Friday, 24 October 2014

Washi Tape Christmas, by Kami Bigler. Review.

Washi Tape Christmas

Easy Holiday Craft Ideas with Washi Tape

By Kami Bigler

David & Charles, 2014

Paperback, £9.99 UK, $14.99 US, $16.99 Can

ISBN 13-978-1-4463-0503-4

Star rating: ***1/2

The frost is on the pumpkin. Christmas crafting season is in full swing, so it's time for another festive makes book review. Today I am featuring a fun new paperback that rides in on the washi tape trend. Washi tape is beloved by papercrafters and here to stay. Washi Tape Christmas is a craft title that was begging to be written -  Kami Bigler has done an admirable job with the assignment. The book is colourful, jolly, inventive, and respectful of the qualities that make washi tape such a wonderful craft material. 

Washi tape being what it is, printed masking tape, its very nature decorative and self-adhesive – lends itself to quick-makes. Regarding the fun factor, the table of contents is a master class in alliteration, clock these chapters: Clever Cards, Darling Decorations, Opulent Ornaments, Table Treasures, Gorgeous Gifts, Wondrous Wrapping (see what they did there).

Washi tape looks its best when used in clusters of co-ordinated prints, with edges torn. Its semi-translucency is a major design plus, contributing an unmistakable character to washi makes. The projects in the book (I counted 31) show an appreciation of these qualities of washi tape.  Cue a spontaneous “look what I just whipped up” effect. 
In the Winter Wonderland card, for example, the torn edges of the washi tape are concealed by snowflake sequin shapes, but an irregular border and a kraft card blank retain the casual effect. 

The Happy Holiday Berries card,which features a fun wreath effect inventively created with notched ribbon tails of washi that poke outwards from a central circular cut-out. Other fun ideas include the Sweet Candyland garland, in which round beads are covered with washi tape to create a sweet wrapper effect. A simple stunner is the Natural Place Setting, in which a small fir branch is taped in place onto a dessert plate. For paper manipulation geeks, there’s Lovely Lollipops, in which the lolly shape is fashioned out of washi-covered punched paper circles that are arranged in an attractive 3-D spiral.

There are written step-by-steps for each project, with tips and photos aplenty. There’s a handy list of washi tape suppliers at the back, with UK as well as US contacts – so you can top up your hoard.

Many of these projects are ideal for crafting together with kids. To make things as simple as poss, there are photocopiable full-size templates back-of-book.  This title would make a delightful pre-Christmas surprise for a crafter you know with a washi stash. 

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.