Friday, January 29, 2010

Making Decorative Tapes

There's been talk among the people taking Mary Ann Moss's Remains of the Day online class about Japanese Tapes, printed tapes that are sort of like masking tape but more transluscent. I don't have the tape bug that some journal artists do but adding strips and borders to my art as well as to my art journals has become somewhat of a signature so anything that will make the process easier certainly catches my interest.  But I don't want to spend more money on art supplies... remember me saying "Buy no art supplies; use what I have. Be creative". So...

Thanks to a reminder from Susie LaFond I got out my Xyron and an adhesive cartridge (supplies that I haven't touched in probably five years) and started experimenting. For my purposes I found that patterned tissue paper was the best choice. I ran 2 different black and white prints (and a piece of turquoise cotton fabric) through the Xyron which adds adhesive and a teflon-like paper to the back, making whatever you put through the machine into a peel & stick.  I used the checkerboard because the black and white tape will echo the black and white text and ink already in the book and add much needed continuity to the ROD travel journal that I'll use later in the spring when we head south and east on a road trip.

You can see how I used the homemade checkerboard tap on the first page of the travel journal (above), along with bits cut from an old AAA TourBook and map.

And here on page two I adhered a piece of my tape across the bottom to form a border, and added a tiny snippet on page three, bottom right.

This cost me nothing except a bit of time and I now have my very own "washi" tape in the pattern and color I want.

This photo shows jow I set up to cut one of the black and white tissues (with adhesive on the back).
I use an Omnigrid ruler left from my quilting days and an Olfa rotary cutter. I keep two Olfas, putting the new blad in one reserved for fabric and move the used one with a dulled blade to a rotary cutter reserved for paper. It's still sharp, just now sharp enough for fabric.


  1. What is the width size of the tape that you get with the Xyron machine? don't have one but I'm curious about it, there seems to be several sizes, right? I liked the tapes that you made, great idea. I have been to Uwajimaya several times, but by now they are short of patterns and colors.

  2. My Xyron handles 8 1/2" wide material. I'm running 8 1/2 x 11" paper through it and then cutting the resulting adhesive backed material (paper or fabric) to any size of tape stripes I want. I cut most to 1/2" widths but some is narrower and some wider.

  3. Great idea Jo! I never thought of tissue paper. I will have to dig that out too!

  4. Great idea! Love the graphic-ness of the checkerboard too!

  5. This is a great idea Jo. I love seeing the journal pages with the tape on it!

  6. way to go for using what you have and not buying more STUFF.

  7. You are so very clever Jo!

  8. Thanks for stopping by Porch Days. Picasa said if you delete a "folder" it also deletes from your computer. Sounded worrying to me.

  9. Great idea, Jo. Now I want to make tape! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Jo, good to meet you. Just spent a lovely half hour travelling about (part!) of your blog & your friend Joan's - is she the Haiku quilt/collage lady? Wonderful, as is your journal - I went to art college 30 (OMG!) years ago but only in the last 2 or so years have I had a sketchbook/journal & I am so delighted. Why did it take that long? I'll make up for it (had to alter a couple of books to put my little squares in!) I recycle everything so now I need to actually reuse it, a la ROtheD before my family dispair of me!

  11. neat, I like the tapes! I posted the collage paper blog lady on my blog so others can buy her papers. thanks again for thinking of me, I received my two packs yesterday and they are very nice!


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