How To Make Washi Tapes: Everything You Need To Know

Various Designs of Washi Tapes

Various Designs of Washi Tapes - Image by

Are you someone who enjoys creating junk journals? You've always wanted to attach postcards, happy letters, and receipts because you either love to hoard memories or easily forget things!

Washi Tape is one of the hottest trends in crafting right now, and it's pretty obvious why. It comes in all shapes and sizes - from tiny little strips to large rolls that are perfect for wrapping around large items like journals, scrapbooks or other stationery items.

However, washi tapes can get a little expensive today, and we don't want your pockets to spat out a lot of money. Don't worry, we'll show you how to make DIY washi tape and give you tips on how to use it creatively like a pro!

What is Washi Tape?

Washi tape is a thin, semi transparent adhesive made from Japanese paper. It is made from natural fibers of Japanese shrubs such as mitsumata plants, kozo, bamboo, gampi, rice, and mulberry which is much tougher than paper made from tree pulp. It can also be made from other materials such as cotton or silk. 

This tape was originally used by Japanese calligraphers to create borders around their pages. It became more popular in the US during World War II when soldiers brought it home as souvenirs from Japan.

How to Make Washi Tape

The washi tape craze has taken over your craft obsession as well. It’s easy to see why — it’s fun to use, comes in cool patterns and colors, can be used in lots of different ways, and is easy to make at home. Here are washi tape projects you can do:

1. Metallic Washi Tape

Metallic Washi Tape

It's like regular washi tape but with a metallic sheen. The metallic foil provides a shiny look to the tape and is usually light in color. Metallic washi tapes are perfect for decorative purposes like adding sparkle to cards or wrapping gifts.

What You'll Need


1. Oil the paper.
  1. Lay your washi tape template on your table, place a pocket binder underneath. Gently rub the oil into the paper using your fingertips.
  2. Add little amounts of oil while rubbing gradually with mild linear or circular motions until the entire paper's surface is coated.
  3. Wait for the oil to soak into the paper and you will see it instantly transform from a plain white to a sheer frosted look.
  4. Continue to rub with oil until all the surface is saturated. At this point, the paper should feel a little bit greasy, not soaking wet.
  5. Dab any excess oil if it's too oily. Use a paper towel or a fabric piece and wipe some excess oil off. Move gently over the surface to avoid damage.
2. Paint and add the metallic gold touches.
  1. Dilute metallic acrylic paint with a little water to make it more transparent. You can use 3 different colors like bronze, copper, and gold.
  2. Start with small amounts of paint and brush it randomly onto the template's surface. Let the colors mix to get an "abstract" look. 
  3. Using gold metallic watercolors, flicker some watercolor splotches at the end. Let the paper dry completely before moving on to the next step.
3. Cut the strips. 
  1. Roll them like a tube while keeping the printed side on the outside.
  2. Use your scissors to cut the DIY washi tape strips. Make sure you cut on its right and left sides, not directly on them.
  3. Cut all the strips while always keeping the guiding line on the left side of my scissors. 
  4. Flip the strips over and completely cut the guiding line off.
  5. Your washi tape is ready! Try viewing your tape from various angles to see how flawless your washi tape appears. Depending on the lighting, it may have a soft, pastel, neutral vibe.

2. Striped Washi Tape

Striped Washi Tape

These are also called "pinstripes," The color combination can be just black and white, or you can make it as colorful as you want. A striped washi tape mostly consists of alternating two or more colors of stripes, and it can be thick, thin, wide or narrow.

What You'll Need


  1. Cut your washi tape into strips. You can use about 20 strips per page, but you can use as many or as few as you like.
  2. Stack the strips on each other, so they all face in the same direction. This will make it easier to apply in a straight line.
  3. Use craft glue or Mod Podge and spread it over the back of one strip at a time. Repeat until all of your stripes are covered with glue.
  4. Allow them to dry completely before sticking your tape wherever you want.

3. Patterned Washi Tape

Patterned Washi Tape

Washi tape comes in various patterns created using different ink types and printing methods. These patterns include stripes, dots, and chevrons (zig-zags) with various colors and shades.

What You'll Need


  1. Cut off pieces of washi tape in the size of your choice. You can use one color or many, depending on how many colors you have on hand.
  2. Place the tape on top of each other and cut them into different sizes and shapes. You can make triangles, diamonds, and hearts.
  3. Glue the shapes on another piece of paper for a fun collage effect, or leave them as they are for an interesting background to any project.

4. Colored Washi Tape

Colored Washi Tape

A colored washi tape is a decorative tape that comes in multiple colors. These are available in various colors, including pastels and bright colors.

