Decorate Greeting Cards by Using Tissue Paper

There are so many ways to add color to paper. I think this style of application was a happy accident.

By Judi Watanabe
October 2016

The Complete Photo Guide to Cardmaking (Quarto Publishing Group, 2016), by Judi Watanabe, explores a wide range of techniques and end products, making it a valuable reference for any crafter. So when the mood strikes, use the artistry you've learned to create personalized greetings for everyone you know!

finished tissue paper card 

You Will Need

• 1 sheet white card stock, 5-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches
• tissue paper in a variety of bright colors, yellow, light green, orange, violet, pink, light blue
• adhesive
• 1 rickrack-shaped band, 5-1/2 inches
• 1 white folded note card, 5-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches
• plastic tray
• paper towels
• paper trimmer
• spritzer bottle with water
• iron (optional)
• hair dryer (optional)


1. Cover the plastic tray with paper towels. Lay the sheet of card stock on top. Cut each sheet of tissue paper into smaller pieces. Crumple the tissue paper and scatter onto the card stock. Spread out, if you wish.

step one

tissue paper 

2. Spritz water over the tissue paper and saturate. If needed, press the paper down so all the wet surfaces touch the card stock. Let sit for several minutes. The longer you leave the wet tissues on the paper, the deeper the color transfer.

tissue paper cardmaking

3. Remove the wet tissue paper. Let the card stock dry. Because the card stock will be saturated with water, it will curl as it dries. To flatten, iron the card stock between a couple of clean paper towels. Set the iron on medium heat. There will be a slight curl, but adhering it to the folded card will flatten it.

add tissue paper 

4. Trim the edges of the with a paper trimmer.

tissue paper 

5. Adhere the rickrack band to the card stock and adhere to the folded card.

add ribbon over tissue paper 

Efficient Cutting

Fold the tissue paper in half, then in half again, and continue until the sheet is approximately 5 x 7 inches. Slide into your paper trimmer and cut off the folded edges and cut every­thing in half. You will have 32 or 64 pieces, depending on how small you make them.

Speedy Drying

For those of you who are impatient, you can speed the drying time with a hair dryer.

Read more from The Complete Photo Guide to Cardmaking:

Using Dried Leaves to Decorate Greeting Cards
Using Fingerprints to Decorate Greeting Cards
Drawing with Tape to Design Greeting Cards
Using Napkins to Design Beautiful Cards

Reprinted with permission from The Complete Photo Guide to Cardmaking, by Judi Watanabe and published by Quarto Publishing Group, 2016.

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