Easy Art Ideas with Tissue Paper & Glue

Updated July 20, 2017

Given that it's so thin and fragile, tissue paper works remarkably well as a children's craft material. It can be used to add colour and texture to a variety of art projects. Using basic white craft glue with tissue paper doesn't have to be a gloppy mess. Spread newsprint on your working surface, and you can throw the whole mess away at the end of the project. With younger children, use a washable glue that easily comes off hands and clothing.


One of the most common craft techniques using coloured tissue paper and glue is découpage, i.e., covering objects with a colourful collage of tissue paper squares. Découpage anything --- a shoebox, vase, Easter eggs or Christmas ornaments. Start by cutting or ripping tissue paper into approximately 1-inch squares. Mix two parts glue to one part water. With a foam brush, cover the surface of the object with a thin layer of the glue mixture. Place tissue paper flat on the surface and cover with another thin layer of mixture. When finished, let the object dry, and it will be ready to use.

Crumpled Collages

This is a common tissue paper decorating technique. Cut 3-inch squares of tissue paper. Crumple one square into a ball. Place a dot of glue on the object you're decorating, and cover it with the tissue paper ball. Repeat until the entire project is covered. Use this technique to make a paper plate rainbow. Cut a paper plate in half and glue tissue paper balls along the arc in lines of rainbow colours. Make a teachable moment with the mnemonic device "Roy G. Biv." This trick teaches the spectrum colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo & violet.

Sun Catcher

Cut a piece of waxed paper into any shape --- a square, heart or star, for example --- and attach torn strips of flat tissue paper to it using a foam brush and glue mixture. To make the glue mixture, stir together two parts glue and one part water. When dry, hold the waxed paper against the sun and watch the light shine through.

Stained Glass

To make faux stained glass, cut shapes out of a piece of black construction paper with a sharp craft blade. Discard the shapes, but keep the piece of construction paper with the holes of shapes in it. Apply a thin layer of glue around each hole, and press a piece of tissue paper over the hole to cover it. Cover all the holes on the paper, and hold the entire project up to the light.

Paper Bag Piñata

Use a paper bag from the grocery store. Découpage the outside of the bag using tissue paper and a glue mixture (two parts glue to one part water). Make a face on the bag to turn it into a monster or special character. When dry, glue tissue paper streamers to the bottom of the bag so they hang down. Fill the bag with candy. Fold the top of the bag several times, stapling shut. Carefully poke two holes through the sturdy fold and thread a rope through them to suspend the bag, and let kids take turns swinging at it.

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About the Author

Michelle Watson has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010. She has edited hospital magazines around the United States and written on a variety of health-care topics. Watson is also a licensed high school English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching credential.