What You'll Need


  1. Paint washi tape with acrylic paint or colored markers in any color combination you want.
  2. Create patterns on your washi tape using paint pens or food coloring. This technique works best with wide-spaced patterns like stripes or polka dots, but it can also be used with geometric shapes like triangles or rectangles.
  3. Create custom designs with stencils, stamps, or stickers cut from cardstock paper and then apply them directly onto your washi tape using Mod Podge, so they stick better.
  4. Let everything dry before using.

5. Glitter Washi Tape

Glitter Washi Tape

Washi tape can be plain and boring, or it can be sparkly  glittery, and blingy. If you're looking for a way to jazz up your crafts and make them stand out, consider using a glittery washi tape! Sparkly washi tape looks like regular washi tape but with a sparkle finish on top. This makes it easily identifiable from other types of tapes.

What You'll Need


  1. Cut your washi tape into smaller pieces, about 5 inches long, and lay them out on paper.
  2. Take a small amount of glue and apply it to the back of your glitter pieces. You don't need to cover the whole surface with glue, just enough for the glitter to stick to itself.
  3. Sprinkle your glitter over the top of your washi tape. You can use either loose glitter or stick it down with some more glue if you want it all in one place.
  4. Leave your glitter-covered washi tape overnight so the glue can dry properly. 
  5. When the tape has dried completely, stick it wherever you want!

Tips to Make the Best Washi Tape Project

  • Choose your Washi Tape Wisely

There are many places where you can buy washi tape, but not all carry high-quality products. Make sure the brand you choose uses high-quality materials to prevent starting your craft project with flimsy material that won't stick well or last a long time.

  • Be creative with Your Designs

You can do so much more than use washi tape as an accent on a piece of paper or in your home decor! Use it as gift wrap, or create a fun background for photos you took from friends and family members.

Take advantage of its stickiness and use it on furniture pieces around the house — just be careful not to leave it there when you move! This allows you to customize any surface by adding images that mean something special to you.

  • Make Sure it Fits Your Style

You don't have to stick with one color scheme or design throughout the project if you don't want to go crazy! If you're using washi tape for DIY crafts at home, feel free to mix and match different designs until you find something that works for you. You can even try using different colors within each design as long as it doesn't go overboard.

  • Consider the Size of the Project

If you're planning on using your washi tape for a big project such as decorating an entire house or classroom, then it's probably best to buy a larger roll so that you have plenty left over if something goes wrong with your design plan along the way. However, if you're only planning on using it for small projects where mistakes don't matter as much like wrapping gifts, then a small roll should be fine for most people's needs

  • Plan Your Design Before Cutting the Washi Tape

This will prevent you from having to re-cut pieces because they're not big enough or too short after they've been applied. Mark on your paper where the pieces should go with marker or pencil so you know exactly where to apply them when it comes time to do so.

  • Make Everything Clean Before Applying your Washi Tape

Wipe down everything with rubbing alcohol if needed, especially when working on glass surfaces. Let it air dry for about 10 minutes before beginning working on your project.

  • Choose a Good Color Palette

Choose bright and bold colors for your washi tape if you're going for a rainbow-themed project. If you're working on something more subtle, choose pastel hues or muted tones for your tapes.

  • Use Different Types of Paper or Fabric for Backgrounds

Washi tape looks great on plain paper or white cardstock, but if you want something a little more unique, try using colored paper or scrapbooking paper as a background. It'll give even more texture and dimension to your finished product.

  • Don't Be Afraid to Mix and Match

You don't need to stick with one brand of washi tape for one single project. Mixing different brands is encouraged because it gives an interesting contrast that adds more visual interest to your project. It also allows you to try new patterns without investing too much money since most brands offer cheaper versions of their tapes than their premium ones which can be quite expensive.

Creative Washi Tape Ideas

You know that washi tape is your best friend if you're a crafter. They are also a great way to add personality to your home or office. If you're looking for new ideas to try out with your washi tape collection, here are some great ideas:


A Person Holding a Washi Tape Bookmark

A Person Holding a Washi Tape Bookmark - Image by craftgawker

Think about making a bookmark out of washi tape if you want a new way to remember your favorite page in a book. If you want something simpler, cut a rectangle shape from the tape and fold it over to make a bookmark that fits nicely inside the book's cover.

Gift Tags

Gift Tags with a Washi Tape Design

Gift Tags with a Washi Tape Design -  Image by ithappensinablink

You can use plain or colored washi tape for this project. Just cut out small pieces of the tape and stick them onto paper tags using double-sided adhesive or glue dots. Tie these onto presents with curling ribbon or string, or slip them inside envelopes with cards enclosed inside them if you're mailing out gifts.

Color-Coded Calendar

Calendar Designed with a Washi Tape

Calendar Designed with a Washi Tape - Image by madeinaday

Washi tape works great for making calendars because you can use different colors and patterns to designate each month of the year. You could also make a calendar where each day has its unique design. If you want something more elaborate than just lines on paper, take it up a notch by creating a dry-erase calendar that lets you change the dates easily as time goes on.

