|Target "washi" tape|
Target has adorable little sets of 4 rolls of tape that approximate washi tape. Each pack is only $4 and I found red/pink, orange/yellow, green, and blue/violet versions. I'd love to know if there are others!
Real washi tape is from Japan, made of rice paper, and is quite expensive - it's hard to find it for less than $3 a roll. If you order it from Japan, you also have to pay A LOT for shipping. But the real stuff from Japan is dreamy.
What's the big deal about this tape? Well, for one thing, it's made of paper, either in solid colors or nifty patterns. It can be a bit translucent so if you stick it on patterned paper, some of the design underneath shows through. Since it's paper, it tears easily, or can be cut more precisely with scissors. You can write on it with most pens, though some washi-like tapes have coatings on them that make this more challenging. It is great for wrapping gifts, because you don't have to worry about hiding the tape, since it's cute and decorative.
The adhesive is removable, so the tape can be repositioned, though some of the more delicate ones need to be handled carefully to avoid tearing it. It doesn't leave a sticky residue on things. What's not to love?
Even better, washi tape reminds me of the Fisher Scientific tape we'd use in lab to label, well, everything. Reagent bottles. Our belongings. Lab notebooks. If you used a Sharpie to write on the label, the stuff was resistant to most chemicals. Unless you were having misadventures with alcohol or something really caustic. In which case you probably had more important things to worry about than your labels becoming unreadable.
My tape collection is somewhat out of control - I bought a new tray to hold it and I have about 50 different rolls. I'm not allowed to buy any more.
Washi tape is super-trendy in scrapbooking and card making these days. A friend of mine makes really cool flowers out of washi tape as scrapbook embellishments, and has promised to show me how over Skype. How cool is that?