Making Tissue Foil: Instructions

Difficulty Level: 
Model type: 
Basic techniques

Making Tissue Foil (Origami Paper)

Materials used:

  • Tissue paper
  • Foil
  • Masking tape
  • White glue
  • Water and bowl to water down the glue
  • Foam roller to apply the glue
  • Glass surface - or any other surface that does not absorb water and that is flat
  • A roll to apply the tissue nicely


I can imagine that this would be a trial and error process as to how much glue is enough, how much water in the glue is enough, how thick the tinfoil/ tissue paper should be, etc.
I'll definatly make some in the future.

i have foil almost as thin as tissue paper is that good

I'm not sure how thin or thick foil is compared to tissue. It also depends on the tissue paper. For tissue paper, you usually talk about weight, eg. 25gsm. For foil, you usually talk about thickness, eg. 15 micrometre (1 micrometre = 1/1000 mm) is very good for origami paper, and often the thickness of low-grade kitchen foil.

-- Sara

Hi Sara
I´m also german. Can you tell me the name of the store in witch you bought it? Maybe in OBI?
And can you write the name of the glue?
Is tissue paper "Seidenpapier"?
Thanks for answer.
PS: You can also write in german, if you want.

I just tried using your instructions to make tissue foil. I was fortunate enough to find pure methyl cellulose here: http://www.paper-sou... It is a US based company, but I believe they ship internationally. (If you don't mind the shipping cost that is)

In all, I would consider my attempt a success, even though I will hope to improve it. Next time I'll shoot for textured paper! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! I also plan to try double tissue in the near future. Which to you prefer for folding?

i've been doing this for a while now and i'm starting to get the hang of it, thanks for the video.

Great well now I know how to do that. I will so do that.

Hey Sara, first of all let me say, you're an amazing artist. Love your work.

Your instructions were so helpful. All very precise.

I made two sheets and folded "A Miura ken Beauty Rose" by Robert J. Lang (loved the one you made btw), and I must say, the paper took the rose to a whole other level.

Thank you very much, and keep up the good work.


Excellently folded, you did a great job on the rose! I also think that the foil that's shimmering through gives the paper a slightly pearlescent feel, which is a nice touch. :)

-- Sara

is tissue foil stiff cause i made some and its stiff

Yes, the foil makes the paper very stiff (yet it stays light).

-- Sara

I'm very much a novice when it comes to origami, but I've found several videos here, which I really enjoyed. So far this one was the most helpful, though. Keep up the good work.

Thanks a lot,
Copenhagen, Denmark

hi sara this can be used for the dragon designed by satoshi kamiya isn't it? so why do you not post a video on how to make the dragon please?? i really want to have a go at making it...please get back

Actually, I think double tissue is more suited for the ancient dragon. However, (as I have explained too many times by now) I will not be posting an instructional video on the ancient dragon by Satoshi Kamiya. The quickest explanation is that I wasn't able to secure permission to demonstrate any of Satoshi Kamiya's models, and I respect his wish. That's not the full explanation, but I'm somewhat growing tired of the question to make a video on a model that you need extremely high folding skills for, and which takes hours to fold - let alone explain.

Sorry to disappoint you,

-- Sara

can i use elmer's glue?

Yes, you can. You should probably dilute it, though. Just add a bit of water and stir. If there are small lumps, don't worry. Once you apply the glue these should disappear. (I'm usually too lazy to stir until no more lumps are in there.)

-- Sara

thanks for the reply ill try it out now

Hi Sara! I just wanted to know where to get tissue paper. It has to be at a shop close to Edison, New Jersey.

(P.S. can you make a video on the origami ring tailed lemur?)

Please reply!

Hi there,

I fear I cannot help you with local shops, I live in a totally different part of the world. You can try buying tissue paper online, though, eg

As to the ring-tailed lemur: I decided to show one model from the book Origami Essence, and that's the vixen. I have no plans right now to show another model from that book. It's still quite new, and I want to promote the sale of this book, not compete with it. Hope you understand.

-- Sara

Thanks anyway. by the way, your videos are awelsome!

Can i use stick glue to replace the glue that you used?
Where do you get those cutting squares?
By the way, so after a couple months, after "origami essence" stops selling, then can you make a video on the ring-tailed lemur? I already have tissue foil to use, but i don't know how long they're going to last for....

Please reply!

1. Yes, you can try using a glue stick. However, I think it will be hard to apply a thin, smooth surface of glue with that on the whole surface of the foil.
2. The large one I had cut in a hardware store. The others are cardboard - either cut by myself, or they were a backing for origami paper packs.
3. Not sure. I'd have to talk to Roman about that.

-- Sara

if i only have small foil as in width, can i layer the foil up so i can make bigger sheets

I haven't tried myself, but I think that should work. I personally would try to have no overlap, but rather go for a possible small gap. But, as I said, I haven't tried myself.

-- Sara

Well thanks, Ill try it and let you know, just in case anyone else asks

Would Scrapbook Glue work for this? The label says "ForAll Paper Projects". It's white, which I've been told is what you want, and it should almost surely mix with water.

My general advice for all of these kind of queries is: give it a try.
I cannot give you a confident answer, but it sounds like it's definitely worth a try.

-- Sara

Sure, you can only add tissue on one side. It's a different effect, and is suitable if one side is not visible, or if you want a shiny surface.

-- Sara

thats just normal alluminum foil right?
ps, is elmer fud glue german? it kinda sounds german

Yes, I used normal aluminium foil. Not sure what the effect is if you use texturized foil.
As to Elmer's glue - I've never seen it sold in Germany. It's definitely not one of the "standard" glues around here.

