Have you been looking for a washi tape craft that is easy to do AND lets you 100% customize your results? Then making these Washi Tape Beads is for you! These are simple enough to knock out while your binging a favorite show, yet dynamic enough to yield totally unique results. You have got to try these!
Washi tapes (see notes about selection below)
Strips of paper (sized according to your tapes, also noted below)
In this project I tested a wide variety of tapes and found that most of them work out great! The tapes that did not behave well in this project tended to be thicker, waxier washi tapes. When in doubt: knock out a single test bead; it is a major bummer to pick a mood for the project only to find your cornerstone washi tape does not make great beads. Choose your washi tapes based on how they look on the roll! I know usually we are scoping out the single-layer look of the washi tape, but since these beads are rolled how the washi looks on the roll is how your finished bead will look. Choose accordingly. In this tutorial you will also noticed I selected all washi tapes of the same width (15 mm); this was to avoid having to cut differently sized strips of paper for a variety of tape widths. The paper strips I cut were from white scratch paper and (for 15mm washi) were 1 ½” long by ~1/2” wide. It is okay if your paper strips are slightly narrower than your washi, however a big difference will make it difficult/impossible to remove your bead when it is finished.
Cut a length of washi tape to begin your bead. If you want all your beads to be consistently sized, measure this length and cut all your subsequent washi strips the same; I used 4” strips of washi tape.
Take a single paper strip and, with a moderate amount of care, apply it to the sticky side of one end of your washi tape. If you end up with overhanging paper on any side, feel free to trim it away.
Taking your straw, place it at the bottom edge of the papered washi tape. Then simply roll the straw towards the opposite end of the tape, holding/guiding the washi tape as needed.
You should end up with a cylinder of washi tape wrapped tightly around the straw. It is highly likely the end of your washi tape will be slightly raised, but don’t worry we will address that. (However, if the end of the washi tape is raised significantly, more than ½” of length, that is a strong sign that particular tape is not a great choice for this project. Feel free to finish the bead to confirm.)
Notes on rolling the beads: your washi tape beads only need to be as perfect as you want them to be. If you are not bothered by telescoping edges or slight variations then do not feel the need to roll/re-roll every bead until the edges are perfectly aligned. In this project I actually feel the discrepancies give the beads character!
If you have not seen any warning signs that your washi tape may not work for bead making, or you have already tested all your tapes in advance, feel free to slide that first bead to the opposite end of your straw and move on to your next bead! I was comfortably able to fit 8 beads on my straw at a time, which makes the next step easier and more efficient.
(In this picture you can see that my first tape, the the right, is working great, but the second two tapes are ultimately doomed to failure. I just had not accepted that fact yet.)
Once your beads are formed, snug them all up together at one end of the straw. Using your paintbrush, apply a thin coat of Modge Podge to all sides of the beads, paying particular attention to the raised ends. They should easily stick down at this point.
(Note the ones that are NOT sticking down: they did not stick, no matter how many coats I applied. Save yourself the time, learn for my lesson: if it does not behave straight away it will never, ever make a washi bead. Save that washi for another amazing use!)
Allow the beads to dry to the touch then simply slide them off the straw. Viola! Finished DIY Washi Tape Beads, ready to be made into a beautiful creation. So what will you use your beads for? Bracelets? Necklaces? Mosaics? Garlands? The options are plentiful! And the customization is endless: change up the colors of tape, size of straw, and the length of washi strips to produce all manner of different results!
I hope you will try this craft, because I had a BLAST with it and I think you will to! Please tag me @washitapewarrior on Instagram, because I love seeing your finished products. Happy crafting!
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