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Japanese washi tapes have made themselves known to the world with their gentle, mood-provoking, and creative style. It has now become an art staple for bullet journalists, calligraphers, stationary enthusiasts, artists, and card makers. If you are new to bullet journals, and are wondering how to use washi tape for your next bullet journal idea, you have come to the right place!
You can use washi tape in your bullet journal to create borders and tie together a theme, as well as mark pages you will frequently use. You can also create simple mood boards and mark special pages with washi tape on the fore-edge! Ultimately, you can use washi tape in ways that make your bullet journal appear like a work of art while also encouraging productivity.
In this article, we are going to give you an overview of washi tapes and provide you with plenty of ideas on how to use them; for example, highlighting, categorizing, labelling, underlining and just brightening up the pages and entries of your bullet journal.
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What is Washi Tape?
Washi tape is a specialized stationary item for crafters. Not just because of its beautiful appearance but also due to its biodegradable properties. Just like masking tape, washi tape is made of paper extracted from sustainable sources such as bamboo and hemp.
The paper is thin, but not overly so, and has decorative designs on one side and adhesion on the other. Washi tapes can stick to paper, metal, plastic, and wood. Taking them off is easy without having to deal with any residue.
Although washi tapes can be traced back to Japan, the name cannot. To the Japanese, this is their regular masking tape made from a special Japanese paper. However, outside of Japan, washi tapes aren’t made from Japanese paper, but still mimic patterns and designs that are typical of Japanese art.
The best thing about washi tape is that it gives you the freedom to come up with creative designs and discover ways to use them innovatively. However, if you are new to bullet journaling or washi tapes, you might need help getting started.
Where Do I Get Washi Tape
Because washi tape is a specialized tape made from paper you can sometimes struggle to find proper washi tape and not just decorative sticky tape. However there are plenty of places to find washi tape of good quality with a lot of different designs to suit any theme.
Some of our favourite places to buy washi tape are:
- The Washi Tape Shop
- Stationary Pal
- Stationary Island (UK based – use coupon code BPI for 10% off)
Using Washi Tape In A Bullet Journal
Washi tapes are extremely nifty and can be used in a variety of ways for many crafts, but nothing brings out their art and beauty the way bullet journals do, and vice versa.
One of the main reasons why the two make a fitting pair is because bullet journals require creativity and art of a minimalist and nuanced nature. While professional and skilled artists can create such art easily, not everyone has a flair for it. Does that mean bullet journalling isn’t for everyone? No, not at all!
It simply means that the rest of us need to get creative and one way to do that is through washi tapes. It also means that we can immediately jump on the BuJo train, and bring some order to our lives with the help of just a few stationary items.
Another reason why bullet journals and washi tapes work nicely together is that they both have themes. You can buy rolls of washi tapes with a similar theme and use them to bring your ideas to life.
Washi tapes optimize bullet journals by adding color, texture, and pictures. If this is your first time using either of them, then we have a few creative ideas for you to try.
Creative Bullet Journal Washi Tape Ideas
Now it’s time to get to work and organize your life with these amazing bullet journal washi tape ideas. Not only will you have fun in the process, but it will also encourage you to meet your bullet journaling goals, keep an updated diary, and/or record your daily progress.
Here are some ingenious ideas for you to use washi tapes on your BuJo:
1. Pots And Plants
If you don’t trust your crafting skills, but want to see what washi tape would look like on your journal without ruining a page, then start with simple textured prints and use it to create some beautiful pots and vases. It will be even more fitting if your entry is about gardening or a to-do list for taking care of your plants.
You can apply this design by using washi tapes with dots, stripes, flowers, mosaics, or any abstract print. If the tape is narrow, use two small strips of two different designs and paste them vertically together to create a little rectangle pot. You can also use one long strip of washi tape to mimic a vase. Once you get the hang of it, vary the lengths of the strips and their orientation, and mix and match different designs to create an array of pots. Once done, grab a marker and outline the ‘pots and vases’ and start drawing your favorite plants, leaves, and flowers on top of them.
