Kokuyo Bobbin - Roll your own little washi bobbins

Mar 26, 2021

This "Stationery Review by April" is a series of blog posts by our friend April Wu known as @penguinscreative on Instagram where she reviews different stationery to help us the team of Cute Things from Japan who are all English learners and need help when explaining some detail of products.  This time, April reviewed Kokuyo Bobbin series, which won the Bungu Joyshi Award.  This award is given to the product who won the most votes by the stationery love people at the biggest stationery event in Japan called Jungu Jyoshi Haku.  She explains how you can use this Bobbin system with step-by-step pictures.

Kokuyo Bobbin at Cute Things from Japan
The great thing about Japanese stationery is that they never fail to come out with new tools that are both functional and adorable at the same time. With our collection of washi and masking tapes growing day by day, it’s not surprising that storage and display is the next thing on a stationery enthusiast’s mind. Introducing: Bobbin by Kokuyo. It is a collection of stationery tools that gives new meaning to “stationery, for your stationery.”

Kokuyo Bobbin at Cute Things from Japan
In the Bobbin collection, you have the core tool that holds a small quantity of masking tape that has a maximum of 15mm width, up to 3m length. They look just like the bobbins you’ll find in the arts of embroidery, quilting, and sewing crafts. However, each core is small, light, and has stackable grooves that allows you to click multiple bobbins together and store them as a long tube, or independently to display on your desk.

kokuyo bobbin at Cute Things from Japan
(Here’s an size comparison of the Bobbin, Bobbin maker, and Petit Cutter next to a Hobonichi A5 Day-free notebook)

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from Japan
You can purchase existing bobbins as sets of 3 with unique masking tape patterns from this series.  However, the magic really happens when you can buy an empty bobbin and start transforming your existing washi tape collection into these little portable tape samples to carry on the go!

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from JapanIn order to start “maki maki” (which means the action of rolling something in Japanese), you’ll need the Bobbin Maker! This is a little spooling gadget that allows you to roll your own washi tape into empty bobbins by turning the little handle that’s attached! Be mindful that the washi should have an inner core diameter of at least 18 mm to 40 mm, and that the tape is at most 15 mm in width. Once you pick your washi tape, it’s time to start spooling!

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from Japan(comparing the size of the Bobbin Maker to a typical tape dispenser)

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japan
kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japan
kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japan
First, release the lock on the side of the Bobbin Maker, and you’ll be able to fit an empty bobbin on one end, and your own washi into the larger spool. Click it shut and flick the lock upwards so the tapes stay stable. Hold on to the Bobbin Maker with one hand, and start turning the handle in a clockwise fashion. You’ll soon hear a light mechanical clicking sound that’s oddly satisfying as you start spooling the washi tape on to the bobbin. It will take more than a few turns to start filling out the empty core. It’s an addicting motion, but make sure to stop before the tape overfills the bobbin! Once you had collected a desirable amount in the bobbin, simply open the gadget and snip the tape with a scissors, you have a bobbin!

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japanAfter you admire the little collection of washi tape filled bobbin, it’s time to see how you can use them with your journals. Of course, you can tear off pieces with your fingers just like you use a normal roll of tape. However, hand-tearing can cause irregular ends, and sometimes you don’t have a scissor at hand. The Petit Cutter from the Bobbin collection is designed to house one bobbin and act as the cutter at the same time! It’s as simple as dissembling the Petit Cutter to slide a bobbin in, and using the sharp teeth to neatly cut the tape.

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japan
kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japanHere’s a cool design: by pressing on the white underside of the petit cutter near the teeth, you’ll be able to push up the edge of the washi from where you last left off!

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japan

kokuyo bobbin at cute things from japanThe Bobbin is a fun tool to more creatively store and use your masking tape collection. Place them on little plates to add to your stationery desk’s aesthetic. Have fun spooling, and let’s see your collection!

- Written by April Wu

Thank you very much April!!  We are sure you enjoyed reading April's great review and inspiration ideas for your planner and journal!  You can find these Kokuyo Bobbin series HERE.  We hope you will have lots of fun with them  Please check April's Instagram for more planner and journal ideas! (@penguinscreative).  She has so many fun ideas to make your planner time fun!

Thank you very much for reading.  Have a nice day!
Love, Ayako and Junko

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