Monochromatic Tissue Paper Art With My Toddler

ari artwork

I’m so thankful that Ari get’s the opportunity to make a lot of art at his school. I love how excited he get’s when I hang up something he has made on the living room wall. From a design perspective, ideally there would not be a bunch of paper taped with blue painters tape all over my living room wall. But whatever. He’s so sweet and proud, I don’t even care. Well, I do care a little, which is why I’m moving his art wall to the kitchen command center (blog post coming early next week all about that). But in general, I would never take away his art wall.  He loves climbing on top of his play kitchen to show people his “art wall”. Pointing at all the things, and telling us what they are.

I decided tissue paper + glue on a nice canvas would be a perfect project for us to do at home together. Tissue paper is nice because it bleeds new colors when wet, and it’s something different than what he’s experienced before.


1. Canvas (we used a 20 x 20″ deep edge size from Michaels + 50% off coupon)

2. Watered down Elmer’s glue

3. Paint brush

4. Tissue paper (we went with a navy blue)

5. Kids scissors

6. Wood for framing (optional)

7. Framing tools (optional): Hammer, finishing nails, paint for wood.

Step 1:

Cut or tear strips of the tissue paper. I’m not sure that Ari has ever used scissors before, so I wanted to give it a try. He needed a lot of help. Like, I basically did all the work, but he definitely thought he did. A variety in the thin or thickness of the strips will add interest to the art piece. Ari has painting shorts, just like me. How cute.

Step 2: Paint glue lines on the canvas using the watered down glue. I showed an example, and said “go from one side of the canvas to the other. 1, 2, 3 GO!”. We also used this time to talk about texture. “Does the glue feel sticky?” He didn’t care. No art terms for Mr. Ari, it was all about splattering glue. And yes, things quickly escalated from careful glue lines, to chaotic splatters. He had so much fun. I don’t have a photo of this step, but I do have one of Ari mixing the glue with water. He’s an expert mixer.

Step 3: While the glue is wet, apply the tissue paper strips in any or all directions. “Put on top of the glue so that it sticks and stays put”. He didn’t understand this. So we just simplified it to “pat, pat, pat” as I showed him how to pat down the tissue paper onto the glue. I did have to randomly rotate the canvas for this step so that he had new space to cover.

Step 4: Using the diluted glue and paint brush, begin to paint over top of the tissue paper. This is where the monochromatic colors come in. It’s now longer just navy, but lighter blue tones, pinks, and purples are coming out as well. During this step we talked about “ colors”. He didn’t care.

Step 5: let dry overnight.

Step 6: Framing (optional). I felt that framing the canvas would complete the look. For my wood frame, I bought four pieces of 2 inch wide x 3 feet long poplar wood at Home Depot.

Step 6, Part A: Have Home Depot cut the wood for you. They do it for free, why would I not utilize this? Sizing was a bit difficult, since my canvas was 20″ x 20″. Ideally, the poplar wood would have allowed two pieces to be cut from each, but that wasn’t the case. However, I have a project I will be using the leftovers for, so it doesn’t feel like a loss to me. When measuring for the frame, don’t forget to take into consideration the additional length of the top and bottom, since wood has now been added.


Step 6, Part B: Paint Wood + Dry. Get all sides, don’t rush it. Use a paint with a gloss finish.  For the frame, I used “Shipwreck’ by Behr. It’s a deep high end looking blue.  I happened to have a sample of it laying around and eventually intend to use it to paint the bathroom cabinets. But who knows when that will be. It needed to be in my life right now.

Step 6, Part C: Using small nails, hammer the wood into the sides of the canvas.

All finished!

I love how it all turned out! Navy makes a great addition to my living room, and I know Ari feels so proud when he see’s the artwork each day. I have lot’s of new blog posts coming in the next few days, including a full post on the “before and after” of my toy storage unit (which is what this painting is currently sitting on). Finally.





One Comment on “Monochromatic Tissue Paper Art With My Toddler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: