Easy Tissue Paper Canvas Art

This easy tissue paper canvas art tutorial may contain affiliate links.

This tissue paper canvas art is so easy! Looking for the perfect mermaid scale artwork or easy craft project for you or your teen? This one takes less than an hour to make, is beautiful, and even makes a perfect gift! | DIY canvas art | tissue paper craft | easy craft for adults | easy teen craft |

I am all for an easy project that makes my home look beautiful, and if you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I love a great revolving door of fun artwork on my walls. So when it came time to replace the artwork on one wall in particular, I wanted to go in a totally different direction than the art that was previously there! This delightful canvas art reminds me of mermaid scales, but depending on the color, shape, and positioning of your tissue paper, you can make it anything you’d like.

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Tissue Paper Sun Catchers

My son is totally embracing his observation phase. He loves to pinpoint color, look through objects to see the light, and examine thing carefully. So finding a project that can cater to multiple interests is always fun.

The worst part of looking for a project is that so many have a major cleanup. Luckily, this project is pretty much mess-free. No paint, no glue. While those things are great sometimes, other times, it’s nice to have a quicker, easier project that doesn’t require a big cleanup or a lot of drying time before it can be displayed.

But first, a little tiny bit of prep work. If you have an older learner, of course, they can help or do this part, but for younger kiddos, you’ll want to do the prep yourself.

You’ll want to start out by cutting a circle out of construction paper pretty much the width of your paper in diameter. For me, that meant using my circle cutter at an 8″ setting, but you can trace the circle with a saucer, freehand it, or use whatever circle cutting method works for you.

Next, you’ll cut out the center of the circle, leaving about an inch remaining for your main sun body. Since Zach and I were each doing a sun, we decided to use two different colors to allow us to alternate the sun rays, but you can use whichever color you’d like. Be sure to save the inside piece to make the rays of your sun!

Cut the center of the sun into a pizza, essentially, creating several small rays. If you’re making more than one, of course, repeat this for each of your sun centers. I decided to use a straight-line paper cutter, but scissors work, too!

You’ll end up with an assortment of triangles (well, triangles with a curved edge, I suppose).

Arrange your rays around the edge of your de-centered circle. Of course, if you are making multiple suns, you can alternate ray colors by using some of one sun’s center, and some of the other. Or, you can keep it all one color. Get creative (or ask your child’s input).

To make the actual sun-catcher part of the suns, you’ll want to cut out some clear Con-Tact paper. I found mine in the cleaning section of my local store, since people typically use it for protecting shelves instead of crafts, apparently. If you’re using a circle cutter, you’ll want to set it about 1/10th of an inch smaller than the outer diameter of your circle, so it’ll hold the rays in place without overlapping the outside edge of the circle at all.

Peel off the backing carefully and affix the paper to your sun, making sure to hold the rays in place and smooth out wrinkles in the edges.

If you aren’t ready for your child to work on the project, or if you’re preparing your suns in advance for the next day, or a large classroom full of kids, you can easily re-attach the Con-Tact paper’s protective layer to the sticky side to keep it from collecting dirt or dust until you’re ready to start the project.

To finish your prep work, cut several colors of tissue paper into small pieces. I love to keep tissue paper on hand for projects like this, but you can also recycle any tissue paper you get in a gift bag– it doesn’t have to be new or flat for this project. You’ll want to make the pieces large enough for little fingers, but small enough that you’ll fit quite a few on the sun for variation.

When it’s time, peel off the backing and let your child go to work!

You’ll find that your child may be extra careful and pick up one piece at a time…

…or your child may pile the pieces on by the handful with no rhyme or reason. A lot depends on their age, and how they typically approach a project like this, but the beauty of it is there is no wrong way to do it! Whether they’re piled on or carefully placed, the end result will be really pretty.

Sometimes, little artists find out first-hand how the tissue paper sticks to the sun!

This is a great artistic process that allows kids to carefully examine color, and practice those fine motor skills in a beautiful way.

The end goal, of course, is to make sure you’ve covered as much of the clear Con-Tact paper as possible!

Because there is no glue or paint, these works of art can be displayed immediately on the nearest window! Zach decided he wanted to hang his up himself (with a little help from mom), and then spent a very long time pointing out the specific colors he had used on his project. He was so proud of it and showed everyone who entered the house “Look! My sun!”

These suns are so much fun, and a great way to celebrate the spring season. Plus, they’re versatile enough to stay up through summer if you just can’t bear to part with them! And my favorite part of this project is that you don’t just have to stick to suns– you can always pick any shape that interests you and your kiddo, and cut it out to make a special shaped sun-catcher of your very own.

I know we will be making plenty more sun-catchers soon, because Zach just can’t get enough of showing people this project!


