Make your own Bunting with Tissutex paper

Tissutex Paper dyed with Procion MX
Dyed & Undyed Tissutex Paper

Here’s a fun project for making colourful bunting with Tissutex paper to decorate your garden, gazebo or Summer house.

What is Tissutex Paper?

The remarkable Tissutex paper, despite its delicate appearance, can by dyed, painted and glued without disintegrating. This translucent, lightweight tissue paper can be used for any number of craft projects, such as collage, window decorations, paper flowers, kite making, and scrap booking.

The paper is made from fibre extracted from the leaf stems of a species of banana called the Abaca. This strong fibre is used to make filter paper, tea bag paper and even bank notes, all of which require great strength and stability.

How to Make the Festival Bunting

We used the heavier 21 gsm Tissutex paper for this project, although the lighter weight 9 gsm paper will work equally well.

The 51 x 76 cm sheet was first folded in half four times before cutting out the shape of the bunting flag. Sharp scissors cut through the 16 layers of Tissutex paper with little effort.

Bunting made from painted Tissutex paper

Deka Silk Paints

The flags were then painted using the vibrant colours of Poppy, Azure and Mandarin with Deka Silk paint. The beauty of these fluid paints is that the colours spread easily and give a tie dye effect. Jacquard Dye-na-flow and other fluid fabric paints work equally well. Once dry the colours can be heat set with an iron (if required) to help prevent them from running should it decide to rain!

Note from our close-up below that the finished Tissutex paper flag retained its integrity when it was wet.

An alternative method of colouring the paper is to use dyes. The paper can be submerged in a dye bath of Procion MX dyes and set with Soda Ash. This will make the colour permanent on the paper and run free.

Tissutex bunting glued to paper yarn and tied to post

We decided to suspend our paper flags Corded paper yarnon paper yarn (to keep with the theme!). This corded paper yarn is extremely strong and can be tied to any post without breaking. We first tied a length of the paper yarn between two posts to make it taut. A small amount of PVA glue was then applied along the top edge of the Tissutex paper flag and it was then glued in place.

Other Bunting Ideas

  • Choose pastel colours for a wedding, or dark colours for Halloween
  • Cut the paper into different shapes, a simple alternative is a rectangle, while the more adventurous could try something more elaborate
  • Dye or paint the Tissutex paper and paste it around a glass jar to make hanging tea lights
  • Dye or paint the Tissutex paper, cut it into squares and fold into origami decorations

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