I've been wanting to make some custom gift wrap.... but I didn't want to use butchers paper or cartridge paper, because it's so stiff and I poke holes in it when I try to wrap things.  Today I bought some sheets of tissue paper ($1.95 for 20 sheets) and used some watercolour paints and a damp sponge to carefully swoosh and splotch some colour on to the paper.

Here's what you need:
20 or so sheets of regular white tissue paper
tubes of watercolour paint (I used the inexpensive student paints)
sponges, water, clean work surface
cloth for cleaning hands/surfaces
clothes drying rack to hang drying paper on

Splotch your paint onto the paper and then use the sponge to make designs, stripes, feathery prints... whatever you like!
You can dampen the sponge to help thin the paint.  (Not TOO damp, though!)

Here's some tips, in case you want to do it too!

1. Don't have the sponge TOO wet.. just a tiny bit wet so that it helps to spread your colour
2. Have clean water on hand, so that you can wash your sponge if you need to
3. If you are using very different colours and you don't want to mix them (for instance blue and pink) use opposing sides of the sponge for each colour... or use a couple of sponges.
4. I bought round art sponges from the $2 shop, but you could use a kitchen sponge or a make up type sponge
5. When you have painted your sheet, carefully peel it from your work surface so it does not stick or rip
6. Hang it on a clothes rack to dry.
7. Nicely thinned paint will dry fast, big bloops of paint won't
8. Remember your wet paper is floppy and  fragile, but once it's dry it will be just like regular tissue paper, only prettier
9. When dry, fold your paper into neat piles or roll it up, if you prefer
10. You can use this paper with a contrasting sheet of tissue paper... or you can use it as a feature panel atop some brown paper, when you wrap!
11. Kids really can help with this! It is fun and easy! 

Have fun playing with watercolours!

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