What Is Washi Tape and Why You Should Try It

Colorful Washi Tapes

Stock Photos from Mariontxa/Shutterstock
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For many, stationery supplies are a must-have luxury. They can help you develop ideas, practice gratitude, keep in touch with friends, and more. And while you don't need any fancy utensils to practice these routines, a little decoration can transform a blank page into an artistic design. Washi tape is one of the most popular accessories right now for embellishing journals, planners, notebooks, and more.

Originally from Japan, this adhesive has risen in popularity all over the world for its large array of cute and creative designs, its affordability, and for its versatility. Crafters and hobbyists are discovering more ways to incorporate this charming material into their creations, even using it in their home decor to cover coasters and outlets.

Here, we'll learn what washi tape is, how to use it, and see a selection of beautiful tapes to try.


What is Washi Tape?

Collection of Washi Tape

Washi tape is a decorative masking tape made from traditional Japanese paper. The name washi comes from the Japanese characters wa 和 meaning “harmony” and also symbolizing Japan, and shi  meaning “paper.” It is typically created using fibers from vegetation indigenous to Japan, such as the bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub, and the kōzo bush.

Washi tape is a popular adhesive for crafts and journaling because of its beauty and durability. Available in a wide variety of prints and colors, this tape can be torn easily by the hand and is both waterproof and heatproof. Plus, washi tape does not leave any residue when it is removed from a surface and remains sticky enough to be reused.


Washi Tape Ideas


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From decorating planners to adorning mugs, there are many creative ways to use washi tape. Its versatility makes it a great material for experimentation, so don't be afraid to try something a little different.


Cover your notebooks

front cover: washi tape journal

Have a plain notebook lying around the house? Well, a colorful roll of washi tape can easily transform a blank cover into a unique design. Use one tape to solidly cover it in several strips or use a few to zigzag across the surface.


Organize Your Planners

Most of the time, the enviable journal spreads you've seen on social media feature cleverly placed pieces of washi tape. Whether it's to divide sections with a floral motif, to embellish the page borders, or to frame some text, try incorporating some tape into your daily planner.


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A post shared by Iffa's Bullet Journal (@tritopus_)


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Decorate Letters

While texting and messaging is an efficient way to keep in touch with long-distance friends and loved ones, receiving snail mail is always a special event. If you keep in touch with someone by sending letters, try decorating your next envelope with washi tape. You can create whimsical designs, and keep it secure by covering the opening.


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A post shared by Julie Campbell (@journalingandjava)

If you think your washi tape is beautiful enough on its own, then try incorporating it into your next art project. You can cut the tape into shapes to create a design by itself or combine it with other materials to create a funky collage.


Decorate Chargers

DIY Washi Tape Apple Charger

There's nothing really unique about chargers, but with a little washi tape, you can easily change that. Use one or two to wrap around the adapter and create a pleasing pattern.


Customize Your Clipboard

100 Creative Ways to Use Washi Tape DIYReady.com | Easy DIY Crafts, Fun Projects, & DIY Craft Ideas For Kids & Adults

If you have washi tape for days, then a great customization project can be decorating the surface of your clipboard. Use it as an opportunity to mix and match patterns and make cool designs.


Decorate Planters

washi tape mini plant pots

You don't need to spend a lot of money to spruce up your indoor garden. Wrap a little bit of washi tape around the rim of plain white planters to give them some instant flair.


Beautiful Washi Tape to Try:


Gold Foiled Floral Watercolor Washi Tape


Alchemist Washi Tape


Moroccan Tile Washi Tape


Bee Washi Tape


Snail Mail Washi Tape


Grid Washi Tape


Peaches Washi Tape

Peaches Washi Tape

GoatGirlMH | $3.95+


Sea Life Washi Tape


Matte Clear Washi Tape With Botanical Print


Set of 48 Washi Tapes


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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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