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Take Your Illustrations To The Next Level Using Washi Tape Art

by Ambassador Team 20 Apr 2023 0 Comments

Hello, Jane Maday here, from Jane Maday Studio, with an easy tutorial showing you how to use washi tape collage to add pattern to your drawings in your bujo or sketchbook. Your bujo can be a great help both to your mental health, and to develop your creativity. Adding collage is also good for developing dexterity and hand- eye coordination, and the tactile quality is soothing and comforting. We all liked playing cut and paste as children, right? So follow along while I show you my method, and at the end of the post you will find a pattern to download so you can try it yourself. 

owl washi collage


Archer and Olive A5 blank paper journal

Archer and Olive washi tape, assorted

Black waterproof fineliner pens (I used size 05)

Markers for coloring (your choice)

White Acrylograph pen for highlights

Pencil and eraser to draw the design

(Or Transfer paper if you are transferring it from the pattern)

X-Acto knife 

Step One: Create the Drawing

For this project, I am using the Archer and Olive A5 blank page sketchbook. It works just as well in a dot grid journal. Begin by transferring the pattern to the page, then go over the lines with a black, waterproof fineliner pen

owl drawing

Step Two: Add Color

Color the design however you wish, but make sure it is absolutely dry before you go to the next step. I used alcohol markers in my example. These markers will bleed through, no matter what paper you use. I place a protective sheet between the pages in my sketchbook. I made mine out of plastic by cutting a plastic report cover into the size that matches my journal page. 

owl colored

Step Three: Beginning Collage

Washi tape is somewhat transparent. If you place it over your drawing, you will be able to see the black ink line through the tape. It is worth noting that this technique does not work with very dark washi. I also put a fresh blade in my X-Acto knife at the start, because you need a sharp point. Cut around the area. You want to cut through the washi tape, but NOT through the paper underneath. If you use a sharp knife and a gentle hand, you will get the hang of this quite quickly. 

Owl washi cut

Step Four: Peel Off the Extra Tape

Now that you have cut around the shape, you simply peel the tape off around the edges. This is why you need to make sure the color underneath is dry. If you put tape on a damp area, the paper will be damaged when you peel up the tape.

Owl washi peel off

Step Five: Continue Adding Washi

Continue adding pattern to the design with washi. I like to have a variety of patterns, but keep them in a coordinating color palette. Don’t cover the entire design with washi, or it will look busy and confusing. It is best to use the patterns as accents. 

Owl with washi

Step Six : Cutting Washi Details

You can also cut the images out of the washi tape and use them for decoration. I cut the little hearts out of the tape, and used them for the accents going down the owl’s breast. This adds texture to your designs. 

Owl washi details

Video Tutorial

I have made this video to help you follow all the steps involved in creating this collage project. You may find it helpful to watch this in conjunction with using the step by step instructions here. 

Download Printable

Here is a line drawing of the owl design that you can print out and use as a pattern to replicate the tutorial.

free owl drawing printable

I really hope you enjoy this project, and make sure to show me your results! Tag me @janemaday, and use the hashtag #archerandolivecommunity when you share! 

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