. This way the tape will stick well.

Now you can start sticking, You’ll also need a good pair of sharp scissors. Its easier to place the tape along one edge and then cut it while still attached so that you don’t have to deal with re-sticking and or the tape loosing it’s stickiness from peeling up and cutting and putting down and peeling up because it’s not quite right and then trying three more times before, ah, finally, there’s one key done. That being said, it’s pretty easy to reposition this stuff. It is, after all, masking tape. It’s sort of made for that kind of thing.

Once you have the tape on, use your fingernail to smooth down the corners and edges and rub each key down well. It works better if you do the whole thing while the computer is off. Trust me. I started out watching the Finder on my computer while I was working on it but I kept doing strange things to the program while smoothing down the tape.