How have I not been using washi tape for years? It’s so useful and versatile. You can use it to decorate cards and presents, storage boxes, note pads, broomsticks, pigeons, dust, metaphysical science… Well, very almost everything.
This easy comic book washi is great for adding colour and personality. I made mini washi strips (more like stickers) using speech bubbles, faces and small scenes and longer pieces that are perfect instead of sellotape. For projects that need even longer strips, I used polka dot wrapping paper in both green and red, both of which go well with the comic book’s bright primary colours.
I have to say, it is a bit addictive and lots of my other scrapping paper has met a sticky-back plastic end.
I’ve done this before using sheets of sticky-back plastic but I recommend using a roll of it as I did this time (see the picture below) – that way there’s no need to measure. Simply peel off the sticky-back plastic and stick it on the back of your image. (Tip: I found it easier to make a template of the tape and trace it onto the front over the image, then cut out roughly, apply the tape to the reverse side and trim the edges. This makes it easier to see where to place your tape).
I also placed some tape directly onto the image (front side) and cut out to make washi stickers that I could use to decorate the inside of a glass jar – this became home for the rest of my washi tape.
I’ve wanted to buy stamps for a while but found they were either too pricey or too childish. It turns out they are so fun and easy to make there’s little point buying them anyway. (The exception here is Slyvita’s stamps, which are seriously amazing and really so much better than I could make so they’re worth the money).
Slyvita uses rubbers, cutting into them with a craft knife.
I used a different method: I cut a double layer of craft foam (it comes in A4, A3 and other size sheets) and stuck that to a wooden block. I recommend using embroidery scissors or a craft knife to get your detail.
I’ve used really simple shapes: a moustache and heart, but hopefully I’ll get a bit more adventurous as I try more.
I’ll use these stamps to decorate cards, notebooks and all sorts. Here I used them to jazz up a homemade paper bag. I used the stamps on masking tape as a quick and simple washi tape.
I’m hoping to move on to fabric after a little practise. Elsie at a Beautiful Mess (who deserves Dame hood for her creative genius) used fabric paint and a horse stamp to bring this plain dress alive. I think it looks fab.
I also think my stamps look cute next to my tea cup and saucer – kind of like crafty sugar lumps! I love using crockery to store my craft bits and have posted on it here.
I love a bit of Paperchase but my lord, gift wrapping can cost a fortune if you let it, and I have certainly been known to get a bit carried away with the gift garnish. Here’s my solution, an oh-so-simple paper gift bag. Actually, I can’t take credit for this one, I’ve seen these used at a couple of craft stalls but never thought they would be so easy to make.
Here’s what you do. Get a piece of paper – I’ve used newspaper and pages of a comic book before, you could also try old maps, wrapping paper or other ingenious ingredients – felt or plastic sheets perhaps?
Firstly, measure a strip one inch wide right the way along the widest side of your paper. Fold this down and glue it. This reinforced strip will be used later for the handles.
Next, get something rectangular such as a book. It needs to be equivalent in size to the paper i.e. a small book for a small piece of paper. You may need to try out a few before you commit to gluing.
Wrap the paper around the book as though you are wrapping a present. Then glue the edge of the paper down along the longest side, leaving you with two open ends.
Next fold in the paper at the bottom of the book just as though you are wrapping a present and glue down. Once you’ve done that, slip the paper off the book and you’ve got your basic bag shape.
Then simply hole punch the reinforced strip you made earlier. You will need to punch holes in the middle of each of the widest sides, one set directly opposite the other. Thread a pretty ribbon or some garden string though and tie, et voile you have your handles.
Once you’ve got the knack this takes moments to do and is a cute way to give a gift. I’ve also made envelopes in matching paper and a personalised birthday card to go in it.
I found some beautiful marble coasters with vintage liquor ads on recently, but at £20 for a set of four I had to walk away and tell myself they were an extravagance I couldn’t afford. Of course, I immediately set my mind on how I could make something similar but at a much lower price.
Here’s what I came up with — a very quick and easy way to update coasters or place mats. I simply used an old tatty coaster as a template to cut a piece from an old comic book (my fella is a comic fan, so this was as much for him as it was for me). Next I simply stuck the cut out onto the tatty coaster and covered it with sticky-back plastic, which gave it a water resistant finish.
I think this would look great made with sheet music, old French newspaper, wrapping paper, or maybe even wallpaper to match your walls!
Another choice for sealing the paper is Mod Podge. This glue and sealant can be used both to stick the paper down and can be painted over the top to give it protection. In hindsight, I should have used it myself (after a few months, the corners of the sticky-backed plastic have started to curl up slightly) but I got impatient trying to track it down. (Does anyone know of a good place to buy Mod Podge in the UK?) For those who can’t find it either, you could try PVA glue, which works much the same.