Design Your Own Washi Tape in Adobe Illustrator | Rebecca Woolbright | Skillshare

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Design Your Own Washi Tape in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Rebecca Woolbright, Artist + Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Make an Artboard

    • 4. Adding a Bleed

    • 5. Backgrounds

    • 6. Adding Artwork

    • 7. Make a Repeat

    • 8. Checking Your File

    • 9. Manufacturing

    • 10. That's a Wrap

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About This Class

Have you always wanted to know how to design washi tape? Join Rebecca Woolbright as she walks you through the process from start to finish creating this magical masking tape. As a bonus, she shares with you how to find a manufacturer and tips for working with a manufacturer.

This class is perfect for beginners and also for the more advanced artist familiar with the Adobe Illustrator and ready to manufacture their own products.

This class is setting you up for success to design your own washi tape and start manufacturing it! After that, the sky is the limit!

This class requires Adobe Illustrator. I will be providing additional file template sizes along with a PDF on how to use the files. 

If you have always been curious on how to make washi tape from start to finish this class is for you!

*Adobe Illustrator are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Woolbright

Artist + Surface Pattern Designer


Hello! My name is Rebecca and I am an artist, surface pattern designer and mother to two kiddos in the lovely green state of Washington! I have been in love with paper and stationery items since I was a small girl and can often be found pulling my family into the stationery aisle at any store we go into. I am in love with color and love designing products that are bright and bring a smile to people's faces.