What is your go-to mess-free project for kids? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Mexican Paper Flowers

Recently, we got done with a great unit on Mexico. This year, Jeffrey is going through a curriculum from My Father’s World called Exploring Countries and Cultures. We love the program, especially having so many exchange students in our lives, because it reinforces some of those cultural principles we’ve already been blessed enough to learn, while introducing many new cultures to us.

Our Mexico unit was a fun one because, while we’ve had many students from Spanish speaking countries in our lives, we’ve never actually had a student from Mexico, so even though it’s a close neighbor, Jeffrey has yet to have it play a direct role in his life. During our unit study, we learned about Cameron Townsend, who was a major pioneer in translating the Bible into many new languages. Jeffrey also worked on a report and powerpoint about Mexico, and learned many new things about the similarities and differences between Mexico and the United States.

While studying Mexico, we had a great opportunity to make Mexican Paper Flowers, a traditional craft that has been a part of Mexican tradition for over 200 years!

Paper crafting actually came to Mexico from the Philippines, and sometimes tissue paper is called papel de China (paper from China) or papel de seda (paper of silk). Many Americans know about Pinatas, which use tissue paper in bright colors, but these pretty paper flowers are another great craft using these papers!

Paper flowers were popular back when Spain ruled Mexico, before the 1800s, but back then the paper flowers were smaller and they weren’t brightly colorful like the ones we so often see today.

They used to be used in churches and homes, and were often white or cream in color, but when candles were used frequently in churches, the paper was so much of a fire hazard that churches ended up banning the flowers completely! After that, they became a lot less religiously-related, to the point that the flowers were considered “secular,” and from there, they ended up getting much brighter, too, using bright and exciting colors like the ones we chose for our craft project.

Paper flower artisans didn’t just stop with one type of flower, either… most of them started to look to nature and copy the shapes and styles of flowers like carnations, zinnias, and more! Many of the artists had skills passed down from their grandparents and parents to teach them the craft today, and the trade is very much woven into some artisans’ family history.

Start making your own Mexican paper flowers by stacking six sheets of tissue paper on top of each other. You can go with bright colors, like we did, or you can use a monochromatic scheme (all white or all black might be cool), or even try it with pastels, metallic tissue paper, or even newspaper; however, if you use newspaper or other thick paper, you may want fewer than six sheets, due to the extra thickness.

Fold your stack of papers accordion style, just like this.

Cut the folded papers in half– this gives you two paper flowers for the price (and effort!) of one! If you don’t cut them in half, they’re a little too big to really work with, but if you start with smaller paper to begin with instead of a full sheet, then you shouldn’t have any problems if you decide not to cut it in half. We are working with full sheets in this tutorial, so cutting it down helped us have a more manageable flower size.

This gives you two straight edges on each flower, like this…

Trim the edges down to points, like this…

Alternately, you could trim off the point I have there to make a different style point (more like an arrow) or you could round the corners, depending on the style you’d like. Use a string, a twist tie, a pipe cleaner, or some staples to attach the middle of the flower together, so you can fan out the sides easily.

Fan out the sides. If you see someone trying to take your picture out of the corner of your eye while you do so, make a ridiculous face in the process so they end up only having this photo of this step to put on their blog.


Once you have it fanned out, you can use some more staples or small pieces of tape to keep the sides together while you fluff out the layers. This is optional, but we decided on a little tape for each layer to keep it together.

Fluff the layers up. Crinkle them a bit. REALLY dig your fingers in between the layers and pull them up, being careful not to tear the paper too much. Fluff them up nice and fluffy, almost to a ball shape.

Here are four of our finished paper flowers. You can fluff them up more, if you’d like, but we decided ours were just how we wanted them!

These crafts aren’t just for fiestas, either, or for homeschool projects. You can literally use these at any party, just as long as you make them in the colors of your party. They’ve become very popular in weddings, and they look great at baby showers, birthdays, or any other fun party you can think of.

In Mexico, you often find them decorating homes, graves, altars, and parties. Tourists sometimes find these flowers to greet them when they arrive at a hotel, and in some regions, these flowers are even popular on cakes! It’s up to your imagination what you do with them, and since the color scheme is so open to customization, the sky really is the limit. Hang them from the ceilings, make small ones with pipe cleaner stems to put in a vase, tack tons of them to the walls as a backdrop.

Mexican paper flowers became popular in part because they’re much cheaper than actual flowers, and they look really pretty. No one has to know how easy they were to make, either… your secret is safe with me.

However you use them, these are a perfect way to honor Mexican tradition and artistry with a fun project that is easy for even young kids to work on.

Project adapted from A Trip Around the World, as part of our study from My Father’s World: Exploring Countries and Cultures.