Washi Tape

What is Washi Tape?


Have you seen those rolls of coloured and patterned tape on sale from scrapbook and papercraft retailers? It’s Japanese washi tape; a kind of lightweight masking tape. Of course being unable to resist sweet little crafty supplies of any kind, I had to buy several rolls in various colours, but – confession time, I didn’t quite know what to do with them. So they’ve sat on the shelf looking pretty… until now. By Judy Newman

So, what’s so special about washi tape, anyway? It’s a Japanese tape made from paper – not plastic, so it feels nice. It comes in pretty colours and patterns. It is a little bit translucent so the background surface colour shows through.If you want to punch up the colour, stick on a double layer. You can write on it.It tears easily so you don’t need scissors to cut it.It’s low-tack and won’t damage surfaces, unless you’re pulling it off a delicate paper.It’s re-position-able if you don’t get it quite right the first time.

And in the interests of actually using my supply (so I can buy more in different colours and patterns!) here are some quick crafty ways with washi tape:

  • Decorate tags with strips of tape
  • Stick it around a recycled can to create a spiffy pen or brush holder
  • Add strips of tape around a plain glass vase for a designer look
  • Seal brown paper bags with it – so crafty looking!
  • Stick a piece on an envelope and stamp your message on it
  • Use it to seal envelopes – it adds colour-appeal
  • Stamp a pattern on a plain card and add a border of tape around the edges
  • Wrap soap/small gifts in translucent paper and seal with washi tape
  • Decorate plain boxes with bands of tape
  • Use it to decorate notebook covers
  • Use washi tape as jar labels in the pantry
  • Use it to stick photos in albums or on cards
  • Decorate your noticeboard, i-phone cover
  • Use it on your scrapbook pages or cards
  • Use it in place of ribbon around gifts. Stick two strips together to make the bow.
  • And, yes, you can even use it to stick bills to the fridge!!


TIP: Consider the colour of the paper or material you are taping onto –it will show through and affect the colour of the tape.

  • Light coloured backgrounds will make your colours show up well
  • Background colours the same as the tape will make the tape colour stronger
  • Brown or natural backgrounds may make the tape colours muddy


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