Sunday, May 26, 2013

Washi tape: or how to not spend a whole paycheck

Everyone seems to have an obsession right now with washi tape, and it's easy to see why! All those bold colors and eye catching patterns make them hard to resist, at least until I see the cost!

I have been fortunate enough to get some basic  decorative tapes on clearance or sales but most of the "best" looking washi tape rolls can easily cost 5-10$. If you do decide to buy your washi tape, I recommend looking at Target's office supply section and Micheal's clearance sections. I was able to get a 4 pack of basic patterned tape at target for 4$, which comes out to just a dollar a roll. In the clearance section of Micheal's I have been able to nab rolls for as low as $.75!! I've noticed that the brand that usually ends up in clearance, at least at my store, is Recollections.

The polka dots are from Micheal's ( $.79), the  label tapes are from  American Science Surplus  (all for a dollar!), all of the tapes that are still in packaging are fabric/lace tapes that I got for $.79 each.

First 4 on left are from target, the shoes from micheal's (2 rolls for $1), the two flower rolls are from World Market but I think I spent about $6  

If you don't have an  luck shopping around, or maybe your purchases have left you wanting some more creative tapes, you may want to consider making your own! I did some research on the topic and there seem to be two ways to do this, either with masking  tape or double sided tape. Both ways are super easy and you can basically use anything that you have around the house!

For the double sided tape method you will need:
My creations! The tape is from American Science Surplus which is a great resource for mail art supplies! This tape is 3" wide so you can always cut it down, and it's extra sticky! The tapes here were made with tissue paper and wrapping paper.

Double sided tape! (the kind I use has peel off paper and makes it easier to store)
pretty papers, tissue paper, tracing paper (thin paper is best! Heavy scrapbook paper will not work particularly well!)
things to decorate with like stamps, ink pads, markers, paints
wax paper (if you do not have tape that has a paper peel off)

If you choose to decorate your  tape with any kind of markers, paints, or pencils, you may want to do that first.

Tear off a piece long enough to get your desired pattern and put it on your paper. Try to line it up as close to the edge as possible so you have less waste, then cut the strip out! If you are using the tape with a paper back, Congrats!! You have made your first piece of  patterned tape! If you are using the other kind of tape you just need to stick it to a piece of wax paper for storage. You can either cut it out from the sheet or use the sheet as one big storage spot!

This is a great way to use up some of those smaller sized pretty papers or gift paper from a birthday!

The first 4 strips are made with your average found around the house masking tape. The ones below it are  artist's tape which is whiter and a less waxy finish. I looked online to try to find more and it runs about $5 a roll it seems, but I'm sure you could find something similar at a hardware store!

For the masking tape method you will need:
Masking tape, artist tape, paper tape or any other name it may go by
wax paper
Markers, stamps, or anything for decorating

You will want to cut a big piece of wax paper if you want long pieces of tape. Stick the tape to the wax paper. This method goes faster since you can work on multiple strips at the same time.

And decorate to your heart's content!

I used two different types of tape and found that one type was a bit waxier which meant my markers didn't really stuck to it like I expected it would. So, I decided to ink up both sides with two marker colors to create an ombre sort of effect and smeared it with a tissue. The other tape I had was like working with regular paper, so my drawn designs stuck better.

Regardless of which method you use, you will be saving your hard earned money! Even if you have to go out to buy the tapes, it is only about a dollar per roll versus $3 and up! If you have any other diy washi tips, I'd love to know!

In the mail!

A pink postcard from a swap at Mail me Some Art

Incoming! Postcard from China and swap for security envelope rolo!

The new Florida stamp!
A very nice security envelope rolo and goodies!
The BIGGEST stamp I have ever seen in my life! 

This one next to it looked like a baby in comparison


Tape themed mail art swap, 3 postcards to three people!

The back

Intro letter swap on swap-bot to someone I already know! Ever happen to you?

Received tape mail art!

Fancy packaging

And stamps!

All for this beauty, from the kraft paper craft swap

Outgoing to someone from

This was actually a huge project that unfolds to about the size of a poster. I thought it would be an interesting thing to write on!

