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Tissue Paper Painting

What you need:

  • tissue paper

  • paintbrush

  • place mat or table cloth/garbage bag

  • apron or painting clothes (recommended) 

  • damp cloth for cleaning hands

  • small jar of water

  • painter’s tape (optional)

  • watercolor paper (suggested)

  • white pastel or crayon (optional)



  1. Cut tissue paper into squares and rectangles

  2. Cover a surface with a large place mat or garbage bag

  3. Place paper on table (use painter’s tape to attach to mat, if you wish)

  4. Have a damp cloth and cleaning supplies close by

  5. Place paint, paint brush, water and oil pastel in tray or on table

Note: some colors work better than others, test before giving to your child.  All colors can be used for tissue paper collage activity below!  I found yellow and purple to be the most successful. 


First Presentation:

Optional – pastel/crayon resist:

If your child did the pastel resist from the Lines activity pack, you can just do a quick reminder and skip the steps below.

  1. “Today we are going to draw some lines.”

  2. “Here is a white pastel and paper.” 

  3. “Let’s draw.”

  4. Let your child draw on the paper

  5. “It’s hard to see the lines!  Let’s paint over and see what happens!”

Tissue Paper Painting (ask your child to help on each step after you have introduced):

  1. “Let’s paint the paper lightly with water” (move brush and water away)

  2. “Let’s cover the paper with these squares and rectangles.”

  3. “Now, let’s dip the brush in the water and then paint gently over the tissue paper.” (you might want to do this step for young children as tissue paper will rip easily)

  4. Once all of the tissue is wet, put the paper aside and let it dry.  The tissue paper can be recycled once dried, or used for collaging if in good condition.


  •   Use a spray bottle with water to spray instead of painting with water.

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