Creation Station

Painting with Tissue Paper

Tissue paper and water make fun art to create on summer days

Creativity knows no bounds with this easy and fun art project. Once your kids get the hang of painting with tissue paper, they will want to try different patterns and ideas — they are limited only by their imaginations!

Because this project requires water and can get a little messy, painting with tissue paper art is a great craft to do outside on a summer day. If the kids, or you, get hot, you already have a spray bottle handy.


  • Bleeding Art brand tissue paper — see note under Hints
  • 11 × 14 inch flat canvas panel
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Picture frame
  • Rubber or latex gloves (optional)
  • Paintbrush (optional)


  1. Create a workplace by laying down thick layers of newspaper so that the tissue paper doesn’t bleed onto anything else but the canvas panel.
  2. Cut the assorted colored tissue paper to desired shapes and sizes (we used squares).
  3. Put on gloves if you don’t want colored fingertips for a day or so, although the color will wash off your hands with soap and water.
  4. Place the blank canvas on the newspaper-covered workspace.
  5. Lightly spray the canvas with water.
  6. Place different colors of the tissue paper shapes on the moistened canvas, laying them in a single layer, or overlap them for more color mix.
  7. Lightly spray the tissue paper on the canvas.
  8. Let dry for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the tissue paper to reveal your masterpiece of watercolors.

See hints for this project at right



  • The tissue paper you use does make a difference. I’ve tried standard colored tissue paper available at local craft stores, but it doesn’t work as well. Bleeding Art tissue paper is available on Amazon for $8–$11.
  • Flat canvas panels are available at Walmart for $5. We chose to use flat canvas panels because they are the perfect depth to put into a frame.

While our design was random, you can get more intricate in your designs:

  • Use different shapes and sizes of tissue paper.
  • Lift and move the moistened tissue paper shapes to different areas of the canvas.
  • Crumple a piece of the tissue paper and blot color on your canvas in a “sponging” technique. Add water as needed, lifting and checking the color and repeating wherever necessary.
  • Use a moistened paintbrush to press down on the tissue paper on the canvas to help bleed more color from it. You can also use the paintbrush to pull the tissue paper across the canvas to create a “washed” effect.



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