Tissue Paper Watercolor

by Loll Thompson

Create beautiful watercolor backgrounds with tissue paper.


  • White tissue paper

  • Water mister

  • Any ink, paint or coloring medium that is water soluble

  • Paper towel

  • Palette knife (optional)

  • Acetate (Grafix .007 film used here)

  • Other supplies as needed to complete the cards (please see gallery for supply lists of individual cards shown below)


  1. Step 1

    Add a watercolor medium onto a craft mat, covering about the same area as your paper.

  2. Step 2

    Mist with water.

  3. Use a palette knife or other tool to blend the colors into each other.

  4. Step 3

    Drop a piece of white tissue paper on top. Let it absorb the color.

  5. Step 4

    Carefully pull up the wet tissue paper and place it on a paper towel to dry (about 15-30 minutes). You can use a heat tool to speed up the drying process.

  6. Step 5

    Now you have a piece of watercolored tissue paper to create backgrounds or die cuts for cards.

  7. Step 6

    Ideas for watercolored tissue paper backgrounds:
    Scrunch watercolored tissue paper and glue it to white cardstock, scrunching it more as you glue it down.

  8. This technique creates beautiful texture for backgrounds or die cuts.

  9. Step 7

    Repeat step 6 above. Lightly swipe Versamark ink over the top to catch the creases. Sprinkle with embossing powder. Knock off any excess powder.

  10. Step 8

    Glue watercolored tissue paper to acetate using good quality glue.

  11. The backing ensures that the tissue paper is sturdy and makes for easy die cutting while maintaining the translucent look of tissue. Heatproof acetate can also be stamped and heat embossed, while the tissue paper background shows through to add color and texture behind the image.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Tissue Paper Watercolor. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Great tutorial. TFS
Linda Tarolli  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 6:46 AM
How quick How easy and HOW fun! Thank you so much for sharing this technique.
Prissequito  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 6:48 AM
Looks like that acetate is 'prepared' acetate, which means it will take India Ink and such without beading up like regular acetate. I used this in making prototypes in advertising back in the day. Wonderful stuff, and it was called 'prepared acetate'.
Christine Garza  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 7:40 AM
I love this idea!! So different, can't wait to try it!
Pam Pam  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 8:20 AM
Enjoyed watching your water color backgrounds come to life. Looking forward to trying this technique.
Pam  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 8:35 AM
Absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to try this!
Laura Donnelly  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 8:42 AM
Loved your tutorial
Can you be specific as to what acetate from Amazon you used
Janice Stone  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 8:49 AM
I couldn't find where you told us what acetate you used. You said it was from Amazon but they have several different ones. Could you please let me know which one you used. Thanks, I love the cards, can't wait to try them.
Jean  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 9:22 AM
Loll, your photo and video tissue paper tutorials are AWESOME! I will be going back to link to my past tissue paper cards and tags. In the meantime I am sharing my tissue paper projects on my blog. Thank you so very much my sweet and talented friend. Hugs..
http://scandinancycreates.blogspot.com/search/label/Tissue Paper
nancy littrell  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 9:55 AM
This is just lovely! And it looks like a lot of fun. Will be trying this in the future.
Nan  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 12:08 PM
love this technique, have been watching your blog and am now pleased that you have shown the technique, thanks so much!!!
Jasmine Patrick  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 12:51 PM
Thank you sooooo very much for this tutorial and video! I know how much time it takes to create this type of learning experience and I appreciate your wonderful paper engineering talents!
KT Hom  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 1:40 PM
I use paper towels to clean up after doing sessions like this or any other colouring medium. Once the paper towel is used up (not much whit area left) I dry it, peel the 3 layers aprt and use them just the same way as you use your tissue . I often iron them and stick to light card, or scrunch them for your techniques. I find i get all kinds of colours, especially if I've been using mica or metallic paints and inks.
janetannc  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 2:29 PM
This is an awesome technique! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.
Joan Christopherson  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 5:50 PM
Thank you loved your tutorial
eluned jeffery  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 5:52 PM
For those curious about the acetate, we've added a link to Amazon in the supply list above. Sorry for the wait! smile
dina  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 6:23 PM
So happy to see your video on SCS - it's one of my favourite techniques that I've learned from you!
Susan Bridgman  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 7:16 PM
Love this tutorial can't wait to do it, thank you.
Roberta Finlay  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 7:44 PM
Wow what a fabulous tutorial. I could listen to your voice all day long Loll. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent.
Susie Williams  |  Wed Nov 22, 2017 at 8:52 PM
Your video was a joy to watch with very pretty card ideas.
Plan to try it on cards and maybe ATCs. Thank you...
I Follow your blog and enjoy your creations!
Stamping jan  |  Thu Nov 23, 2017 at 1:20 AM

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