In case you’re asking yourself what the heck washi tape is, let me give you a little tutorial on this awesome little crafting material. For starters, washi tape comes from Japan, it is a paper tape that comes in tons of pretty colors and different patterns on a roll like regular sticky tape, and is often translucent. You can find it in 1/4″ widths up to 2 1/2 inches, and it feels more like masking tape than true “paper.” It also comes in “giant” versions that can be used on walls as well.
The whole washi tape phenomenon started in 2006 when a group of artists approached a Japanese masking tape manufacturer – Kamoi Kakoshi – and presented them with a book of art they had created using the company’s industrial masking tapes. The artists asked if Kamoi Kakoshi would manufacture colourful masking tapes for artists. This started the making of mt masking tape. In the beginning, there were 20 colors which were designed to bring out the beauty of the rice paper (or washi) used to make the tape. The tapes were a hit – with artists, crafters, and design lovers – both in Japan and, gradually, internationally. With success came new colors, patterns and sizes. Its easy to use, you can tear it, stick it, reposition it, write on it…whatever you like. The low tack adhesive also makes it extremely easy to use (and reuse). If you take a quick spin on Pinterest you’ll find dozens of washi tape ideas to inspire you, and I’ve picked my Top Ten Ways to use Washi Tape to give you some inspiration as well!
1. Gift Wrapping. Especially important in this season of gift giving, using washi tape to spruce up your holiday packages is an easy way to get started on using it and to try out fun ways to get creative with it. You can start out simply with just some colored strips on white or plain brown paper or cut it into little shapes to stick on as well. Using your own little washi tape creations you’ll know that you have the most uniquely wrapped gift in a sea of red and green traditional wrappings! Check out The Sweetest Occasion for some great ideas on how to do holiday washi tape decorations, as well as our number two washi tape idea…
2. Ornaments. These beautiful homemade ornaments couldn’t be easier. Just get a bunch of clear glass baubles and stripe them up with whatever washi tape colors you choose. You can do simple vertical or horizontal stripes or do a plaid combination of colors. Over at Odessa May Society she also stuffed some of the ornaments with tinsel to make beautiful DIY ornaments. The great thing about using the washi tape for your ornaments is that you can then color coordinate them with another washi tape craft to decorate your house with…
3. Candle holders. The decorating doyenne herself has also hopped on the washi tape bandwagon, and over at Martha Stewart you can find this idea for washi tape decorated votive holders and vases. You pick what colors or patterns you want to choose, and the best part is that you can redo them for each season!
4. Flag Stirrers. While you’re over at Martha Stewart you can check out her simple how to on making these adorable flag stirrers for your drinks. They are super easy and fast to make and add a special touch to any party, make them for a holiday, birthday, baby shower, any party! All you do is pick your color or pattern, wrap, and cut into the flag shape you want! Poof! Instant easy chic!
5. Flatware. Another fun party idea is to decorate a set of flatware using washi tape. I love this idea for a kids table at a holiday party to make it extra special for them, and since it’s so easy to put on and remove you can put it on any flatware you want and take it off just as easily. You can wrap red and white around the flatware you use to serve dessert and have the kids (and adults!) use candy cane spoons! At The Sweetest Occasion they used disposable bamboo utensils for make their washi tape flatware, and this is a great idea for a picnic or a kids party to add a special touch in your chosen colors and pattern.
6. Keyboard Upgrade. This one is a little more time consuming and painstaking, but had to be included in my top ten based on adorableness alone. As much as I love my new MacBook Air (and I do LOVE IT) I can only imagine how much this cute little keyboard would put a smile on my face every time I opened it up. This is also a great example of the countless ways to use washi tape, anything that can use a little cute sprucing up is a candidate for washi tape!
7. Gift tags. This idea is a great one for holiday gift giving as well, or any time you want to include a personal crafty touch to your gifts. This is especially nice for holiday goodies that you might be whipping up yourself to give as gifts as it can add to the already sweet personal gesture by using your own design signature on the gift wrapping. A plain cellophane bag of cookies or treats looks great with a personalized washi tape gift tag!
8. Magnets. Another super simple washi tape idea, these magnets are cute and customizable with whatever pattern you choose, and can be a fun and easy craft to make with the kids to hang up their artwork! All you need is the washi tape of your choice and some old magnets and you’re done!
9. Wallpaper. Another washi tape project is a temporary wallpaper design. The ideas are only limited by your own imagination with this DIY project, you can do plaid stripes or a simple horizontal line, or a simple diamond pattern like this one! It’s a simple way to add a big dash of design and can be easily removed as well.
10. Frame. A great way to add whatever color or pattern you like to a room is to do a washi tape frame on the wall. You can paint a square (or whatever shape you like) and frame it with the washi tape, and you can also do a chalkboard square framed with it as well! You can spruce up old furniture by adding a washi tape border, or frame an old headboard with a new pop of color or pattern. I love the idea of bordering a big chalkboard in a playroom with a bunch of different fun patterns! Can’t commit to painting an entire wall a bold color that you love, frame just a square of it for a splash of the color without going the whole way!
Places to Buy: A simple google search will come up with tons of places to buy washi tape, but check out cu·te·ta·pe for a great selection to get you started!