Introduction: Washi Tape Tips and Tricks for Your Journal

About: I currently live in Ghent, Belgium. I studied fashion, but love working with diverse materials.

There are many ways to use or decorate a journal. With the booming of the bullet journal one material that is very popular is washi tape.

The word washi comes from Japanese and it is a type of thin paper. So washi tape is a versatile material that is thin like paper but is adhesive as tape. It is almost like masking tape with a design on it but it is not as adherent as masking tape and peels off easily in general.

They come in many different designs which makes washi tape great for craft projects, scrap booking, as decorative items and also for bullet journaling ideas.



  • Washi tape
  • Parchment paper
  • Pens
  • Old envelope
  • Paperclips


  • Scissors

Step 1: Tape Art

Let’s start with my favorite. I don't use my journal every single day, but I love making monthly spreads.
You can just have fun and keep it simple like I did in June. (may is my 2019 journal)

But after seeing tape art in Berlin I fell in love with it.

The way I do it is similar to the sticker tutorial from ksr08 on instructables

I transfer my design on parchment paper and draw as many templates as there are colors. Sticking tape on the right parts. However the washi really did not want to stick onto the anti-stick surface. So i eyeballed a cut and put it back to see where to put the next cut.

My July page is completely based on tattoo's by greemtattoo, I picked those because they have straight lines and translate to tape well.

Step 2: Page Header

This is probably the first thing you tried to use washi for. Just sticking it down and write on it.

Well let me give you a bunch of other washi options, because having the straight edges of washi to use as a guide makes it really easy to make clean looking banners and eye catching text blocks.

Step 3: Index

In my old journal, when I still tracked and wrote all kinds of different things in my journal and basically used it as a braindump, I used washi tape as an index.

Because when you make a tracker, you don’t want to remake it next month, make those pages easy to find with washi tape.

Making an index at the start of the period (I did this at the start of a new year) one color of washi per category.
And then adding the corresponding color tape to the side of relevant pages. Now you can see where certain topics are located even when your journal is closed.

Step 4: Divider Tabs

An other way washi tape can help you find the right spot in your journal faster is making dividing tabs.

Just stick a piece of washi to the page edge, but let it stick out. Fold it upon itself and stick the rest to the back of the page. This is a great way to separate months without adding a lot of extra bulk from bookmarks.

Step 5: Bookmarks

However for finding pages that are temporary important, bookmarks are just the thing.

Here I show you two cute ways to do this using washi tape.

  1. Paperclip flags
    For this you need paperclips, washi tape and scissors.
    Wrap a bit of washi around the long end of the paperclip and stick it unto itself. Cut it (in a cute flag shape)

    I found that this requires about 5 cm / 2 inch pieces of tape, because if you use smaller pieces you need to place the paperclips too close to the edge of your journal for the flag to stick out.

  2. Corner bookmark

    Grab an old envelope and cut of the corner and decorate with tape.

    Yes, it is super simple but these are so cute.

Step 6: Trackers

Some people track their mood, their medication, their fitness.

If you have repetitive actions you can assign a color to each and use pieces of washi to plan it out, in stead of writing it down every time.

I use washi tape to mark off my weight loss journey after gaining 13 kilo’s during the 3 months of lockdown. Because even though I hope it is a linear track, most likely I will go up in weight again in some parts of my cycle and I want to be able to just peel the bit of tape off and reset my tracker rather than being faced with a permanently colored square I did not live up to.

Step 7: Divide Lay-outs/Calendar

If you have seen a bunch of bujo inspiration, I am sure you have come across these very neat pages with multiple tiny blocks made with washi borders. Fitting an entire week of planning on 2 pages with room to spare.

These people must be very adapt at writing their to do’s in one or two words, because when I tried this I never had enough room to write.

The picture here is how I do my weeks, when I do them. Maybe not as pretty, but very practical.

to create some interest, I use a different color for the weekend and sometimes a cute outline around a quote (but you could use the banners from step 2 for those as well)

Keep your whole monthly spread layout on point by using the same washi designs for the whole month.

Step 8: Use As Tape

Obvious right?

Washi tape is pretty but use it as tape and stick in special memories add photographs, notes, kids crafts, tickets and other special notes to your pages.

Don’t buy sticky notes. Make your own DIY stick notes with washi tape and any paper.
These are very handy for things like to do lists and grocery lists, for which you do not want to draw a new page in your journal every time.

As they are removable, you can change the organization as you wish later on.

And you can use washi to create flip out pages. I use this for my bullet journal key.
This way you can reference it at any time, from any page.

Glue & Tape Speed Challenge

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Glue & Tape Speed Challenge