Let’s be real. When you’re wading through Pinterest ideas in search of your next big project, you come across a lot of crap. This unfortunate situation sometimes makes it hard to decipher which DIYs are a waste of time and which ones are legit — and leads you to skip over some pins that might be cool. For instance, how many times have you glossed over washi tape crafts simply because you weren’t really sure what washi tape even is?
But we’re here to tell you that washi tape is super-fun and not to be missed. Please don’t confuse it with masking tape — believe us when we say it is infinitely superior. Washi tape is actually usually 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 way better because of its pretty designs and strong, durable versatility.
I need some now! Tell me where to get it
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. You can even get great deals on washi tape on Amazon. 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.
Naturally, washi tape has hit Etsy as well, and as you can imagine, some Etsy sellers are taking washi tape pretty seriously. Etsy shop MechaKucha808 is another fun way to add to your arsenal.
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.
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!
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 June 2017.