Craft In Paper – Easy (And Inexpensive) DIY Wall Art And Garland

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I love paper and always save anything with an interesting pattern or design that could potentially be transformed into something else. Today, I thought I’d do a few quick tutorials on how to turn empty tissue boxes into wall art and garlands.

The supplies for these projects are so inexpensive, they’re practically free. The priciest parts are the paper punch and the frame, and even those can be found for only a few dollars (the punch cost me around $10 – I had a great coupon – and I got the frame and mat at AC Moore for less than $10). If you plan to do a lot of paper crafts, it is really worth it to invest in good quality paper punches. I have a few inferior ones that get clogged with only 2 sheets of paper, and some that always cut with jagged edges – definitely not worth the money. (To sharpen your paper punches, punch through regular aluminum foil a few times every now and then.)

For even more inexpensive ways to display the wall decor, check out a local frame shop – mine has a “scrap bin” where you can find great pieces of archival mat board, etc., all free. I always leave with an armful of finds.

As far as tissue boxes go, we accumulate those pretty quickly, especially in the spring (lots of allergies in the family) and I always look for ones with nice patterns.

Wall Art

For this project, I used

2 tissue boxes (although I only needed roughly 1 ½)
1 black metal frame
1 archival mat
1 paper punch (1½” circle)
A piece of paper (I used the back of a photo that didn’t print right, but any heavier stock will work)
Glue dots

1. Start by flattening out the tissue box (separate it carefully along the “seams”).

2. Using the paper punch, cut out parts of it that you like.

3. Place the paper you are going to glue the circles on on a table (or other solid surface). If you are using a mat, put that on top of the paper so you can see exactly where the circles will end up in the final design. Lay out your circles in the pattern you want and once you like what you see, start glueing them on one by one. Once you’re done, put the mat and your artwork in the frame and hang.

If you don’t want to bother with a frame, another option is to glue the circles straight onto a piece of mat board or foam core.


Garlands are all over the place these days, and I love them. They are so easy to make and always add a whimsically festive touch to any room.

For this project, you need:
A bunch of cut out circles
String of your choice (I used a cotton string intended for cooking)
Glue (I used glue dots again)

1. Lay the string on a counter. Unless you know exactly how long you want your garland to be, don’t cut it yet. Leave a longer piece at the beginning end to tie a loop for hanging.

2. Place a circle face down underneath the string, add some glue and put another circle on top of the first one (so that the string is running in between). Keep doing this until your garland is as long as you want it.

3. Cut off the string, tie a loop at the beginning and end and hang.

All photos © Cattie Coyle

For more inexpensive wall decor ideas, check out my earlier posts “7 Tips For Decorating Your Walls On A Budget” and “8 Tips For Finding Free Souvenirs You Can Use As Unique Wall Decor

All photos © Cattie Coyle

All photos © Cattie Coyle


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