Tips and Tricks: How to make your own washi tape

What you need:

  •         We recommend that you have the skills to design a custom washi tape, as we will not be able to print your images if they do not match what we want to print.
  •         We recommend using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to create your washi tape design.
  •         You will need to own or purchase a copyright license for the artwork you would like to use.

Printing requirements:

– You will need to provide us with a .ai, .psd, or hi-res .pdf file containing your final design. We will not accept jpeg, png, tiff, or other file types as they do not meet the requirements for washi tape printing.


Not sure what we’re talking about?

Resolution – The quality of your image. You can check the quality of your image by looking at the DPI (dots per inch) number. We recommend using a design program such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator so you can set your DPI and check that your design is 300dpi before sending it to us.

A low-quality image will be dark, and pixelated (it won’t look smooth), and it won’t print well. You can check this when you create a new document in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in the settings under “Resolution” and select “Pixels/Inch” 300.

Color System – CMYK is the color system used in printing. You will be able to look this up in your washi tape design file.

In Adobe Photoshop under the drop-down menu, select “Image” and “Mode” and make sure the mode is set to CMYK.

In Adobe Illustrator you can check this under the drop-down menu “File” and “Color mode”.

CMYK colors will look different from your standard computer colors because there are fewer colors to print.

Bleed – Bleed is the name used to cut a line in your art file/washi tape. When printing, the bleed occurs beyond the edge of the paper cut. In other words, bleeding is an area that needs to be cut. For this reason, you should add a few millimeters of your images above and below the outline of your custom washi tape (called the bleed).

It won’t be part of your finished washi tape when printed, however, it helps printers cut your images so that your pattern and colors line up along the cut line.

Open your guide:

In Adobe Photoshop, create a new design. Select “View” from the drop-down menu and select “New Guide” – Select Round, Enter a measurement in mm for each of your guides, measuring from the top to the top of your images.

In Adobe Illustrator, to create a guide, go to the drop-down menu “View” and select “Rulers”, and “Show Rulers”. Then double click on the screen and a line will appear. Double-click on the left-hand side for a horizontal line, or the top ruler for a vertical line.

You can control where that line sits by entering a measurement in millimeters in the X: or Y: entry in the Adjustments and Adjustments panes on the right. If you don’t find X: or Y: go to the drop-down menu “Windows” and select “Change” and it should appear!

Tips for Reproducing Types:

Is your design repetitive?

The design of your washi tape repeats at each end, so you’ll need to make sure it repeats perfectly. The left side of your design needs to line up exactly with the right side of your design so that you can repeat it.

Unless you are a designer and know how to do mixed repeats on the cut wire, your design may not match at each end. For example, if you have a washi tape design with a repeating cup design, if your cake ends up halfway up the washi tape border, your cake should be leveled in one place on the other sideor you will have a half cup or cake that does not fit your plan.

Is anyone else feeling like a cupcake right now? If you’re not sure how to match the repetitions, it’s usually best to have a little space between your designs, at the end of the washi tape.

Washi Tape Design Tips:

Tip 1:

Keep it simple. If this is your first washi tape design, keep it simple, to begin with. There are many possibilities and trying to do too much in one plan can lead to unclear results or negative results.

Tip 2:

We recommend using Photoshop or Illustrator to create your washi tape design. These programs have the ability to check things like resolution, color quality, scale, bleed direction, and the quality of the output file needed to print your final washi tape design.

Tip 3:

Think carefully about your plan and plan it using our criteria and think about scale. Remember that washi tape is small!

  •         Is your design too detailed to see at such a small scale?
  •         Will you be able to read the text at this size?
  •         Is your design compatible with bleeding/cut lines?