How to Make Washi Tape

Here's how to make washi tape using paper from your stash!

I keep seeing amazing washi tape craft projects all over the place and wanted to join in the fun! The trouble with washi tape is that it can be pretty pricey. Rather than drop a bunch of cash, I decided to try out making my own. Here’s how to make washi tape using paper from your stash!

If you’re not familiar with washi tape, it’s decorative Japanese paper tape. You can use it to wrap packages beautifully, in scrap booking, for art projects, to spice up your gift wrapping, or anywhere else that you’d use clear tape.

My inspiration for this project was the fabric paper tape from Annekata. She used glue to attach fabric to the back of brown paper packing tape. I wanted my washi tape to be a bit more traditional, so I decided to try using double-sided tape and a couple of different sorts of paper to see what worked best. Since I wasn’t planning to use the tape right away, I needed to create a backing. Wax paper worked perfectly!

Note About Wax Paper

Alot of conventional wax paper isn’t actually coated in wax, but a thin layer of plastic. If you can find natural wax paper that’s ideal. I found mine at Sevananda, a natural foods co-op near my house. You might have good luck finding natural wax paper at Whole Foods or another health food store.

I am not sure what the science at play is here, but you’ll want to use your DIY washi tape within a few days of making it. The little rolls look super pretty, but over time, the glue on the tape forms a pretty strong bond with the wax paper. It gets harder to peel it away the longer you wait.

Here's how to make DIY washi tape using paper from your stash!


How to Make Washi Tape

DIY Washi Tape Materials

  • junk mail, magazines, or other scrap paper
  • natural wax paper
  • double sided tape
  • paper scissors
  • rolling pin or brayer


1. Go through your scrap paper to find designs that you want to use on your washi tape. I tried two different weights of paper: a heavier weight glossy paper and book pages. The book pages worked much better, but you can use either, depending on what you want to use the tape for.

2. Stick your double-sided tape onto the paper. REMEMBER: You want to stick the tape to the opposite side from the design you want to use. You can do one strip of tape or several – however much or little you want to make!

3. Lay the wax paper over the tape, and use your rolling pin or brayer to gently smooth it in place. You’ll want to roll over it a bunch of times, so that everything is nice, smooth, and even.

4. Flip your paper sandwich so that it’s wax-paper-side-up. You should be able to make out where the edges of the tape are, because they’ll be slightly darker than the rest of the page. Use your paper scissors to carefully trim away the excess paper.

Here's how to make washi tape using paper from your stash!

See how it’s slightly darker at the top where the tape is?

5. You’re ready to use your washi tape! When you’re ready to stick, just peel away the wax paper to expose the adhesive, and tape to your heart’s content!

Here's how to make washi tape using paper from your stash!

2 comments on “How to Make Washi Tape
  1. Hi just a quick question……

    Why do you need to stick tape onto wax paper first if its double sided. Surely u can stick the tape onto the back of the decorated piece , stick it down then peel the backing piece off. Plse advise. Xx

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