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How to Make Textured Canvas With Tissue Paper

A textured canvas adds an extra sense of depth and visual excitement to a creative project. Tissue paper is generally inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk at retail stores that sell wrapping paper and gift supplies. Tissue paper is convenient to work with since it has a coarse texture that wrinkles easily, making it ideal for quickly creating texture on the flat surface of a canvas. As an added bonus, creating texture with tissue paper involves few materials.

Things You'll Need:

  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Large Paintbrush
  • White Acrylic Gesso
  • Newspaper
  • Hair Dryer

Layer three sheets of newspaper on a flat surface to protect your workspace. Place your canvas on top of the newspaper sheets.

Tear the white tissue paper into triangular pieces of various sizes while maintaining jagged, torn edges. This will help to create a seamless texture on your canvas.

Apply a coat of white acrylic gesso to the entire surface of the canvas using a paintbrush. The gesso coating should be thick and pasty when applied to extend its drying time.

Put on the vinyl gloves. Apply the torn tissue paper pieces to the wet acrylic gesso, gently scrunching the pieces once they are in place to give them texture. Continue to apply the torn pieces until the entire canvas is covered.

Apply a second coating of acrylic gesso once the previous coating is dry and the tissue paper pieces are in place. This will seal your texture and allow for a more consistent paint application.

Use a hair dryer to quickly dry the second coating of acrylic gesso.


Apply the acrylic gesso as you place the torn tissue paper pieces on the canvas if you prefer to work more slowly. Outline the composition of your image by creating textured shapes, such as a body of water, mountains, animals and other objects. Use an old credit card or butter knife to smooth out the tissue paper piece on the canvas and to create a subtle texture. Tint your textured layer by using colored tissue paper and white acrylic gesso. Incorporate additional elements into your texture such as beads, buttons, sticks, mosaic tiles, nuts, bolts, leaves and shells. Create a similar texture by alternating the placement of torn newspaper pieces or handwritten notes. This will give your image added meaning, emotional depth and visual texture. Apply an acrylic sealer to your finished project when using three-dimensional elements to prevent them from being damaged or falling off.

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