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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Experimentation: DIY washi tape

I want to convince a couple of friends (okay, I sort of want to prove to myself) that it's possible to art journal without breaking the bank! But in my opinion, washi tape (Japanese, repositionable, decorative masking tape) is an absolute must-have. I am a liiitle bit obsessed. So this morning, even though I already have a TON, I attempted to make my own.

There are, of course, bazillions of tutorials on The Intarwubs for how to make decorative tape out of double-sided, peel-y tape, but I didn't have any of that, and the idea was to use what I have, so I had to improvise. First I tried several types of paper with regular old, scotch brand, double sided tape, with wax paper from the kitchen on the backside (in order to store it). It works okay, I guess, except that it's hard to see where your tape is in order to cut the paper to size. I ended up with some pretty wonky, not-very-straight, rather short lengths of narrow tape. The pattern on my tissue paper was too big to really see any fabulous detail with how narrow my tape was. Also, I discovered that the napkin I used had so many more plies than I thought it did, so I ended up with a white piece that I will probably stamp on later.


I was not a fan of this technique. On to the next!

I don't have a picture of this misstep, but the next thing I tried was to paint directly on some masking tape. I felt like a genius, until I realized that my paint was not sticking AT ALL to the tape. Duh.

So I got out my gesso. You know? That fabulous white stuff that you can paint on almost any surface to make it suitable for paint? Oh wait, I don't have any gesso. Cue Pinterest! Turns out, you can make your own gesso!!

I won't put the whole tutorial in this blog post because you can just go here, where I found it. But all you need is glue, white paint, and baby powder!

Okay, third time's the charm, right?

I tore seven strips of masking tape and stuck them to a piece of wax paper. I gave them a good coat of the gesso I made, and let them dry completely, which took about half an hour. THEN I really got started!

This was either going to be awesome, or a disaster!


I put the tape-on-wax-paper in a shallow box and gave them a light spritzing with my homemade glimmer-y spray paints. (will probably make a tutorial for that at some point, but not today)

Hint: do not try to speed up the drying process during any of these steps with heat! I almost fused my tape to my wax paper by melting either the wax, or the adhesive, or a little of both!


Here is what they look like all dried and on a fresh sheet of wax paper!
Next I decided I wanted a little more pattern/activity, so I got out my stamps!


I divided my stamps into two categories for this project. Backgrounds, done with colors similar to the ones already on the tape, and foreground, which I decided to do in black.

Here is a close-up of the background step. Starting to look kinda cool!
Annnnd, drum roll please?! No? Whatever.

The finished tape!!


The birds were hard to align, and next time I think I may try some white stamps, but I am pretty happy, overall, with how this project turned out! What do you think?! I think I may send some in some future happy mail!

1 comment:

Vicki said...

going to try this, thanks for the instructions.