Bleeding Tissue portraits and coffee centre flowers

Portrait in Bleeding tissue paper


Bleeding tissue is actually crepe paper (the slightly frilly, lined stuff) that we will be using to paint our portrait. The dye from the tissue bleeds easily with the addition of water, creating some lovely painterly effects. 

What you will need:

Crepe paper (available at craft stores in rolls) cut into strips or squares no more than an inch or 2 big. its nice to get a selection of primary colors, a little will go a long way


cup of water

paintbrush and rag

black crayon or pastel

heavy white paper or card stock-2 pieces 

white glue or glue stick

gold goache or acrylic paint (optional)

Start by cutting one of the pieces of paper into an oval or circle. This paper will be the base for your portrait. For your portrait you can draw yourself or someone in your family, even a favourite pet.  Using only the crayon/pastel make your portrait and try to fill up the all space in the oval. Next take a color you like from the selection of tissue strips and lie it where you want to apply color. Take your brush and apply some water-not sopping wet but liberal-to the tissue. You’ll see the color bleed out immediately. This is the fun part- layering the colors to create new ones can teach kids about how to mix colors. You can remove the wet tissue now and paint with the dye underneath, or leave the tissue on for more vibrant effects.You can use the tissue to stamp and stain the paper wherever you wish. Let your portrait dry somewhat. Apply glue to the back and work quickly to place the oval in the center of your blank paper, tapping it down to affix it. Take the crayon and draw a frame around your portrait and cut it out. The last step is decorating the frame. Gold paint looks nice but you can also use tissue to paint this part, or any paint you wish.  These look great hanging on a parlour wall together.


Coffee centre Flowers


What you will need:

Abit of ground coffee 

white glue and either a paintbrush or popsicle stick

wax crayons or oil pastel

either watercolor/goache/acrylic paint or ecoline inks in primary colors * note: these inks available easily at craft stores are a great investment for little painters because they give very vibrant effects and its difficult to muddy the colors

cup of water, paintbrush, rag

heavier white paper 


any interesting odds and ends of paper you have in patterns or different colors

On a blank white paper, draw a vase of flowers with the all the colors of the crayons, use the full height and width of the paper. For at last 2 or 3 of the flowers, leave a large open circle in the middle-this you will later fill with glue and then coffee. Add paint to fill in the background and add color; the wax from the crayons will resist the paint. Let it dry. Apply glue to the centre of the flowers liberally and sprinkle the coffee grounds on, tapping it down. Wait a minute before shaking the excess off. To add texture, you can finish by adding bits of patterned or coloured paper to the petals or leaves.