Bullet Journal

What is Washi Tape? (And 30+ Simple Ways to use it)

What is Washi Tape? Even if you’ve only had a quick look into the world of bullet journaling, you’re bound to have heard of it…

What is Washi Tape?

So what exactly is it?

Washi tape is a paper-like tape that can be used for pretty much anything from journaling to crafting.

But first, let’s rewind…

Washi originated in Japan more than 1,300 years ago. The word is a combination of wa which means ‘Japanese’ and shi which means ‘paper’. Traditionally, Washi was made from mulberry, hemp or other similar plant based fibres. This made it much stronger than ordinary wood pulp based paper.

Washi was also printed or painted with intricate patterns.

Japanese Chiyogami Washi Paper

Because of its durability and design, Washi was commonly used for origami, paper crafts, mending books and even clothes!

Fast forward to 2006. A masking tape company called Kamoi Kakoshi received a request from a group of artists. Would they be interested in making a line of decorative washi-style masking tape?

They were.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

What’s so great about washi tape?

  • Sturdy masking tape.
  • Won’t leave a sticky residue.
  • Can be written on.
  • Waterproof so it will survive most spillages (perfect for those accidental bujo tea splashes!).
  • Works on almost any surface – as long as it’s clean and dry, it’ll stick.
  • Comes in heaps of different designs, colours and widths (seriously, the world is your oyster!).
  • As it’s mainly made of paper, it’s environmentally friendly and recyclable – woohoo!

Does it cost a lot?

Not really. You can pick up some very reasonably priced rolls at around $1 or so each.

If you’re just using it for bujo decoration then any type will work fine. However, if you are planning to use it for other crafts then go for the better quality tape.

Once stuck, is it permanent?

If you make a mistake covering up your mistakes then there’s no need to panic!

The great thing about washi tape is that it’s pretty easy to unstick. Decided it’s not quite in the right place? Carefully peel it off and start again.

What can you use it for?

As I’ve already mentioned, it can really add to your bujo (especially if you’re short on time).

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to using it in your journal. It can be used for scrapbooking, crafting, upcycling or decorating too. In fact,you could use it to cover over pretty much anything to give it a new lease of life!

Scroll on for ways to use it in your bujo and heaps of nifty craft ideas too!

Ways to use it in your bullet journal:

Use it to cover up mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes in their bullet journal at some point. Washi tape is perfect for covering up unwanted lines or doodles gone wrong.

Outline boxes or sections in your daily or weekly spread

Use washi tape if you’re looking for a way to make your bujo look pretty but don’t have much time.

Looking for some extra inspiration? Check out this post ‘8 Easy Washi Tape Weekly Spreads You Can Create In Minutes’.

Stick in notes/pictures/tickets

Been somewhere cool and want to keep your ticket but not lose space in your bujo? (Journal space is prime real estate after all, right?).

Just stick a strip of washi tape along the top edge of your ticket stub to make it into a flap. No space lost!

Use it to make a pocket

Or if you don’t want to stick the ticket in at all, cut out a square of paper and stick three sides down, making sure to leave the top open.

You’ve got a little pocket!

Make a flap for extra space

If you find yourself with a mountain of tasks but nowhere to jot them down, why not create more space? Simply grab an extra piece of paper, stick one of the edges down with washi tape and voila, you’ll have doubled up on space.

This is a cool idea if you want to add in an extra habit tracker or two (or three!).

Use washi tape as a page marker

Fold a small strip of tape along the edge of the page to act as a place marker. Perfect for flicking between monthly habit trackers or your future log.

Make paperclip flags

Washi Tape paperclip flags

This is such a fun idea. Simply grab a paperclip, fold a piece of tape around one side, cut out a triangle and that’s it. I dare you to stop at one! Use it for marking a page or specific area in your bujo.

Make them into stickers

Take a cutter or a pair of scissors and turn your washi tape into washi stickers!