Notebook cover

A Notebook Covered with Washi Tape

A Notebook Covered with Washi Tape - Image by Pinterest

This is a fantastic way to add personality to your notebook and make writing more engaging! Much better, you can add a personalized touch by adding your quote on the cover!

Picture Frame

Picture Frames Covered with Colorful Tapes

Picture Frames Covered with Colorful Tapes - Image by petitboutdechou

Whether you're looking for an alternative way to display your favorite images, consider making a personalized picture frame out of washi tape! This is a creative way to decorate your walls while also displaying your favorite photos.

You can use any colors for your washi tape frame, such as a monochromatic color scheme with white or cream-colored tape. This way, the colors of your photos will stand out more.

Phone Case

Phone Case Wrapped in Colorful Tapes

Phone Case Wrapped in Colorful Tapes - Image by diys

People buy phone cases to protect their phones from damage. However, that is not the only reason you should get a case. If you're tired of the traditional phone case, try making your own designs with washi tape!

Upcycled Tin Cans

3 Tin Cans Wrapped in Colorful Tapes

3 Tin Cans Wrapped in Colorful Tapes - Image by rexlondon

When there are leftover Coke cans, we have the idea that they should be thrown as quickly as possible. On the other hand, these can be decorated with washi tape to give them a unique look and then use as an organizer or storage container. It can store little things like pens, pencils, scissors and bigger objects like newspapers, books, and toys.

Refrigerator Magnets

Washi Tape Fridge Magnets

Washi Tape Fridge Magnets - Image by guysmagnets

Washi tape crafts for the refrigerator are a great way to add color and interest to your kitchen. You can use them to decorate the edges of photos or images you want to display on your fridge door. You can also use them as magnets on both sides of an index card so that you have an easy way to jot down notes when you're cooking.


Pencils Wrapped in Washi Tape

Pencils Wrapped in Washi Tape - Image by mycraftilyeverafter

This is a great way to use up all those extra pencils around your house since you probably don't need 50 of them. Plus, it makes a fun gift for teachers at back-to-school time or just about anyone who needs some motivation while they're working on their homework. If you don't want to wrap the entire pencil, wrap part of it with two different colors of washi tape and leave the other end plain.


Clear Glass Vases Covered With Washi Tape

Clear Glass Vases Covered With Washi Tape - Image by idealhome

Washi tape is perfect for decorating a flower vase. You can either wrap the entire vase or use strips of washi tape to create a pattern that complements the flowers in the vase. This is a great idea for a centerpiece on your dining room table or kitchen countertop.

You can apply this idea to any glass container, including jars and bottles. Ensure you apply the tape carefully so it doesn't fall off easily when you water your plant.

Makeup Brushes

Different Kinds of Make-up Brushes with Floral Washi Tape

Different Kinds of Make-up Brushes with Floral Washi Tape- Image by iheartmaggie

You could make the handle of your makeup brush into a design using washi tape or create a pattern around the top of the brush head using different colors of washi paper. This could make an interesting addition to any makeup collection and would be especially impressive if someone else were doing their makeup.


Lampshade Wrapped in Blue Shaded Washi Tape

Lampshade Wrapped in Blue Shaded Washi Tape - Image by washitapecrafts

Washi tape makes a great border for lampshades. You could even use it to cover an entire lampshade with a single color of washi tape.

Washi Tape FAQ

What is special about washi tape?

Washi tape has become an integral part of craft culture. Its many uses make it the ideal crafting material for beginners, but it's also useful for experienced crafters.

It can be used for personal craft projects or home decorations. Since they're so versatile, they're a great addition to any craft collection!

Why do people love washi tape?

People love this tape because it's simple to make but ingenious. It can be applied to any surface, combined freely, intuitively, and peeled off if anything goes wrong or you want a different pattern.

Can I use masking tape instead of washi tape?

Yes, but only if it's the right kind of masking tape. Masking tape is made from cloth, so it doesn't stick as well as washi tape.

If you're taping up boxes or sticking things together temporarily, go ahead and use masking tape. You may use washi tape if you seal packages safely or wrap presents.

How is washi tape different from normal tape?

Washi tapes are usually made from natural materials like bamboo, hemp, or tree bark. Although the texture resembles masking tape, washi tape is far better because of its designs, durability, and versatility.


In the end, of course, washi tape isn't magic. Tweaking a design or fixing it at the last minute might be out. But that's okay because there are plenty of other situations where making your washi tape will come in handy. It's a great hobby to start now if you don't have one yet!

Do you have any experience with washi tapes? How do you use them? Comment down below!

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