tissue paper

Tissue Paper: Add a Whole New Layer to your Gift Wrapping


layering tissue paper: Wine bottle wrapped in two layers of tissue and band of patterned paper When working with tissue papers, the layering possibilities are endless.

First, let me clarify what I mean by tissues: I’m not talking only about the basic plain tissue you first think of, though I do include it in this category. There are also lace papers and watermark tissues, open weaves and spun fibres, plus so many others. When I speak of tissue, I mean any semi-transparent paper that allows you to see through to what’s underneath.

That translucency is exactly what makes layering with these papers so interesting. A pink tissue over a red paper will have a completely different look than pink over white, for example. You can achieve a great variety of effects — soft, bold, colourful, muted... — simply by changing up the colour underneath. Add in a texture or pattern, and wow!, even more varied results.

For example, take this wine bottle that I wrapped for a product display at The Japanese Paper Place: A sheer blue tissue with a blossom pattern peeks out from beneath a grid-patterned tissue wine bag. For a third layer, a band of silkscreened paper adds a bright floral pattern. With the different patterns, textures and transparencies, there’s a lot going on with this gift, yet it’s all unified.

Below you can see what the same white grid tissue looks like over yellow, pink and even stripes. All give a different effect.

When wrapping with tissues, try layering different colours, patterns and textures, working to achieve the effect that’s just right for the gift. There’s a whole world of tissues that I urge you to keep an eye out for and experiment with — they’ll add a whole new layer to your gift wrapping.

white grid tissue shown layered over various colours

Source: Floral silkscreened chiyogami paper, blue watermark tissue, and white grid wine bag and tissue, The Japanese Paper Pace.

+ Gift wrapping and photography by Corinna vanGerwen

Holiday Wrap-Up Pt. 3: My Wrap Stash, Christmas Haul


Most of the time, wrapping materials get used up on the outside of presents, but lucky me, I found a few supplies under the tree this Christmas, including these treasures: BakersTwine_gridTape

A dozen rolls of coloured bakers twine and a roll of grid-patterned fabric tape.


Four fun little fuzzy tufts, with adhesive backings so I can attach them easily to gifts.


Glitter tape in black and aqua, velvet ribbon in lavender on a vintage-style wooden spool, and soft blue tissue (the colour is more unusual than it looks here).


Tiny brass scissors, a clear acrylic tape dispenser, and patterned cellophane tape in polka dots and lace.

Lucky me! Can't wait to use them all!

My Wrap Stash: Ribbons, Paper + More


Here's a selection of several wrapping purchases I've made over the past month. Sale Ribbons from Designer Fabrics

These ribbons were a steal, found in a sale bin at Designer Fabrics. The two black ribbons (which I think are actually seam binding), were just $2 each per role. The ivory satin ribbon was $5 for 100 yards. Score!

Herringbone and polka-dot wrapping papers

I am so, so in love with this herringbone paper from The Paper Place. I've already used this sheet up on a gift for my dad (the whole family was ooing and awing over the paper), and I'll share a photo of that with you soon. The gold polka-dot paper is from Hanji, a great paper store in Koreatown.

Mini kraft envelopes

I picked up these mini kraft envelopes from Michael's. I've already found these envelopes handy for slipping gift receipts into.

Tissue-paper squares

Do you remember as a kid making craft projects by wrapping a square of tissue around a pencil end and dipping it in glue, then attaching it to paper? I think that's what these tissue-paper squares are for. I found them at the dollar store. Have no idea what I'll do with them, but I think they're neat.

+ Styling and photography by Corinna vanGerwen

Amp Up Your Tissue with Tulle


Tulle Tissue I have to say, I'm a little disappointed in myself for not thinking of this sooner, because how obvious an idea is this? Use tulle for tissue!

I love tulle for its almost magical airiness, the way that the colour is so changeable, from light wisps of just a layer or two, to intense hues when you pile it up. It's such a fun material to play with.

Tulle Tissue detail

And it really adds something extra to tissue in a gift bag. So you don't have to use yards and yards of tulle, mix the netting in with tissue paper. Here I used white tissue so the pale peach tulle would show better. But how fun would a teal tulle look against pale blue tissue, or neon orange look against yellow? Just cut squares of tulle roughly the size of sheets of tissue, then fluff and fill the gift bag as usual, alternating between pieces of netting and tissue.

+ Gift wrapping and photography by Corinna vanGerwen

This week on Pinterest

Pinterest LogoSince I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and since I find so many wonderful wrapping ideas there, I thought I'd start a new feature: This Week on Pinterest. Every week or so, I'm going to share with you some of the gift wrapping products and ideas I'm loving that week, as found on Pinterest. Hope you're as inspired as I am! * Fringe birthday card, reminiscent of a piñata! From Paper Crafts Connection.(Be sure to click through to the original Paper Crafts post — it has a great play-by-play of being inspired, failing with your first idea, then testing out options to finally end up with something you love.)

Tissue-fringe-lined box top. From I Belle. Find the full how-to tutorial on I Belle.

* Store rolls of wrap in plastic-bag holders — brilliant organizing solution. Shown using Ikea's Rationelle Variera bag dispenser. From Gall-erry. 

* Big gift baskets with big bows. Sometimes you can do without the cellophane. From Style Me Pretty.

* Letterpress test proofs used as gift wrap. By Heather Smith Jones on Flickr.

Watermark-Tissue Wrapping Demo & Shopping Night

Grid watermark tissue Wine Bags If you've never tried wrapping with watermark tissue, you're missing out. It's one of those addictive materials, and once you try this delicate Japanese paper, you'll keep finding uses for it. Made from rayon fibres, the paper is delicate but much stronger than regular tissue paper — plus a lot prettier.

