Washi Tapes: What They Are & Why Everyone Should Own Them

This week we’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled program, Cover Geek, for a different type of design post: a homage, you might call it, to washi tapes.

But first, a little public service announcement: I’ll be putting Tuesday posts (and similarly Cover Geek) on hold for a couple of weeks to a couple of months (shall return by June at the latest) just because life has been getting hectic & I’m starting to not have enough time for 5 posts a week & don’t want to sacrifice quality. Similarly, I need some time to refuel my creative juices and think up some fun cover prompts!

But for today, we can relish in the delightful quality of washi tapes.

It’s good to start out with: what are washi tapes? 

The best thing that’s going to happen to you, that’s what.

In all seriousness, washi tapes are Japanese paper tapes, although they’re not solely manufactured there anymore. Instead of your boring masking tape or clear tape, they’ve got lots of different types in a multitude of sizes, colors, etc.

I’m not going to go into the history of washi tapes because that’s what Wikipedia is for, but the two defining factors of washi tape in my mind are the stickiness and the design.

My favorite part of washi tapes are that they’re generally removable. Sometimes you’ll buy a bad roll that’s too sticky (thanks a lot Scotch. that’s what I get for buying big brand washi tape.), but generally they’re supposed to be less sticky than regular tape.

What does that mean? It means you can stick it in many more places than you imagined.

Have qualms about pasting things to your wall? No worries! Use washi tape.

Want to tape that note to the fridge but don’t have any post-its on hand? No worries! Use washi tape.

They’re great because you know they won’t angrily peel off paint or paper fibers. Meaning, your limited edition Harry Potter poster is safe with washi tape (as long as you check it every month or so that there’s not heat/sun damage etc.).

It’s like an all purpose tape, which lets you do so much with it. It’s weak enough not to damage anything, but strong enough that it’ll actually, y’know, work.

The other great thing about washi tapes is that they come in so many awesome designs.

They have anything you can think of–glitter washi tape, shiny foil washi tape, cute animals, cool patterns, aesthetic flowers–you name it, and I bet there’s a washi tape for it.

This is a design that I’ve lusted over I’m still lusting over because it’s just so. darn. cute.

C’mon. Try and say it to my face that you don’t think these dancing bears and rabbits aren’t the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen.

As you get more and more washi tapes, you’ll find what types you do and do not like. They come in all sorts of widths too, from super wide to super thin so you can use them for tons of things (like decorating mason jars!).

I really love my washi tapes because they just help with making organization fun (planner-wise) and pretty, and they also are just so helpful.

By now, you might be a tad convinced to start your own washi tape collection, or at least invest in a roll or two.

How to get started with washi tapes? Well, it’s easy! Just go out and buy a roll (or ten). Pick whatever catches your eye and you can use it in notebooks, planners, or just for miscellaneous stuff.

They start out really cheap, you can get a roll for under a dollar, but some range all the way up to $10+ for those super wide rolls (IDK what you’d use it for, but…). 

But, if you’re looking to get real serious with your washi collection, then here’s where I recommend starting!

The book that started it all for me was “Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining, and Party Fun!” by Courtney Cerruti (here’s the Amazon link) and there are so many great washi tape uses in this book! I’d totally recommend you flip through this if you can track down a copy because it’s a great resource (and they do really cool stuff in this book).

And then, to start your collection off, I’d say start out by purchasing a basic color pack and going from there. My favorite brand is MT Casa because they have the perfect stickiness balance in their tapes, and they also have very high quality tapes with loads of cool designs (from the solids to those cute dancing bears).

When I first started out, I bought the 10 roll solid color pack and I absolutely love them! They have all sorts of cute sets, but this is the one I started out with and I haven’t regretted it since.

I totally recommend you check out washi tapes because they’ve made my life so much easier (and they’re super aesthetic so I feel proud of myself, haha!). And if you do go traveling to an Asian country, try keeping an eye out at those stationary stores for a roll of washi tape (the selection is so much better over there I swear).

And maybe send me a roll too as a thank you. You won’t regret it.

much love, vicky

Have you used washi tape before? Tell me your thoughts on it!

3 thoughts on “Washi Tapes: What They Are & Why Everyone Should Own Them

    1. yes! they’re so amazing! and they do all sorts of crazy things in that book–they made washi tape art on a refrigerator in the shape of animals ahaha!


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