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!