If you want to go even simpler, get some washi tape with plant designs. You can get flowers, leaves, fruit, almost anything you can think of. Use it as a border, cut out the plants or decorate it however you choose.
2. Vintage Theme
If you love everything vintage and want to reflect the same on your bullet journal, washi tapes have got your back. Instead of meticulously drawing vintage items and capturing the right colors and shades, purchase a variety of vintage-themed washi tapes, and start working on your journal.
You can use these washi tapes to create borders on your bullet journals or to design tabs and bookmarks to place inside. The options are endless but no matter what you do, you’ll end up achieving your main goal – a vintage-themed journal.
3. A Beautiful Fore-Edge
Do you want to flip through your bullet journal and enjoy a plethora of colors and designs on its edges as you do so? Washi tape is the way to do it. You can use thin washi tapes to create a beautiful fore-edge on all the pages of your journal. You can do this on both edges of your page or only on one side, the choice is yours.
To maintain consistency, make sure all the washi tapes you are pasting on the edges have the same width; cut them neatly so they don’t stick out.
If you are feeling particularly creative, you can paste washi tapes in the colors of the rainbow or a gradient order, so that even when your journal is lying on your desk, it looks appealing.
4. Daily Planner
Have you decided to make a daily spread in your bullet journal so you can tackle your day-to-day tasks like a pro? Washi tapes can help you do that and make it appear like you designed your journal by hand! All you need to do is stay on the lookout for ‘days of the week’ washi tapes and buy those that appear handwritten. Then paste the name of the days on your journal and draw small boxes under them. It helps you create minimalist to-do lists on your bullet journal and sets you up for the whole year.
5. Mood Boards
From afar, mood boards appear super complicated and involve a lot of work, but they are also beautiful and functional. Fortunately for all of us, washi tapes make creating mood boards like child’s play. Gather all your pictures for your mood board, write down your quotes on light-colored paper, cut them in different sizes, and secure them on your bullet journal using washi tapes. That’s how simple it is! Once you’re done, it will appear like a nuanced and detailed work of art.
Pro Tip: If your bullet journal is the kind where you would want to remove washi tapes frequently to replace with other items, touch the strips against another surface such as wood, metal, or your clothes a couple of times to reduce some of its stickiness and then paste them in your journal. You can later remove them easily without damaging the pages.
One of the most popular ways of using washi tapes, on BuJos, is to use them as stickers. If you write down ideas or make notes and diary entries daily, you can simply add color and brightness to your pages by using washi tapes as stickers. The reason why washi tapes and bullet journals work so nicely together is that they are both made from paper. When you match the base color of the journal with the washi tapes, it creates a seamless design. It’s almost as if those pictures, designs, and writings have always been there in your journal.
Once you are done with your entries for the day, you can take out your collection and find pictures and designs that resonate with your particular feelings on that day.
A customized journal built around your life and decorated with your favorite themes and colors is the best way to meet your goals. Using washi tapes for bullet journaling does exactly that. Putting pictures and designs that bring you comfort, right next to difficult tasks necessary for your mental and physical health, drives you toward success.
There’s something extremely soothing about the art found on washi tapes. If you are in the process of designing your bullet journal for the year ahead, we strongly suggest you invest in washi tapes on your next stationery haul and create a Zen-like space for yourself using its soft colors and ethereal designs.
In fact, the only issue I have with using washi tape is that I can never find it to use as my kids have stolen them.
TOOLS TO GET STARTED BULLET JOURNALING:
I wanted to share some of the best and most affordable tools available for bullet journalling.
- This notebook which is almost identical to the cult favorite and has raving reviews for a fraction of the cost!
- This pen that won’t bleed through the page and is great for inputting your dailies
- This Pen for art work and faux calligraphy
- These Markers for decorating and color coding your journal
- Stencils for making layouts quicker, or if you’re not handy at drawing
Also not necessary but this MEGA pack of PRINTABLES is amazing!
Obviously the only things that you need to get started is a notebook and pen and you will use them the most. However, the markers are useful for colour coding your journal and the stencils will save you time in creating beautiful layouts!
Read my full Bullet Journal Supplies Recommendation post here!