DIY – Supermarket Stationary to Designer Desk Candy

Here’s a quick and easy DIY that would be great for kids going back to school, mums going back to work or a new teacher gift.

Use washitape to dress up a cheap supermarket notepad and pencils and turn them into unique stationary items that will bring personality to any desk space, whether at school, home or in the office.

stationary before and after


  • Assorted washitape
  • Notepad
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Scissors
  • White paper (optional)


Pencils – these are super easy, simply stick two vertical pieces of washitape onto the pencil, remembering to line up and match up the pattern of the washitape where they overlap (where relevant) and trimming the tape to the length of the pencil. You can also try different designs such as spiral wrapping the tape around the pencil.

washitape notepad

Notepad – washitape is semitransparent so if you have chosen a selection of washitape that includes light colours, you will need to first cover any printed notepad cover with white paper to ensure the cover design does not show through the washitape. I just glued on a piece of white copy paper for this. Once you have a white background begin sticking on your washitape in any pattern you choose, this doesn’t have to be stripes, although they are easy and quite effective. When sticking on the washitape, leave a little excess on either side. When the whole cover is filled with washitape trim the overhanging excess washitape into a neat level and fold back to the inside, This will finish off the edging while securing the cover.


Pens – these were covered using the same method as the pencils. While I love how they look I do have to admit they were slightly less successful than the pencils as if you try to put the cap on the back of the pen while you are writing it will scrunch up the washitape. So if you do decide to cover pens just try to remember not to stick the cap on the back of the pen when you are using it.

I pick up washitape wherever I come across it (including in Creative Minds, Daiso, Ace Hardware in the UAE and Hobby Craft in the UK). The washitapes used in this project are part of a bargain 12 roll set from Tchibo, Dubai Mall, it was only AED9 for the whole set and I love them, especially the plain thin tapes that break up the thicker patterned ones! The stationary items only cost a few dirhams so including this set of washitape the full set of madeover stationary cost just over AED20 (with most of the washitape left over for future projects).

Monkey started school this week but luckily for me he is too young to require his own stationary so I will be saving this cute stationary set for my return to work next month. They will brighten up my desk for sure and there is no way anyone will get away with nicking my pencils!!


If you decide to have a go for yourself let me know how you go, even better, send me a photo of your results. Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you. 

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