How to make tissue paper collage art

Tissue paper collage projects create delicate effects in a wide range of colour. Tissue paper works well for both figurative art depicting known subjects such as flowers, people, animals and landscapes, and for abstract arts. Tissue paper also makes a stained glass substitute for kids' craft projects. Due to its shapable texture, tissue paper makes a versatile medium for textured collages. You can use crumpled, wrinkled, folded and otherwise textured tissue paper to add dimension to the collage.

Set out tissue paper colours for the subject. Use a pencil to draw the design on paper or parchment if desired.

Tear tissue paper in narrow strips for a soft effect or cut it with a scissors in strips and any other desired shapes.

Apply tissue paper to the background. Place the strips evenly for a basic background, or experiment with textures by overlapping the strips, adding small wads of tissue paper, tissue paper stars, wrinkled tissue paper or any other design. The 92nd St. Y website recommends putting some glue in a bottle lid and using a cotton swap to apply glue. This allows you to control the amount. Paper Crafts suggests using a foam brush to smooth bubbles out of the tissue paper.

Create the main design from the outside to the centre. For example, for a sunflower, apply the stem, then apply the outer petals. Wad bits of grey and cream tissue paper up and glue into the centre.


Handle tissue paper gently; it tears easily. You can pre-cut tissue paper in the desired shapes. You can make a paper mache mixture in a bowl and dip the tissue paper in the mixture, then press the strips on the parchment with your fingertips. Avoid getting the tissue paper too wet with the mixture as it will deteriorate. Allow time for the background to dry before adding the next layer. Applying the outer elements first and working toward the centre allows you to cover any errors or rough edges. Parchment paper provides a strong surface for building a tissue paper collage. Due to its translucence—the ability to allow light through—it works well for faux stained glass and other artwork to display in a window or in front of a non-flammable light source. Light coming through the parchment brings the tissue paper colours to life.

Things You'll Need

  • Art paper or parchment
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors (safety scissors for kids)
  • Paper mache mixture (optional)
  • Glue
  • Foam brush (optional)
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About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.