DIY: Washi Tape Reference (with Spiral Bound insert)

If you are a “planner addict” like I am, you probably have TONS of supplies laying around to make your organization picture perfect. One of the greatest tools that I’ve utilized since falling in love with planning is the, oh so famous, washi tape—and boy, do I have a lot of it.

Finished washi tape reference that I can remove in and out of my planner! Don’t mind my cute owl PJ’s…

First of all, before you I try to describe what a “washi tape reference” is…I want to ask you whether you have been in any of these scenarios:

  • You go on a planner-haul for washi tape and come home to find that you’ve bought the same pattern of tape TWICE!
  • You are meticulously looking through the sticker section and come to find these awesome stickers, but then wonder what washi tape you might combine the stickers with or whether the color pattern actually goes together or not.
  • You finish decorating your planner and then come to find washi tape in the back your drawer that would’ve gone perfectly with your pages…yet, you forgot you had it and it’s too late now 😦

Are you starting to get the idea of its purpose now?

I think a washi tape reference is just a perfect way to organize all your washi tape patterns, so that you can easily identify what you have in your collection without having to pull all the rolls out or cluttering your work space while you dig deep to find the perfect pattern. So of course, here’s a tutorial on how to make one (or at least how I made mine)!


  • your personal washi tape collection (duh)IMG_1831
  • cardstock (preferably white to showcase the right patterns)
  • scissors
  • 1/8″ hole puncher (I got mine at Michael’s for about $6)
  • your planner
  • paper trimmer (optional…if you’re really good at cutting straight with scissors)
  • sticky tabs

To begin, think about what size you want your reference to be. This is IMG_1833totally up to you and you can make it look however you want. I decided to go with two short columns to show off my collection.

I cut my card stock 9×4″ rectangle. This is where the paper trimmer comes in handy.

*TIP: Remember that you will be displaying your washi tape on this sheet, and you want to try to use as little washi tape as possible to save the rest for your planner! This is why I made my reference fairly thin. 

I also decided to use the scoring blade off my Recollections Signature Paper Trimmer to score a straight line down the middle of my sheet to make two columns.

Next is the fun part: putting your washi tape down. This is super easy after a lot of experience of decorating my planner. I felt like I was going washi tape crazy on one sheet (which I was) and I enjoyed it (I’m so lame. Sorry).

As said before, you can do this however you want. You can tape down in lines. You can scatter them. You can do whatever you want.

I decided that I wanted my washi tape to be viewed easily (and taped down easily). I didn’t want to just place the tape just anywhere, and decided that horizontal lines in two columns were a safe choice:

IMG_1837 IMG_1838IMG_1839

I already loved the look of my reference as I finished filling the sheet.

Now, you can totally stop here if you can work with this. You could easily place this in a pocket folder, or just carry it around in your backpack/purse or whatever.

The next few steps are just going to put a spiral tab with slits on it so that you can easily remove the reference in and out of your planner as you please. Please keep in mind this only works with SPIRAL BOUND planners, such as Erin Condren or Plum Paper planners. I learned this method from Belinda Selene’s planner video, “5 AFFORDABLE WAYS TO DECORATE YOUR PLANNER | #PlanningWithBelinda.” Definitely check out her youtube channel—she has GREAT tips!

First, you’ll need to find a guide to make your spiral bound holes. If you have a sort of ruler, book mark, or interchangeable cover that is removable and can be put back on, this will work perfectly. If not, grab your planner and tear out the very last sheet in it (don’t cringe…you won’t even miss the last sheet—specially if it’s just a notes page).

Luckily, even though my planner is custom made (click here to learn more about how I created my own planner from scratch!), my old Erin Condren ruler still fits between the spiral bounds. I simply used the ruler as a guide for mark holes for the spiral insert. Then, I stuck the note tab to the back of my washi reference!

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 12.18.38 AM
I held the ruler up to the note tab and then marked the holes with a pencil. Easy peasy.
Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 12.19.19 AM
Front and back view of the marked note tab stuck to the washi reference sheet.

Then, use your 1/8″ hole puncher to punch out EXACTLY where the marks are on the note tab.

IMG_1844Last but not lease, use your scissors to cut slits in the middle of every hole punch.

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 12.19.56 AM
After cutting all the slits, the note tab should be sort of “fringy” (that’s the best word I could think of…).

Now stick it onto your planner and VIOLA, you have a removable washi tape reference for all your planning needs!


Thanks for reading,


Did you like this tutorial? Any other advice on how to make this reference even better? Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Don’t forget to share with your other planner addicts!