03 October 2013

Wishy washi

Very recently, I was chatting with a group of female coworkers, around my age but both older and younger than me, and I mentioned washi tape. “What tape?” they asked.

“Washi,” I said. “WA-SHI.”

They looked at me like I was nuts.

“Japanese paper tape?” I tried.

They frowned. “What do you do with it?”

“Um. Well, um. You tape things? And... it has patterns? I don’t know. It’s a thing, I promise.”

Honestly, I thought everyone and their grandmother had heard of washi tape by now. It is, as I told that group of women, totally a thing. Don’t believe me? See all these projects. And this Pinterest board. And this Buzzfeed post. Come on, if Buzzfeed is talking about it, even a fuddy-duddy like me has heard of it.

And to complete all the cute projects, there are some super-charming washi tapes out there. These gold metallic stars are fab, and I adore these houndstooth tapes. Adorbs! Yet... I didn’t hop on the washi train like the rest of the blogosphere. Because while those projects are cute... since when has my house been cute? Since when have I been cute? Buying a bunch of pricey tape without a purpose in mind, in the interest of cuteness... not my style.

So I held off, simply because I couldn’t find a good use for washi tape. Sure, its great selling point (aside from the CUTE) is that it’s not super-sticky, so it’s easy to remove and re-apply. But I didn’t have a great need for removing and re-applying tape, so I didn’t purchase any pricey rolls... until I found some super-basic washi tape at Target a little while back.

Pro tip: it’s in the office supply aisle, near the binder clips and thumbtacks. I looked for the Target washi tape in the scrapbook section for the longest dang time, assuming my Target just didn’t carry it. They had it all along! This blog post shows a photo of the packaging, if you are looking for it. (Oh, and note the blogger’s open honesty about buying it without knowing what to do with it. INDEED.)

It was all of six bucks, maybe, for four rolls. I figured that if I used it and got into it, great, and if not, it wasn’t a lot of money lost for a bit of fun.

And so now, months later, I can tell you that I mostly use it... as tape. I know. Revolutionary! Besides, it’s an easy way to avoid buying more refrigerator magnets.

But there are times when it’s undeniably more fun to tape something I wouldn’t necessarily tape otherwise. I didn’t have to tape the card onto this birthday girl’s present, but it was definitely cuter with a little washi. (And sparkles! What birthday girl doesn’t love sparkles?)

And when I was getting annoyed with the cardboard that came with my boots (which I still store inside them, to keep their shape), I washi’d them to hold the pieces in place:

Sure, I could’ve coated the entire thing in washi tape, to make it more suitable for that washi project pinterest board. But a little goes a long way in my world!

So yes. I use washi tape as tape more than anything else. But I admit, the plethora of cute washi projects does inspire me occasionally – at least when the cuteness has a function. For instance, I won’t get my laptop projector adaptor mixed up with anyone else’s at work:

Those adaptors are a hot commodity where I work. Everyone with a mac needs them to connect to the projectors, but people forget to bring them (or buy them, and they’re thirty bucks!). Of course, making my adaptor cuter probably just made it more coveted... but at least I’m more likely to keep track of it now.

But my favorite washi mini-project: toothpick flags. Fold washi tape around a toothpick, write label on it. Stick it in your food. Done.

The last time we had company, I bought a bunch of assorted bagels. Because I sometimes don’t get up as early as my houseguests, I wanted to label the bagels so they could serve themselves. Although the flags look like fancy overkill, they seriously took like thirty seconds each to make. And I got to sleep in a lot more than thirty seconds, knowing my houseguests could have their favorite bagel without me there to explain it!

So! Was buying the Target washi tape worth it? Yes. Am I totally into the washi tape craze? No. Will I ever be? Doubtful. I like the little touches of cute throughout my home and life, but I don’t feel the need to cover a tabletop in washi tape. I am... wait for it... wishy washi. (Hey-ooohhhh!)

Have you jumped on the washi tape train? Have you found any amazing uses for it? Or are you, like my coworkers, staring blankly while I keep saying the word “washi” like it’s a totally normal thing?


Janice said...

Love the idea of washi tape but like, you, I had no ideas what to DO with it so I haven't ventured into the washi aisle.

On a quasi related note... your use to ID your Mac adapter... Use a label maker and put your last name and lab extention phone number on it. That way if you leave it, an honest person will call you to return it (fingers crossed). OR, you can use a return address label and put on it. That would work as well. You can just cut off the address part and leave only your name on it. I do these for my USB drives.

Christine Wickramarachi said...

I was wondering if by chance, you still have the receipt or package with the UPC # on it? I'm on a desperate mission to locate them. Thank you for any help!

Sarah said...

@Christine, I'm sorry, the packaging is long gone! And I can't find it on their website, so perhaps it's only in certain markets (I'm in a big city, so maybe that matters?). I found it in the aisle with the paper clips, binder clips, rubber bands, etc. The tapes actually weren't hanging on the display wall, but were on the shelf below, about knee-height. It's the store "up & up" brand, with the arrow on it. Sorry I can't provide more info than that - good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thx for all your help. I'll let yoy know if I find it :)