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  • Emily H.

Tissue Paper Painting

This art project is really colorful, cool, and exciting! You’ll get to practice your cutting, drawing, and creativity skills. And at the end, you get to get your project all wet. But you probably won’t want to carry a birthday present in the rain after you find out what happens when you get tissue paper wet!


  • Watercolor paper or cardstock

  • Tissue paper of various colors (make sure it will bleed when wet)

  • White crayon

  • Spray bottle

  • Water

  • A leaf

Note: Before you start, make sure you have an adult nearby to help you. Be sure to ask them before you use scissors and water. Find a flat place to do your project, like a table or desk. I put some wax paper under my picture so the wet colors wouldn’t get onto my desk. As an adult if you should put something under your picture before your start.

Step 1: If your tissue paper is not already cut into little bits, you’ll have to cut it yourself. Unfold your tissue paper onto your kitchen table or desk. It is probably very big, so it’ll help to make it smaller. Cut that big paper right down the middle, and set one half aside.

Step 2: Next, lay one of your halves on the table in front of you. Do you notice how one side is very long and one is very short? It will be easier to do the next step using the side that is shorter. We are going to cut this piece of tissue paper into strips. Turn the paper so the longer side is going left to right. This means that the long sides of the paper are on the top and bottom. Then, I measured about the length of the top of my thumb to my knuckle and cut strips that big.

Step 3: From those strips, we will cut small squares. Just like before, you want the long side of the strips going left to right or top and bottom. Cut the strips into small pieces, the same size as you just did in the last step, using your thumb to measure.

Step 4: Do this with as many colors of tissue paper as you would like to use in your picture. I used red, orange, yellow, and brown because they are fall colors. Would you like to try the same colors? I had lots of other colors cut out too, so you could do that if you would like and then choose the colors you use later in the activity. If you are doing this in the spring, winter, or summer, try to pick colors that go with that season!

Step 5: Now, we need to draw a hidden picture on our paper with our white crayon. Why do you think it will be hidden? I think it’s because it’s a white crayon drawn on white paper and we won’t be able to see it right away. Once we add the wetness to the colorful tissue paper, the water will turn into colorful puddles that will dry onto the white paper. Once the paper is colorful instead of white, we will be able to see the drawing again!

I am going to use two fall leaves to trace. It’s okay if you don’t have one or it isn’t fall right now, you can use a regular green leaf you really like! Set your leaf down on your paper, it doesn’t matter which side touches the paper. Hold your leaf flat with the hand you don’t hold your pencil with. Rest the top part of your crayon on your paper, really snug next to the leaf. Trace all the way around your leaf, making sure to keep your crayon as close to the edge of your leaf as possible. You might have to move your other hand out of the way of your crayon, but be sure you don’t lift it all the way off the leaf. You have to keep the leaf in the same place the whole time so you don’t lose your line. This is really important with this craft because you are using a white crayon and won’t be able to see your drawing.

Step 6: Once you have drawn all the way around the leaf, pick it up off your paper. You won’t be able to see a drawing because you used a white crayon on a white piece of paper. That’s okay, that’s what is supposed to happen! Now that you drew your leaf, we can put our tissue paper confetti all over it! Using one piece at a time, place your colorful tissue paper onto your picture, covering the whole thing. Once it’s wet, the colors will move from the tissue paper onto your painting. Try to put different colors next to each other, so you don’t have a big splotch of one color in the middle of your paper. Most importantly, don’t leave any big white spots.

Step 7: Now that your picture is covered in colors, we’re going to get it wet! Ask an adult to help you fill your spray bottle with water. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can either use a paintbrush or even your fingers. If you use one of those options, you will flick the water onto your picture instead of spraying it. It doesn’t matter what temperature it is, just make sure it’s not super hot or super cold. Once your bottle is full, you’re ready to spray. Point your bottle at your picture and start spritzing it with water. Make sure to get the whole paper wet. You want all of your pieces of tissue paper to be wet all over. But your paper should not be dripping with water.

Step 8: Now you’ll have to practice your patience skills. Your picture has to get all the way dry before we do anything else. Try not to touch it or move it until it is. But if the place you made it is not a safe place to let it dry, it’s okay to carry it over to a new spot. It should take a couple of hours to dry, but if you got your paper extra wet, it might take a little longer. I left mine overnight so I wouldn’t touch it while it was drying.

Step 9: After about 2 hours, check on your picture to see if it’s dry. You can do this by touching the tissue paper and checking to see if your finger is wet. If they are all dry, it’s time to see your picture! You can either lift up your paper and shake the tissue paper off, or you can pick them off one-by-one.

Did your picture turn out like you thought it would? Did you know the tissue paper would make that much color on your picture? It’s pretty cool what we can make with things we have at home. I hope you liked this as much as I did! If you wanted to do this again, try to pick a different-shaped leaf than the first one you picked.

~ Made By: Emily H.

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