Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Washi Tape and John Derian Co.

Safari has crashed twice on me so this is the 3rd time I am attempting to write this post.  Jeez, maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.  1.….2…..3…
Source: Cute Tape
Source: Happy Tape
Washi tape is very on trend right now.  If you haven't heard of it…. you will soon.  Washi is a paper tape that originates in Japan.  It is pressure sensitive and tougher than other papers, making it easy to apply or remove.   In fact,  it is almost goof proof.  If you don't like the look, it is easy to pull it off and replace it where you want it.

Washi tapes are beautiful.  They come in almost any color you can imagine-including metallics-and in hundreds of different patterns.  The rolls are sold in a variety of widths from 1/8th to 1/2 inch.  It comes in small rolls…. I tried to figure out how many yards are in a typical roll but I couldn't find a number.   Single rolls run around $4 each which makes Washi Tape a great deal for a powerful craft tool.

Source:Cute Tape
How many ways to Washi?  Washi tape and paper go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Washi adds a beautiful and fun accent to greeting cards, wrapping paper, stationary, letters, scrapbooks, and photos.

Source: Cute Tape
Recently, Washi came off the paper and moved over to home decor.  It a perfect way to bring a fresh look to glassware, lampshades and mirrors.  I recently saw a blogger use it to update her kitchen cafe curtains.  While I am not so sure I would use it on fabric because I am not sure how long it will look great, it is an interesting concept.  Nothing else is as inexpensive, easy to apply (and remove) and offered in so many colors and patterns.  The only limit to the number of awesome projects made with Washi Tape is your imagination.   I just  started a Pinterest board for Washi Projects that I will fill with all the  fun things I come across as I read blogs, follow trends, visit Etsy shops and create projects.  Visit the board and come back often.***

Idea-ology Tissue Taps
Source: Cute Tape
It isn't just crafters and bloggers who have discovered and fell in love with Washi.  Tim Holtz developed his Idea-ology Tissue Tape several years ago and has continued to add designs.  The Tissue Tapes all have neutral backgrounds with black lettering.  Some of Tim's tapes have colored designs and most have text.  While I love the neutral colors, Tissue Tapes lack the color PUNCH I love in traditional Washi.  However, this is easy to overcome.  Though I keep forgetting, it is easy to color the tape with ink.

Tim isn't the only designer who loves the look of Washi.  Other scrapbook companies have jumped on board and I noticed at the January CHA, that a large number of companies now include paper tapes in their collections.  Their designs seem to have more complex patterns and a lot of text, like Tim's designs, compared to traditional Washi…. I love it!

Tissue Paper at John Derian
$265/489 sheets
I have a lot of Tim's designs…I even won the Christmas set from Tim (by simply leaving a comment during his 12 Tags of Christmas) but I had no Washi. :(   It wasn't that I didn't want any or that I hadn't looked for some but having no local source means I had to go online and frankly, I quickly became overwhelmed.  I couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted  and I couldn't find any one seller that sold the colors I wanted.  While in NYC I stumbled upon a small selection in an unexpected place and now I have my first pretty project to share.
Petite Four
Wrapping paper $4/sheet

I found a small selection of beautiful tapes at John Derian Company, Inc, a fabulous home decor store located in the neighborhood of Noho.  John Derian carries a large selection of beautiful objects to make a house a home.  They specialize in decoupage- though this is not the Mod-Podge decoupage seen on Pinterest.  John Derian carry fabulous wrapping papers as well as pretty kraft paper tags and magnets made from the oddest designs.   Throughout the store there is a mixture of vintage and new pieces.  This is seen in the pieces of art they carry as well.   The store offers a small, but interesting and eclectic, mix of artists including Once in a While  by British artist Hugo Guinness, framed in a vintage frame and the whimsical, paper mache characters made by Julie Arkell.

Decoupage, like nothing you have seen before, is the specialty of John Derian.  Mod Podge need not apply.  This is stunning stuff here.  Stunning and complicated and very expensive.  They use a technique of applying the papers under or inside the glass so that the result is a shiny surface with a depth that paper alone does not posses.  What is so special is that the designs remain intact yet there isn't a wrinkle to be found.  I picked up a few pieces to see how it is done.  While I could see a few cut lines on the inside- not on the outside- I couldn't figure it out.  The store had thousands of pieces but here are a few of my favorites….
Cloche: Birds of Prey
Bell Jar Geranium, $1,045
 Seriously??  Yes indeed!
Rose $645
The cake plates are stackable making for a stunning display.
PinkHydrangea $350
Malva Rose Rubro Simplici $410
Cut Flowers: Peony $298
Woodland Creatures $1,320
Barnacles $3,080
You can check out their website to see more.
Hugo Guinness Once in a While $4200
Julie Arkell's charming characters
Mushroom Consoles from $140 to $350

There is a second store next door- John Derian Dry Goods- which carries furniture and rugs; again a mix of vintage and new.  I heard one of the women calling her source for rug cleaning to come and pick up a variety of vintage- but dirty-rugs that were sitting by the front door 
John Derian Dry Goods vintage rug $300

Coop Chair $2250
So, what did I make with my Washi Tape?

I made some fun and easy little tags- in fact I did it will watching TV.  I made the tags as a set with the intention of tying them both to a package or send them in an envelope together. 
The tags are inexpensive "shipping tags" available at Staples, Office Max and Office Depot.  

***If you haven't succumbed to the wonder that is Pinterest, I suggest you get over there ASAP and request an invite.  You either have to get an invite from a friend or request an invite from Pinterest.  I hear that it is faster to get an invite from a friend- send me an email with the email address that you want to use and I will invite you.  Take a look at my boards- I usually find my pins on the web- blogs, stores, Etsy, etc- rather than on Pinterest.   It doesn't take long to realize that people pin off of Pinterest which results in a lot of repetition as the same pictures/recipes/ideas show up over and over and over again.

Laters baby….


  1. I'm curious as i'm trying this reverse decoupage at home.....do the experts cut up paper adn paste them on in pieces or is it one big large image pasted onto the back of those bigger platters/trays? Would love any useful info! LOVE what YOU do, BTW. Keep up the awesome work xxx


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