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Tissue Paper Bows


Subject:Arts & Humanities
Grade:3-5, 6-8

Brief Description
Students create holiday gift bows using tissue paper.


Students demonstrate creativity in making holiday bows using tissue paper. Students demonstrate the ability to follow directions.


holiday, crafts, tissue paper, bows, gift, Christmas

Materials Needed

  • different colored tissue paper
  • a ruler
  • scissors
  • small rubber bands (the size used for hair works best)
  • thin curling ribbon or decorative string
  • tape (optional)
  • student-selected art materials (optional)
  • sponges cut into holiday shapes, such as holiday trees or candy canes (optional)
  • watercolor paints (optional)

Lesson Plan

  • Before the lesson, collect or ask students to collect different colored tissue paper. Cut the sheets into 8-inch by 8-inch squares.
  • Discuss how people decorate holiday packages. Tell students that they are going make decorative bows for packages using tissue paper. Demonstrate these steps:
  • Place three or four tissue squares on top of one another. Arrange the tissue squares in any color sequence.
  • Fold the squares in an accordion fashion, one on top of the other to form little pleats. Bend the accordion pleats in half. Pinch the pleats together at the fold. Put a small rubber band around the fold to hold the pleats together.
  • Pull out each pleat layer to form a flower-like bow. Tie thin curling ribbon or a decorative string around the rubber band.
  • Divide the class into small groups. Distribute the materials. Repeat above, doing the activity step-by-step as students follow along to make bows. Allow students to make additional bows on their own.

Variation 1: Show students how to cut the bow at the fold to make it lay flat. They can use double-stick tape on the flat part to attach the bow to a gift box.

Variation 2: Let students decorate the tissue paper before folding, using materials of their choice.

Variation 3: Cut kitchen sponges into holiday shapes. Let students dip the sponge shapes into watercolor paint and make designs on the tissue paper. Let the paper dry before students fold them.


Evaluate student's ability to follow directions correctly to complete the activity.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Visual Arts:

Originally published 11/08/2001
Last updated 10/29/2010