Out of all the crafty tutorials on my old Artsyville blog, the one I'm asked about the most is the Last Minute Washi Clip. I loved making these clips, and I'm happy to bring back the post! They are so quick to create that I'm embarrassed to even call it a tutorial. It takes longer to tell the backstory than it does to make one of these clips.
I was scrambling, as usual, to cobble together a bunch of teacher gifts on the last day of school. Hours were obviously of the essence, and I didn't have time to run out and buy anything, so I had to work with what I had -- which was not much, considering that we were in the middle of a move. I did have some tiny binder clips and a few rolls of washi tape, and suddenly I saw exactly what I needed to be doing. Pow! I got to work, and a few hours later, I was arranging dozens of colorful little clips on colorful little pieces of cardstock. Procrastination was my friend that day.
My original post was in 2011 -- amazing to think that this was eight years ago. At that time, there wasn't much washi on the market yet, and this idea seemed absolutely revolutionary to me. Creating these little things sparked such a washi obsession that I even created my own line of washi tape a few years back. It was a charmed phase of Artsyville's life that has now come and gone, but my love for washi remains and I will always enjoy making these little clips.
So, finally: here is a fresh and updated version of my Last Minute Washi Clips, with a couple of things I've discovered along the way to make them even better. Washi is so inexpensive and readily available now that you can create a huge variety of these clips at very little cost.
What makes these so crazy easy is that no glue is required, and the width of the 1/2" clips are nearly identical in size to the standard width of a roll of washi tape (15mm), so you do not need to trim the sides. Even if there does happen to be a slight overage on the width, washi is so thin and pliable that you can just smooth it over the sides.
1/2" wide clips require a washi piece about 3/4" in length (this may vary depending on which clips you buy, so do a couple of test strips before cutting a bunch.) Wrap it around the sides and top, making sure the edges are neat and straight, and presto! Couldn't be easier.
Update tip #1: My original clips were the standard black ones, but I recommend going for colorful ones. They will make your washi patterns stand out beautifully. Washi is very transparent, and dark colors will mute the vibrancy. Choose white, light and bright clips.
Update tip #2: I discovered a trick that makes the washi application much faster. For my first few batches of clips, I used a ruler and hand-cut the tape at the 3/4" mark. That worked fine, but sometimes the washi folded or ripped, the cut was at an angle, or the piece was just slightly too long or short. This slowed down the process, and I found that vexing.
Now I place long strips of washi side by side on a piece of wax paper, cut 3/4" pieces on a paper cutter, and then peel the washi strip off the wax paper. Instead of handcutting one piece at a time with varying cutting results, I can create dozens of pieces of identical length in just a few minutes. Efficiency!
And there they are! For packaging, I suggest either displaying your Last Minute Washi Clips on small pieces of thick cardstock (mine are 2 1/2" by 4") or containing them in a tiny clear cello bag. Your favorite teacher (or your own desk) will love you for it!