How To Make Inexpensive Tissue Paper Art for Your Walls

by Diane Henkler on 05/31/2010

Inexpensive Decorating Ideas for Walls using tissue paper

My daughter is moving into her own apartment tomorrow and I made this modern looking canvas for her to hang in her room.  I call it a  Tissue Paper Picasso.   It is simple and inexpensive tissue paper art.  I hung it on a wall in my family room just so I could get a photo of it in it’s finished state, before it goes to its new home.

It was very easy to make –  you will need an artist’s canvas, tissue paper, Mod Podge, Ribbon, and Furniture Nails/Tacks.

I found the colorful circle tissue paper at Michael’s.  They have so many fun patterns to choose from, so your options are endless.  I started out with an old canvas I found at a yard sale.  I actually got two.  The other one is still in production – I will post next week on that one.  I am doing it a little differently.  I cleaned the canvas and added two coats of Gesso and let it dry.

Inexpensive Decorating Ideas


My canvas measured 24 x 29.  I needed 2 sheets of tissue paper to cover  the top and to wrap around the sides. I used  Matte Mod Podge, as I didn’t want too much shine.

Decorating with Mod Podge to create tissue paper art for your walls


I had to trim the tissue paper and match the circles.  I centered the largest piece on the canvas.

Affordable Decorarating Ideas for Walls


The other two pieces went to the left and right sides.  Don’t worry too much about keeping your cuts straight.  It won’t matter once you Mod Podge it to the canvas

Budget Decorating Ideas


Pour Mod Podge onto the canvas and spread it around on the entire canvas surface and sides with a paint brush.

Decorating Ideas using Mod Podge

Lay the center piece onto the canvas and then brush more Mod Podge on top of the tissue paper.  Move your brush in all directions- this will create a brush stroke look to the canvas once the Mod Podge dries.  Apply the left and right sides in  the same manner.  Wrap excess around to back and adhere with Mod Podge.  Cut excess tissue paper with scissors.

Decorating IDeas for walls

Let dry over night. If you have any large airbubbles, you can press a pin into the bubble and press the air out with your fingers.

DIY Artwork to hang


You will need ribbon and furniture nails to finish the edge of the canvas.

White Nail Heads from Lowes


Starting at one corner, place one end of ribbon and press the furniture nail into the ribbon and frame.  Don’t hammer all the way in yet, as you will have to place the opposite end of the ribbon under this end and them place the nail in permanently.  Wrap the ribbon around the frame and place a nail in every few inches.  I used 5 nails on each side.  Cover the nails with a towel or fabric so you don’t ruin the decorative nail with the hammer.

Mod Podge Art IDeas


When you reach the begining corner, remove that first nail and then place the other end of the ribbon under the existing ribbon.  Tack the nail down again.

How to make art using tissue paper


Hang on the wall.

Budget Art Ideas to make


A Tissue Paper Picasso – easy art to make to decorate your home with.

DIY Art to make on a budget


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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cindy Rand May 31, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Oh my… I love this idea! I will have to do this when my daughter moves out.
Thanks so much. Love it!


2 Ann May 31, 2010 at 11:52 pm

This is gorgeous! Originally I thought you had cut all those circles out of colored tissue paper and lined them up and I was really impressed by your perseverance. When I saw the printed paper I knew you were a very clever woman. I love the way this turned out!


3 Diane @ InMyOwnStyle June 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

When I was shopping at Michaels and saw the circle tissue paper I had to have it, as it was so colorful. It reminded me of modern art, even folded up in its packaging. Thinking what I could use it for besides wrapping a gift and wanting to see the paper in its whole state was how I got the idea to add it to canvas and make art out of it.


4 Dawn June 1, 2010 at 2:03 am

Love this idea, how simple, quick, easy and cheap! And I adore the tissue that you used, so fun and eye-catching! Thanks for the inspiration!


