Friday, March 16, 2012

Tissue Paper Magic

I recently discovered an alternative to transparencies that lets me use Photoshop work and copied or scanned materials in my mixed media work.  Transparencies have never worked well for me but this method is almost goof-proof!!  For this mixed media collage, I used a photograph of a statue that I had digitally enhanced and also copied sheet music and handwriting for use as background materials in the collage.

Here's the secret:  White craft tissue paper (Dick Blick has nice sheets) becomes nearly transparent when glued with matte or polymer medium to a substrate.  But material that is printed on the tissue shows up clearly and the color stays true. The only thing to be careful about is overworking the wet tissue to the point that it breaks up or the ink smears.

To print, I use masking tape to secure a piece of tissue paper to a carrier sheet (a sheet of acetate is perfect), and run it through the printer.

I like to use the copier function of my printer and try to fill up the page so that I don't waste the tissue.  Here's an example of old photos and sheet music that I copied with my printer to the tissue paper:
  And what else can you do with printed tissue paper?  Make Washi tape!!  Print a piece of tissue paper, or paint and stamp the paper.  On the back side of the tissue, lay down strips of double-sided tape, or a sheet of peel and stick adhesive.  Cut into strips.  Voila!  Washi tape.


  1. Brilliant suggestions! I will have to give it a whirl. That mixed media composition is very exciting. The textures are fabulous and I love the rich colours.

  2. ooh... love the idea of making into tape :-) fab collage!