Next Wednesday, Dec. 14, I'll be presenting a demo on how to wrap with watermark tissue as part of a shopping night at the Japanese Paper Place (77 Brock Ave., Toronto). The event is free, and there will be discounts on the tissues, so come out! Starts at 6 pm, demo at 7 pm.

Frosty Watermark Tissue Wreath Workshop


White watermark tissue wreath Looking for a unique gift idea? Or perhaps a new way to decorate your home for the holidays?

Come to my Frosty Watermark Tissue Wreath workshop next Wednesday and you'll get to make this wintry, ethereal wreath — made from paper! The workshop is $65 and includes all materials (which are worth about $30). Call The Paper Place at  416-703-0089 to register (do it soon before the class fills up!).

You Don't Have to Use Wrapping Paper


I was speaking with a paper retailer recently who was lamenting the fact that so many people walk into her store looking for gift wrap and leave when they don't find it. While she usually carries only a limited selection of standard wrapping paper, her store is full of gorgeous specialty papers from all around the world — places like Japan, Nepal and Brazil.

Many people get stuck on the idea that to wrap a gift, one needs to use wrapping paper. But I encourage you to explore the options beyond those glossy rolls and patterned sheets. Part of the reason why my wrapping style stands out is because most of the time I don't use traditional wrapping paper; I select nonstandard materials like imported papers, sewing trims and unusual decorations. For example, the gift above is wrapped in wallpaper (the grey plaid) and a burger basket liner (the yellow stripes). (For instructions on how to wrap with two papers like in the photo, read this post.)

So, to inspire you to look beyond the usual rolls of gift wrap, here are 19 other papers you can use for wrapping:

  1. Kraft paper
  2. Wallpaper
  3. Imported decorative papers
  4. Handmade papers
  5. Paper bags
  6. Newspaper and newsprint
  7. Posters
  8. Tissue
  9. Parchment paper
  10. Wax paper
  11. Scrapbooking paper
  12. Magazine pages
  13. Photocopied photos or other images
  14. Cloth or fabric
  15. Cellophane
  16. Crepe paper
  17. Origami paper
  18. Architectural blueprints
  19. Maps
Are there other types of paper you use?

My 5-minute Wrapping Job


White gift bag with pink tissue paper and pom-poms This past weekend we were invited at the very last minute to a 6-year-old's birthday party. It was so last minute, in fact, that we had to buy a gift on our way to the party, with a small detour to my house so I could wrap it.

What you see above are the results. I grabbed a plain white bag, mixed two colours of pink tissue and tied on a few pom-poms. I wanted to share this story with you for two reasons:

First, to show that if you keep a good selection of basic materials on hand, you can be prepared for any event. Stock up on plain gift bags (white and kraft paper should be enough) in a variety of sizes, and have a selection of tissue papers in various colours.

Second, I wanted to point out that you don't always have to use expensive, fancy papers to make a pretty package. I'm certain the bag was less than a dollar, and I never pay more than $2 for a package of tissue paper.

Of course, what makes the gift extra fun are the pom-poms, which I happened to have lying around from an abandoned craft project. But just as fun would have been a faux flower, a small toy or a large sticker. Even a big pink bow would have worked.

Easter Egg Wrap How-to


I never think of Easter as much of a gift-giving occasion, but it inspires such lovely spring motifs and colour-palettes. These small, speckled blue styrofoam eggs, which I found at the dollar store, were my jumping off point for this package.

My first inclination was to pair the eggs with a flax-colour paper and garden twine, but that combo has been so done, I was bored before I even started. Instead of going for a soft, nest-inspired palette, why not make the blue pop against a complementary orange-yellow? Add a touch of pink and you have a trio of Easter colours, but with a little more modern oomph than traditional pastels.

I threaded the eggs onto three colours of embroidery floss to make up the bow, while three layers of tissue cut with a scalloped edge create a flower-like pouf at the top of the gift.

  • 3 sheets of tissue paper (2 sheets of colour A, 1 sheet of colour B)
  • 3 colours of embroidery floss
  • 6 styrofoam eggs (I found these speckled blue ones at the dollar store), or other decorative item, such as beads or small faux flowers
  1. On one piece of tissue in colour A, trace a circle  large enough so it will leave a nice pouf when gathered around the gift; a general rule of thumb is to have at least two inches above the gift. Using a scalloped-edged rotary cutter or pinking shears, cut the circle out.
  2. Cut a slightly larger circle from the sheet of tissue in colour B, then another slightly larger circle from the third sheet of tissue (the second sheet of colour A). There should be 1-4" difference in diameter between each circle. Set aside.
  3. Cut a length of each colour of embroidery floss long enough to tie around the gathered tissue, plus a little extra to allow for tying knots.
  4. Thread a needle with one length of floss, then thread through a styrofoam egg from tip to bottom. To secure the egg in place, tie a knot on either side, as close to the egg as possible. From the bottom end of the egg, cut off any excess thread. Attach a second egg to the other end of the floss in the same way. Repeat with the other two colours of floss. You should have three lengths of floss, each threaded with two eggs (one on either end).
  5. Stack the three tissue circles so they are centred, with the smallest circle on the bottom and the largest on the top.
  6. Place your gift in the centre, then gather up the tissue around the gift and tie with the three egg-decorated embroidery flosses. I tied all three pieces of floss together as one bow, but you may find it easier to tie each one separately. Adjust tissue pouf as necessary before tightening the bow.