I am always pushing myself to try new products and color ways. Washi tape is my first love. It is the product that taught me art was worth pursuing and I have fallen head over heels with it ever since. I have since grown my brand Rebecca Jane Woolbright to include greeting cards, wrapping paper, tea towels and stickers. I am also actively licensing my artwork to ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Do you make collage art? Do you doodle? If you do any of these things, you can make washi tape. What is washi tape? It's the most amazing thing ever. Washi tape is a removable masking tape that usually made from natural fibers. I love washi tape because it's easy to produce and it's inexpensive. It's a great way to see your artwork come to life. My name is Rebecca and I run a brand called Rebecca Jane Fulbright. I have been designing and manufacturing washi tape for over six years. I've learned a lot in that timeframe. And the following videos, I'm going to teach you some of the tricks that I've learned along the way. We're going to learn how to set up our art board and Adobe Illustrator, how to bring in artwork, and how to check our files before we send it in for manufacturing. The project for this class is to design and upload your washi tape. I want to see it. I want to know what you want to create. I love washi tapes so much. I love looking at everybody's designs. Please share it in the project gallery. Are you ready to get started? 2. Class Project: The project for this class is to design and upload your washy tape that you're going to manufacture. Please upload it in the project gallery below. I can't wait to see what you create. 3. Make an Artboard: In this lesson, we are going to set up our art board in Adobe Illustrator. Let's do it. Okay, so the first thing that we need to do is open up Adobe Illustrator. After you open the program, you're gonna get a screen that looks like this. And we're going to go click Create New. Then we're gonna go over to this measurement, drop down box and choose millimeters. We're going to change the width to 350 and the height to 15 millimeters. We want the artboard to be in landscape mode and we only need one. Then we need to add a bleed to the top and bottom of our art board. To do that, we need to break this little link here and add a 1.5 to the top and a 1.5 to the bottom. We don't need a bleed on the left or right-hand side of the tape. Click this drop down here to make sure you have the color is in CMYK and everything else looks really good here. Then click Create. Here's the art board we just created. We're gonna do a couple more things before we start adding artwork to our art board. The first thing is we're going to go up to Window and dropped down to layers. We're going to add a name to this layer to make it easy. So we're going to call this artboard. 4. Adding a Bleed: So one of the first things I like to do is to go up to Window and Layers and go to this square right here that has the plus in it to create a new layer, double-click on layer 2, and we're going to call this artwork. Then press enter with the Artboard selected. We're going to add a couple more things. The first is an inner bleed. To do that, we're going to come over to the rectangle tool or press the shortcut M. Double-click. Now we're going to make it 350 millimeters wide by 12 millimeters tall. You can click the V key or this little arrow key to be able to move this around. So what I like to do is make this stroke color a color that isn't red like our bleed and isn't going to be black like our art board outline. So let's choose something fun like green. Next we're going to align it to our art board. So again, using these tools or Window Align, Horizontal, Align Center, and then vertically aligned. And then I hit Command 2. Now you have a file that is perfectly set up for bleeds. So, so if we zoom in, the red lines are our outer bleed. That means we want our background to fill from the top of the red line to the bottom of the red rectangle. This will ensure that we get no white lines on our washi tape when the company trims are washy. The next line is the black art board. This is the size of our washi tape trimmed 15 millimeters. Green lines are your inner bleed. This is where you want your artwork to fit inside these two green lines so that they won't be cut off on the top or bottom. Unless you're making a pattern or some kind of design that hangs off the edges and that's part of your washi tape. 5. Backgrounds: The next thing we're gonna do is add artwork to our Artboard. So the first thing we wanna do is go over to the Layers panel or come up to Windows and dropped down layers. And we're going to select the layer artwork so that we know that all the artwork is being put onto this layer. The first thing I like to do is to create a background. By doing that, you can hit on the keyboard, shortcut M, or come over to the rectangle and click on that. And we're going to double-click. And we're gonna make it 350 millimeters wide because that is the length of our art board. And we're gonna make it 18 millimeters from top to bottom. This is giving us a background that it's going to fall perfectly within the outer bleed so that you won't have a white line on the top or bottom of your tape when they're trimming your tape in manufacturing. So let's change the color here. Click on the fill, and let's make the background gray so it's easy to work with. And then we're going to move this around, we're going to align it. I'm going to use these tools on the top, but you could, again go up to Window, Align, get the same tools and we're going to horizontally align it with our art board and then vertically so that you have a background that is perfectly centered on your artboard. I then press Command 2 to lock it in place. 6. Adding Artwork: So here's the amazing thing about Washington. Let's not overthink it. It's a simple product and you can put on simple artwork or really incredible elaborate art. For today's artwork, it's going to be simple. The next thing we're gonna do is add some artwork. So to keep this simple, I'm going to use a polka dot. To do that. I'm going to go over to the rectangle tool and hold it down and come down to the ellipse tool. The shortcut for the circle is l. And if you hold shift down, you will create a perfect circle. So I'm going to make one about this size. And I'm going to change the fill color to a fun pink. Click the V key so you can move the dot around and place it on your Artboard. If we zoom in Z and drag your cursor over here, you'll see that this is falling over the edge of our artboard. This means that the circle is going to be trimmed off and it will not be a perfect circle. In order to make it a perfect circle That's not going to get trimmed, we need to make it smaller. You can hold Shift and Alt at the same time and drag one of these corners. To do that. Now you have a smaller circle that is not going to get trimmed because it is falling within these black lines. Next thing we wanna do is see where this dot lines up with our inner bleed. To do that, come over to the Layers, panel or window layers, and drag the art work beneath the artboard. Now you can see that you have this pink circle is not going to fit within the inner bleed. It's still is falling on the other side of this box. So we still need to make this dot smaller. So select your dot, hit Shift, hold down Shift and Alt at the same time, and drag it again until the dot is perfectly within the inner bleed. 