Japanese masking tape (washi tape) magnets: a tutorial

Look, this is one of those things (unlike cake bunting) that I feel sure someone must have come up with already. I’ve done a quick Google search and it hasn’t thrown up anything similar. But I just can’t believe I am the first one to have this simple idea. However, given my searches haven’t revealed anything, I thought you might like a tutorial.

Japanese masking tape and washi tape (washi tape is made from rice paper I think) have been a favourite with crafty peeps for the last couple of years. They’re essentially patterned paper tape. In other words, cute on a roll.

These are mine.

I bought them from here a year or so back. One of my favourite Etsy shops,  Happy Tape,  also has a fabulous range of tapes.

In the last 12 months or so, digital Japanese masking tape has been popping up all over the internet.  Pugly Pixel offers some extraordinarily generous free downloads among which are this fabulous digital tape clip art.

This is a real but magnetic version of real Japanese masking tape inspired by digital tape. Put your hand on your forehead and massage if your mind is threatening to explode with the outrageous meta-ness of it all.

What you need:

  • An old magnet with the details peeled off back to a white layer.
  • Japanese masking tape, normal masking tape or whatever takes your fancy fridge-wise.
  • Scissors.

What to do:

1. Go and find a flat magnet you hate. I used one of the ones so kindly left in our mailbox by a real estate agent. Tear off aforesaid real estate agent’s details (try to contain your glee – it’s unbecoming) so you’re left with a magnetic rectangle.

If you’re lucky, your local real estate agent won’t have skimped and as well as using a nice thick magnet will also have used heavy-duty glue and all you’ll be able to peel off is the top layer, leaving a white layer beneath. If you have to peel right back to the black, then glue a piece of white paper on before you begin because some tape, mine included, is translucent.

2. Stick your patterned tape on.

3. Cut into strips.

4. Cut ends unevenly to give the appearance that the tape has been torn.

5. Slap it on your fridge.

6. Enjoy freaking out your (somewhat anally-retentive – you know it my darling)  husband by making him think you’ve stuck actual sticky tape on precious family photos.

7. Repent. But only a little bit. Full repentance is bad for digestion.

If you don’t have any old magnets you can repurpose, then you can buy sheets of magnetic paper at Officeworks or just Google it. It’s easier to find than you might expect.

Next time you give someone a photo, you could include 4 bits of this cute magnetic tape, thereby leaving them in no doubt as to where you expect them to display the picture. Well, it’s the least they can do after you’ve gone to all that trouble to print it out, no?