Instructions for Tissue Paper Collage
This technique was featured on HGTV's new show, Crafters Coast to Coast, premiering in the fall 2004 and winter 2005.

Fragment of Egypt - 6" square ceramic tile

For the purposes of this demonstration, a 6” square tile purchased from a home improvement store was used. Any type tile can be used, however find a kind that has a matte finish rather than a glossy finish. This will eliminate the need to sand the surface of the tile to ensure proper adhesion of the collage paste. Wash the tile with soap that removes grease such as dish soap and rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry completely.

I used different layers of tissue paper to achieve a translucent effect. The best way to get a translucent effect is to allow each layer to dry fully between applications of paste. This will allow more of the underlying layers to show through the top applications. Use of heating guns may cause the layers to dry more opaquely, which may be an effect you would prefer. Tearing the tissue pieces allows the paste to more effectively blend the edges of the layers. Use a finger if you want to smooth the layer of wrinkles and ensure a more transparent effect after it dries.

You can use any type of thick, white crafting glue, including gel mediums or decoupage paste. Using thin layers applied evenly worked best for the effect that I wanted in this collage.

  1. Measure a 6” square piece of cheesecloth and beige colored tissue paper. Stamp the tissue paper with a large hieroglyphic stamp. Cover the cleaned tile with an even layer of paste. Lay the cheesecloth over the paste and smooth to remove wrinkles. Place an even layer of paste over the surface of the cheesecloth and over the edges if there are threads from the cloth overlap the edges. Immediately lay the tissue paper layer over the pasted cheesecloth. Smooth with a finger and apply a thin, even layer of paste. Allow to dry.
  2. Place an even layer of paste over the surface and lay a 6” square piece of orange tissue paper over the previous layer. Allow to dry.
  3. Stamp an Egyptian art collage stamp twice on yellow tissue paper. Stamp an Egyptian cat on orange tissue paper. Tear the stamped tissue paper into pieces that have pleasing designs on them. Place an even layer of paste over the previous layer and lay the tissue paper pieces on the tile. Paste the entire layer and lay a 6” square piece of yellow tissue paper over the top. Smooth with your hand and lay another layer of paste on top of the yellow sheet. Paste the Egyptian cat on top of this layer. Allow to dry.
  4. Take a piece of the stamped yellow tissue paper and lay over the Egyptian cat. Paste over the image and allow to partially dry. Using your thumb or finger, start to gently rub the yellow tissue paper away from the cat image giving more detail to the cat image. Cover the tile with another layer of paste and cover with a 6” square of orange tissue paper. Allow to dry.
  5. Using copyright-free clip art, paste the images to the bottom of the tile. Apply paste over the images to make sure all edges have been glued. When dry, apply gold leaf adhesive and allow to dry until it is tacky. Place pieces of gold leaf around the areas where there is glue and use a brush to press the foil into the glue and to brush away the excess. Take a sponge sander or piece of fine grit sandpaper to burnish the foil. This gives a crackled and antique finish to the foil. Take a piece of black netting and round flat round buttons or Asian coins with a square cut-out in the center and thread the netting through the hole at each end of the netting. Knot each end. Attach with epoxy or other adhesive for metal and glue the embellishment to diagonal corners. Rub gold metallic compound to finish to the edges of the tile. Use epoxy to glue a wall hanger to the back, or display in a table easel.

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