How to Remove Washi Tape from Virtually Anything!

 Washi Tape is the newest craze to sweep the crafting world. A Japanese invention, washi tape is made of thin paper, often slightly translucent, and it has become a staple of the scrapbooking and stationary world, as well as finding some application in the home decor sphere, especially among renters who want easy, temporary decor options. Washi tape is adhesive, and as with any adhesive product, human error can often come into play. What is to be done if a bit of washi tape is placed somewhere it is not wanted? Does washi tape come off? Is it removable? The good news is, yes, washi tape is almost always removable, and depending on the surface, it can be fairly easy to take off. There are three main methods for removal, one for paper, one for thicker materials, such as wood or drywall, and one for skin. Whichever you have mistakenly adhered the tape to, washi tape is typically easy to remove


Paper is the most common medium for washi tape projects. It is popular with scrapbookers, bullet journalers, and card makers. Washi tape makes it easy to customize projects without mess and with very little fuss. It can be used as border around a journaling page in a scrapbook, add pizzazz to a homemade card, or aid in organizing and color coding a daily planner.
Removing washi tape from paper can be a bit tricky, depending on what type of washi tape you have and what kind of paper it is stuck to. Traditional washi tape is made of thin paper, and while the adhesive is strong, it is usually not strong enough to tear paper if removed carefully and slowly. There are types of tape that are labeled as “Washi” but are not. These will typically be thicker, and the adhesive will be stronger. Either way, removal is usually possible without any catastrophic consequences.

With any luck, you have adhered the tape to a thicker bit of paper, like card stock, but washi tape, can, in theory, be removed from much thinner paper with enough care.

With your fingernail, gently scrape at the upper corner of the washi tape until it is removed enough for you to get a good grip on the corner. Using gentle, even force, pull the tape away from the paper at a 45 degree downward angle, making sure to not go too fast. Patience is a virtue here, and the slower you go, the more likely you are to remove the tape without damaging your paper.

Wood, Plastic, or Drywall

Washi tape is usable in all kinds of home decor projects, from creating works of temporary art on walls to creating removable wallpaper or decorating lampshades and bookshelves. There are endless possibilities for washi tape within the home. Luckily, washi tape adhesive is different from most other tapes. It does not leave any kind of residue, making it safe for renters. Removing washi tape from a hard, thick surface is as easy as taking hold of one end of the washi tape and pulling it off. It shouldn’t remove paint or veneer. However, it is always wise to do as you would with paper, and go slowly, applying gentle, even pressure as you pull, just to ensure the washi tape doesn’t remove anything it is not supposed to.


Removing washi tape from skin is the easiest of all, as it is easier even than pulling off an adhesive bandage. Find a corner, and pull. The quickness of this exercise is up to the person to whom the washi tape is adhered, but quick and sharp is the typical method. However, if you are dealing with sensitive skin, such as a child’s skin, or an area with a lot of hair, like the eyebrows or hairline, you may want a little help to make the process as painless as possible. If any of these is the case, you may want the help of a gentle adhesive remover such as Goo-Gone. pulling up a corner of the washi tape and putting a bit of adhesive remover underneath will help to dissolve the adhesive so that the tape slides right off. This may take a bit longer than the “quick and sharp” method, but it will result in significantly fewer removed hairs if the washi tape is stuck in a more hirsute area.

The beauty of washi tape is that, while it is strong and versatile, it is removable from virtually any surface, with a little patience and a soft touch.