The world of washi - how to use your washi tape

The world of washi - how to use your washi tape

Wah-shi? War-shi? Wo-shi?

Washi (“wa" meaning ‘Japanese’, and "shi" meaning ‘paper’) (和紙) can be used to describe any traditional Japanese paper (often decorative, colourful, and/or patterned) which is used for all sorts of crafts. Washi tape is a low tack (not very sticky) masking tape that can be used to add colour and decoration to any project.

Unlike western paper which is made from trees, washi is made from Japanese shrubs - this makes it totally biodegradable and therefore an excellent sustainable choice for crafters! It’s also great for kids - it can be torn without needing scissors, the low tack means no mess, it’s not very thick so there’s no risk of papercuts, and all the fun and colourful patterns can make it a great material for kids to use in their arts and crafts.

Here are some ways you can use your washi tape:

Decorating journal/diary pages

Washi tape is an awesome way to make your journal pages a little more colourful and interesting! I love to theme page spreads in my diary and adding a decorative tape is a great way of achieving this (and filling gaps around text/doodles). A lot of folks cut their tape so that it’s super neat - I prefer to tear mine for a rough edge, but you can totally do either….or both!

Personalise your stationery

Ever found a washi tape design you adore but can’t find any stationery to match the aesthetic? Washi tape can be applied to pencils, pens, notepads, sticky notes, diaries, laptop lids, tablet pencils, - an easy way to get a super consistent theme across all your goodies!

Greetings cards and gift wrap

If you make your own greetings cards, washi tape is perfect for crafting and customising cards and notes. You could apply a design your recipient would love to any card design. This is especially cool if you can use the tape in any gift wrap too for a coherent theme across all your cards and presents.


Washi tape is particularly wonderful if you’ve got a scrapbook, especially if you theme pages in your scrapbook. You could use a blossom-themed tape on pages documenting your trip to Japan, or a cake pattern around snaps of your last picnic! It’s an excellent way to level up your scrapbooking game.

If you’ve got any other suggestions, please share them in the comments section for other crafters to see!

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