Tissue Paper Art

I remember when I was in kindergarten we were asked to work on a project that required the use of tissue paper.  For this article I would like to revisit this experience because its a very simple project that you can do with your children that is not only a lot of fun but requires very few supplies and a lot of creativity. 

Before we get started, I would like to assume that everyone knows what tissue paper is, however if you’re not familiar, it is a very common product that has very interesting uses.  For starters, tissue paper is used for giftwrapping.  Its array of colors can be coordinated with premade giftbags, that fit a variety of sizes.  It’s an easy and convenient way of wrapping presents since the tissue paper is what hides the gift in the bag.  For anyone running late to a party or wrapping last minute gifts its a great way to make a present look like a million bucks! 

In Mexico, tissue paper is the decorative element used to make pinatas*.  Pinatas are a cardboard and newspaper structure, usually made to form common shapes like animals, flowers, dolls, and much more.  Once the structure is constructed the tissue paper is used to decorate the outside to bring the pinata to life.  They are meant to be used in celebrations such as birthday parties, quinceneras, and other festive occasions.  Once they are selected for a party a hole is made usually along the top of the pinata and emptied of any newspaper, then it is filled with surprises such as candy, nuts, toys, or coins.  They are hung usually on a stable structure and then broken by the party attendees, with a bat or a decorated stick.  Pinatas are meant to be very colorful and bright, and come in a variety of sizes from small to very large.

Tissue paper can also be used for creating decorations for parties, such as flowers, and round spheres.  Their colors can be coordinated easily by a decorator to fit the theme.  They are very easy to make and dont require a lot of supplies.

Tissue Paper Collage

Getting started will require few supplies.  Tissue paper will be the main component.  It can be purchased in several common places such as arts and crafts stores, your local drug stores, or any party supply store.  Its retail price varies from 1.99 to 3.99 depending on how much you purchase and where you purchase.  For this project I recommend a variety of colors to keep things interesting.

You will also need glue of your choosing, for this I decided to use Mod Podge Classic Matte, two different sized paintbrushes, a container for water to clean your brushes, a small container like a lid to pour your glue into, a paper towel for wiping off excess water from your brush, a ruler, and a sturdy paper. 

As a side note, when choosing a paper for your project, or any project for that matter be sure that you are working with a paper thats archival (acid free).  Most product labels will indicate this.  Its important because working with archival products will preserve your art for a longer period of time.  When your children are making their first drawings most parents save them and frame them later on, so keep that in mind. 

Finally, more importantly, be sure that you work with papers that are precut to standard framing sizes.  For example, 8″ x 10″, 11″ x 14″, 5″ x 7″, are all standard sizes that are easy to frame.  Once again, when it comes time to frame your art it will make life much easier.

If you don’t have any precut papers to work with you can always cut down a larger sheet into smaller sheets.  For this project I cut down a larger sheet of paper to smaller standard sizes like 8″ x 10″, and 4″ x 6″.  You can do this by first measuring your paper to the right size, then use the sharp edge of your ruler and hold it down against the measured line.  With one hand hold down your ruler and with the other hand pull up your paper along the sharp side of the ruler.  This method will not only give you a straight line but it will also give your paper a deckled edge. 

Once you have decided where you are going to work be sure to cover your workspace with plastic or newspaper for protection.  Next take your tissue paper and begin to tear it into small random pieces.  The size and the shape does not matter in the least.  The more variety the better.

Fill up your smaller container with a small amount of glue, and have your water on hand to periodically clean your brush.  What I have found with this project is that its more fun to work without a plan.  Because the pieces of tissue paper are so different, they seem to take on a life of their own once you begin to make your collage.  If you are doing this project with your children let them have fun putting colors together.

When you’re ready to get started dip your paintbrush into the glue.  Spread a generous amount onto the surface of your paper.  Take a piece of tissue paper and lay it down onto the glue.  Dip your paintbrush into the glue and paint over the tissue.  Repeat the steps until your picture is completed.

What is fun about this project is that the transparency of the tissue paper creates very interesting visual effects that can be manipulated in many different ways.  Your results can be framed, made into cards, or given as gifts to your family.  Plan a day for art and have fun with this!!!!

Come look at some cool art at www.luciaperez.info

*I am aware that the word pinata and quincenera are spelled with a tilde, however I was unable to access it on my keyboard.   Thanks for your understanding!

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5 Responses to Tissue Paper Art

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  2. Couldn´t be written any better. Reading that post reminds me of my old room mate! He frequently kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Quite sure he definitely will use a nice read. Thanks for sharing!

  3. series says:

    This article is very usefull. Thanks for sharing. Im gonna link your blog on my twitter and facebook.

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