Have you joined the Washi Tape craze?
I first spotted this colorful tape on a wall at MyMaido, a Japanese stationery store at Santana Row. An artist used the strips to make a small mural. Though intrigued, I couldn’t see myself using it in that way.
Over the next few years the colorful tape started popping up in crafting stores, the Scrapbook Island and on Pinterest.
The tape has been around since 2006. In a nutshell, it’s masking tape made beautiful. It’s easy to apply and easy to remove. According to Tofugo
Washi is made of up the Japanese characters 和 (wa) which means harmony and is often used to symbolize Japan, and 紙 (shi) which means paper. So put them together, and it means Japanese paper. Unlike western paper which is made from tree pulp, washi is made from Japanese shrubs. Washi can be made of almost any plant, but is typically made from ganpi, kozo, mitsumata, or sometimes hemp. Washi is known in the west for the beautiful designs that are printed or painted on it, and its differences from other papers through its light weight and textured feel.
I’ve always loved stationery, especially stickers and tape. It’s hard to describe the appeal, but it’s been there my whole life. I bought a couple of rolls of Washi tape at Scrapbook Island to use on a card, but then the rolls sat in my craft stash on standby, wondering what to do next.
Now I can’t get enough of it. The prices have come down while the variety of colors and prints has multiplied exponentially. Some of the earlier tapes didn’t adhere as well, but that’s improved too.
My friend Kelly uses colorful Washi tape to outline her gorgeous package labels. I capitalized on her idea and do the same. I also like using it to cover the ugly markings on a reused box before shipping.
My friend Stephanie crafted a gorgeous card using the tape, and from there, inspiration struck: I used a similar pattern to cover a plain brown box with a friend’s favorite colors before sending it as a gift.
No room is safe from this tape. Several years ago I hung a framed magnetic board inside a kitchen cabinet to keep phone numbers and coupons at hand. Eventually the frame broke from constant use. I re-framed the board with Washi Tape, then added a few contrasting strips like a shelf under the cards.
When I converted my son’s bedroom into a guest room this fall, I spruced up the wall lamp shades with postage-themed tape. It really added a nice finishing touch and was fun to do.
It was nice receiving this free letter-opener in the mail but it’s not much to look at. I covered the advertising with Washi tape, beautifying an otherwise utilitarian object.
Even the tiny house in my fairy garden got a new set of floral Washi tape drapes.
Can you tell I’ve been having fun?
How about you? Do you have a favorite something that you just can’t get enough of?