tissue paper painting process art for kids

Tissue paper art, or painting with tissue paper is a favorite activity of mine, mostly because activity transcends age.  It can be done by the littlest artists or it can grow into part of a more sophisticated process for an older artists.

And, relaxing…… something about this soothes my nerves.  Choosing colors and painting water over them.  Watching the water smooth hem down and colors bleed together.

It’s art that doesn’t have to look just “right.”  It just is.  (This post may contain affiliate links.)

The recipe for this particular brand of tissue paper art is simple as can be.  It is important that you start with art tissue that is designed to bleed.  The pigment in this type of tissue is designed to bleed out of it when wet.  (I.E. Don’t wrap gifts in this tissue paper or they may look like they were painted as well!)

This Hygloss Bleeding Tissue Assortment is my favorite.  Not only are the colors super vibrant but there is also a huge variety of colors in each package so there is no need to go looking for multiple “colors.”  You won’t find this in the gift wrap aisle, but rather in the art supplies aisle.

Cut your tissue paper up…

The next step is to cut your tissue paper down from the 12 x 18 sheets it comes in to a size more manageable for little fingers.  Cutting through several layers at once is easy because it is so thin.  This can be great small motor practice for those just learning to use scissors.  Another possibility is to tear the tissue paper.  I love to use this kind of messy, less than perfect process with kids that focus on making everything perfect.

The best paper for tissue paper painting…

Even for little kids I love breaking out quality art supplies.  Doing this process on watercolor paper ensures that when your little person keeps painting and painting and adding more and more water that the paper underneath wont give way.  Is it necessary?  Nope.  You can even do this on regular copy weight paper and it will all go down just fine.  The heavier paper is just a nice touch, especially if your going to use the finished project to keep making more art on top of!

How to paint with tissue paper…

Now comes the relaxing part I was telling you about.  Lay tissue paper on white paper.  Paint it with water.

Paint tissue paper with water for this colorful watercolor like result.

This tissue paper art is so simple.

There is no adhesive involved.  Said tissue paper will fall off of your background paper in about 20 minutes, depending on the amount of water used.  Left behind will be a beautiful watercolor-ish painting.

This can be the beginning or the end of this project.  The watercolor -ish stained paper left behind when the tissue paper falls off is beautiful all on its own.  It makes a beautiful background for drawing with a black permanent marker.  The possibilities are endless.

Let’s paint together…

Click on the video above and I’ll walk you through each step of painting with tissue paper!  Let’s make something!

Paint tissue paper with water for this unique process art activity

Do you love open ended process art ideas…

If you loved this tissue paper painting activity I have more ideas that I know will spark inspiration at your house!

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Paint tissue paper with water for this unique process art activity


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Experience the arts in the great outdoors!