Saturday, 28 June 2014

Washi Bands: washi tape friendship bracelets

The Loom Band craze is difficult to ignore. (I'm sure that when I purchased my own loom, the sales assistant thought it was for a daughter or niece!) I got to thinking: how about coming up with papercraft friendship links... and tie that in with the washi tape trend. So... here they are: Washi Bands - friendship bracelets made out of washi tape links. The translucent effect is lovely.

Washi Bands are really easy to make: cut, fold, link. The bracelets above are the hand-cut version (digi-cut Washi Bands to follow in my next blogpost). I have devised a system so that you can cut the links from standard 1.5cm (5/8in)-wide washi tape. 
The secret: you print out rows of washi tape links on an ordinary sheet of tracing paper. The outlines are greyed out, so they don't show through. You stick the washi tape onto the flip side of the printout, then cut the links apart.
A bonus: a gift presentation/storage container for the wash bands. You can fill it with completed bracelets or pre-cut links. (The container is supposed to look like stacked rolls of washi tape.)
Here are your files:
Print the template onto a sheet of tracing paper or vellum.

Washi box: lid, base, tag.
Following - step-by-step how-tos:

Washi Bands (Hand-cut)

1 Print the grey template onto an A4 sheet of tracing paper or lightweight vellum.

2 Turn the printout over and stick a strip of washi tape over each row of outlined shapes (visible through the translucent paper). Make sure the edges are aligned.

3 Cut out each row of attached shapes. Using a craft knife, carefully cut out the little triangles. (You may prefer to use a craft knife to cut the initial slit at the triangle's base, then use small scissors to cut out the remaining sides.)

4 Cut the links apart, finishing any other necessary shape-cutting.

Cut out links in three or four colours.

To assemble the washi band:

1 Fold all the links in half crosswise, creasing the centre fold crisply.

2 Start with the first link - the one with the centre bar. Fold it in half with the bar at the top.

3 Open out all the other links. To thread the links, squeeze each link in half lengthwise - but do not crease the fold. Pass the link through the triangular hole of the previous link, then open out the link and re-fold the crosswise fold. Continue this procedure to finish the band, alternating link colours. Make the band as long as necessary to fit around your wrist (probably 10-13 links). Stick the final link together with a snippet of double-sided tape. To fasten the band, pass the bar through the hole in the last link (you must fold the bar ends to pass it though). Open out the bar ends to secure the fastening.

Washi Band Box

1 Print and cut out the template. Cut out the pieces: lid and lid side,
base and base side, tag. 

2 Fold all the tabs on the lid and base to the underside.

3 Join the lid side to make a ring. Join the base sides to make a cylinder.

4 Lid: apply tacky glue to all the tabs. Place the lid ring on a tabletop.
Carefully lower the lid, face down, into the lid ring. Make sure the edges of the lid are flush with the tabletop. Glue down all the tabs.

5 Glue the base to the bottom cylinder in a similar manner. (The dotty "roll of tape" belongs at the bottom.) 

6 Pierce or punch a hole in the gift tag and thread it with a piece of craft thread.

Now try this:

* You don't have to use the links to make friendship bands. Use them to make pretty borders for cards and scrapbook pages. 

* Of course, you can alter the link sizes. Big the links up to make room-sized paper chains.

Have fun playing the chain game.