5 somedaycrafts June 1, 2010 at 3:27 am

Ok! That is way too easy to be such a cool piece of art! I love it and wish I could find tissue paper like that! Amazing!


6 Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions June 1, 2010 at 8:07 am

This turned out great! What a great fun piece ~ even for a girl/teen bedroom. How was it working with the tissue paper and Mod Podge?


7 Diane @ InMyOwnStyle June 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

Hi Kathy-
I thought the tissue may have been hard to work with once it was coated with the Mod Podge, but I lifted it off the canvas a few times to repostion and it did not rip or tear. It took me only about 15 minutes to get the tissue paper onto the canvas. I let it dry overnight, before I added the ribbon trim.


8 Kari June 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

This looks AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing – this is a definite MUST do!!!


9 Kristin Kneupper June 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm

that is awesome!! love it!


10 Gina June 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm

This is a fantastic example of FRUGAL wall art. I love the furniture tacks!


11 Julie June 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

OMG – this is SUPER CUTE!!!!!


12 the lovely paper blog June 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm

love this idea and your blog!!
so cute and clever!

i am your newest follower!

i’d love to hear back from you!

Thanks and happy Tuesday!


13 Lesli June 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

So cute! Love this idea!


14 Jessica June 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I appreciate the tutorial and your attn to detail. I was working with modge-podge this weekend and having some questions about how to work with it. I also like the finishing touch for the edges. I’m going to use that on the item I was working on this weekend. Thanks!


15 Sheri @ June 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Way too cool for as simple as that is! Thanks for sharing … I’ve posted a link.


16 Kara June 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

So cool! Very cute–I love the bright pops of color. That’s right up my alley.


17 Tonya June 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Great idea! Love the brights and polka dots, so cute!


18 Jennifer June 4, 2010 at 2:45 am

Love this! Turned out GREAT!!!


19 Beverly June 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I love this! So cute and so many options! Thanks for sharing. :)


20 Michelle @ Sweet Something June 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

Another great project! Love it!


21 Jamielyn June 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

So CUTE!! love it! I hope you’ll link this up at sundae scoop


22 Sydney @sewineededapaycheck June 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I LOVE that. Your daughter will love apartment life. I have a whole post on my blog about my cute apartment since I had to move back home due to the economy. It sure was fun decorating the ones I lived in. Its fun for the moms too.


23 Rachel June 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Oh how fun! I can’t believe it’s tissue paper! Thanks so much for the great idea, I’ll be linking.


24 Diane June 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Love you and your site, Rachel xo


25 Pamela Smerker June 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

WOW a fabulous idea!! I have gotta try this! Thanks for the directions.


26 Jenny June 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

Wow! What a great way to fill an empty wall fast! I’m so impressed, I really love this idea.

I saw it on One Pretty Thing and just had to hop over

ps. I’m a follower now :)


27 Lenetta June 12, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Very cute – and I love that paper you found! I linked to this on my weekly roundup, the post is under my name. Thanks for sharing!


28 Lisa June 14, 2010 at 8:57 am

What a cool idea to use tissue paper! It looks like it took 100x times longer because I thought you painted it!


29 Stephanie@cre8tive June 23, 2010 at 1:10 am

What a great creative way to brighten a space. It looks beautiful and fun! Great job.


30 Billie Monster July 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Hello! Saw you on Crazy Domestic. I LOVE this project! I love Mod Podge but can never seem to find enough projects to use it on. Recently I decided that I wanted to make some new wall art for my dining room and I was thinking of painting several little squares onto a canvas – but I don’t have any paint and didn’t want to have to go buy it all brand new…I think I’m going to try your idea instead! Looks great! :D I’m a follower now.


31 Suz September 21, 2010 at 2:11 am

Hi love this thinking of making something similar for my newly decorated lounge but in shades of blue/lime/white/and black
Thanks for the inspiration
Suz x


32 Creative Mind October 1, 2010 at 11:52 am

its awesome…great ,thnx 4 sharing


33 katherine December 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

this is adorable! thanks for the great idea. visiting from one pretty thing!


