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How to Make Homemade Washi Tape

How to Make Homemade Washi Tape main article image
Posted on April 2, 2021 by Julie Richards
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Washi tape is one of those paper craft items that almost everyone has in their stash. A piece of Washi tape on an envelope, along a journal page, or a gift tag adds more color to the project. My problem with commercial Washi tape is that unless you add some glue, it might fall off later on down the road. I decided that I like making homemade Washi tape because then I know it will stay exactly where it’s put. Some of you may like that you can remove the Washi tape from the project, and there is a solution for that in this tutorial.

I’ve experimented with all kinds of ways to make my own Washi tape, from painting masking tape, writing on the tape with markers, and just using strips of hand-decorated paper and gluing the strips down to my project. I finally came up with a solution that I absolutely love. With my method, I can turn just about anything I want into my own homemade Washi tape. Some of the materials I use are decorative napkins, punch strips, fabric and pretty papers I make on my gelli plate.

The trick to making this homemade Washi tape work is to have a really good bond between the base of the tape and the material you put on the tape. I do not use masking tape. I use scoring tape to make my homemade Washi tape. Yes, just plain scoring tape. It comes in a variety of widths and if you place the scoring tape just right, you can make a very wide strip of homemade Washi tape to fit exactly where you need it on your paper craft projects.

Scoring TapeVarious Widths of Scoring Tape

Supply List

  • Scoring tape in various widths
  • Patterned papers (regular printer paper thickness)
  • Ribbon
  • Decorative edge paper punches
  • Fabric
  • Stamps and Ink pad
  • Stencils
  • Scissors
  • Ruler with hard edge
  • Painter’s tape (if you want to make the homemade Washi tape removable)
  • Freezer or parchment paper

Preparation

Once you have everything gathered on your work table, it is time to start making your own homemade Washi tape. I love playing with paper and fabric, so for me, this process sometimes takes longer than it should. I have to remind myself that sometimes enough is enough. One of my favorite things to do is use some of the papers from the digital junk journal kit to create matching Washi tape for decorative elements throughout the journal I am making. It makes the junk journal more cohesive.

I love using vintage wallpaper design patterns to make some of my homemade Washi tape. I tear it into strips with the edge of my ruler, so I know the strips are straight. I also prepare my material and ribbon in advance. I like to fray the edges of the material to make it look more tattered. I often ink the edges of the wallpaper strips or other patterned paper strips to make those pieces of DIY Washi tape look distressed and vintage.

Fabric Homemade Washi Tape

I also cut decorative edges on patterned paper and cut that strip from the paper to make Washi tape. I like that the decorative edge adds more texture to the paper craft project I’m making.

Paper Punch Trim Washi Tape

Making Homemade Washi Tape

  1. Cut your papers, ribbons and fabrics to the thickness of your scoring tape. You can do this with scissors, a paper cutter or tear it using the straight edge of a ruler.
  2. Decorate each strip of paper as you desire. Use paints, markers, small stamps or even alcohol inks.
  3. Distress the edges of the papers at this point if you desire.
  4. Lay the decorated side of the paper or fabric face-down on the work table.
  5. Pull off a strip of scoring tape to the length of your paper or fabric.
  6. Start at one end and securely push the exposed sticky side of the scoring tape to the paper or fabric.
  7. Run the handle of your scissors or a bone folder along the strip of scoring tape to make sure the paper-to-tape bond is secure. (Do Not Remove The Tape Backing)
  8. Repeat these steps to create as many different strips of homemade Washi tape that you desire.

Hints, Tips and Ideas

I have one paper punch that creates a line of tiny flowers that I love to use as homemade Washi tape. The problem is that it leaves part of the sticky part of the scoring tape exposed on the front. I use a fine brush dipped in cornstarch to slightly brush the top of the homemade Washi tape. This removes the stickiness and does not affect the bottom where the scoring tape backing remains.

Paper Punches

I have a small hummingbird stencil that I use quite often. I stencil the hummingbird onto a wide strip of homemade Washi tape using a variety of different inks. This looks great running down the side of a journal page. And I don’t have any ink bleed through to the other side of the page. This is a nice trick with stamps as well, because often the permanent ink from the stamp leaves a faint impression on the other side of the page. If you stamp a piece of homemade Washi tape, you still get the decorative element without ruining the back of the page.

Stencil Homemade Washi Tape

One other element I love to create when I make homemade Washi tape is paper ruffles. I simply decorate the paper like I want and fold it into a ruffle. Then I apply the score tape to the back of the paper ruffle. When I am ready to use it, I simply remove the score tape backing and apply it to the page I want in my journal.

Paper Ruffle Homemade Washi Tape

One last idea is how I use the fabric that I turned into homemade Washi tape. I love adding pieces of the fabric Washi tape to cluster elements I make for the journals I create.

Removable Homemade Washi Tape

Once you have done all the steps above to create your homemade Washi tape, you may want to have it removable instead of permanent. Here is how to do make that happen.

Lay a piece of painter’s tape onto parchment paper or the waxed side of freezer paper, sticky side down. Make sure the length of the painter’s tape is the same length as the homemade Washi tape you choose.

Strip the backing of the scoring tape off your homemade Washi tape. Attach it to the top side of the scoring tape. Press firmly to make sure there is a good bond between the scoring tape and the painter’s tape.

Cut the parchment paper and the painter’s tape down to the same thickness as the homemade Washi tape.

Leave the homemade Washi tape on the parchment paper until you are ready to use it.

Now you can make your homemade Washi tape out of just about any type of patterned paper or fabric you want. You can even make strips with a mixture of paper and fabric if you desire. This project is as limitless as your imagination. Like I said, I will spend hours making homemade Washi tape because I find it very therapeutic and relaxing. I hope you will share pictures of what you make.


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Comments
3 Comments
Millie Gagliano

January 27, 2024

Thanks for sharing, I'm gonna try to do this.

Fernanda Rafagnin

May 13, 2021

That is an awesome idea, I will try it for sure. Thank you for sharing!

Julie Richards's profile picture
Julie Richards

May 13, 2021

Author

Thank you!! I love making these. I hope you do too!


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