Bleeding Crepe Paper Art

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

For many years, I have lugged around a box of leftover crepe paper from that time I made a hundred flowers for a Spanish Fiesta at my daughter’s preschool. She is 16 now. The box has moved to three different houses, and probably 30 different spots. Did you know crepe paper is heavy? So many times I’ve thought that I should really just get rid of it. Donate it somewhere. I am usually the one people donate stuff too, though, so that wouldn’t make any sense. Sometimes I use a bit here and there. Once I made some flowers for a Georgia O’Keeffe project we were doing in art class. But mostly, it just sits in a box.

Then I saw some Pinterest photos of this “bleeding art” thing. Can you believe I couldn’t find the box? Well, not so hard to believe if you know me. Ironic might be my fourth middle name (after forgetful and procrastinate). I finally found it, and off we went.

Read on for our bleeding crepe paper experience…

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

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Supplies:

~ Crepe paper streamers or tissue paper (no pastels)

~ Water, either in glasses with brushes, or in a spray bottle

~ Watercolor paper or cardstock

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

Process:

~ Cut up the tissue and crepe paper if you have little kids (or if your crepe paper is in big sheets like mine was). If you are using streamers, it would be fun for the older kids (5 and up) to cut up their own bits.

~ Let the kids cover their paper with the colored pieces.

~ Then they can either spray or use brushes to saturate their paper with water. Kids love spraying, they could do it all day. But the bottle can be a little hard to use for smaller hands. I would say age 5 and younger would be better off using water and brushes.

~ Once the paper is fully wet, wait a few minutes. This is the hard part. Some websites say to let the paper dry fully, but we honestly waited like 2 minutes. Maybe 5 minutes. We are all impatient artists.

~ Peel off the wet crepe paper and see the image left behind. Repeat if it’s too light, or just repeat to layer color.

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

We learned something from this experience: Light tissue paper doesn’t bleed! Our first try was sort of a bust. But once we understood how this works, the kids tried again and got better and better results. And the layering looked cool.

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

children use crepe paper streamers and water to transfer the color onto paper and make these cool prints

I really wanted to do something with these prints, but the kids were too excited to bring them home. I have a few left over that my own kids did, and my mind is at work thinking of ideas. I might make something Valentine’s-y. Follow me on Instagram to see what I come up with ♡

Happy Tuesday!

xo, Bar