In which I discover Washi tape

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My ongoing project for organising the house has officially started. I was forced (forced!) to go buy some stationery. It was all terribly exciting until I discovered that my local stationery shop had run out of storage boxes but for one brown cardboard one. Granted, the fuchsia background and white dots on the inside were pretty enough but that brown was offending my sensibilities.

Badgerman suggested I could decorate it myself, at which point I snorted rather unattractively and raised my eyebrows in a ‘do you even know me’ manner. The very next second I had a brain wave about a product I’d been hearing loads about but had dismissed early on as ‘I’m not a Pinterest soccer mom’ and ‘another fancy newfangled weirdness for craft addicts’ that would die out as quickly as it had trended. I’m talking about Washi tape.

Little did I know I would fall in love with the stuff.

For those who don’t know, it’s a kind of thin decorative masking tape used by craft people to do… well, crafty stuff I know nothing about. Hobbycraft call it ’embellishment tape’. I’m told it’s Japanese and reusable, biodegradable and tree free, and made out of highly renewable resources. And also kind of a weird thing? That is, until you discover that it can be useful and then . Now I understand a bit better why washi tape sales have exploded in the world of craft-loving middle-class Alison Hendricks lookalikes: yes it’s really pretty but it is also practical; it is removable, it leaves no trace behind, it is not expensive (depending on where you buy it) and there is So Much Choice.

Useful things I’m going to do with Washi tape that aren’t just wacky internet craft person things:

Label Everything: all you need is a bit of Washi tape and a permanent marker, and there you go!

Prettify ugly things, like that shocking brown box. I’ve only started but don’t you think it is instantly improved?

washi tape examples


And yes, I made my very first batch of all-purpose cleaning product! It’s 500 ml water, 125 ml white vinegar and a few drops of lavender essential oil. You would think the smell of vinegar would be overpowering but the essential oil counteracts that very well. I’m now using it for everything. And look, pretty label!

Where can I buy Washi tape?

It is becoming more widely available nowadays, so that even Wilkinson’s has a couple of rolls. That’s not much choice, but I’ve been able to start my collection, and you get a couple of rolls (16 metres) for just under £2. Not bad really.

If you want to visit an actual UK shop, Hobbycraft and Paperchase also stock it. Otherwise you can go online and there is a great range both at and cutetape.

A Beginner's collection
A Beginner’s collection

It Looks Interesting But What More Can You Do With It?

For ideas on what to do with Washi tape, well, there’s always good old Pinterest, although I draw the line at decorating pumpkins with the stuff. See what I mean about ‘wacky internet craft-types’ doing weird craft things?