-- Sara

thanks for the reply. i also have another queston if you could answer it. would you say that this paper is fairly good for folding complex models?

I'd go with double tissue for complex folding. I do know some people love tisse foil and fold just about anything from it. However, I feel that double tissue is the nicer paper, and that it delivers more beautiful renditions of models. Also, tissue foil is a bit of cheating, as foil really isn't paper anymore. ;)

-- Sara

Can I use the white adhesive glue maybe mixed with a little bit of water to make it more liquid?
Because the last time i used adhesive the tissue tore in some places and the other side looked greenish silver color. I used green and orange colors.

One more thing . My tissue paper seems too light and thin can i use two tissue papers for sticking one SIDE? ( just to give thickness )

Is it necessary to use only that roller or any other tool to apply the glue. I only have that big roller not the small one. Can i use a brush instead?

Of course you can use a wider roller. As to a brush, you'll have to check whether you can apply the glue as evenly with it, and whether it will create creases in the foil. I have not tried this.

-- Sara

I mix my white glue with water to thin it down. As long as the glue is water-dissolvable there should be no problem with it at all. Most white glues should be water-dissolvable, by the way.

As to adding two layers of tissue on each side - I don't know. Isn't thinner better? :)

-- Sara

I´ve been folding origami for a while, always on bond paper, but when I tried to do more complex models it didnt work. I had been wondering How do they do it?
You just opened a whole new dimension for me, now I can have a go at new figures, I cant wait to get the materials and begin doing it, thanks a lot!
Love and kisses : )

I'd recommend you try out double tissue, too. I do prefer double tissue, I find it easier to work with for most models. The one thing I do prefer about tissue foil is that you can easily make duo paper for those color-change models.

-- Sara

You can make tissue foil that has tissue on only one side, and (uncovered) foil on the other. If you added copy paper, the finished paper would be quite thick, and hard to work with for most models.

-- Sara

sara do u think i can just use foil itself ?

There are many different kinds of wood glue, and I'm not sure whether all work. Some definitely do, so you should simply try it out and find out. :)

-- Sara

excellent work, i was wondering if you could use photo mount or spray glue instead of white glue. also do you know if this white glue is called pva glue? because i am unfamiliar with the term of just white glue. thank you again for such inspiring work

I'm not sure what photo mount is. :) You can use spray glue, but I find it doesn't give you as nice paper. I've found with spray glue the paper is a bit thicker and harder to fold with. I guess it depends a bit on the spray glue you use. I know that some people make tissue foil with spray glue, so you can definitely try it out. Perhaps you like the results better, or it is easier for you to achieve. But please work in an open place. Unlike white glue, spray glue is usually toxic.
As to PVA, yes, that's white glue.

-- Sara

Do you know what glue I can get in Canada that would work for this

Sorry, I don't know which glues are available in Canada. I hear Elmer's Glue, which is at least available in the US, works well.

-- Sara

Elmers glue is normal white craft glue.
That would work well?

As far as I know any white craft glue that's water soluble should work well. But then again, I think white craft glues usually are water soluble.

-- Sara

At 14:47, that's the rose from Tanteidan, right? Are the diagrams published anywhere else?

I don't know a different source, apart from Tanteidan 12, which you already mentioned.


-- Sara

which local store that you can find everywhere sells the white glue that you were talking about. is there a special company that makes this type of glue?

Simply use some sort of PVA glue. Basically, you want a white glue that's water-solvable and that preferably dries transparently.
Brands will vary from country to country, but you should be able to get this kind of glue pretty much everywhere.

-- Sara

Everywhere i go to find tissue paper, its always prefolded very many times. Do you a website, or an international store for tissue paper, that isnt prefolded?

Wait what are the 2 ingredients that you need to have in the glue for it to work? Sorry your accent is a little difficult for me to understand :D please reply soon

Sara's method make a wonderful foil tissue with what I call "substance". I enjoy the leathery textured effect one can also achieve with the wet glue method. Should you like a very delicate foil tissue you may want to try using Glue Sticks. Being very "shear" the glue stick does not add any thickness or warp whatsoever. It is quite "forgiving" in placing the sheets together. I also use the glue stick to apply a tissue layer to translucent waxed paper, one of my favorites in which to work.

I thin down the white glue considerably. Like this I actually achieve very thin tissue foil - much thinner than with glue sticks or spray glue.
But if you don't add as much water or eve use the glue pure, then the paper will be thicker. This may be what you're going for, of course.

Best wishes,

-- Sara

When I did my tissue foil did it with tissue paper only by one side, but when I did a model, it was hard to reverse a pre-folded crease, I had to discrease it to crease again to the other side, which is something that happens a lot with advanced models....
Could someone help me??

Thank you so very much for the videos. I hope you can view the photos. I made duo-tone tissue foil paper:
And made a kusudama from it here:

I can't get a hold of non-bleed tissue paper, so that is why I made tissue foil to make duo-tone paper.

I wanted to ask, have you tried any other material to use in between tissue paper besides foil?

Thank you for your help and thank you again for the video's!

Please, I wanted to know your opinion on this glue: Elmer's Glue-All to make Tissue Foil. I put link to the glue, so that you can exactly know what I'm talking about. Thank you in advance for your help.

If you can recommend me other glues, I would be grateful. I also live in Montreal (Canada).

Thank you for your help Madam Sara.

Lien :


I know several people use Elmer's Glue. I haven't tried it myself, but it is a white glue, and it should work well for this technique.

Hope this helps,

-- Sara

Thank you very much for your reply and thank you especially for your help.
Have a nice day.

where can i buy that tissue paper if i dont have any credit card or debit card

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