How to Add Greek Key Trim Using Washi Tape

Happy hump day, y'all! First of all, thanks for joining in with me on the excitement of finding our new home in Philly! I can't wait to get there and start making it our own next month.

Today I wanted to show you a quick and easy project I did over the weekend to give my DIY upholstered sawhorse desk a little more visual interest. I've been happily working at this desk for about six months now and since I'm the only one who uses it, I've been thinking about ways to jazz it up a bit. I've always loved washi tape and thought that using it to add a little Greek Key trim would be a simple and sophisticated touch.

Since many of you are new here, and I posted the original tutorial for my upholstered desk top awhile back, let me quickly get you up to speed on how this desk came together for about $30. Sawhorse desks have been in for quite awhile now, and I was lucky to have inherited the two sawhorses I used as a base from my grandparents. All I needed was a desk top in order to make it functional, so I made one using a piece of plywood that I upholstered using fabric from an old shower curtain and put a piece of plexiglass on top for a smooth writing surface.

Since plexiglass is clear (duh), I thought it would be really fun to add something under it (on top of the fabric), which is where the Greek Key washi tape trim came in to play!

Here's how I did it.

Supplies needed:

  • Washi tape
  • X-acto knife
  • Ruler

First, I made a drawing of what pattern I wanted for the trim. It looks like a kindergartener drew it, so I didn't snap a photo for y'all. You're welcome :). That helped keep me on track as I mapped out the spacing and size of the Greek Key shape. Then I tore off two strips to go on the long sides of the desk top and two shorter pieces to go on the shorter sides.

After playing around with the placement along the edge, I decided I would put my long strips 4" away from the edge as a starting point for the rest of the pattern.

I then continued to make my pattern using the two shorter strips for the shorter edges along a few other really short pieces to make up the corners of the Greek Key. This took a little bit of trial and error to get the spacing right, and lots of measuring to make sure each corner looked the same. In the end, I ended up with four corners that looked a little bit like this:

I left plenty of overlap to make sure the strips were long enough for the next step - mitering the corners! I decided to miter those to make them look really sharp and more professional.

To miter the corners, all I did was cut the tape from one corner to the other (inner corner to outer corner) with an X-acto knife. I didn't want to slice my fabric, so I was really careful with this step. Then I peeled up the extra tape from each strip and rejoined the corners.

Here's what one corner looked like after removing the excess tape and rejoining the mitered corners together on the fabric.

Looks pretty good, right? The seam is pretty much unnoticeable unless you looked really closely.

I repeated that process all the way around and ended up with a beautiful Greek Key trim border around my desk top. What a lovely, classic-looking addition!

After admiring my handiwork, I happily placed the top back onto its sawhorse bases and snapped a few photos:

Once I put the plexiglass, my computer and other desk organizer items back on the surface, I realized there was quite an annoying glare coming from the windows, which made it hard to see the trim well. So I apologize about that in this next set of photos! I love having so many windows around me while I work here at the river, but man, it makes photo-taking difficult!

I love it!

Washi tape was the perfect medium for this project because it's easy to use, comes in really fun colors and patterns, and is removable if I ever change my mind on the Greek Key trim. I think it really adds that extra something - don't you agree?

What simple projects have you done around your house lately that have made you happy?


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  2. When I lay out a pattern on brand new fabric, I use my tape to make sure that the pattern is laid out with the fabric grain.Omega Fuses

  3. Thank you for a great explanation. I was looking online for a similar idea and really appreciate it

  4. Hmm, this looks good. I think adding these borders will add some color to my boring white dining table. Actually, I usually place my laptop on my dining table as well. I provide dissertation editing services from home, and so, my dining table is kind of my workstation as well. Anyway, I think these borders will definitely enhance the visual appeal. I am ordering this tape now.

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