Washi Tape Suncatchers: Experimenting with Different Ideas

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Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

Okay, so I meant to post about these suncatchers before Easter since some of them are sort of Easter-y, but I guess it's still relevant since it's mostly about how to use washi tape for suncatchers.

Washi tape (at least the kind from Discount School Supply; can someone confirm if regular Japanese washi tape is the same?) is very thin and somewhat transparent and so works well for suncatchers in theory since it looks beautiful with the sun shining through.

We tried several different suncatcher methods but I'm not sure we've hit on the ideal one for washi tape. They all have their merits, though, and I thought I'd share our experiments with you.

Here goes…

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

First, we used the washi tape on contact paper. Daphne added small pieces (I tore them and lined them up along the edge of the table for her) to her contact paper along with colored tissue paper and marker drawings.

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

I used the washi tape for Easter egg suncatchers, much the same way we have used lace and ribbon in previous Easter egg suncatchers. I added tissue paper to one and made one with just the tape.

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

Maia was having too much fun using crumpled colored tissue paper for her Easter egg suncatchers and didn't join in the washi tape experiment.

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

Here are our finished suncatchers hanging in a sunny window. I loved how the washi tape looked with the sun shining through it, but thought it was a bit silly to use sticky tape on top of sticky contact paper.

So, to see if we could avoid the redundancy, we kept exploring options…

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

Next we tried the washi tape directly on the window.

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

Maia and Daphne were equally enthusiastic about this activity, with Daphne putting up a random design of tape pieces (that Maia tore off for her) and Maia creating a scene with grass, sky, sun, and a dog.

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

The window proved to be a fun place to use the tape for artistic purposes, but it's effectiveness as a suncatcher was lost a bit (especially with Maia's scene) because of the three feet of space between the line of grass and the line of sky. So while I'd like to do this again with the kids, I wanted to try something different for suncatchers.

By the way, the tape pulls off from the window very easily. However, I didn't leave it on for more than a day. If left on in a sunny window over time, the tape may be harder to remove. (Although rubbing alcohol or a razor blade can get stuck tape off glass.)

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

Next, we tried the washi tape on freezer bags mostly just as a way to contain the tape in a smaller area.

Washi Tape Suncatcher Ideas

This actually worked fairly well, although I wouldn't say hanging freezer bags in the window makes for the most elegant of suncatchers.

Of the three methods we tried, I think the contact paper worked the best, but it still feels redundant. I love the idea of washi tape suncatchers, though, and am going to keep trying (perhaps plastic container lids or small acrylic box frames…).

Do you have any ideas for what might work well with the tape? I'd love to hear!

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  1. says

    I love it Jean! What a creative way to use japanese washi tape. Your washi tape looks just like the set I bought and it was called japanese washi tape. So I assume it’s the same. It is kind of translucent, yes.
    We will have to give it a go. I need some contact paper, do you buy that from discount school supply too?

  2. Janice M says

    What about transparencies? They would be an office supply store thing and wouldn’t be sticky, but they would be more transparent.

  3. says

    Did you use both sides of the bag for one sun catcher? You could cut the bag in half (and cut the zipper part off) to make it more transparent. Just a thought. I also like the transparencies idea from Janice M. Fun stuff though. :)

  4. Maria says

    We just got washi tape in the mail today from DSS! I am intrigued by all your ideas for it.

  5. Mary says

    I have some MT brand washi tape, and it is also semi-transparent. That seems to be a big brand in Japan, so I assume it’s a good example. There’s a cute blog called Hello Sandwich that show a ton of projects with washi tape. She is an Australian living in Japan, so it’s in English.

  6. Maria says

    Sorry to double post, but I thought I’d share what we did tonight with the washi tape. I decorated the edges of my knitting binder and the cover of my moleskin notebook and Phebe covered a little mason jar to keep things in. It was fun and easy — I had to call a halt for bedtime but I’m sure there will be more tomorrow!

  7. says

    What a fun idea! I know my daughter would have a blast putting tape on just about anything, and all the better if it’s pretty washi tape. :) I totally admire that you let your girls use up “real” craft/art supplies. I’m not quite there yet. :)
    As for other ideas, would it work on wax paper?

  8. MilWifeMamaofOne says

    These look lovely!. I love the transparency and half-bag ideas suggested above. You might also consider using electrical tape or other opaque window-friendly tape as a border. You or your munchkins can tape out a designated shape right on the window then “fill” it with washi tape pieces. You’d still get the suncatcher effect since there are clear boundaries :).

  9. says

    You can get contact paper at grocery stores and drug stores (next to the shelf liner paper) — just make sure to buy the transparent contact paper. You can also buy it through Discount School Supply, and I do sometimes. But it is readily available.

  10. says

    Yes, you could cut the bag apart. I was feeling a little lazy and just experimenting. The tape on the plastic bags has started to peel at the edges, though, so I think the bags are probably not the best option.

  11. says

    Hmm… I’ll try it. I’m wondering if it would stick well or if it would start to curl up at the edges (as it’s starting to on the plastic bags).

  12. katie says

    portfolio sleeve covers might work the same as the baggies but maybe be a little more attractive, or perhaps cut the baggies into shapes first… we still have yet to try washi tape!!!

  13. Leticia says

    I’m not sure if the tape would stick to saran wrap, but it would be awesome if you could create tension with an embrodiery hoop and saran wrap, and then use the washi tape on it, and hang the hoop in the window from a string (or dental floss).