We always love hearing about your creative projects using our washi tape, whether it’s embellishing a Bujo or simply incorporating it into your regular repertoire of craft supplies. We recently received an email from Leo and Wendy Van Asten from Wisconsin, and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. Both Wendy and Leo have played the piano since they were very young, and they continue to enjoy playing duets together. So, when they came across a unique piano that needed some touch-up, they thought about using washi tape as a decorative accent. They were already longtime users of Paperblanks – which at their house are affectionately referred to as the “Pretty Books” – and when they discovered our washi tape, they immediately thought about decorating their piano with it. Funnily enough, they chose our Restoration design. The results were stunning, and now that the weather is getting nicer they would like to use their piano for outdoor concerts. We asked Leo to share more about their project.

Leo and Wendy’s piano – Before

What was the inspiration behind the project?

I have an interest in uncommon instruments. This particular piano is different than normal pianos in that it is only 64 keys rather than the usual 88. These kinds of pianos were manufactured with a target demographic of those who lived in apartments and smaller houses so they could still be able to have a fully acoustic instrument. They have gotten somewhat rare and I was delighted to have found this one! The downside is that the exterior was in “well loved” condition and the brown natural wood finish didn’t match the decor of the house, so we decided to paint it! We thought about how we wanted to change the appearance of the piano and our ideas ranged from the classy, gloss black finish to the eccentric with multi colors. We have always liked Paperblanks books and decided to pursue a look inspired by the beautiful covers. That proved to be impossible to replicate, so we looked for alternatives.

Leo and Wendy’s piano – After

What drew you to our washi tape?

We saw the tape as we were exploring the Paperblanks site and thought about what we could do with that to achieve the look we wanted. As it turns out, we found a tape and decided on a simple black paint/sheen in order to highlight the intricacy of the tape pattern. 

What do you like best about the tape?

We found the tape very visually attractive. It is also very easy to use. Wendy did use a metal ruler to get the tape into tight corners. Since the paint we used included a waxy finish, we were not sure how the tape would stick but it has stuck very well. 

How many rolls did you use to complete the project?

Less than one! But to be fair, we did use most of the roll!

Do you have any new washi tape projects that you are currently working on or planning?

We currently do not have any projects in process. We use the washi tape to decorate cards that we send to friends and family. We would do another piano if we get the opportunity and time!

Have you used our washi tape for any creative projects? We’d love to see them!


  1. Hello,
    I have been a fanatic about your collection for two decades. Unfortunately, more than half of my collection of notebooks (total of 35 Paperblanks) was destroyed by a flood in my storage in Malaga, Spain, two years ago. Apart from the notebooks I recuperated, I had the idea of tearing off nice pages damaged, but which made them look very nice in a wabi sabi style, in particular the drawings. I used them as a part for some artistic compositions, and would be happy to send you some by mail.
    By the way, I remember that you had, some 8 years ago, some notebook (big format) allowing to peg some stuff inside thanks to a loose binding. What would you recommend?
    I plan to buy new ones to continue my lifetime Paperblanks adventure.
    Congratulations for your contribution to the Arts,

    • Hello Alain,

      Thank you for sharing this! We are so sorry to hear about the flood, but are impressed by your perspective on the “wabi sabi” style that resulted! Sometimes the most unique art comes from the most unexpected occurrences.

      In terms of the older notebook style, e think you might be remembering our Handstitched Collection? It had an open binding so it is possible you could have pegged in your own items or pages. Though we don’t offer this binding style anymore, many of our journals and notebooks offer an elastic closure, which helps keep everything together even if you paste in additional media. The Flexi format might be the best option for this, as they also have a flexible spine.

      Whatever you choose, we would just recommend avoiding the clasp closure, as it does not allow for much expansion.

      Best of luck!
      The Paperblanks Team


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