Sometimes you have to take a risk or two in life. And since I'm quite a thrillseeker on the limited ground between the four walls of my home (a treat that I've inherited from my grandma, who rules the world from her big easy chair), I decided to take one of those big risks that you can only take a few times in your life: I would free myself from being the washi tape Scrooge and would make a big tape mural on the empty white wall (yes, we had one!) in Rosa's room. And since I know you DIY-people love a good old tutorial (and I never make one... Oh my, I'm the blog tutorial Scrooge too... So kind of you to still visit the blog of such a greedy selfish person! ;)), I decided to share with you how to make a mural using only removable washi masking tape.
Anyway, this is the mural...
And here's the tutorial!
1) First of all: choose the right mindset. If you choose one like 'Oh my, now I'm going to waste all my beautiful expensive masking tapes... And they came all the way from Japan!', you're going to have a hard time making a mural like this. I chose a mindset more or less like this: 'It's okay if I waste all my beautiful washi tapes, they're meant for creative purposes, and being creative sometimes involves taking risks. Besides, you can save your beautiful tapes for like ever, but in the end you can't take material stuff to any kind of afterlife anyway -and if you could bring something, would it be your washi tape collection?-, so it's a good idea to enjoy those beautiful tapes now you can, for an attempt to make a mural for example.' If you repeat this little sentence in your head for about ten times, it'll probably do it's work, and once you start taping you don't even know the meaning of the word 'frugal' anymore, let alone that you'd remember who Scrooge is...
2) It may be wise to draw a design first, on a small scale on paper or maybe with very thin pencil lines on your wall (but be careful with that, because washi tape is transparent so you may see the drawing underneath. And also, since the tape is removable you can remove it easily from your wall when you don't like the mural (anymore), but this may be a lot harder with pencil lines. So of course you can also do what I did: just getting started without a plan, and with lots of complaining, swearing and ripping misplaced tape from the wall you'll finally get somewhere! I started with the big house image in the middle and then worked from there towards the sides.
3) Lucky for me I happen to have this 'naive, childish and folkloristic design style' anyway (Oh, how many times I've read that in -further positive and kind- reviews about the things I make, I'm still waiting for the first one who dares to say 'my five-year-old draws better than she does!' ;)), but also when you have a super baroque and detailed or extremely subtle design/illustration style, it may be wise to realize that the specific characteristics of washi tapes have their limitations. It's hard to cut really difficult and detailed shapes from sticky pieces of tape (if you really want to cut something difficult you can stick the tape to a piece of paper first, then cut it in the right shape, and then remove the paper again. This may lessen the 'sticky strength' of the tape a bit though, and you do need the tape to be sticky enough if you want the mural to last on your wall for some time).
Also, most tapes have endless length but aren't very wide, so if you want to create wide (solid) images you may have to assemble them from various pieces of tape, which may be a bit complicated. So if you want to start easy like I did, it's best to optimally use the characteristics of the tape, and work with straight lines and singular shapes as much as possible. Curly lines and shapes are possible, but require more precise cutting and pasting.
4) Be ready to make a mess. Or maybe that's just me... After some fanatical cutting and pasting, those nasty little sticky pieces of tape were literally everywhere: on the floor, under my shoes, in my hair, and even in my sweet baby's neck (I often worked on the mural in her room sitting next to the bed where she was napping, and when she'd wake up I had to take her out of bed with those sticky fingers! ;))
5) If the mural's to your liking, then rub the pieces of tape with your fingers so that they won't come off the wall that easily (though with a bit of scratching you should still be able to remove the tape at any time).
6) And then: voila! Here's your washi tape mural! Now is the time to decide whether you like your mural enough to keep it, or to consider it as a nice creative project that you've just happened to spend all your super scarce leisure time on and start scraping all those nasty little pieces from the wall again. By the time you've finished your mural your inner washi tape Scrooge will probably have returned: 'Oh my, did I really use all this beautiful tape? There's hardly a bit left of all my favorite ones... You stupid waster... This mural must stay on that wall forever, so that you'll learn!'
Personally, I'm still not fully convinced of my own mural yet. On the one hand I like it, especially since it has Rosa's name on it, and by now I've become this soft-hearted sentimental idiot that likes anything, no matter how cheap or ugly, that says 'Rosa'... Seriously, it's better for me not to visit any of those tourist places right now. I can already picture myself in one of those souvenir shops with the funny 'customized' name stuff: 'Oh look, they have such nice super ugly mugs with Rosa's name on it... With a seal on the other side! Oh, and a plastic necklace that says 'Rosa'... And what a lovely tiny $30 egg cup for 'Roza', but whatever... Never thought they had such good shops here below the Eiffel Tower!' ;)
But besides liking the name aspect (by the way 'Lieve' is Rosa's second name, in case you were wondering), I'm not fully satisfied with the color palette yet, and I also think that the image could use some more variation in shapes, maybe with some animals or something. Have to figure out how to create some washi tape animals... (I have one little birdie so far!)
So, that was it, I hope I've inspired some of you to waste some of your washi tape in a creative splurge as well, while some others may now be contemplating inventive ways to take their beloved washi tape collection to life after this earthy one... Both totally understandable!
I hope you liked this tutorial and hope it's useful. In case I have skipped any important steps or if you have any further questions: don't hesitate to ask!