34 judy January 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

I loved your tissue paper artwork….i would love to see the other one you did… did you post it???? cant seem to find…. but all the same i love it… cant wait to try!!!!


35 Ruby February 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

Love it! I’ll have to do this also!
Check mine out if you have a chance. :)


36 netmiff February 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I have done this with fabric, too. I used an old stretcher frame, it is basically just four pieces of flat wood in a rectangle. Then just stretch the fabric round to the back, and staple.


37 Diane February 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

It is like Instant Art- love it!


38 Sally at Polka Dot Market June 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

This is so great! I think I am the last to find your wonderful idea and tutorial. I love this! Just shared on our Facebook wall. Love your blog – new reader!


39 Diane June 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Hi Sally-

Thanks so much and thanks for connecting with me. I will come over and visit.


40 Laura June 3, 2011 at 10:04 am

I love this!! I wanna make one for my craft room!!!


41 Diane June 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Hi Laura-

It is so easy. You will be able to do it in less than an hour. Let it dry and hang. I would love to make more, just waiting for a sale at Michaels to buy more canvases.


42 Dawn June 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I was wondering do you think I could modge podge zebra printed tissue paper on my laundry room ceiling?


43 Diane June 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hi Dawn-

Of course – you can Mod Podge anything! The hardest part about applying it to your ceiling is it will literally be a a “pain in the neck”, but will look fabulous once you have it completed. The only other thing I would consider would be how long do you think you will want it on your ceiling? If you tire of it someday and want to paint over it – your ceiling will look textured. If you don’t want to damage the ceiling you can do what I did for a decorator showhouse. I had a small room and I wanted to cover the ceiling, but could not damage it in any way. I ended up applying fabric to foam core boards that I bought at the dollar store and then used small pins to attach them to the ceiling to cover it. I had to cut some of the boards to fit and used those at least seen part of the ceiling. When the showhouse was over , it was a cinch to take it all down, leaving the ceiling intact. I think the zebra print tissue paper would really make a statement and may make you enjoy doing your laundry more. :)


44 Lisa Walter September 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm

This is great and I would love to try it with a beautiful Paisley tissue paper I found. Can you also do this with other paper textures such as wrapping paper? Do I need to iron the paper (under a towel) to get the fold lines out?

I adore your site and you ideas….you are so creative and unique!


45 Diane September 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks Lisa-

You can do it with all types of paper. The thinner the paper the more you may have to deal with some wrinkling. Thicker paper doesn’t wrinkle when Mod Podge is applied. I like using brown bags. I have used many different types of giftwrap. The heavier type works better, but it all depends on the look you are trying to achieve. A few wrinkles can give a piece some character. :)
As far as pressing the folds from the tissue paper before you apply it to the canvas- a low iron should be ok right on the paper, but the inks may transfer to the plate of your iron, so an old t-shirt or as you stated a towel would be good to use as a pressing cloth.


46 Denise April 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Love your ideas!


47 Diane April 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Denise


48 Hadassa June 25, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Eu nao entendi até agora a parte das bolas,não entendi..o que foi que você fez,realinhou elas ? Obrigado !


49 Adventures in Dressmaking October 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

Looks awesome!! I wonder if you could do this with circles cut out of paint chips, if you didn’t have the right paper…


50 NJ January 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Wow! This is fabulous way to make your own art piece. Definitely going to try this. Thank you for sharing.



51 Kathy June 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

My 12 year old draughter and I just made this for her room. It turned out really cute. We fund a 12X12 canvas painting at Goodwill for $1.99 and used some white primer we had on hand to give us a blank canvas.


52 Johanna November 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I love this!! It looks fabulous!! Thanks so much for sharing! I have some really cool tissue paper– I so want to try this!! :D


53 WallArtBox March 31, 2014 at 5:43 am

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