Fun Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Project [Video]

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The inspiration for this tissue paper bleeding art project comes from a few different places.

Closeup of finished tissue paper bleeding art

First, we bought these postcards during our trip to Hawaii, which we framed and hung up in our bathroom:

Hawaiian Postcards

They’re fantastic words to live by and say:

Advice from a VOLCANO
Stay active
Keep your inner fire burning
It’s ok to let off steam
Go with the flow
Be uplifting
It’s all a matter of time
Have a blast!
Advice from a SEA TURTLE
Swim with the current
Be a good navigator
Stay calm under pressure
Be well travelled
Think long term
Age gracefully
Spend time at the beach!
 

This then inspired us to do some research into real Hawaiian proverbs and quotes – and we found so many beautiful sayings!

And then finally, when we saw this tutorial by Feeling Nifty, we were sold! 

Our next project would need to be all about Hawaiian proverbs that we could turn into beautiful artwork to place around our home – using TISSUE PAPER!

These are words to live by for a happier life and make such lovely works of art that’ll get everyone in your home talking!

Here’s how to do it…

Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Supplies

To make this fun and colourful tissue paper bleeding art, you’ll need:

TIP: If you’re unsure if the tissue paper you’ve got will bleed then you can always do a test with a small square of it on normal paper. If it’s bleeding tissue then it’ll stain your paper straightaway – and maybe even make a strange hissing sound while doing so!

Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Project Tutorial

1. Print your quote or words of choice onto plain paper.

IMPORTANT: You’re going to trace this onto your canvas so be sure to print it the exact size you want the text to be. And don’t print it in reverse! Just print it normally and exactly as you’d want the text to appear on your canvas.

Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Supplies

2. Turn your quote over and trace the outline of the letters. Use a window or lightbox to help you see the lines.

Canvas Transfer Technique

3. Lay your quote face up on your canvas. 

4. It’s now time to transfer the quote to the canvas by once again tracing the outline of the letters; this time on the front of the paper. The pressure of the pencil should be enough to leave faint lines on your canvas, which is from the pencil markings that you originally made on the back of the paper. Cool, huh?

Canvas transfer technique

5. Go over the pencil markings on the canvas with your black permanent marker and fill each letter in. You should now have a pretty quote or words of your choice on your canvas.

Hawaiian quote on canvas

6. Leave to dry; we left ours for around 3-4 hours to be on the safe side.

7. Now it’s time for the fun bit! Tear your coloured tissue paper into squares and start laying them across your canvas.

Tissue paper bleeding art project supplies

TIP: If there’s a certain effect you want to achieve then you can always practice which colours work best on some spare paper before using your canvas. We’re glad we did this because originally, we were going to make a rainbow effect but didn’t love how it turned out. But during that practice go, we liked how the blue and green merged together to remind us of the sea, so we ended up changing our idea and going with a sea/ocean theme full of different shades of blues and greens and a small amount of yellow.

Tissue paper bleeding practice

8. Once you’re happy with your tissue placement, wet your sponge paintbrush and wipe it across all your tissue paper so you’ve got a nice wet layer of tissue across the whole canvas. 

Tissue paper bleeding art

9. Wait for a bit. The longer you leave the tissue paper, the more intense the colour will be. We left ours for just a few minutes and we really liked the colours we got. 

HEADS UP: The wet tissue paper can stain your fingers, so you might want to wear latex gloves. Otherwise, you’ll be washing with soap and water for a wee while but it does come off eventually so don’t worry! You can even use this as the perfect excuse to give your hands a bit of a pampering session!

Stained tissue paper fingers

10. And now for the grand reveal! Carefully peel off the tissue paper to reveal the pattern you’ve made across your canvas. This is by far the best part as it’s a complete surprise what effect you’ll get!

Tissue paper bleeding art layer 1

11. Leave to dry completely. Ideally for a full afternoon or day as the colours become lighter as they dry and you need to be able to see the full effect before deciding to do another layer.

12. If the tissue paper hasn’t bled properly in some places or the effect isn’t quite what you’re after, then you can do another layer once the first is completely dry. Heck! You can do three or four layers if you really want to!