Use in a tracker

Rather than using a pen/pencil to fill in your habit tracker, use a small square of washi tape to make it really stand out.

Header background and then write over with black permanent marker

Unlike plain old sellotape, washi tape can be written on. Use it as your header background and write over the top.

Washi tape gallery/swatch page

Show off your washi tape collection in one place by making a gallery! Sometimes called a swatch page, just cut a small strip of each roll of tape and put it all on one page. What’s the purpose? To make it pretty of course!

Monthly cover page

Washi Tape Monthly Cover Page

Cut out shapes, horizontal/vertical stripes or layer your washi tape to create a quick monthly cover page. Great for when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to doodle.

Layer strips of tape and cut out lettering for headings etc

This idea is a little more time consuming but it looks AMAZING when it’s done. Layer strips of washi tape on a cutting mat and use a craft knife to cut out your lettering. Carefully transfer it into your bujo for a pretty awesome heading.

Stick in an envelope for keeping tickets, photos or leaflets.

It’s nice to keep bits and pieces from good times right? But you need somewhere to keep them. Stick in a small envelope to keep hold of all those loose pieces of paper so they don’t fall out every time you open your bujo.

Decorate the cover of your bujo

Does the outside cover of your bullet journal need brightening up? Or maybe you’re halfway through the year and the corners are looking a bit worse for wear? (We’ve all been there!).

Cover it up or give it an extra layer of protection with pretty tape – your bujo will thank you!

Use it to colour code your mood tracker

Wave goodbye to your pens and pencils. Colour code your tracker with washi tape shapes instead!

Other washi tape crafts

Use it for wrapping gifts

Washi tape is a major upgrade for plain old masking tape. Wrap your gifts in brown paper or layers of tissue paper and use colourful tape to seal up your gift. Beautiful and functional.

Washi tape wall art

Use it on the wall or around a door frame to create a (removable) piece of wall art.

Use it to cover an old photo frame

Simply cover up the photo frame in your favourite tape design to give it a new lease of life.

Wrap a piece around the end of a toothpick

Perfect for party food marker flags, try out this cheap and simple DIY.

Brighten up an old phone case

Put strips of washi tape around the back of an old phone case, clip it back onto your phone and you’re done.

If you get bored of one design, just peel it off and start again!

Washi tape lampshade

Wrap long strips of washi tape around the outside of a boring old lampshade to add a cool design.

Make celebration bunting

Cut triangles of card or fabric decorated with washi tape and tie together with ribbon to make party bunting beautiful.

Use it to decorate your folders

Decorate your folders or use the tape to easily distinguish between different files.

Ditch the boring sticky tabs

Run out of sign here tabs? Or page marker post-its? Have no fear – washi is here!

Use it to label charging cables

With so many chargers attached to the plug, make each one individual by wrapping a small piece of tape around each cable.

Wrap it around a plain plastic hair band (alice band)

To jazz up your look, decorate a plain headband with colourful tape – you’ll be sure to stand out in a crowd.

Cut small pieces to cover your nails – an instant manicure!

Want a no mess manicure? Use washi tape!

Cover over an old plate and use as a jewellery dish

Washi Tape jewellery dish

Washi tape art

Overlap strips, stick in shapes or layer some card or paper over the washi tape to make your very own DIY art. Put it in a frame and it’s sure to brighten up any room.

Upcycle an old vase or plant pot

Stick on stripes, shapes or cover the whole thing in washi tape to make a cool new vase. This would make a cool DIY gift with a pretty bunch of flowers or a succulent.

Wrap your pen/pencil with washi tape

Hey, why not make a matching pen/pencil for your journal? That way you’ll never have to think ‘hmmm…where did I put that pen?’ as it’s sure to catch your eye.

And there we are…heaps of washi tape ideas for your bujo and crafting! Go ahead and give some of them a go.

If you’ve got any additional washi tape ideas, I’d love to hear them! Just add to the comments below.

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