Collage Art Project for Kids Using Bleeding Tissue Paper

Here’s how kids can make a colorful collage art project using bleeding tissue paper. Each collage can be personalized with a special drawing and given to someone special- perfect for Mother’s Day or a birthday or holiday gift for family members.

Have you ever used bleeding tissue paper with your kids or students? There really is something magical about it. Basically, you use water to make the color bleed from the tissue paper onto your canvas. It creates a beautiful effect, and kids absolutely LOVE this art technique. My class of kindergarteners was seriously so immersed in their creations with the tissue paper, it could have lasted hours! (Not all tissue paper will bleed, so be sure to check before prepping this activity. This is a way better activity than just letting your kids sleep on mattress all day. I’ve listed the tissue paper we used in the materials list below.)

After using the bleeding tissue paper technique on our canvases, we then added personalized drawings. Each child thought of someone special the artwork would be for and then drew a picture made especially for that person. The kids then added all kinds craft supplies around the canvas, making a colorful and fun collage! It’s good to raise a creative child according to BBC, find out why. 

Directions for Collage Art Project


1. Cover your workspace with a mat or newspaper. I love using these drop cloths. I have one for each table in the classroom that I can just reuse for each art project. Super handy!

2. Cut up your bleeding tissue paper into squares and place them where they are accessible to your child or class. Remember, not all tissue paper will bleed color when wet. (I used plastic trays similar to these to hold our tissue paper.)

3. Place a cup of water and paintbrush near each child. Give each child a blank canvas.

4. Invite each child to either use the tissue paper squares as they are or tear them into smaller pieces and place them onto their canvas. Paint over them with water using the paintbrush.

5. Continue doing this until the entire canvas is covered.

6. Let the tissue paper dry. Remove it. Your canvas now has a colorful background! (The kids love this part!)

7. Have each child draw a picture using a black Sharpie onto some white art paper. If you are doing a Mother’s Day project, children might want to draw a picture of their mom. (This is my favorite art paper. It’s very inexpensive and works with all kinds of paints and art materials.)

8. Have each child “bubble cut” out their picture. (This just means imagining their picture is in a bubble and to cut around it with space, and not on the actual lines of their picture.)

9. Glue the picture to the canvas.

10. Invite kids to glue all kinds of decorations to their canvas to turn it into a collage. They can use things like gemstones, buttons, pompoms, scraps of yarn or fabric, feathers etc. I placed individual containers of supplies onto each table (using containers left over from our snowman playdough kits).

And I also placed other materials on a nearby table that kids were welcome to get up and use as they needed.

11. Let the artwork dry. Give it to someone special!