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We've got the washi tape lowdown on why everyone's pinning crafts for it

Washi tape mania: We break it down for you

In your Pinterest journeys, you've probably stumbled upon a pin (or a hundred) about using magical washi tape in crafting — but you also probably skipped over said pins because you didn't know what all the fuss is about.

So what the heck is washi tape? The short answer is that it's actually a DIY delight. Easily confused for masking tape because of its look and feel, washi tape is typically made from natural fibers (like bamboo or hemp) or the bark of trees native to Japan — such as mulberry, mitsumata shrub or the gampi tree. Though the texture may somewhat mimic masking tape, washi tape is infinitely superior because of its pretty designs and strong, durable versatility.

Read on for the complete lowdown on washi tape.

More: 15 easy ways washi tape can transform your DIY projects

I need some now! Tell me where to get it!

Washi tape mania: We break it down for you
Image: Wishy Washi Tape

Since washi tape has blown up in the past couple of years, it seems like every craft manufacturer and Etsy store is incorporating their designs into a washi tape line. The cost of a roll of washi will vary depending on its quality and design, but in general, a roll of washi will run you around $5. Wishy Washi Tape carries dozens of varieties of washi tape, including packs of solid colors ($35), which are a good way to get your washi collection started.

Washi tape mania: We break it down for you
Image: StickerStop/Etsy

Naturally, washi tape has hit Etsy as well, and as you can imagine, some Etsy sellers are taking washi tape pretty seriously. This Mini Tower of Washi Tape ($7) from Etsy seller [StickerStop] is another fun way to get your washi collection started. The tower comes with three rolls of tape, in a pink and blue Damask print along with a roll of the tiny heart.

Washi tape mania: We break it down for you
Image: Cute Tape

Cute Tape is another online retailer who sells hundreds of washi tape options. These Days of the Week Washi Tape ($4 per roll) are popular for scrapbooking projects or even making a DIY calendar for your home! And at under $5 each, you can easily pick up all three colors without breaking the bank.

More: Washi tape hack: The simple way to make boring pencils trendy and chic

What can I do with it?

OK, so you have your washi tape in hand... but now, what are you supposed to do with it? For the craft challenged, we suggest you go to Pinterest and never look back. Enter "Washi Tape" into the search bar and you will be blown away at all the projects people have used washi tape for.

To get you started, here are some of our favorite ideas:

Wrap a gift in simple wrapping paper — white or brown kraft paper works great — then go to town using washi tape in the same way you would use ribbon. Don't be afraid to mix and match different tapes, widths and designs!

Let washi tape help keep you organized — put it to work in on your calendar or day planner in the same way you'd use a highlighter! Many washi tapes are quite transparent, so you can use a little tag of tape to draw attention to important dates. Try putting down a piece of washi, then using a permanent pen to write on top of it. Your calendar is going to look gorgeous!

More: DIY decorative light switch and outlet covers

If you're a scrapbooker, washi tape is going to be your new obsession, and we hardly have to tell you how you can put it to work when making books to hold memories. Most washi tapes are acid-free, making them scrapbook safe!

Originally published May 2012. Updated December 2016.

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