My two little ones are lucky to be spoiled by family and friends who love to shower them with toys and clothes. Lots of fun for them and mountains of tissue paper for me. For good or bad, I can't help but keep it all just in case, and finally, the day has come when I'm glad I have. Below you'll find three fabulous craft projects to do with all that tissue paper on a rainy day or when the kids are stuck home with the sniffles.
Tissue ball art
This could not be easier or more fun. Grab a few different colored sheets of tissue paper and cut them into small squares. This can be done quickly by layering several sheets together, cutting them into 2 inch strips, and then cutting the strips into two inch squares. Depending on your children's ages, they can help you with this task. Crumple up the tissue squares into little balls. Put out some glue and paper. (I like to put my glue into paper cupcake liners. When the craft is done, I just toss them in the trash.) Your kids will dip the tissue ball into the glue and push it onto the paper. Little ones will make abstract pictures like the one my daughter made (see photo), and older kids will make actual scenes like a snowman or tree.
If you want to add an educational component and your child is working on learning her colors, you can print out a color photo of a scene, and have your child match the tissue paper color with the color on the paper. For Hanukkah, I printed out a picture of the Star of David, and my daughter glued blue and yellow tissue paper on anything she saw on the paper that was blue or yellow. If your child is working on learning to read, you can print out a coloring sheet and write what color tissue belongs in each section. Then have him glue on the correct color. For example, print out a picture of the American flag, and then write "red," "white," and "blue" wherever your child should glue red, white, and blue tissue.
Tissue paper decoupage
A wonderful way to reuse tissue paper and recyclables, decoupage requires very few materials, but a decent amount of patience. However, the payoff can be huge - a creative activity for your little one, and a nice collection of storage containers, trays, gift boxes, or vases to keep or give away. See the photo above of two lovely vases and a tray that some little friends made recently.
First you'll need to buy or make your own Mod Podge, a thin glue and sealer. I chose to make my own using the advice I found on Do It Yourself Divas and it couldn't be simpler. Using a recycled jam or spaghetti sauce jar, mix a ratio of 50% water with 50% Elmer's glue, cap it, and shake it all about. Voila! Your own Mod Podge. A little aside is in order, however. Amy of Mod Podge Rocks writes that if you're planning to make a lasting keepsake, invest in actual Mod Podge since it contains varnishes that help seal your creation and make it last longer.
Next you need to gather a couple medium-sized art brushes, the item you want to decoupage, and the tissue. Just like the tissue ball art above, I recommend cutting your tissue into approximately 2" x 2" squares. Put your apron on and button your little ones into their artists' smocks and prepare yourself for a happy mess.
With a brush, spread a thin layer of your Mod Podge or DIY decoupage glue onto your object. Then press a tissue square. Brush over the tissue paper with the Mod Podge to get it to lay flat. Continue with another piece of tissue, being sure you overlap as you go along. The effect will be very pretty since the tissue is translucent. Allow it to dry overnight.
As you're decoupaging, discuss with your little one how two colors can make a third color. For example, when blue and red overlap, they make purple.
Nothing could be simpler and more beautiful than making big snowflakes out of colorful tissue paper. Simply fold a sheet of tissue into fourths, cut it into a circle, and then snip out little pieces from the edges and center. Unfold and enjoy your child's unique creation.
As you're folding your tissue paper, discuss the math concepts of halves and fourths.
I hope you enjoy these simple tissue crafts, and I'd love to know what creative uses you've come up with to reduce your own tissue mountain!