Wednesday 27 August 2014

How to Make a Tissue Paper Honeycomb Decoration

 Bringing the 70s back.

Some of the best decorations found in any 70s photo I've seen of my parents celebrations are honeycomb decorations.  Some have survived and they are Awe.Some.  I'd never really thought about whether they were easy to recreate or not - so had a go at creating a simple, classic version before trying something a little more modern - here is the result [spoiler: so much easier than you think].

What I Used:
Tissue Paper [4 sheets]
Glue Stick
Paper / Ruler / Pencil / Scissors
Needle and Thread

As long as you have tissue paper and a glue stick, you are good to go with this DIY, but this is definitely a case of the more tissue paper, the better.  4 sheets was the minimum I would use to create a full honeycomb decoration, however; if you want to create intricate or 'tight' honeycomb designs, you will need to add more accordingly - which is easily done and I'll mention it a little later on in the process.

To start, you can approach your decoration from two ways - creating as many layers as possible and then creating a template to fit the paper, or drawing a template and folding the tissue paper to fit. I hope that makes sense - for this DIY, I'm folding my tissue paper 4 times and then drawing my template to fit the paper:
Once your folds have been made, cut [scissors or craft knife would be perfect] around the outsides to remove the folds and create a pile of equal tissue sheets that you are about to spend a fair amount of time with........
On to a sheet of paper, outline the size of your tissue paper sheets to create your honeycomb template.  You need to create [at least] two sets of alternate lines - each set at an equal measure for a uniformed look - and preferably with the first line set also being the last line:
I went for a simple two sets [marked '1' and '2'] to start and illustrate the above, but you can hopefully see that you can easily start to add other sets to create tighter and more intricate designs [I'll hopefully try this out soon and post the results]

The basic method of creating the honeycomb is to layer the tissue paper, gluing in turn the template lines of set 1:
...and then adding a new sheet on top, before gluing lines from set 2:
...and continuing this until every sheet has been glued in alternate lines.
It takes some time, your back might ache a little, but it will all be worth it in the end.  Leave underneath something heavy, just to make sure that all the glue fixes the sheets and is fully dry:
....before having a quick check of the design - pulling the top and bottom sheets apart gently to reveal the honeycomb design.  turn the sheets towards each other in a circle to check if they meet neatly and without any strain - if you find this difficult, add more sheets, continuing the gluing pattern until you are able to make them meet easily.
Now, we can cut the circle design.  I went for a simple ball for my first attempt, so created a semi circle that was around 1cm shorter than the length of the tissue paper at either side to allow for any mis-alignments and used a side plate as my guide:
Line the template with the edge of the tissue paper and 
cut this [if you have one] with a craft knife - I found that this gave precision and helped line 
everything up when you cut the semi-circle with scissors - cut in stages and this should minimise any movement between the sheets that misaligns the cutting:
Once your shape has been cut, create a hanging by threading trough one end and tying to secure with a loop that will allow the decoration to open [a good guide is to tie the knot around your finger]:
Repeat this step at the opposite end, but cut the excess thread to hide the thread.
Now, you have two option for the finish - and it will depend on whether you intend to reuse the decoration and want the option to pack it away and bring out when needed, or if you are like me and don't bother with that and still have decorations hanging around from birthdays and celebrations over a year ago......[but seriously, if you fancy a re-usable option, cut two pieces of card using the same semi-circle template and glue these to the top and bottom layer.  when you create the decoration, bring these two card ends together and hold in place with a paperclip].  For this DIY, I coated the top layer with glue and then opened the decoration to meet the bottom layer and glue in place:
Press between the layers to hold in place and use some paperclips to help if needed - then you are ready to hang!  If any layers haven't glued, you can easily fix these up - but if these are as the sheets are having to pull away to make the top and bottom layers meet, try adding some more layers to remove the strain [hopefully this would have presented itself earlier]:
I need to stock up on some sheets to make giant versions of these.
Let me know if you have any questions - 
do give it a try if you want to add some party decor with impact!
I'll be back tomorrow with an idea of how to adapt these for embellishments - see you then x


  1. It's difficult, but beautiful at the same time! I didn't know how this decorataions are made, amazing!
    Thank you for sharing! :)

    Diana P. | Cups & Roses

    1. Hi Diana, many thanks! It's strangely addictive and therapeutic, gluing all the layers! So many different effects and patterns can be created too, I think I have a new obsession :)

  2. I was looking for a way to make these. Thanks for coming to the rescue! Beautiful! <3

    -Nash @Craft A Doodle Doo

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