Make Your Own Washi Tape

Make Your Own Washi Tape

Have you ever used a strip of Wash tape to embellish a card, or add to your journal page or scrapbook? They’re beautiful, but although they’re not terribly expensive, if you want a variety to choose from it can add up. Plus I never seem to have exactly the color or style I want.

Well, my friend Carol gave me a tip for making my own…and Since I already had everything I need to make them, I had to try it and share it with you.

What you’ll need:

  1. Scotch tape (matt works best, but shiny will work)
  2. Magazines
  3. Warm water
  4. Glue stick

Any glossy magazine page will work. I have plenty of quilting magazines, catalogues and flyers.

To begin, simply tear off a strip of tape (whatever size you want) sticky side down over the top of the picture. It can be a pattern, words, some flowers, leaves…whatever design strikes your fancy.

Here I chose a section of a quilt photo from a catalogue.

Burnish the tape by rubbing it with your fingernail or an old credit card. As a quilter, I happened to have a seam roller for pressing down seams…and it worked great. The object is to get the tape stuck down firmly without any air bubbles.

Then place it in a bowl of warm water. You can tear off the extra magazine page around it first if you like, but it’s not necessary. Here I put the whole page in.

Wait for a few minutes. The tape with the image attached will slip away from the rest of the page. The paper backing slides off the back of the strip of tape completely, but magically leaves the color image transferred to the tape! It becomes part of the tape and is translucent.

Lay the individual tape strips on a clean towel to dry for several minutes. At this point they’re not very sticky, but there may be just enough glue residue left on some strips that they’ll lift up some fiber if you lay them on paper towels–which you don’t want–so a fiber towel is best.

And ta-da! … you have the equivalent of (non-sticky) washi tape strips to use to decorate your cards and scrapbook pages.

To make them sticky, just run a glue stick across the back of the strip when you’re ready to stick them on your page or card. Or you could use any scrapbook glue. Or (if you have one) you could even run them through a xylon stickermaker.

Here are a few of mine..

Aren’t they cute?

Some are bright, and some very subtle (like the leaves above).

They do tend to curl a bit after they’re dry, but I’ve discovered a way to straighten them. Take two sheets of parchment paper–the kind used for baking. Put one on your ironing board (to protect it) and place the strip on top. Then cover that with the second piece of parchment (to protect the iron) and iron for a few seconds.

I understand that besides using pages from magazines or flyers, that this technique will work on anything printed on a laser printer. Since I don’t have a laser printer, I can’t verify how well that works, …but if you have access to one, it would be a great way to make your own washi tape phrases or quotes, …or print out your own photos and computer-generated designs to use.

Hope you’ll give it a try.

Until next time…HAPPY QUILTING,

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts