Have you ever had a washi tape you loved so much you just wanted to wear it? Then these Washi Tape Popsicle Bracelets are for you!
All in all, I’m calling these bracelets an overnight craft. The active crafting time is not very high, but drying time is super-long. It is not my recommendation, then, that you try to squeeze these in last minute! Plan ahead for your Washi Tape Popsicle Stick Bracelets- it is well worth it.
Washi tape (assorted, see tutorial for thoughts on size ratio to sticks)
Popsicle sticks (assorted, see tutorial for thoughts on size ratio to washi)
Modge Podge (mine is Satin finish)
Pot (large enough for your biggest popsicle sticks)
Round vessels for drying the sticks (see tutorial for size recommendations)
Sand paper, fine grit (optional, but recommended)
I discovered that, if you are looking to wrap your washi tape entirely around a thinner popsicle stick, washi that is 3 times as wide as the stick is a good way to go. Washi that is only just wider than the stick itself is hard to fold over and secure down. Some of my best-looking results, however, were from NOT wrapping the washi tape around the stick, and simply covering the “front” side. This worked equally well with: A) Finding a washi tape that was already the width of my popsicle stick and B) Putting down multiple rows of thinner washi to equal the width of the stick.
All that being said: ratios and measurements only matter if you are hard-set on using a specific washi tape. If you just want to grab some popsicle sticks you have laying around, form them into bracelets, then see which washi work best- that works too! This is only as complicated as you want to make it.
This was my first big mistake: overestimating how small of a round vessel was small enough. First, I measured my wrist all the way around to find 7 ¼”. For my first batch, I took the two smallest diameter cups in my house: a small glass that was 9” around and a small mug that was 9 ½” around. Roughly 2” difference between my wrist and the vessels was good enough, right? Wrong! These popsicle sticks came out U shaped and much too wide to fit as a bracelet.
For the second batch I took my measuring tape to the entire kitchen to find something smaller. Ultimately, I settled on a ceramic ramekin that was 8 ¼” and a salad dressing shaker that was 7 ¾”. These produced much better results, as seen in the photo above.
Put a pot of water (large enough to hold more than your desired amount of popsicle sticks) on the stove and bring it to a boil. Add your popsicle sticks and boil until flexible, approximately 10 to 20 minutes. My thinner popsicle sticks were plenty flexible at the 10 minute mark. The wider popsicle sticks, however, gave me two results: at 10 minutes they were flexible, but not 100% flexible, leading to angled bracelets instead of curbed ones. At 20 minutes the wider popsicle sticks were flexible, but some broke/splintered as I bent them. All in all, I recommend boiling more stick that you need and going with the longer time, just expecting to lose a few to breakage.
Once the sticks have boiled for the appropriate amount of time, remove them with tongs from the water one at a time and gently form them to the inside of your round vessels. Be careful not to burn yourself!
My popsicle sticks (both batches) took between 12 and 24 hours to dry. That’s a long time! So set those suckers up and then forget about them for a good long while. Trying to progress before the popsicle sticks are completely dry will only cause the sticks to lose their form. It is possible, as they are drying, some of your sticks may flex themselves out of the round vessel. If you are present, you can pop them right back in! If you are drying them overnight, that one is pretty much a goner.
First thing: check all your popsicle sticks for any splintering that may have occurred during drying. If there is, just run some fine-grit sand paper over it to smooth. Then, using the ratios we discussed earlier, decorate your fully dried popsicle stick bracelets to your heart’s content!
For smaller bracelets you are attempting to wrap in washi tape, the more Modge Podge the better! Even the ugly ones I thought were failures, since I put a ton of MP on there, dried and turned out alright. The ugly side is the inside of the bracelet, so when it is worn no one is the wiser!
For wider, single-sided bracelets I found no discernable difference between just applying Modge Podge as a top coat and applying it both before and after the washi tape was applied. So I recommend just sealing the tape down with a quick top coat and calling it a day!
In addition to being wonderful fashion accessories, these bracelets make excellent gifts! Lightweight and perfectly customizable, that special friend in your life is sure to love it as much as you do! Please tag me in your Instagram posts when you make Washi Tape Popsicle Stick Bracelets of your own- I cannot wait to see what you do!
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