HOLIDAY DIY: Decoupaged Tissue Paper Christmas Ornament

I enjoy making ornaments on the cheap. Paper ornament blanks are easy to find. They come in a bevy of shapes and sizes. I bought a lot of them in November...or um, maybe October. Anywho, you can find them at a craft store or Amazon. DecoArt sent me their Decou-Page medium in Gloss to make projects with. It's a great medium for decoupage, as it adheres the paper well and doesn't have a stick finish after it's dry. I have a stash of tissue paper from years of gifts. If you're not a craft supply hoarder, the tissue paper pack I linked to in the supply list is so stellar, I want to buy it! Enough babbling, onto the tutorial.

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1) Untie and remove the hanging loop from the ornament.

2) Paint a thin layer of gesso over the whole ornament. Let dry completely. A white base will make the tissue paper colors pop better than a brown background. A little color theory for you.

3) Rip up a small portion of tissue paper into little pieces.

4) Working in sections, coat a small section of the paper mache ornament blank, with DecoArt Decou-Page, using a paintbrush.

5) Quickly place one little torn tissue paper onto the wet glue.

6) Spread a thin layer of Decou-Page over the glued tissue paper, smoothing out any wrinkles the best you can.

7) Continue decoupaging tissue paper to the ornament, letting sections dry before turning. Make sure to decoupage over the top, where the hanger hole is.

8) When the whole ornament is dry, add another thin coat of of Decou-Page gloss over the whole ornament. Let completely dry.

9) Using the straight pin, poke through the tissue paper where the hanger hole should be. Wiggle the pin around to enlarge the hole.

10) Re-thread the hanger loop back through the hole. OR, make a new hanging loop with matching twine.

I love handmade ornaments that are very artsy and colorful. I understand that imperfection and bright colors aren't everyone's thing. What's nice about using bright tissue paper, is that the colors overlap and create a layered glass effect. Tissue paper is thin, so when damp, it goes transparent more than normal. Decoupaging with it, leaves it in that damp looking state, even when dry. It's like abstract stained glass. As for colors, you could choose which ever shades you want. I like using colors that are beside each other on the color wheel, so the overlapping shades coordinate well with the tissue paper palette.

Aside from the color theory lesson, paper mache ornaments are lightweight, so even though the ornament is large, the weight isn't. Decoupaging is super easy, so kids can get in on the ornament making, which they always enjoy. I know my daughter has always gotten excited about contributing to a project. Crafting is a great way of decompressing after a long day working, at school, or dealing with the stresses of life. I highly recommend taking up some form of crafting. Like I mentioned, perfection isn't necessary to get something enjoyable from creating something yourself. If you ditch the concept of perfection, you'll be more willing to get messy and have fun. Whatever you choose to make, have fun with it! Happy holidays and makery!


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