Saturday, May 28, 2016

How I Use Washi Tape

Since I've been collecting Washi tape like it's going extinct the past month or two, I figured I would take a moment to show my collection, how I am storing it and how I use it.

Storing these rolls of tape has been a challenge from the beginning.  At first I thought that finding the end every time I wanted to use a piece of tape was a huge headache, so I bought a dispenser that fits about 8-10 rolls of tape.  I got it at Staples I think.  It was useless.  It folds closed and locks, and the tape either doesn't stick to the lip, so that you're still having to dig around to find the end, or it sticks to the pattern next to it.  Just a terrible design by Scotch on that one.

My second product was the We R brand trays which stack if you buy 2 and then order the post that hooks them together.  This let me store more, but again, had the problem of not sticking to the cutting edge lip consistently.  They also take up a lot of desk space.  So I put that tray on the floor where it was promptly forgotten.

In the meantime, I began using some loose rolls of tape at work to mark my calendar with my time off.  I found that finding the raw end wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, assuming I could handle the whole roll and not try to dig it out of the dispenser.  I also found that I could more accurately tear off what I needed if I used a straight edge and tore, rather than trying to use the cutting edge of a dispenser.  At work I typically use a pad of Post-it notes.  At home I have rulers or triangles or a notepad that I can use to hold down where I want it to tear, and it rips cleanly 95% of the time.

But then I found people were wrapping their washi tape around things like embroidery bobbins, used gift cards, etc.  I tried it and found that I LOVED that idea.

I started by getting the bobbins and a winder.  I had seen someone on Pinterest recommend this method and IDK WTF they are doing, because it definitely didn't work for me.  I started winding them by hand, but I filled the "ring" that came with the bobbin set and still had a million tapes to go.  And when I put the ring full of bobbins in my planner bag, the ends of the tape came loose and stuck to everything else.  And, it wasn't saving all that much space.  Overall, I was not impressed.

Then I wound my work washi around a spent gift card.  This was great for my work washi tapes because I only had a few for that purpose and they were narrow.  We found a used itunes gift card last weekend at my mom's house that I snagged and used that when C got her 3 pack of washi for her bullet journal on Wednesday.  I wound some of the tape off onto that for her so she could put it in her little purse and keep it with her.

But I'm not 12.  I have a crapload of washi tape.  I'm a hoarder.  The idea of only carrying around a few is just something I can't wrap my head around.  In fact, I had tried to just carry the 2 monthly tapes I'll tell you about later with me (that time I used a "project life" card folded in half, with the tape wrapped around it), but I was still carrying around the huge pile of bobbins in my planner bag.

That lead me to buying a pack of clearance cardstock tags.  These I can fit about 5 tapes on.  I can wrap a good amount around them and they still stay relatively thin because they are a couple inches wide.  This seems like the win.  I wind off about 10-20 wraps around the tags then put the rest of the roll into my plastic case that I think was meant to store the embroidery floss bobbins, but I use for washi tape rolls.

To make sure I have some tape with me at all times, I put library card pockets into my planner and fit about 3 of these tags in one pocket (about 15 patterns) and then my current month's coordinated tapes in a second pocket.

And what am I using the Washi Tape for?

 Well, I mark the right hand edge of spreads specifically linked to the month with the "tape of the month."  Last month I picked out 3 sets of washi that were paired with a wide and narrow tape packaged together.  I've picked a set for each month, so that I can tell all the pages that are from May because they have the same yellow floral tape on the edges.  June is a turquoise flower pattern, July will be another pattern, etc.  Other topics have different tapes on them to mark their significance.  I had originally tried tagging the pages with circle labels, but found those weren't exciting to me.

I also use washi tape between dates when I feel like I need a page break.  Or to cover up bleed thru from the other side of the page, a piece of washi can mask the marks.  I put a decorative or uplifting tape at the top and/or bottom of pages like my blog planner spreads, to give them a little extra pizazz.

Like I mentioned earlier, I also use my washi tape at work, where I can use it like a type of highlighter on my calendar, where I tape across the boxes and write with a sharpie any time I take off from work.  And in my Circle Journal that I use with my kids, I wrote out the questions on wide washi tape, then transferred them into the spiral notebook like they were labels.  For that project, I actually measured out how wide I needed the tape to be, marked it out on a thin cutting board sheet, and filled the sheet with pieces of washi tape (the scotch colored masking-tape style, nothing fancy), wrote out the questions with my sharpie, then went back and placed them each at the top of a page of the notebook.  This let me change the order of the questions as I put them into the notebook, and I also could toss out the ones I messed up without permanently messing up our memory book with my scribbles.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, what you see here isn't all my washi tape, it's not even all that I purchased in the past month... I have a lot more that I didn't feel like taking out for the photos.

Do you use washi tape?  How do you store it? Use it? Etc?

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