Washi Tape Ideas: How to Use, Remove, Where to Buy & More

This guide is your one-stop shop for stuff to do with washi tape. We'll delve into what it is, how it compares to masking tape, where to by washi tape, and the endless possibilities for crafting and decorating fun, including six of our favorite washi tape ideas on Hometalk.

So, let's peel back the layers and discover the magic of washi tape!

Peeling back gold washi tape

Disclaimer: Hometalk may receive a small affiliate commission from purchases made via Amazon links in this article but at no cost to you.

What is washi tape?

Washi tape is like colorful masking tape, but way more fun! Made from thin rice paper instead of plastic, this decorative tape comes in tons of bright colors, patterns, and designs.

The best part? You can stick your deco tape anywhere and peel it off easily without any sticky mess left behind. This makes washi tape perfect for decorating anything you can imagine, from notebooks to furniture!

The name washi comes from the Japanese word washi (和紙), which means Japanese (和) paper (紙). This describes handmade paper made in the Japanese style. So washi tape originated as Japanese paper tape.

Buying washi tape

Washi tape vs masking tape

Here's a breakdown of the key differences between washi tape and masking tape:


  • Washi tape: Made from thin rice paper, giving it a softer, more delicate feel.
  • Masking tape: Made from sturdier paper or plastic, ideal for temporary holding or protecting surfaces during painting.


  • Washi tape: Has a weaker, repositionable adhesive. Better for temporary decorating or applications where you might need to remove it later without damaging the surface.
  • Masking tape: Has a stronger adhesive that holds better. Great for tasks like holding down wrapping paper or creating clean paint lines, but can be difficult to remove without tearing.


  • Washi tape: Made for decorating and crafting due to its wide variety of colors, patterns, and easy removability. Ideal for things like scrapbooks, bullet journals, gift wrapping, or adding decorative touches to everyday objects.
  • Masking tape: Primarily used for functional purposes like holding, protecting surfaces during painting, or creating crisp lines.

Think of washi tape as a temporary tattoo for your stuff. It's colorful, easy to put on and take off, and perfect for decorating. Masking tape is more like a sticky note – strong and functional, but not meant for long-term decoration.

Cutting washi tape

What is washi tape used for?

Washi tape is all about adding color, patterns, and fun to your world! Here are some of its most popular uses:

  • Crafting and decorating: It's perfect for scrapbooking, bullet journaling, and making cards. You can use it to create borders, frames, or even little illustrations!
  • Personalizing anything: Washi tape sticks to almost anything, so you can use it to decorate notebooks, folders, phone cases, furniture – the possibilities are endless!
  • Easy gift wrapping: Add a pop of color and personality to your gifts with a washi tape bow or a fun patterned strip.
  • Quick fixes and repairs: Need to cover a small tear in a book or hide a scratch on a table? Washi tape can come to the rescue with a decorative touch.
  • Temporary decorating: Want to add some seasonal cheer or spruce up a boring space? Washi tape lets you decorate without commitment, and it peels off easily when you're ready for a change.

Since it's easy to use and comes in so many designs, washi tape crafts are a great way to unleash your creativity and add a personal touch to anything you can imagine!

Washi tape example

Washi tape ideas for your home

There are so many things to do with washi tape, it's hard to pick just a few examples of how to use washi tap around your home. To show you where to start, here are six of the best washi tape crafts and DIY washi tape projects on Hometalk:

1. Washi tape accent wall

One of our favorite DIY YouTubers, Katy from LaughCryDIY shows just how easy it is to create a washi tape accent wall that you can change up time and time again. She uses plain black washi tape to create five different designs.

COSCO Creative Start Art Tape

Bathroom accent wall with black washi tape

Instagrammer Ashleigh Sommer also used similar techniques to create an accent wall in her bathroom.

2. Make a calendar

You could also use gold washi tape to create a floating acrylic calendar, like Hometalker Kara.

Kara used a 36” by 48” piece of acrylic sheet from Home Depot, measured and marked out a grid using gold washi tape, added letters, and attached the calendar to a wall.

Floating calendar with a washi tape grid

It's a dry-erase calendar, so she can wipe and reuse it at the start of every week.

Syntego Solid Foil Washi Tape

3. Decorate your belongings

Eloise had the really cool idea to decorate her computer keyboard with washi tape! The washi tape she used is fruit-themed, so she created a cute pattern using the letter keys. She left the other keys so as not to lose her place when typing.

Keyboard decorated with fruit-themed washi tape

Froot Washi Tape

4. Update your backsplash

Hometalker Abbie came up with a renter-friendly backsplash idea using washi tape. She got inspiration from a staggered backsplash at Home Depot and decided to make her own using different designs of black and silver.

8 Rolls Washi Tape Set (similar)

5. Create faux fretwork

Next, Hometalker Julien has a genius way of using washi tape; to create faux fretwork on a floor-length mirror! She used a crayon to draw out where the design would go, then added gold washi tape.

Fun Express Gold Foil Print Washi Tape (similar)

6. Organize & decorate

Last but not least, blogger Time With Thea demonstrates how you can simply use washi tape to decorate home items to make them a little more customized and personalized.

Here, she uses cute polka-dot and patterned washi tape on labeled boxes in her pantry and freezer:

Black polka-dot washi tape on boxes

Black and White Polka Dot Washi Tape

Blue washi tape on labeled boxes in a freezer

Light Blue Washi Tape (similar)

Where to buy washi tape

Washi tape is available at Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JOANN, Etsy, and, of course, Amazon, to name but a few retailers. Some Dollar Trees also stock washi tape, but we've found that this cheap washi tape tends to be of lower quality, though it could still work for some craft projects.

For crafts and decorating, the best value and most aesthetic washi tapes can be found on Amazon and Etsy. However, if you're looking for something reliable for a DIY washi tape project, you can't go wrong with the Scotch and Duck brands of tape.

Washi tape sizes

Washi tape is typically available in widths of 1cm (0.4 inches), 1.5cm (0.6 inches), and 2cm (0.8 inches, but thinner and wider versions are also common, especially in washi tape sets with mixed widths.

Washi tape size infographic

Here are five of our favorite washi tape styles:

1. Rainbow Washi Tape Set

2. Washi Tape Set in Colored Marbling Patterns

3. Blue and White Washi Tape Set

4. Watercolor Washi Tapes

5. Slim Days and Dates Washi Tape

Can you make your own washi tape?

You can absolutely make your own version of washi tape at home! It won't be exactly the same as store-bought washi tape (which is made from rice paper), but it can be a fun and creative way to get a similar effect using materials you might already have. Here are a few methods:

  • Decorate masking tape: This is the simplest method. Use markers, paint, or even colored pencils to decorate plain masking tape with your own designs.
  • Use decorative paper: Cut thin strips from patterned paper or tissue paper, then stick them to clear packing tape or contact paper. This will give you a more translucent, washi-like feel.
  • Washi tape with paint: Here's a more involved option. Paint designs on painter's tape or parchment paper, let it dry completely, then cut the painted paper into strips. You'll want to use a light coat of paint to avoid the tape becoming too thick or losing its adhesive properties.

When making your own washi tape, keep in mind that the adhesive on homemade versions might not be as strong or repositionable as store-bought washi tape.

Experiment with different materials and techniques to find what works best for you.

Some washi tape printers offer services for custom washi tape but often require a minimum order.

Washi tape storage

Now that you have your crafting tapes, you need to store them well. Washi tape is not a fan of moisture, high temperatures, and high humidity. Make sure you protect your tapes by using an organizer and storing them somewhere safe and if possible, not too hot and humid.

Here are some ideas:

Washi Tape Organizer

Washi Tape Storage Ring

Washi Tape Dispenser

You could also DIY your own, like Claire at Pillarboxblue or Steph @ Crafting in the Rain.

DIY washi tape organizer by Claire at Pillarboxblue
DIY washi tape organizer by Steph @ Crafting in the Rain

How to use washi tape FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about washi tape with answers from our Hometalk community as well as home interior and DIY experts:

Is washi tape removable?

"It's removable but still leaves a bit of residue if you leave it on for a long time. You can usually fix that up with a paste of coconut oil and baking soda." - Hillela G., Hometalk Community Manager

Is washi tape sticky?

"While washi tape is sticky enough to adhere to most surfaces, it typically doesn't have the same level of stickiness as traditional masking tape or duct tape. This makes it ideal for temporary applications such as decorating walls, creating personalized artwork, or adding accents to everyday items like notebooks or phone cases." - Jessica Wilson, Interior Designer, Co-Founder, and Editor at INYOUTHS LED Mirrors

Is washi tape waterproof?

"Because they're made from rice tapes, they aren't inherently waterproof. They are primarily for cute and unique decorations. so it is best suited for indoor use or short-term applications where contact with water is minimal." - Daniel T., CEO of Ready-Home.com.

Can you write on washi tape?

"Sharpie brand pens work well. I've used the standard ones as well as the permanent ink pens. You can also choose from 3 different size points, fine, medium, and thick. I didn't have trouble with smudging if I wanted for the ink to dry before touching." - Janice, Hometalk Helper

Does washi tape damage walls?

"Since washi tape is designed to be easily removable, it should not damage walls if used correctly. However, as with any adhesive product, it's always a good idea to test a small area before using it on a larger scale. Also, be careful when removing the tape and do so slowly and gently to avoid any potential damage." - Ana Coddington, Lead Interior Designer at Archival Designs.

"I love washi tape for hanging photos and drawings in kids' rooms. Since it’s easy on the walls, kids can express their creativity by hanging up whatever they like without parents worrying about peeling paint." - Katie Barton, Head of Cleaning and Home Improvement at Homedit.com.

Is washi tape recyclable?

"Our recycle lady said that the "slick" makes it not recyclable. We can't recycle the packaging around our copy paper for that reason." - Kathy Gunter Law, Hometalk Helper

How do I keep washi tape from peeling?

You might want to seal them with a spray acrylic sealer. Mod Podge makes one if you like their products. Put it on before the dimensional magic to seal the washi tape down better. Give it at least a couple of coats. - Rebecca Taylor, Hometalk Helper
Washi tape wall stripes

More washi tape ideas

This guide showed you all about the art of washi tape, and now you're ready to use it for tons of crafts and decorating projects. So grab some washi tape and have fun!

Do you have any washi tape suggestions or projects to recommend? Please share them in the comments below.

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