I must confess that I have a major obsession with washi tape! I can't get enough of it and I think it's the greatest paper invention since, well, paper! I love it for so many reasons -- it's versatile, it's inexpensive, there are no limits to the things you can do with it, and there are endless colors, patterns and styles it comes in.
Normally, I use it as a layering accent in my paper crafting. I also love to cover wooden clothespins with it, wrap it around toothpicks to make tiny flags, or make little banners with it using different colored string. But today, I'm doing something extra fun with it!
I'm using it to enhance picture frames -- making my own background paper essentially, and then I'll also be covering frames with it. The best part about this tutorial is that it's so quick and easy, you can make a few in just a short time.
Here's what you'll need to get started:
Plain Cardstock or cardboard
Embellishments of your choice
With the release of some of it's latest collections, Crate Paper has started offering up some beautiful styles of washi tape to coordinate with their papers. They come on a 12 x 12 sheet, which is so convenient -- you get about twenty different styles of tape without having to spend a fortune buying twenty full rolls of it. Pretty Genius!
The first project I'll show you is making a background piece for your frame. For mine, I chose a grayish-kraft and blue-green color palette, using different strips from The Pier, Maggie Holmes, and Party Day. Start by trimming off each strip you want to use.
Trim a sheet of cardstock to fit the dimensions of your frame. Because washi tape is usually a bit translucent, I used white. Next, while this is a fairly foolproof project, it's still good to have some sort of plan before you just willy-nilly start taping! I wanted my frame to have a summer theme so I planned out where I wanted to lay the "HELLO SUMMER" strips from The Pier. That also served as a guide for laying out the rest of my tapes.
*Tip: One of washi's wonders is that it's removable so if you do mess up, it's not the end of your project -- just remove and re-stick!
If you're using tape that comes in strips like Crate's, trim only what you'll need to cover your paper and save the rest for future use. If you're using tape that comes on a roll, cut off the length you need. I do like to leave a little extra length on each because it helps with laying a straight line and ensuring a clean edge.
Once you've gotten everything taped to your paper, it's time to trim the excess again. Under normal circumstances, I can't cut in a straight line to save myself, so I line up my scissors flush against the edge of the paper and use it as a guide. A quicker option is to fold the ends over to the back -- since this is in a picture frame, they won't be seen.
I also wanted to cover the frame itself with washi. To keep it simple, I chose a plain white frame without any curves or ornate details. Number one, I didn't want to complicate the project and have it take a long time to complete dealing with rounded edges. Number two, because the inside had a lot going on, I didn't want the outside competing with it; I just wanted to liven it up a bit.
I chose another style from The Pier washi and this time, measured it out to be sure I had enough to complete all four sides. Then it was time to tape again. For best results, cut the tape on the angled frame seams in each corner. This looks a lot better and more uniform than just cutting off the tape at the end of each side. A craft knife works best for this and I used the tape's translucency to my advantage. I could see the seam and gently pressed my blade into the tiny crevice for a (near) perfect cut!
Repeat on all sides.
This frame consists of my family's summer to-do list. Above all else, I want us to have fun..get to the beach, bar-b-que, have picnics, visit with friends. What I don't want this to be is a list of chores! I can write a chore list on plain paper. This board is meant for fun so I decorated it with the pretty washi tapes in colors that make me think of the beach and used cute tags and cards to jot down little notes to remind us to have good times. It may sound funny, but with work and kids and the routine of daily life, sometimes you do need that little reminder that you should be out there making great memories. I added the camera so we also remember to take lots of photos. (Can't forget to document those memorable moments, right?)
I covered a sticky magnet with some pink washi tape and hung the metal clip from it. That way, I can easily pull it off and add new notes or photos when I think of something else we should do.
The whole frame collage is meant to encourage positive thoughts. I want to look at it when I need some direction or to be inspired by something lovely. In all honesty, I'm more of a glass-half-empty kind of person and I'm working hard to change that. I'm hoping that this project is another push in the right direction.
I used pink washi strips from The Pier to make a background in this blue resin frame. the frame only holds a 2.5" x 3.5" photo and I loved the idea of decorating around this tiny cookie fortune that I've had for years. There is something so precious about fortunes..I love them for their itty-bitty type and sometimes - poetic messages. I think I even got this one just after I had started dating my now-husband and that's why I kept it. And yes, love has inspired me to do many great things (and some of them have even been amazing!)
For this matching frame, I chose yellow tapes from the CP collections and kept this one simple with a blue chipboard bird from On Trend and gold-painted wood letters spelling out "fly".
Here, I wanted to remind myself not to be afraid to try new things, even if they seem scary at first!
The last piece is another frame covered with washi. Although it is tape from another manufacturer (not CP), the lace print reminded me of the lace print I used on the first frame and the dark pink compliments the greenish-aqua and yellowish hues of the inside layout.
I started by turning a strip of 2 x 2 inch photos of the ocean on it's side. The hues in the photos were pretty much dead-on matches to some embellishments from The Pier and DIY Shop so instead of using the pictures as the focal point, I made them an accessory to the collage.
I focused instead on the birds. Birds make for some of the loveliest paper crafts and I always find myself drawn to their images. The "B is for Bird" DIY Shop card and the Maggie Holmes die cut help set the theme of this frame-kindness. "B is for bird, beautiful + bliss". Yes, it is. "Be kind to those smaller than you". Yes, we should. I love the idea of a beautiful, blissful world and why can't it start by just being kind? (B is for baby steps, too!)
Thanks for hanging out with me today. Now let's break out our washi and go have some fun!