Collage Magic

Butterfly Collage Demo

Collage with Colored Tissue Paper and Black Marker

An art project using art tissue paper where the dark lines of the marker magically show through the transparent tissue paper of the collage. There’s even more magic because when the colored tissues are layered and over-lapped they make new colors. This is a great project for younger children as an introduction to color and line.

Collage Materials you’ll need:

  • Wide mouth plastic container with a mixture of 8 tablespoons water to 2 tablespoon white glue
  • Small brush
  • A selection of colored tissue paper
  • Black permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Line drawing of a simple butterfly for reference
  • Sheet of thick paper like watercolor paper


  1. On your sheet of paper, draw a large butterfly lightly in pencil.
  2. Go over your pencil lines with the black permanent marker
  3. Tear pieces of colored tissue to “paint” the butterfly.
  4. Brush on tissue pieces with the glue mixture.
  5. Continue until the butterfly and the background have been “painted.”

Collage, or the art of gluing bits of torn or cut paper to artwork was a term coined by the artists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the early 20th century. Collage has since become one of the many ways that artists create. It is a flexible and spontaneous technique, allowing for many happy accidents. It’s easy for children and adults to do. Gluing torn or cut paper can be as simple or complex as creator wishes. This project adds the dimensions of line and transparency, as well.

One of my favorite artists of all time was Henri Matisse. In his later years Matisse moved from painting to collage. Matisse used scissors to create wonderful expressive forms from hand painted papers in bright colors. Matisse’s book, Jazz, from 1947 is an excellent example of his collage technique. Matisse later used this technique in designs for murals, tapestries and even stained glass windows. In his later years, scissors replaced a paint brush for his art making. Learn more about Matisse in my book: Henri Matisse.

Learn more about tissue paper collage from Hallmark’s YouTube video




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