Kid-Friendly Craft Project: Tissue Paper Transfer Art

Kids of all ages will enjoy creating mesmerizing works of art as they experiment with this unique "bleeding" tissue paper.

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

What You'll Need

  • bleeding tissue paper (see note below)
  • scissors
  • canvases or watercolor paper
  • spray bottle with water

NOTE: This craft really only works with bleeding tissue paper, which releases dye when wet. I experimented with gift tissue paper and found that little to no colored transferred (as one would hope, to be honest, since you never want wrapping paper colors rubbing off on a gift you’ve packaged).

Cut the Tissue Paper to Size

Prepping for this project involves cutting your pieces of tissue paper to size. Make sure the area on which you’re cutting and storing those paper bits is completely dry so you don’t leach the color before the craft starts. Perhaps you’re aiming to spell out your child’s name, doing random shapes or letting your kid hone those fine motor skills. Have fun! Get rainbow-y.

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Spray Your Craft Surface

With the bits of pre-cut paper out of the way, let your child wield the spray bottle and wet the surface of the paper or canvas. (This craft works well on both materials.)

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Lay Out the Tissue Paper

Next, lay out the pieces of paper one by one onto the wet surface. The colors will bleed into each other a little bit, and it’s pretty. It’ll also temporarily stain your kid’s fingers, so you may want to keep some wet wipes on-site for mess management.

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Spray the Surface Once More

A few more layers of mist atop the tissue paper design will help the color continue to dissipate, especially if part of the paper began to dry before all of the tissue paper was positioned.

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Let the Artwork Dry

The color will continue to disperse and stain the paper or canvas until the water has completely evaporated, about 20 to 30 minutes. At that time, the tissue paper will fall away (and can be discarded) and you will be left with a pretty, swirly piece of art.

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

So easy!

Tissue paper that bleeds its colors when wet to create artwork.

Use Bleeding Tissue Paper to Make Beautiful Art

Colorful artwork with watercolor-like appeal made by kids with bleeding tissue paper.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Next Up

How to Make Paper Snowflakes

A great winter or Christmas craft to make with kids, you can let it snow inside by creating your very own wintry flurry of snowflakes out of paper.

How to Make a Kid's Sun-Print Treat Bag for Halloween

Harness the power of the sun and create a one-of-a-kind Halloween goodie bag that is perfect for collecting candy and other spooky treats.

Halloween Kids' Craft: Jack-O’-Lantern Flipbook

Inspire ghosts and ghouls of all ages this Halloween with a jack-o'-lantern flipbook that's as unique as their imagination.

Kids’ Craft: Haunted Halloween Gingerbread Houses

Why should Christmas have all the fun? Have the kids make gingerbread houses for Halloween. It's a party activity that's inexpensive to put together and the kids will love it.

Funny, Creative Elf on the Shelf® Ideas Kids Will Love

Christmas is coming, and Santa Claus's Scout Elves are coming to get their final tallies for the nice list. Learn more about the history of Elf on the Shelf® and how to play, plus get fun and crafty Elf on the Shelf® pose ideas to re-create at home.

How to Make a Halloween Night-Light From a Plastic Bottle

Let your kids illuminate Halloween by crafting a witch night-light made from an upcycled 2-liter bottle.

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Learn the simple steps for high-flying fun with this tutorial on five basic paper airplane patterns.

St. Patrick's Day Craft: Rainbow and Clover Paper Wreath

Welcome a little luck into your home with this easy-to-make St. Patrick's Day wreath.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Hand-Painted Wooden Bracelets

From fingerprints to polka dots and stripes, the kids can get creative personalizing these wooden bracelets just for Mom.

Mother's Day Kids' Craft: Fingerprint Picture Frames

The kids will have a great time making these one-of-a-kind keepsake frames that Mom will love, especially when a favorite photo is included.

What's New in Handmade

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.