Add Tape to Journals

Lately, I’ve been exploring surface design that doesn’t involve paint. My most recent efforts have been with tape. All sorts of tape–gaffer’s tape (like duct tape but less sticky), bookbinding tape, electricians’ tape, paint tape, masking tape, artist tape and yes, washi tape.

The tablet below was just a tablet. But a combination of black book tape and masking tape made the cover seem less like a tablet and more like a book. The important thing to remember when applying tape is that it needs to overlap and cover the entire cover to stick well and create a whole surface.

Tablet transformed to journal by adding tape to cover.

Once I was done, I wrote on the masking tape, using a poem I found in a book from a used-book store.  The poem continues on the inside front cover, as does the tape. If you are going to use tape as a surface design, it is important to treat it as you would paint. In this case, both the inside and outside front covers are encased in tape.

In this example, I am re-using the cover of a book to create a new journal. The title didn’t suit the contents, and although the design was cute, I wanted a different look.

Washi tape covers the front of the book.For this surface design, I used washi tape–a tape made entirely of washi paper and glue. It’s tough, cuts and tears easily, and comes in hundreds of designs and colors. I got mine from CuteTape, which has a big selection, is customer-friendly and delivers fast.

I alternated vertical and horizontal tape pieces, but you could also do it diagonally. The tape stretches slightly, so you have to be careful not to apply it to tightly. Overlapping slightly helps keep the weaving even and the cover doesn’t show through and is completely covered quickly.

You could use one or two colors, but I wanted to test several colors here. The final effect is more quilt than collage, but I’m satisfied with the first effort.

Tape is a big advantage over paint or gesso because it doesn’t require any drying time. Rip, place, burnish and you’re done!