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Tissue Paper Bleeds


I found this art project when I worked as a volunteer teacher's aide for the Hopi Headstart program on the Hopi Reservation. It's easy enough for headstarters, but my 5th graders and I have enjoyed doing it too. Materials needed are colored tissue paper, plain white vinegar, brushes, scissors (optional), and semi-porous white drawing paper. We begin by cutting or tearing the tissue paper into either design shapes or parts of a whole picture, such as green paper for leaves and pink paper for flowers. Once the paper cut-outs are laid in place on the white drawing paper, students dip their brushes into the white vinegar and (lightly) brush it on to the tissue paper. This causes the color in the tissue paper to 'bleed' on to the drawing paper and the moisture holds the tissue in place for a few minutes. Warning: not all tissue bleeds. If in doubt, test a small piece first. In a few minutes, after the tissue is dry, gently shake off the pieces, and you will find a design or 'painting', something akin to sponge or block painting. This project makes great covers for holiday and birthday cards or for framed prints.

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