Washi and Chiyogami for Scrapbooks and Photograph Storage

Goldfish and Sakura Chiyogami

Throughout the year we celebrate special occasions with our good friends and loved ones.
We watch little ones grow, celebrate birthdays, weddings, fun holidays and capture each memorable moment with a photograph to keep forever.

Some of us may store these photographs in a simple envelope, photo album, scrapbook, or in a traditional box of keepsakes, while others may happily display them around the home or work.As the years go by, those memories become more and more valuable and safe storage is very important, so that the captured memories really can last a lifetime.

One of the best papers to use for storing, decorating, sending or displaying photographs is Japanese Washi and Chiyogami paper.

The traditionally made washi uses purified water and natural plants and fibres which makes it acid free. This not only makes it the best paper to use for storage and protection, but also offers a lovely look and texture to compliment photographs, rather than overtake them.

Light passing through a washi embellishment.

There are fine and delicate washi that allow light to pass through it. This creates a very lovely look when framing a photograph. All you have to do is cut the paper at least 2 centimetres wider than all the sides of the picture and secure it to the back so that the excess juts out as a frame.  Once that is complete, place it on a window or safely in front of a light source, such as a tealight or lamp.

Other types of washi are thicker and have varied textures that can add a bold compliment to images.
To protect all of your pictures, even if they are stacked in a box, simply place one sheet of washi between each photograph, then wrap one long sheet over the entire stack and tie with a string.

Chiyogami is fantastic for decorations since it’s carefully painted with an array of stunning colours and patterns. The colour selection for chiyogami paper is unbelievable and durability can’t be beat.  Even though it’s light as a feather, it can be used like fabric, even when wet.

Covering or decorating storage boxes, picture frames, envelopes and using it as scrapbooking paper truly adds a special touch and shows how important the photos are.

Example of a storage or gift box embellished with chiyogami.

If Chiyogami seems like it’s too flashy to use in great amounts, try using it as a touch of colour.
One very simple way is to cut out shapes or silhouettes( animals, flowers, objects etc…) and attaching them to neutral washi paper or directly onto plain picture frames, photo albums , boxes, and even the photos themselves.

One thing to remember is to make sure to use acid free adhesives when attaching the paper directly on the photographs.  If you are still worried about adhesives, try simple origami. There are thousands of origami folding techniques that can be done simply to make lovely add-ons for decoration, without using glues or tape to attach them on.  Search online for keywords like origami page markers or simple origami decorations, this will give you endless ideas as well as step-by-step instructions.

The page markers are my personal favourite since they are simple and add a sweet touch.

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