Some outgoing!
I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial day weekend!

Friday, May 3, 2013

On the work table

Here are some pictures of what I've been working on lately. Some have already been sent out and some will be on their way soon! I have been trying to use up my paper stashes and have been working on all kinds of things!

A gesso over magazine trick. I really loved the image so I didn't alter it any, I just wanted that illustrated type look. It got a little wrinkled and the colors went wonky when I glued it to a postcard. I plan on hanging on to this one for a bit. It took a little more than an hour.

A pink postcard I made for mail me some art. It's a really  great site for homemade swaps!

Even beautified the pack!

A blue postcard for swap-bot. Basic collaging and some stamping.

Teacups! Made by putting gesso over Japanese book pages and using crayola markers over it. I love the look this technique has. Anyone else do this type of work?

A few pretty packages I sent this week.

Probably the prettiest piece of mail I've ever sent! It's made from an  old planner cover. The back of the planner had a little pouch, so I figured it would make an awesome envelope! Yay recycling!

I hate just tossing old planners, but it can be tricky to new projects with them!

It has been a busy week for rolos! I find that these suckers are faster to make than ATCs, for me at least. The one with a peacock does not have a home yet if anyone would like to set up a trade!

My favorite one that I made!

Second favorite! I'm trying to use up all of my security envelope paper! It's a daunting task!

The prize for most random goes to....

"Let the spirit of the adventure set the tone"

I have a whole stack of scrapbook paper that is just fancy lettering and words, but I'm having a tough time using it! This is one of the results...

I need a caption or a quote! Any takers?

APCs for a swap. I had fun making these by layer tissue papers and then just stamping over them. I think this works well when you have detailed stamps like these. The one on the top right corner is actually tracing paper over scrapbook paper. I stamped the main image and then stamped the other shape around the edges. Looking back I think I should have stamped the paper underneath and then stamped the main image on the tracing paper.

Security envelope ATCs. As much as I love the patterns on security envelopes, I find that it is actually a bit difficult to find a proper use for them! I like the way the one on the right came out, I think its because the colors just coordinate so nicely.
Anything fun on your worktable lately?


Hey there! It's been awhile since I've posted any mail so I've decided to break everything up a bit. Hopefully it's easier that way!

Here's what I have been finding in my mail box lately....

Incoming postcrossing from Russia and one from  swap-bot

Russian stamps are pretty cool! This one is a fairy tale.

From Germany

Arttower's Artistamp

A letter from Tina in Germany

A letter from Minna in the UK

A postcard from Melissa of Craftgasm

Some great ATCs from Stephiedee of Swap-bot

more swaps!

An older Roosevelt stamp

A teacup ATC swap!

ATCs reswapped

ATCs reswapped!

Why yes that is an easter egg. with many lovely stamps!

And filled to the brim with goodies!

A letter from Alyssa

Postcard shuffle swap! From New Zealand 

My first New Zealand stamps!

Round postcard swap from Mail Me Some Art

Mailbox ATC

I love stamps!

Postcard swap from New Mexico. 

Mail Art from Amy Morton from IUOMA

Mail art from "E" on IUOMA

A certificate of authenticity. Am I officially a mail artist now?

Postcrossing from the Czech Republic and the Netherlands

Czech Republic stamp. He wrote "My name is John Johnson I come from Wisconsin. I work in a lumber mill. When I walk down the street, they ask me my name. I tell them my name is John Johnson I live in Wisconsin..." I was slightly confused haha

Stamps from the Netherlands, the couple who sent it to me collect and sell stamps from the European Union.

ATC Swap!
An older stamp I haven't seen before :)

I Love the birds! Must have come from a colorful book

Postcard swap!

Letter from Alyssa

Bookpage ATC swap

Pink rolo swap

Some great APCs to add to the collection!

I love mail days like this...

Postcard anyone? I won a lot of postcards on an auction site.  Lot's of artsy and unusual cards here!

Mail from!

Very pretty notecards!

Find anything waiting for you in your mailbox today?