Part of the joy of being part of an innovative company such as Boxcitement is the chance to explore creativity in all its forms and to spot trends amongst our customers and the creative community in general. We’ve discovered a number of fun products that seem to send creative and crafty people into a frenzy – one of them being washi tape.
We thought we’d explore a little deeper and write a little about the history of washi tape as well as showing you some of ways the creative people around the world are putting it to use.
The first amazing fact is that washi tape was only invented in 2006. As opposed to washi paper, which has been around for thousands of years.
So why do people get so excited about tape? Tape can just stick stuff together right? The first thing to say is that if you’re using washi tape as you would normal sticky or masking tape, then you’ve kind of missed the point. Apart from anything else, it’s relatively expensive, so there are much cheaper ways of sticking things together! Washi tape can however be used for all sorts of crafting, decorating and art projects. The tape is residue free and can be removed and replaced many times, it is very lightweight and can be used in layers to great artistic effect. And as you will know if you’ve ever seen the amazing array of tapes on the market, it comes in many, many colours, finishes and designs. The possibilities are truly endless!
Check out these wonderful washi-covered tealight candles here.
The history of washi
Washi tape is modelled after traditional Japanese paper, and that’s where it got the name washi. The word ‘washi’ is made of up the Japanese characters wa 和(わ) meaning harmony, or Japan, and shi 紙(し) which means paper. So put them together, and it means Harmonious Japanese Paper – the perfect description!
Unlike the paper we are all familiar with, made from tree pulp, washi is made from the pulp of Japanese shrubs. It can be made of almost any plant, but is typically made from ganpi, kozo, mitsumata, or sometimes hemp. Washi paper is characterised by the beautiful designs that are printed or painted on it, giving the typical lightweight and textured feel.
Today the internet is full of effective, simple and colourful projects that utilise washi in hundreds of ways. We’ve compiled a collection of some of our favourites here – a quick look around Pinterest will reveal thousands more! If you’d like to purchase your own, try Ebay for some interesting designs – some imported directly from Japan and difficult to find in the UK. We hope you learn to love washi as much as we do – happy taping! (and we’d love to see your projects – please share with us on our Boxcitement Facebook page!).
Get the instructions for making your washi phone cover here.