I was recently inspired to try making some unique, one-off stickers with washi tape and let me tell you: I am very pleased with the results. This was simple enough that I already had everything I needed on hand, but the results are nice enough to knock your socks off!
Supplies for Creating Custom Stickers with Washi Tape
Images you’d like to make stickers of (more details below)
Small scissors (better for detail work)
Finding Images to Use for Custom Washi Tape Stickers
Knowing that I do not posses the time or the patience to “fussy cut” anything, I went searching after relatively simple images I felt confident I could cut by hand in a reasonable amount of time. (Are you a fussy cut kind of person? More power to you! Pick whatever you like!) I did a quick google search for “X silhouettes,” with X being anything that struck my fancy, like rockets or hedgehogs. I then copied the images I liked best into a word document, where I could easily resize them, then printed them out and cut them apart.
Tracing Your Image
Next, I cut pieces of wax paper to just larger than each of my images then traced the image with a Sharpie marker. Again: I deliberately went for simple images here. If you want to use a fine tip Sharpie and trace something with a ton of detail, you do you.
Pro tip: After tracing your image, but before beginning to lay down your washi tape, make the following decision: do I want to cut INSIDE the lines I’ve traced, or OUTSIDE those lines? If you’re okay with cutting inside, you are clear to lay the washi tape directly on the Sharpie side of the wax paper. If you would prefer to cut outside those lines make sure to turn your wax sheet OVER. Otherwise the washi tape will pick up the Sharpie ink and your finished sticker edges will look like the picture below.
Applying Washi Tape
Now you simply lay strips of washi tape, overlapping them ever-so-slightly, to cover the entire traced image.
This washi tape happened to have a pattern that lined up perfectly if the washi tape was slightly overlapped, but you could use any washi tape you like. More random-style washi tape also makes some amazing silhouette stickers!
Cutting and Applying Your Custom Sticker
Once your washi tape is in place, simply flip the sheet over to reveal the visible tracing lines on the opposite side.
Cut out your shape, keeping in mind the outside v inside the lines decision you made earlier. You now have a great looking sticker!
Here, surprisingly, was the hardest part of the whole operation: getting a corner started to separate the washi layer from the wax paper. I struggled for several minutes to get even the tiniest of inroads! I did, eventually, get there and once I had it started the entire washi layer came away easily and in one piece, ready to apply to whatever my heart desired.
Upon trying my second and third custom stickers, I found I struggled much less to get the peeling going. It is possible that A) different washi tapes allow easier peeling at the corner, B) I got better with practice, or C) all the above.
Make it Your Own!
Now you can make custom washi tape stickers in almost any design and any size! What will you create? I would love to see your take on this project, feel free to tag me @washitapewarrior on Instagram!