Washi tape is a wonderful thing. As with most cute super-products, it originated in Japan and is essentially masking tape (but much nicer than the plain old beige variety). Made from self-adhesive paper, it comes on a roll in a zillion different colours, patterns and a variety of widths - just like ordinary sticky tape.
But what can you use it for? Well, that's the best thing about washi tape - you can use it for just about anything. The only limit is your imagination! Here are five simple ideas for using washi tape that you might not have considered before.
1. Washi Tape Embroidery Hoop
Take a wooden embroidery hoop and give it a completely different look by wrapping it in washi tape.
Simply wind the tape around the outer hoop, taking care to smooth the paper to avoid wrinkles as you go. Start at the top of the hoop, on the underside and gradually overlap all the way round. By the end of your wrapping you'll have a fresh new look with minimal effort!
2. Washi Tape Chevron Gift Box
Take a plain kraft cardboard gift box and give it a whole new lease of life by covering with strips of washi tape.
Simply stick the tape on the box in rows, overlapping it slightly as you go along. Line up the chevrons for a professional look. You could also seal and varnish it with decoupage glue (or Mod Podge) for a shiny finish. Cut any overlaps with a craft knife. Give to friend as gift, bask in praise. Done.
3. Washi Tape Tea Lights
Could this be the easiest craft project in history? It's definitely a contender but it's very effective! If you have a tiny budget, a roll of washi tape and a bag of tea lights could really make your event.
Planning a wedding? Pick up a roll of washi tape in your theme colour and simply wrap the metal tea light container with a strip of tape. Tuck the excess underneath, or cut with a craft knife for a smooth finish. Result? A professional themed look to pull any table together for a tiny amount of money and effort.
4. Washi Tape Photo Frame
If you're anything like me, you can't go to Ikea without buying half a dozen things you really don't need. For me, that's often a bunch of white photo frames I never get round to using. Jazz up a plain old frame with washi tape - sure, you'll see the joins, but line up the pattern and stick in a favourite photo or postcard and all you'll be seeing is the glow of satisfaction as everyone admires your handiwork.
Cut strips of tape and wind around the front of your frame, taking care to line up the pattern and smooth out any wrinkles as you go. For a neat finish on the back, add a long strip of tape to cover up where the ends meet.
5. Tiny Washi Tape Bunting
Bunting is everywhere - it's a trend that refuses to die. Add washi tape and you've got yourself a zeitgeist. Take a short length of ribbon, twine or string and a piece of washi tape about 7.5cm (3 inches) long. Wrap the tape around the string, folding it in half, and stick down. Take some scissors and cut the tape into a pointed flag with two simple snips (you could use a template for this if you want them all exactly even).
Repeat as many times as you like, depending on how long you want the bunting. Hang in your doll's house or use as a cake decoration, or maybe add a twee touch to your desk!
From pretty patterned candles to tiny doll-size bunting, washi tape is an incredibly versatile product with seemingly unlimited uses. Is it any wonder it's reached cult-like popularity in recent years? One thing's for sure, washi tape isn't going anywhere, and it's probably the one key must-have item for any crafter's kit.
Tell us, do you love washi tape? Have you used it for anything interesting? Share your ideas and projects with us in the comments section below. We'd love to hear about them!