HEADS UP: The colour intensifies with each layer so if you’re after a pale pastel effect then you might struggle to get that if you need to do multiple layers.

13. Repeat the wet tissue paper steps around the edges of the canvas if you want them to match but you can also leave them white if that’s the effect you want. We found it easier to hang the canvas off the edge of a table (over some newspaper) to do the sides.

And you’re done! Fun right?!

Finished tissue paper bleeding art

Tissue Paper Bleeding Art [How To Video]

Want to see this tutorial in video form? Here ya go!

 

Hawaiian Proverbs & Sayings You Could Use

There are so many beautiful Hawaiian proverbs and sayings you could use for this tissue paper bleeding art project, but here are a few of our favourites:

“May there always be tradewinds behind you, rainbows above you and aloha all around you.” 

“May there always be warmth in your hale, fish in your net and aloha in your heart.”

“Live your life while the sun is still shining.”

“Be the aloha you wish to see in the world.”

But there’s no saying you need to do a quote or even text. 

Tissue bleeding art works just as well with black silhouette shapes instead of text so you could do things like animals, hearts, stars, flowers… we could go on! 

Have fun experimenting!

Finished tissue paper bleeding art

Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Project

Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Fancy working on a tissue paper bleeding art project to make some beautiful artwork for your home? Here's how to do it!

Materials

  • Coloured tissue paper that bleeds
  • Canvas
  • Water
  • Quote or words of your choice printed out onto plain paper

Tools

  • Fine black permanent marker
  • Foam / sponge paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • (Optional) latex gloves

Instructions

  1. Print your quote or words of choice onto plain paper as you'd like to see them on your canvas.
  2. Turn your quote over and trace the outline of the letters. Use a window or lightbox to help you see the lines.
  3. Lay your quote face up on your canvas. 
  4. It’s now time to transfer the quote to the canvas by once again tracing the outline of the letters; this time on the front of the paper.
  5. Go over the pencil markings on the canvas with your black permanent marker and fill each letter in. You should now have a pretty quote or words of your choice on your canvas.
  6. Leave to dry completely.
  7. Now it’s time for the fun bit! Tear your coloured tissue paper into squares and start laying them across your canvas.
  8. Once you’re happy with your tissue placement, wet your sponge paintbrush and wipe it across all your tissue paper so you’ve got a nice wet layer of tissue across the whole canvas. 
  9. Wait for a bit. The longer you leave the tissue paper, the more intense the colour will be.
  10. And now for the grand reveal! Carefully peel off the tissue paper to reveal the pattern you’ve made across your canvas.
  11. Leave to dry completely.
  12. If the tissue paper hasn’t bled properly in some places or the effect isn’t quite what you’re after, then you can do another layer once the first is completely dry.
  13. Repeat the wet tissue paper steps around the edges of the canvas if you want them to match but you can also leave them white if that’s the effect you want.

And you’re done! Fun right?!

Notes

1. If you’re unsure if the tissue paper you’ve got will bleed then you can always do a test with a small square of it on normal paper. If it’s bleeding tissue then it’ll stain your paper straightaway.

2. If there’s a certain effect you want to achieve then you can always practice which colours work best on some spare paper before using your canvas.

3. The wet tissue paper can stain your fingers, so you might want to wear latex gloves.

4. The colour intensifies with each layer of tissue paper so if you’re after a pale pastel effect then you might struggle to get that if you need to do multiple layers.


We hope you have fun with this tissue paper bleeding art project – we certainly did!

We’d LOVE to see your picture if you make this, so be sure to tag us on Instagram @houseofmahalo so we can see it!

Do you have some tissue paper left over? Why not make some colourful tissue paper pom poms?

Or do you fancy making something else with a cheap canvas? Check out this DIY reverse canvas tutorial!

Did you like this? Share this tissue paper bleeding art project now!

Fun Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Project [+ HOW TO VIDEO]

Fun Tissue Paper Bleeding Art Project [+ HOW TO VIDEO]

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Justine is one half of the newlywed duo behind this home and craft blog, as well as the couples travel blog Wanderers of the World. When not away travelling with her husband and Rough Collie, she's always making something or busying about the house. So really, it's no surprise that House of Mahalo was born!

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