Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Washi tape in the KC Star..

Check out this article about Washi Tape in the Kansas City Star! Thanks for the shout out KCS!

Washi tape: A gift-giving gift from Japan

Too plum for catching wall paint overflow, colorful washi tape embellishes gifts, cards, scrapbook pages, collages, party favors and more. Made of smooth rice paper, the thin, semi-transparent tape from Japan has been a craze with crafty types since it became available in the United States about a year ago.

Washi tape crimps and tears like regular masking tape. Unlike its American counterpart, though, washi tape is a whimsical flourish, not a utilitarian means to an end.

Though a roll is about 50 feet long, the average width is only about half an inch. The petite size and transparent nature of the tape make it ideal for layering crafts and gifts.

In Japan, pretty wrapping and presentation can be as important as the gift, said Jessica Dassing, a Kansas City artist who lived briefly in Japan and studied its culture and art. Dassing said Japanese people accept formal gifts with heads bowed and with both hands. Gifts there often are opened slowly and with respect for the care put into the wrapping, she said.

“Tiny, super-cute and colorful tape” fits the tradition well, Dassing said. “Little details like layers of tape with fun patterns make for a good presentation.”

Washi tape adorns heart stationery (52 cents, Urban Arts + Crafts).

Dassing layered washi tape over Blossom Dots paper ($2.25, Paper Source) and Rose paper ($4.50, Urban Arts and Crafts). The colorful tape and a handmade Valentine label accompany a gift of seasonal candy in an aluminum tin with a glass lid ($1.50, Urban Arts and Crafts).

Washi tape can spruce up a scrapbook page. Dassing used Que Sera collage paper as base ($1.55, Urban Arts and Crafts), then added fish, rose and ocean wave die cuts ($5.25 per package, Urban Arts and Crafts). She attached a sheet of sage paper (40 cents, Urban Arts and Crafts) with layers of washi tape.

Washi tape is as inviting as the White Leaves Gold Dust paper underneath ($2.75, Paper Source). A simple white envelope is kicked up a notch for a matching gift and card set that is almost too pretty to open.

To show how washi tape can liven Valentine’s Day gifts and crafts, Jessica Dassing used materials from Urban Arts and Crafts, 4157 N. Mulberry in Briarcliff Village, 816-234-1004; and from Paper Source on the Country Club Plaza, 621 W. 48th St., 816-753-2777.

•Find washi tape at Bon Bon Atelier (314 Westport Road, 816-756-0855, www.bonbonatelier.com) or online at www.happytape.com and www.momastore.org. Sizes vary, and prices start around $5 a roll.

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