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From the Archives: Make Your Own Washi Tape

I'm out of town for the week filming the new season of Scrapbook Soup TV.  While I'm away, I hope you'll enjoy these posts from the Balzer Designs archives.  You can always search the archives for past gems HERE.  Enjoy!

This post is from December 12, 2010.

Washi tape and patterned tape are two different things, though people often confuse them.  There are two things that are awesomely unique about washi tape:

  1. it's re-positionable
  2. it's translucent

I've had good luck making lots of patterned tape (it's easy enough to paint or doodle on masking tape, medical tape, cloth bookbinding tape, etc.), but I've been unable to recreate washi.  

Until now!!!  

I've finally figured out how to replicate those two things that make washi unique, but with my own patterns!  

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This is what I used:

STEP ONE: Decorate your deli paper.  

I used stamps, stencils, and a typewriter to decorate mine.  

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As you consider what products to use, keep the following in mind:

  • translucent products (like Copic markers) are going to remain translucent (like real washi)
  • opaque products (like acrylic paint) are going to be opaque (not like real washi, but still cool)
  • the deli paper has a slick waxy surface and water-based products (like watercolor) don't like to stick

STEP TWO: Add adhesive.

Cut apart your tape strips.  

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You could do it after adding the adhesive, but I hate cutting apart gummy adhesive, so that's why I did it before.

Then I used a small Xyron machine to add seamless repositionable adhesive to the back of my tape.

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STEP THREE: Use it.

I recommend cutting the really long strip into pieces...

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..and then storing the strips in an envelope.

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To really make it look like washi, make sure to tear both ends of the tape before you use it.  I put a strip of gold striped washi on this layout:

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You can really see the transparency of the faux washi here:

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I love being able to make a single strip in a particular color, rather than having to commit to a whole roll.

I also added some strips into my art journal:

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You can see that I didn't rip the ends of the tape in the first example (the black and white tape and the awesome tape).

I hope you'll give DIY washi tape a try and see what you can come up with!

Thanks for stopping by!

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