7. Make a Repeat: Now it's time to create a perfect repeat. To do this, you're going to select your dot. Let's zoom out by doing Command and a little Minus key. So you can see what I'm talking about here. Alright? So we have r dot selected to make it perfectly repeating. On the left and right-hand side, I'm going to right-click and hit Transform. Right-click Transform, Move. And we're going to move it 350 millimeters across the artboard and 0. And then we're going to hit Copy. And now you have two dots that are creating a perfect repeat. So as you can see, the repeat on washi tape happens on the left-hand and right-hand side because it's a continuous long piece of tape. You don't need to worry about repeating on the top or the bottom of the tape because that's not where the tape repeats. Now to create more dots, you can select our first dot. And while holding it down, hold Shift and Alt. And you'll see that little white arrow pop-up. And that will create a duplicate. And it's perfectly aligned with the first one. Then if you press Command D, you continue to make new dots across your art board. The next thing you wanna do is to make sure that your dots are perfectly aligned. To do that, I'm going to select all of the pink dots. I'm going to go up to Window Align. And we're going to use this Distribute Spacing. And we're going to horizontally distribute the space. And you can see it moved it just a little bit. So now they're perfectly distributed. 8. Checking Your File: Now it's time to check our file to make sure that it looks how we want it to look before we send it to the manufacturer. One way I do this is by coming over to the layers where you can again go up to Window Layers. And I will click off artboard. Now you can get a better visual of what this is going to look like. Do you like the colors? Do you like that? It's polka dots. We know that it's perfectly aligned and we know that the artwork is perfectly inside the inner bleed. Another way you can check your file is to create a box and make a clipping mask to see how the tape is going to work. To do this, you come over to the rectangle tool. Or you can do M on your keyboard. And we're going to make a rectangle by double-clicking that is 350 millimeters by 15 millimeters tall. So let's make this a color like purple. So it's really easy to tell everything apart. Can move this around. Now, I'm going to use my align tools on the top to horizontally align its center and vertically align it over the art board. The next thing to do with the clipping mask is go up to object unlock all because we had our background locked so it wouldn't move while we're creating our washi tape. Now, if you press Command a, That's going to select everything, or you can go up to Select All. Then we're going to create a clipping mask by hitting Command 7 is the shortcut or object clipping mask make. Then you have a clipping mask. So if you wanted to check the repeat of your file manually how it's going to look. You would select what we just clipped and do the same thing to create a repeat pattern that we did with the dot. Right-click on the tape. Go to Transform, move. We're going to move it 350 millimeters by 0 vertically. And we're going to create a copy. And then if you scroll over to the edge of our, our board and zoom in by pressing Z. And then you'll get this little magnifying glass. You'll see that this, this piece that we just moved aligns perfectly with the piece that we just clipped. So you'll see that there's no white lines because we have the gray background that extended to the top and the bottom of the bleed. And this pink dot we know, fell within the inner bleed. So this tape is ready to go. So you delete that please. And then when you click on your clipping mask, I right-click, say Release Clipping Mask. The last thing you need to do is delete the clipping mask that's going in and clicking on the art board line. And you'll see there's a box that is no fill and no stroke that's 350 millimeters by 15 millimeters. Delete that. It just makes for a really clean file for manufacturing, but otherwise it wouldn't show up. The companies I work with want an Adobe file. The last thing we need to do is come over here. Our artwork is selected. This is the only thing we need them to see. Then come up to File, go down to Save As we're going to save it to our desktop. We're going to call it polka dot. And it's Adobe Illustrator on the bottom and save. And now you've created your first washi tape roll. 9. Manufacturing: So we all want to know where can we get washi tape made? I go through the website I would suggest ordering samples so you can feel the tape. Some tapes can be waxy while others are just as smooth matte paper. After you've decided on a company asked for proofs of your product, every company should be able to give you an example of what your washi tape is going to look like printed, make sure you look at this closely. The next big thing to think about is how you are going to present your washy taped to the world. Do you want it to have a label? Is it going to be in a box? Will it be shrink wrapped? Most companies also manufacturer a lot of other products. So they are capable of producing boxes or sticker labels to put on your washi tape. Some other things to consider are shipping times and production schedules. It's always good to get a good heads up of what you're working with and the timeframe that the company plans on shipping your product. 10. That's a Wrap: We did. I'm so excited. We made Washington together. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Please remember to upload your washi tape into the project gallery so we can all check it out. I've also included three templates that you can download. A one-inch washi tape, the 15 millimeter, which is the same that we created in this class. And a 10 millimeter washi tape, which is a little bit thinner than the 15 millimeter, but a really fun tape to make.