Washi tapes have fast become a staple of all stationery drawers and can be found across the internet used in all sorts of projects, and it’s not hard to see why. With such a vast range of styles, sizes, colours and patterns there is a never ending supply to fuel the hoarding habits of many crafters. Pretty as they may be, they are not cheap in most online and retail shops, with one roll setting you back at least a couple of UK pounds. It doesn’t seem like much, but add it up over a collection like mine of around 40 rolls and you’re looking at around £80 spent on some colourful masking tape! But fear not for I have a few quick tips on how to build your washi collection without spending a fortune, my stash below comes in at well under the £20 mark and I’ve acquired them all in a fairly short space of time. So read on my budget crafting friends!
Tip One: Buy in bulk
Whilst a few of my tapes are more expensive, hand picked ones I bought at my local craft shop, most are from bulk bundles bought online or in pound stores on the high street. Bundles of tapes sold as mystery selection or just as large job lots are usually so much cheaper than picking out individual styles and you get the fun of never knowing what you’re getting. Yes, you may get doubles or triples in your rolls but I recently bought a pack of 10 rolls of tape for just £1 at a local unbranded pound store! No one can argue with the value in that, I got 6 styles of tape in that bundle, all for £1, and my doubles can easily be sent to pen pals or just used up over time. The same goes for buying mystery bundles online on some of our most well known auction sites. The tapes often come from abroad and may take some time to arrive in the post but it’s such great fun to open up your package and see which designs you got! Of course the big down side of mystery buying is you’re unlikely to get your favourite style, so be prepared for that, but you save a load of cash in the long run and build up a good collection fast, besides you can easily splash out every once in a while on that extra special washi you’ve been eyeing up!
Tip Two: Check the size of the rolls
This one is especially important when shopping online as many sneaky sellers will hide the roll size at the bottom of a page or in a blurry photograph. Sometimes something that seems like a great deal will turn out to be pretty rubbish when you see how much you’re really getting for your money. Rolls usually come in 10, 5 or 3 metres but can be other sizes too such as ‘tester’ size of 1 metre or less which won’t last long at all. Watch out for hidden sizes and misleading photographs that make rolls look much bigger than they really are and double check that great deal before you buy to avoid being disappointed.
Tip Three: Look where you least expect it
We all know of some big retailers on the UK high street and online sites where washi can be found in huge stashes but to get the best deals and some unusual designs you need to look in some different locations. Bargain shops such as pound stores and cut price outlets often offer cheap alternatives to the popular branded tapes at less than half the price. I recently picked up three rolls of fabric washi for £1 whilst browsing in a local pound store for other items. They were hidden away on a bottom shelf and hadn’t even been touched. Make sure you search all around any stores you think might potentially carry washi tape lines as sometimes they will sell them off cheap if they’ve not sold many. The same goes for discontinued lines, if shops have only one or two of a specific style left they’ll often put them on a reduced to clear aisle to clear room for new stock and you’ll be able to pick up a unique tape for bargain prices. The same goes for reduced lines on websites and during sales, you’ve got to be on the ball and checking regularly to nab that kitty cat washi at a discount price.
So there are my top three tips for buying bargain washi on a budget, I hope you’ve learned something new to help you pick up a few more tapes for your collection. Below is my current and ever expanding stash of washi tapes and a stick from the forest I am attempting to store them on, I think I may need a couple more, don’t you?
Goodbye and Good Luck washi hunters.
Emily The Forest Dweller. 🙂